You’re the best Bible most folks are ever going to read. That’s true if you are a follower of Jesus, even a “bad” one in your own estimation, because most people are NEVER going to read the Bible. Even though a majority of Americans believe in God and even though there’s still a “Bible-Belt” where most people do go to church every Sunday, a Christian doing the things that are recommended, commanded or described in the Bible is still a much better for someone to meet Jesus than most other ways.
In Circle of Hope we say we must be doers of the word because we want our community to be an environment in which people get to know Jesus in the flesh- our flesh. So we are serious about all the stuff that’s in the Bible, especially the stuff Jesus said- even the hard stuff like loving our enemies, confessing our sins to one another, forgiving 70X7. Of course we don’t do this perfectly–we don’t even do it well sometimes, but we have created a system that consistently engenders people to try. Jesus responds to our intention by giving us the Holy Spirit when we come up short.
There was evidence of this on Monday night when 35 people came to Pennsauken to study our Cell Plan together. I was inspired by the amount of interest in creating little discovery zones for people in our region, and hopeful for what God might do with the group of people who gathered. During the training, I gave a little explanation of this chart.
There is room for you before you “get it” or even “get with it.” It’s not our job to judge you. We are not even supposed to judge ourselves if we follow the example of Paul (1 Corinthians 4:3) and John (1 John 3:20). I don’t know how you can follow the presentation evangelism model and not judge people before they can get in. Some folks are trying to do something different but end up doing the same thing only now without a tie. Coming at evangelism like the collumn on the left is like putting up a wall. Jesus is a stumbling block for a lot of people! Their hearts are hard and often for good reason. Demanding allegiance before they can feel it is just a bad idea, and the proof is in the pudding as the Bible Belt cinches smaller and smaller so to speak and the “nones” (those who claim no religious affiliation) grow.
So yes, Jesus is still best revealed incarnationally. Circle of Hope is proof of that. I’m trusting he will be revealed in my cell tonight. It’s in Barrington, NJ, want to explore?