Evangelism in a Syncretistic Culture: Living the Spirit-filled Life Part 1
As we begin our journey discussing issues related to personal evangelism in a syncretistic society, I will begin with the evangelist and his most basic means of equipping. Please remember that simple yet profound text in John 15:4-5, Jesus commands us to abide in Him as He abides in us, because we are no different than a branch which cannot bear fruit apart from the vine. He then makes a statement we should keep very close to our hearts and on our minds constantly. “Without me you can do nothing.” This principle goes beyond the realm of personal evangelism, and emphasizes our need to depend fully upon Divine enablement in every aspect of our Christian walk. Really, personal evangelism, though an important part of the Christian’s walk, is but one part of the Christian life. What makes this element of the Christian life so weighty is that it touches people’s lives not only in a temporal way, but for eternity. The purpose of this article is not to unpackage this important doctrinal concept; I have done this in another set of articles on “The Disciple’s Focus” yet for sake of time, I will say that the believer who walks in loving communion with God as he makes God’s word his meditation and delight, is a believer who will see the Spirit produce spiritual fruit that cannot be denied. What I would like to do at this point in our discussion it to show how Spirit-filled living relates to personal evangelism in any society, though a syncretistic society is our focus. Please understand that what I am seeking to present in this article is not a philosophy of ministry, or a systematic approach based upon years spent in the field, rather it is an attempt to show how Paul’s instruction practically touches the area of personal evangelism, though this is really not his primary focus in the text we be will addressing. In Galatians 5, Paul presents two ways to live: one the works of the flesh and the other, the way of the Spirit-filled Christian. His point is not to teach tips on evangelism, marriage and family, employment, or church interaction, yet spirit-filled living touches every aspect of the Christian’s walk. Paul says that the fruit of the Spirit is: “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” He did not say strive to put on these things, rather he presents these qualities as the evidence that one is walking in the Spirit. Really the way you evangelize, interact with spouse, children, employer/employees, pastors, and church body reveals who is ruling your heart and the center of your meditation and delight. These spheres of interaction are in a sense fields that reveal a harvest of fruit. In our next post, I will be walking through the practical implications of Spirit-filled evangelism, as well as giving personal illustration of evangelism done wrong not only because of a lack of spiritual maturity, but also as a result of a misunderstanding of Spirit-filled Christian living. The syncretistic society simply makes the end result of powerless immature evangelism all the more obvious.
Pastor Joel Porcher Anchor Baptist Church and Mission Cape Coast, Ghana