PUBLIC EVANGELISM | It’s Simple, But Not Easy
Evangelism is the communication of the truth of salvation to those who don’t believe. Many in the “post-Christian” west dismiss the gospel as irrelevant to their lives, while in much of the rest of the world Christianity is discarded as unthinkable and rejected out-of- hand as foreign to traditional religions tied for centuries to national, cultural or ethnic identity.
Yet, we know that God is calling us to reach them with His truth. The challenge is to present the gospel in such a way that they will reconsider its message.
A fresh approach
Our approach to evangelism is unusual in that we reach the people who probably would not or could not ever enter a church. We challenge them with the truth in ways that capture their attention and overcome cultural and traditional prejudices.
Music, drama, mime and dance are excellent instruments to communicate truth, especially in areas where language is a barrier. These art forms communicate the message while catching a person’s curiosity and engaging both his mind and heart, and have international appeal. Our artists perform to eager and receptive audiences. People become open to discussing heart issues relating to truth and the meaning of life.
Dedicated to excellence
Our love for God demands our best, and doing our best underscores our dedication to our faith. Excellence lends credibility to the messenger and commands the attention of those we are seeking to reach. Communicating with clarity and skill is a consistent testimony to the truth of the message. However, no art of man can save anyone. The gospel is the power of salvation, but people must first hear it before they can believe.
Sadly, for many people in the world, the gospel is neither good nor news. Anything that hints of Christianity is usually greeted with either apathy or animosity. “They walk,” as Paul said, “in the futility of their minds, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them…” God’s Word is light, but how do we get them to see it?
Proclaim surprises them with the Gospel | Proclamation Of The Gospel
Ironically, talking about religion may draw anger, but singing about God may well draw applause. For many people speaking about God is viewed as being antagonistic but singing about God is artistic.
Through artistic communication we take the light of God’s truth and reflect it at different angles. This provides a new perspective and delights darkened hearts with the joy and hope of the gospel. People are often amazed that Christ is proclaimed publicly in city squares and marketplaces. Maybe astounding today, but an idea used by the first missionary, Paul.
Building up and multiplying the church
Wherever the gospel is proclaimed, communities of the saved come into being. Adopted as spiritual orphans into God’s family, followers of Christ seek each other out to share their common life in him. The proclamation of the gospel inevitably produces gathered communities of God’s people called churches. Jesus Christ declared that he would build his church and that the gates of hell would not overcome it (Matthew 16:18). We understand that the principal instrument by which God will transmit his redemptive message to the ends of the earth is through the authentic and visible life and witness of Christian churches. This is the indispensable means by which he makes known his way, truth and life to all the nations. It is about such churches that Jesus Christ gave his promise. He will build them, and they will not be overcome. Churches will be established and flourish, the aim being that in every culture and community throughout the earth, God’s people will be gathered for worship, service, witness and redemptive influence. God has called Proclaim! International into being for the principal purpose of advancing that plan – to fulfill the promise of building and multiplying the church. Staying true to this aim is vitally important to us in all aspects of our ministry.
It is our desire to be winsome and creative witnesses. Taking the word of hope to those in the society who are hopeless sometimes takes the path of walking with people in the corridors of their private prisons other times it means boldly taking the stage in the market place of ideas to bring light to darkened intellects.
Public proclamation using music and the arts
Proclaim! International helps build local churches through public evangelism using music and the arts. When we send a team for a two-week campaign, for example, we do so only after consultation with the local churches and ministries and at their invitation. This insures that we will be able to work harmoniously with local partners who will be in the community long-term to gather and preserve the fruit of the evangelism. These local churches and ministries carry the ongoing burden and responsibility of reaching out to their own communities. We can assist them in many specific ways, but only if we can work together as true partners. In this way we not only build up existing churches, but also have been instrumental in helping numerous local churches and ministries launch new church planting projects.
Local church and community ministry
Creative evangelism goes beyond performance ministries. Increasingly Proclaim personnel are involved full-time in other creative means of bringing spiritual healing to a desperate world. Proclaim members who minister primarily through services such as family counseling or addiction recovery ministry provide increased opportunities for the church to effectively offer true hope.
In addition, our missionaries whose focus is public evangelism are also engaged in other ongoing individual ministries in their churches and communities: church planting, teaching, preaching, Bible studies, youth and children’s work, leading worship, mentoring, sports evangelism, media, the visual and performing arts, counseling, architectural design, the facilitating of fellowship and joint action among local churches and ministries, humanitarian aid, etc.
All of these ministries have as their aim both the proclamation of the gospel and the building up of the church.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH | Active In The Community
Proclaim! International missionaries are active in their communities in a variety of ways through involvement in their local churches as well as in ministries that have a wider focus and often involve cooperation among churches and Christian organizations. We believe it is important that evangelical churches enjoy fellowship and work together, especially in areas where the church is small and faces strong opposition. We encourage this by our own active involvement. The scope and breadth of these ministries and activities in the community are limited only by personal ability and gifting and the specific circumstances and opportunities. They include:
- Public evangelism through music, the visual arts, and mime
- Organizing, leading and participating in city-wide evangelistic outreaches
- Bible studies
- Addiction recovery ministry
- Youth and children’s ministries
- Conferences and seminars
- Christian music festivals
- Special interest clubs such as motorcycling, quilting, community choirs, swing dance, etc.
- Recording studio, audio and video production
- Music composition and arrangement
- Supporting and facilitating humanitarian aid projects such as earthquake and war relief, medical and hospital assistance, restoration of a music school, support for the blind, scholarship funding for the poor to attend university, etc.
- Sports ministries (basketball, football)
- Providing expertise and consultation to other organizations to assist in ministry, personnel, organizational, and facilities development and strategic planning
- Facilitating and encouraging the development of mission and church cooperation such as the Coalition for the Evangelization of Europe, Hope for Europe, and the Association of International Missions (Kosovo)
- Administration and technical support