Context Matters

Rally Day!
In the 90's there was an "Inviting and Engaging Church" evangelism series that I led while on internship at a 1200 member church in Santa Barbara. The series talked about the church as a place of hospitality and care for the stranger. It had us do a hospitality survey which asked about the friendliness of the narthex, signing for bathrooms, and that sort of thing. It focused all this preparation on "Bring a Friend" Sunday. The culmination of that year's evangelism program. It was fun but nobody brought friends.

Fast forward to our context, South King County in 2013. When I say "narthex" there is a one in five chance the person I'm speaking with will know what I'm talking about. There are very few 1200 member churches and none in our denomination. Every Sunday is bring a friend Sunday, and hospitality means inviting all the kids and parents in the area to a time of play celebrating the return of Sunday School. Evangelism is part of our way of belonging to Christ in our everyday life, as is prayer, as is bible study, as is stewardship, as is worship, as is all we do......

Ministry in our context looks like what we look like, engaging the world with the good new that God loves us, forgives us, and is always with us.  Thanks be to God for carnivals and people who use their context to proclaim God's reign even now.