Written By Jeremy Shelley – Youth Director At Quest Community Church
What is the most effective way to share the Gospel in your context?
I contend that most effective way to share Gospel is through ecumenicism. Or more simply stated, partnerships. I have to admit my own insecurity; I am afraid that my openness to other organizations will jeopardize my job. In fact, I often find myself caught in the tension caused by:
And when growth for the Kingdom of God is concerned, I feel that we had better lay down our own agendas for the greater good. Now, there are a great number of questions that arise for me when I consider partnering with another ministry. Do they adhere to the same ethos? Do they have the same purpose in mind? Are they doctrinally sound? Do I want to be associated with their brand? Will they steal my congregation?
The Real Reason for Practicing Ecumenicism
Question after question comes, and at some point I have to make a decision to either move forward with the relationship or go another way. But this isn’t really the issue is it? These questions only provide roadblocks for the real reason that any of us would practice ecumenicism.
After all this isn’t about “the unity of the churches, but the unity of mission and ultimately relationships,” to quote a good friend and my pastor. If I get stuck here, lost in the endless fear that my organization will lose out because some other institution does not believe (whether that is philosophically, spiritually, or strategically) the same things that I am believe, then an even greater question strikes me…
Will I ever partner with someone who is outside of the faith?
Partnering with other churches is not the end goal for any of us…sharing the Gospel to the lost is. If we cannot walk shoulder-to-shoulder with others who are relatively like-minded, and build bridges so that the Gospel has a greater opportunity to go forth, then will we ever open up in true dialogue with someone else outside of our faith?
It seems unlikely.
In a meeting recently, I was introduced to an organization that has been moving in this direction for some time, and I was amazed at how the Kingdom of God was growing because two individuals decided to relinquish their control and partner with each other to make a difference in their community.
They set aside their disagreements in order to make significant impact. Check this video out to see and hear what I am referring to. For more information please visit: www.gospelmovements.org
There are two truths that drive this point home for me:
This is a Biblical mandate. We are to function as a body with many parts to do the work of God. We cannot do this on our own (1 Corinthians 12).
It broadens our impact and influence in the community. With many (different) voices, we can get the attention of more people and our influence is widened greatly.
So I implore you, find partnerships to do the work of the Kingdom. Do not isolate yourself, but build alliances and go out and share the Good News in both word and deed.