I assert that the Church’s overemphasis on the teaching gift has contributed to a lack of actual “evangels.”

At the heart of the word “evangelism” is “angel.” An angel is a messenger.

An “ev-angel” is a messenger of good, and a message is “good” when those who receive it define it that way.

Think about it.

Recall the angels’ message at the first advent.

Was it: “Turn or burn!” “Close this clinic!” “Vote for our candidate!” “Give up your lifestyle!”

No, the angels’ message was a proclamation: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today … a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah…Glory to God … and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” [Luke 2:11-14]

However, that message might be interpreted today, it meant something really good to the Hebrew people enslaved by Roman oppression in that hour.

Our society thinks it has heard our “evangel” and they’ve judged it as anything but “good.”

They think they’ve heard enough from us—people they’ve decided are rigid, judgmental, hypocritical bigots who oppose much of what is considered to be progressive and enlightened in culture.

Since we’ve reduced Christian ministry to explanation and oration, we keep trying to teach them the right way to think, believe, and act.

Did Jesus do it this way?


-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage

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