In a lot of charismatic churches and movements, we have a term we like to call, “Power Evangelism.” It came from a guy named John Wimber. He was the leader of the early Vineyard movement. The idea was, that not only was there a planned “Program Evangelism“, but also that the Holy Spirit could break in with His power at any time and save someone much quicker. Personally, his book “Power Evangelism” is one of my favorites.
I want to talk about something else though. Something that we’re on the cusp of. Something that we’re starting to see. I want to call it “Love Evangelism“. It’s not my idea so I take no credit for it. It was my best friend’s idea. Here’s a direct quote from Him:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”” John 13:34-35 NKJV
Now this may seem unrelated to Evangelism at first. Because when we think of Evangelism, we think of sharing the cross and people putting their faith in Christ. You would think that Jesus should have said, “all will know that I am the Christ if you love one another.” But Jesus didn’t say that. He said “all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Why does this matter? Well, the world has its opinions of God. Everything from, “There is no God” to “I’m mad at God because He took my wife with cancer” to “I don’t want anything to do with God because Christianity is just a big show and they’re all hypocrites.” It’s interesting, where did they get their idea of God from?
…Christians. Yup, that’s right. You know what Jesus didn’t say? Jesus did not say “so tell God to make His light shine so that people will believe.” He said “so let YOUR light shine in front of men, so they may see YOUR good works, and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Why does Jesus make a big deal about us? Because we’re the body of Christ. (Come on somebody I’m about to preach) We embody Him! He lives in us! We’re His choice! If we’re the embodiment of Christ, then what does that look like? Selfless love, laying down our lives for others. I won’t claim to be an expert at this. I am growing in this. I will say that the more I cooperate with God, the more His character shines through me.
Love is the atomic bomb of the Kingdom of God. We’ve made things complicated with our programs and ideas. We have a lot of clever ideas to get people to come into the church to be saved. We need to be honest with ourselves that we’re scared. We’re scared of what people think, and we don’t want to look stupid. What is the remedy for fear? Perfect love! Truthfully, people don’t want to listen to you if you don’t love them. I would even say that they probably don’t care about a miracle if you don’t love them. Miracles are great, but they are just manifestations of the love of God. So is deliverance, so is prophecy. All of these tools are manifestations of God’s crazy love for people.
“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” I Corinthians 14:1 NKJV
Sometimes we have this backwards. We pursue spiritual gifts and only desire love. It’s a simple switch! Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy! Why? It’s the fastest way to connect people to God’s heart for them. If you pursue love, you can only do so by pursuing God. God is love! So when you get to know God, prophecy is less a gift, and more a relationship! You just tell people what your best friend thinks about them, and how He wants to be their best friend too!
Not only is this God’s perfect way of Evangelism, it’s also faster and more fun. We have a family of a young adult group right now that’s growing. (Family is the only accurate word to describe us. We do life together and love Jesus together) The big thing that we’ve been focusing on right now is 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. We’re seeing great fruit. Salvations are happening with little effort. Demons are coming out without much attention on them, and healings are happening easier than ever. Why is that? Everyone is after God and His love, instead of church programs and only miracles.
I love miracles, but only because my best friend does them and let’s me be a part of it. It’s so much fun to watch Him change peoples lives. I have to say, I’ve seen more people saved when I knew I was genuinely loving them, then when I was trying to perform a miracle. Of course the gospel is preached where needed, but I want to propose that it doesn’t matter how much we preach if we don’t love people. People have heard the gospel. Now they need to see the gospel.
What’s our motivation?
Jesus. He is love. We’re in love with Jesus, and He’s in love with the world. So we love them too.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 NKJV
Be blessed in Jesus name. I hope you got something out of this!