As a young Christian I was quickly introduced to the business of evangelism, or as we commonly called it, gospel witnessing. Christian evangelism involves witnessing to Christ - sharing the gospel. Yet, I have to say my witnessing techniques were rather flawed. My method of evangelism was usually devoid of any sensitivity. So, Christian evangelism has many faces and is sometimes less than appealing.|
I have always loved the story found in chapter 21 of John's gospel. Here we see Jesus meeting with his disciples at lake Galilee after his resurrection. As is typical of the author of the fourth gospel, Jesus' miracles are "signs", events which point beyond themselves. I'm not sure how far to push the meaning of this "sign", but I take it that our author's intention is something more than an editorial addition to dispel concerns over the death of John the apostle. Our writer has a higher theological purpose.
The disciples are unsure what they are now to do following the resurrection of Jesus and so, they return to their fishing boats. The sign of the great catch of fish reminds them of an earlier incident when their boats were filled with fish. Jesus used the miracle, all those years before, to teach them that they were to become fishers of men, and now again Jesus reminds them that evangelism is their calling, Witnessing is the business they are in, not fishing.
Only a few of us will ever be called to "go into all the world" and preach the gospel, but we are all called to play our part in casting out the net. The business of evangelism is entrusted to us all and we must all play our part.
Index of studies
A theology of the gospel
Practical methods for communicating the gospel
Contextualizing the gospel
The gospel and liberation
The gospel and social action
The 5 by 5 evangelism method
An exercise in contextualizing the gospel
Illustration: St.Andrew's Anglican Church, Cronulla.
Index of studies. Resource file.
Pumpkin Cottage Ministry Resources
Lectionary Bible Studies and Sermons