We just started using Outflow. I’m REALLY liking it!
It’s all about “evangelism” as a way of life, not as a manipulative program. If you’re following my sermons through Acts, you’ll know I believe deeply zealous people get so caught up in their cause that they believe the ends justify the means. Paul was fine in killing followers of Jesus because he was firmly convinced Jesus was a false prophet. God demands false prophets be put to death so Jesus’ followers would need to follow the same fate.
The Crusades, the Inquisition, the religious right’s political extremism, it’s all motivated from (mostly) a deep passion for God. But it comes out in carnal, manipulative, and often deadly ways.
Hard to see Jesus killing someone because they didn’t believe. Or sitting outside an abortion clinic screaming “murderer” at the scared woman going inside.
That affects our view on evangelism too. We so want people to not go to hell, that we feel we need to “get them saved.” And we’ve often been taught that if we miss an opportunity, their blood will be on our account.
So evangelism becomes obligation. And we do really contrived things to get people talking about Jesus or to get them “onto” our scripts where we have the answers.
Fortunately, Outflow appears to be helping us at the Vineyard Church of Waterville return to the sanity of the overflowing life Jesus promises us (Jn 10:10).
I hope to do a brief comment on each of the 5 weekly readings. So here’s the first.
I love the story of the woman at the drive-thru. Someone just pays for her meal and she knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that God loves her! This wasn’t contrived. The people paying didn’t even know she was down to her last $4.58! They were just doing something they enjoyed doing!
I love it! I love the whole grace-filled concept we talked about at kinship last night: God’s already working in people’s lives. Our joy is to see where He’s working and ask Him how we can help.
That’s a life long adventure I’m glad to be part of! I don’t even have to remember a script!