At the closing of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt 28:19-20.
This is the mission of our Evangelism ministry, to take the word of God to all people around us. We do this by sharing our faith stories with people around us, by engaging in bible study, praying for our families, our neighbors and each other. The Evangelism team (e-team for short), as part of the larger community of Saint Andrew –and the much larger Christian community in Carol Stream– tries to strengthen the resources that followers of Christ already possess to propel their spirit unto fulfilling this great commission. These resources stem from the power of the spirit, which provides desire, charity, love, patience, and kindness necessary to serve others. The spirit also manifest urgency of action to “go and tell the world”, yet our doubts many times prevent us from embracing these powers in the lives around us. The e-team recognizes this condition, and seeks to patiently, and methodically build the confidence in our members to embrace the yearnings of our souls to shout that, “yes, Christ is alive and walks ahead of us in a journey of service that is for each of us to discover”.
The e-team gathers at least once a month to discuss ways to share the message of the Gospel. We believe in the power of the spirit and the wisdom of the bible. However, we recognize that questioning the meaning of the lessons in the bible is part of the healthy edification of the understanding of God’s word. We also understand that the word of God is expressed in many ways, not only in actual “words”. We express our faith in action and in love, serving the poor, the under-served, the elderly, the immigrant, the forgotten; and yes, ourselves, in our doubts, our yearnings and our trying moments.
In addition to discussion and learning, once a month we convene on small faith-sharing gatherings to share a prayer meal and speak of our faith in action. Everyone is invited to participate and share their experiences, their questions and their hopes. Faith is not so much the courage under fire, but the realization that God has ultimate control of our lives, and the surrendering of desires and emotions to his doing and determination. So questions, doubts, clashing emotions are not just O.K. to bring to God, but many times necessary to realize his amazing power as we rely on him to bring resolve and resolution to life’s situations.
Come, and share with the e-team on our evangelism efforts. More importantly, come and share with the people of Saint Andrew on discovering the power of worship, fellowship and faith. See you soon!