I read somewhere on the internet this week that “Evangelism is someone out of the shower telling someone else where the soap is.” I have no idea who said that or where it comes from but I think it is accurate. I like the word evangelism; I’d like to think that I am evangelical and NOT Evangelical. (Only difference in there is a capital E). Brian McLaren actually writes extensively about how the word evangelical ahs been hijacked. I think he is right, and I think we ought to work as a people of God to reclaim that word for what it is. Let us get to proclaiming to all ‘where the soap is.’
It is a great gift that our church is about to break ground again after 54 years. I think of all the evangelists that have called this parish home over all of those years. We have a great place here called St. Mark’s by-the-Lake. Lives are changes, loyalties renewed and hearts enlivened for faith is God, faith in Jesus. We have seen some remarkable growth in the past few years and it is because those who have been washed over with the ,love of this community have been walking the streets with the soap still fresh in their hair telling others about the soap of this community, about the soap of our faith and the soap of our God. I want to make mention here of Art and Arlene Shields and Jack and Minnie Heeley who have faithfully from the time of the last groundbreaking, before our church was built been working to let others know about this community, their faith and all about God. They will be on hand Sunday to assist us in turning another page in our book and encouraging us younger generations to work as faithfully and diligently as they have so that as we move forward we can be assured of the promise that God will be faithful to this community. Our ancestors have been great evangelist and so must we be good evangelists. We can begin by inviting people to our Ground-Breaking ceremony on Sunday. Let’s take this Sunday to be a Bring a Friend Sunday and so what we can to let others know about the soap that has been so cleansing and refreshing for us in this place.
Evangelism for me is very much about entering into relationship, as Jesus did, with the disciples, the Samaritan woman at the well, with Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Mary his mother, with Lazarus, and with Martha and with so many others. Jesus’ basic mode of evangelism was relationships that were ripe with love and with respect. We have the ability to do great things, but only when we have confidence that God will be with us, will guide us and will help us.
Am I and evangelical? – hell ya!….oh by th way the soap is right over there…….