Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Value judgement


One of the new stated values of Church Army NZ is "Sharing Jesus radically on the margins." But I have moments of self-doubt when I am no longer sure that I know where the margins are or who dwells there, let alone how to begin sharing Jesus with them.

We could discuss further, read more books, attend other conferences and write further documents, because that seems to be the default position of much of Christendom. I am aware of the great danger I am in - as I train others in evangelism, run seminars and workshops in evangelism, speak at conferences in evangelism, enable and support others in evangelism - that I forget how to actually connect with the hope-less and unlovely and invite them to follow me in the most exciting, exasperating, exhausting journey ever - as a follower of Jesus.

So this Sunday we are heading for the margins - otherwise known as Avondale Market. Here thousands gather week after week to browse, socialise, saunter, and occasionally purchase. A minority are white. The Christians will be there, faithfully witnessing, apparently oblivious to the fact that nobody is listening.

Our task is both simpler and infinitely more complex. We will seek the margins, to see who we find there. A read of the Gospels tells me that Jesus spent most of his time at the margins - in a social, religious, moral and physical sense - so I expect to meet him there, along with some of his friends. We will seek to follow Jesus on the margins and see who joins in. I might get a whole new seminar out of this!