Last trimester Rachel and I led a small group called Welcoming the Stranger that focused on connecting with immigrants in this area. We talked about making practical life choices that allow this to happen, from budgeting a little extra time to chat with the person behind the counter at the convenient store, to teaching ESOL, to inviting a neighbor over for dinner. But at the most basic level our conversations were about being intentional and open with the people we encounter in our lives.
This trimester, Rachel and I are leading a group focused on evangelism as a continuation of last trimester, precisely because we see evangelism as a lifestyle of willingness to be open and engaged with the people around us.
Too often evangelism is viewed as a sales pitch that is either unappealing or intimidating. But we view it as an act of love and honesty that should be part of normal conversation: love by offering hope that actually relates to the needs in others’ lives, and honesty by being willing to say how our belief in Christ relates to the situation at hand. We want to learn how to do this more effectively and more often, and we’d love it if you joined us in exploring this topic. We’ll talk about how to do this with people of different cultural and religious backgrounds, friends, coworkers, and family. We’ll be meeting on Wednesdays at our place in Cherrydale.
Another great continuation of last trimester will be a group called Christianity Explored, led by Mike and Jen Dodson, who were also part of the Welcoming the Stranger group. Their group will start with the basics by orienting people to the Bible as a whole and then walking through the Gospel of Mark as an introduction to Jesus. This is a great opportunity to bring a friend who is interested in Christianity, and is appropriate for people of all cultural backgrounds. It’s also perfect for a Christian who either wants a refresher course or is interested in seeing how one might go about introducing someone to Christianity. They will meet on Thursdays in Alexandria.
I recognize that for some of us (myself included!), both of these groups could seem a little intimidating. But a goal of these groups is to give people the opportunity to learn how to relate to the idea of sharing Christ: by just doing it. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or you can just go ahead and sign up!