Given the objective Truth of the Gospel never changes, the PROCESS of evangelism is much more about helping people encounter Christ than it is explaining Christ—and ARTISTS are some of the most powerful God-designed servants God uses to create the environments wherein people experience the God-desired fruit of evangelism—people reconciled to God through the work of Christ.
In fact when we emphasize explaining over encountering God’s Gospel, we raise at least two barriers to witnessing (1). The first barrier is the fear that I’ll make a mistake, that I’ll miss something. The second barrier is the fear that I’ll be rejected. Plus, these barriers are both about me, not about the one or ones I’m praying will access God’s help, healing, love, forgiveness and life.
All this to say, and the point of this blog post: if church and mission leadership strategically turn to the artistic Kingdom servants in their networks, they will embrace untold creative resource for designing at least seven environments wherein they and their vast army of normal Jesus-loved-people-loving volunteer Christians can meet with, pray for, care for and share (2) with people in their neighborhoods and communities the Bible mandates us to evangelize.
So let me suggest at least these seven evangelism environments artists (3) are God-designed to create:
- Environment-Designers—artists are the ones God capacitied to imagine, then design, the culturally appropriate gathered events of the community—worship liturgies, celebration rituals & memorializations: all the various community gatherings, funerals, weddings, rites-of-passage; any GATHERINGS in which the community manifests its ‘heart & soul’ (its transcendent reality—the expressions of the sum of its participants) in tangible terms. Community cannot do design these gatherings well without the artistically gifted.
- Heart-Strikers of Humanity—artists are the specialists God has given humanity to sculpt “environments” wherein people’s hearts can enter and touch the Transcendent Realities of life, and of GOD.
- Relationship-Makers—the environments artists design always promote human interaction that produces relationships. Remember that artists are hardwired to be . . .
- curious about culture expressions (yes there are exceptions)
- intrigued by & interested in cultures’ ways (yes there are exceptions)
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