November 18, 2011
Evangelism matters, and is at the heart of who we are as Christians. We have pledged ourselves in baptism
- to seek and serve Christ in each person we encounter
- to proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ Jesus.
Words matter. And not ALL words matter. The language of the heart matters.
Lives of witness are lives where word and deed are unified, where the Holy Spirit is expected, where words reflect the poetry and drama and comedy of life blessed and infused and redeemed by God, where the washing of feet is accompanied by conversation that invites understanding: “Do you know and understand what I have done?”
Lives of witness are lives on high alert, where eyes and ears and hearts are open to witness God at work in the lives of others, even in the most unlikely of situations, where the presence of the Holy is named for people, where Christ is met and honored even by name.
Lives of witness are lives of continuous, easy testimony to what is known deep in one’s bones. Our testimony comes from experiences and insights of our own lives and the lives of all Christian people we have encountered who have taught us to see and engage the world differently.
A lively public faith is a faith lived in all settings. A deep habit of being has formed, an ease has developed, so that all of life is God’s stage, a space of discovery and home—in the family, in the neighborhood, at work, at play, in the store, in the restaurant, at the DMV, in the jail, on the bus. The habit of expecting and attending to the presence of the Holy Spirit becomes like the notice of temperature and season and weather. And this habit makes our speech easy.
David Gortner, Director, Doctor of Ministry Program and Professor, Evangelism & Congregational Leadership