Today’s guest post comes to us from author and Ukranian missionary Caleb Suko for SukoFamily.org.
For well over a generation in the US, evangelism and missions have found a very favorable place in Protestant Churches. Just do a search online and you’ll end up with dozens if not hundreds of ministries and programs to help your church share the gospel. From the US came the “Jesus Film,” one of the most widely used evangelistic and missions tools ever! Most churches support missionaries, have missions conferences, and tell missions stories in Sunday School.
This is all good but it is also dangerous. Whenever any idea becomes so ubiquitous it also faces the danger of losing it’s Biblical foundation, becoming watered down, and running amuck with all kinds of fanciful modifications in an attempt to make it “contemporary,” “cutting edge,” or “culturally” relevant.
Fads in evangelism are never-ending and certainly the American church has seen every fad, trend, and style possible when it comes to evangelism. We’ve been taught to memorize salesy evangelistic type pitches, we’ve been shown how to “do life together,” we’ve been told that we can’t reach this generation until we look and smell, and talk like they do. And so some have let their beards grow out, put on a pair of suspenders, and developed a taste for microbrews all in hopes that they can “connect” with social trends.
I want to look with you at the Reformation time period. What was the culture of evangelism and missions like at the time of Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, and John Calvin? And how did the Reformation change the church’s approach to sharing the gospel?
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