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Aspects of Evangelism – You as an Evangelist

The first objective of Christian Evangelism is to encourage and prepare the membership to be witnesses of our Lord & Savior (Acts1: 8). This preparation in today's churches embodies the whole of the Church. All of its functions are dedicated toward lifting up the spirit of the membership as it witnesses to Christ on earth. At St. Luke Parish this takes the form of various ministries its members have chosen for their work. St. Luke Church has many parish ministries flowing under five basic departments: education, outreach, community (fellowship & hospitality), property and financial control. The member is encouraged to share the faith and personal ministry as "doers of the word" a gospel teaching from St. James’ Epistle:

"...receive with meekness the implanted word which is
able to save your souls. But be doers of the word and not
hearers only.................. (James. 1:21-22)

The second action necessary is to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..." (Matt. 28:19-20). This is done in our daily living as we (witness) our love for Christ with our fellow man. We do this by sharing with the natural network we live with in society i.e., our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors.We seek to bring them to God's Church for their salvation.

You as an Evangelist – Fr. Jon Braun

"Being a witness is not difficult," says Fr. Jon Braun. "It is, simply put, sharing the good news of Christ in our daily life." Since we share our life's experiences in our jobs and families with our fellow man, why can't we share our love of Christ the same way? Tell them what God has done in your life. How you are saved by participation in the Holy Mysteries of the Church. As an Orthodox Christian have you ever been asked?

Are you saved? Have you received the Holy Spirit? Have you found Christ?

Many Christians today believe that all they need to say is “Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.” and they will be saved forever. This is NOT the teaching of the Church. The teaching is that salvation is a process. In the past, we have been saved by baptism, in the present we are being saved in our cooperation with God in our daily life, and in the future, we shall be saved at the final judgment. In life it is very possible to fall away. The Lord teaches this for sure in His Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:11-15). Christ teaches us that the word of God is given to four types of people. Three of these people hear the word of God but fall away:

(1) those on the wayside, hear the word but the devil take it from their heart;
(2) those on the rock, receive the word with joy but develop no roots and believe for awhile but fall away; and
(3) those in the thorns, who have heard the word yet still and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

But, the fourth are the true people of God where the word of God falls on good ground, and having heard with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

Therefore one must hear the word of God, retain it, build upon it and with the love of good works. St. James 2:24 says even more strongly, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

Even as late as the 6th century we find St. Maximos the Confessor (580-662 A.D.) speaking of faith and works: “Do not say you are the temple of the Lord, writes Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:40) nor say that faith alone in our Lord Jesus Christ can save you, for this is impossible, unless you acquire love for Him through your works. As for faith by itself, “the devils also believe and tremble.” (James 2:19)

Again, witnessing is how God has come to us in our daily life. Going further today our famous Metropolitan of England, Anthony Bloom, said:

"We are a group of people who have chosen to be Orthodox, who have
chosen to remain faithful to the Gospel as proclaimed by the Orthodox Church
from the very beginning......it means that we must be what the Church is called
to be ...a body of people who have chosen to be messengers of the Gospel and
and the messengers of Christ in the world in which we live."

Today we America has broken down morally and theologically. Orthodox Christianity offers its rich heritage of the Ancient Church with its firm foundation of theology and its deep sense of God in its worship services. As evangelists we must take action showing the truth of Orthodoxy as the Church of Christ, the Apostles and the Martyrs.

OUR VISION

St. Luke’s vision is to be “an icon of the American Orthodox Christian Church.” We pray for the day when we are one autocephalous (self-governing) church under one Holy Synod of bishops with an elected patriarch as our official spokesman.