C.S. Lewis said, “I can’t imagine a man enjoying a book and reading it only once.” Evangelism by Michael Green is such a book for me. I first read it in the early 1990’s and was taken by Green’s love for God, the Church, and seekers. I keep returning to read it, sometimes just to dip my mind in it for encouragment and inspiration.
“…Whenever Christianity has been at its most healthy, evangelism has stemmed from the local church and has had a noticeable impact on the surrounding area. I do not believe that the re-Christianization of the West can take place without the renewal of local churches in this whole area of evangelism. We need a thoughtful, sustained, relevant presentation of the Christian faith, in word and in action, embodied in a warm, prayerful, lively local church that has a real concern for its community at all levels.”
“The church, the local church, is the womb from which healthy evangelism is born.”
From the Preface, pp XIII and XIV
Green defined evangelism as:
- An overflow of someone so full of joy about Jesus Christ that they are overflowing.
- Quoting Spurgeon, “One begger telling another begger where to get bread.” The only difference between the two is that one has been fed and knows where to find food.
- Quoting Archbishop William Temple “To evangelize is to so present Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, that men shall come to put their trust in God through him, to accept him as their Saviour, and serve him as thier King in the fellowship of the his church.” (I appreciate the Trinitarian emphasis here)
Evangelism is the opportunity we are all afforded. We are all beggers, those of us who have believed God’s good news in Christ are no better than those who haven’t, yet. But we are all called to share with our neighbor the love and grace of God.
The Holy Spirit will empower us as we learn how to share our faith and do it!