“Evangelism” has become something of a dirty word in our moment, but it actually just means proclaiming good news. Br. Jim Woodrum reflects on what being an evangelist means to him.
Transcript: In the Anglican Communion’s five Marks of Mission, the very first mark of mission is, “Proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.”
A word that we might think about in proclaiming the good news is Evangelism or Evangelist, although in our day and age, this word has taken on kind of a negative connation. It evokes images of conquering, and winning, and converting someone to our way of thinking about God. But in actuality, it just means proclaiming good news. It comes from the Greek word Euangelion, which means proclaim the good news. It’s where we get the word angel from. You may be familiar in the gospel of Luke where God sends the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce to her the great things that God is going to do in restoring relationship for all of humankind, and it begins with her.
So the first thing that Mary does is she goes to her cousin Elizabeth to share this news. It’s absolutely astounding. And she finds that Elizabeth also has some good news that she is going to bear a son also, even though she has passed the age for bearing children. And I imagine these two ladies sitting together and just exuberant with joy about what God is doing in their lives. Gabriel, the angel, Mary, and Elizabeth all become Evangelists sharing the good news.
It kind of brings to mind a Baptist hymn that I grew up with from my childhood called How Can I keep From Singing. And it goes like this: “My life flows on in endless song above earth’s lamentation. I hear the sweet though far off hymn that hails a new creation. Through all the turmoil and the strife, I hear the music ringing. It finds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing?” And I think this hymn expresses what Evangelism is all about, that somehow God is doing something in our life, and how can we not share that. That’s Evangelism. That’s the first mark of mission.
So a question for your prayer might be what is God doing in your life, and how can you become an Evangelist of that good news.
– Br. Jim Woodrum
Question: What is God doing in your life? How can you be an evangelist of the Good News?
Who has been a channel of God’s grace for you? In conversation or over email this week, reach out to five people to find out how they came to know God’s love. How does the Good News shape the way they live? Reflect on how you are inspired by their witness and examples.