July 12, 2016
For his Sunday Morning Learning Time, also known as the largest Sunday school in the state of Missouri, Rev. Matt Miofsky addressed evangelism – but not just his take on it. He explored the scripture.
“Evangelism is just hospitality to people who aren’t here yet,” Miofsky said. “What does the scripture say about evangelism?”
To answer that question, he turned to John 1: 35-51, which tells the story of Jesus calling the disciples to follow him.
“The very first thing this scripture says about evangelism is that it is invitational,” Miofsky said. “To be invitational, all you need is something you’re passionate about, and a few friends. If you don’t have either of those things, work on it.”
If you go out to a nice restaurant, you feel the need to tell people about it, Miofsky said. Sometimes if people aren’t inviting others to church, it might be because they aren’t excited about what Christ is doing in their church.
He explained there is a difference between invitation and an announcement. An invitation is something you have to say yes or no to. Do you want to go to church this Sunday with me? That’s an invitation. If you ever want to go to church with us, let me know. That’s not an invitation, it’s an announcement.
Evangelism is also relational. Miofsky said many people shy away from evangelism because they don’t like talking to strangers.
“Never say you don’t like talking to strangers,” he said. “Why not? Because Jesus told us not to do that. Do you need a better reason? Just read Matthew 25.”
But you don’t even have to talk to strangers. Evangelism begins with people we are already in relationship with. In the scripture Miofsky started off with, they went because someone they trusted invited them.
“Eight out of 10 of your friends who don’t go to church would go if you invited them,” Miofsky said. “We have a lot of mail carriers at The Gathering, because people invite their mail carriers.”
Miofsky cautioned that people don’t invite their friends to church because they don’t want to risk their reputation.
“Pastors – don’t lay an egg on Sunday morning. Don’t ever waste a Sunday,” he said. “If one of your members invites a friend to church, and promise it’s meaningful, and the pastor lays an egg, the friend will never come back, and the person will never invite someone again.”