|Warren Dunes State Park, Lake Michigan|
The story of Philip the evangelist provides a good example of how evangelism happened through the early church (Acts 21:8; ch. 6; ch. 8; Philip was one of "the 7," to be distinguished from Philip of "the 12" [Acts 1:13].) It happened the "Jesus way." Which was:
- Hear from God.
In one of our Sunday morning worship times I asked people to share an example of hearing directionally from God without knowing what the outcome would be. A number of testimonies were shared that went like this:
- God told me to go ___________.
- I went ___________. (Call this "obedience.")
- God showed up. And it was a good, God-thing.
To acknowledge this seems almost like bragging on one hand, or like mental illness on the other hand. But I don't think it's either of those. It is, and ought to be, the normal Christian life. Hearing from God is, experientially, "Emmanuel - God with us." It is relationship with God; friendship with God.
While in Western culture this idea is strange, remember that concepts like "strange" and "normal" are functions of one's prethematic, mostly-non-reflected-on worldview. "Normal" Christian experience includes having a conversational relationship with God. This is called "prayer."
If you're looking for more on this I strongly recommend U. of Southern Caifornia Prof. of Philosophy Dallas Willard's Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God.
I have already heard from God this morning.
God has much that he wants to say to you today.
Let the conversation begin.