The Five Fold = Peer2Peer Relationships – Part II
1 Peter 2:10 - Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
I have a simple definition for “worship”: Worship is “the act of giving back to the Lord what one has already received from Him.”
An evangelist’s most coveted prize is his salvation. God’s grace cannot be earned; it’s a gift paid for by Jesus’ death on the Cross. What better way to worship God than to “give away” one’s salvation to another? That is the passion of an evangelist! There is no greater satisfaction to an evangelist than giving salvation to another!
The church has spent millions of dollars on evangelistic events on television, radio, and mass crusades in stadiums and outdoor rallies with what results? Dr. Anthony Compolo addressed a rally in my hometown asking the audience how they accepted Jesus. A large majority acknowledged that it was through one-one-one relationships with other believers. The most effective method of evangelism still remains the one-on-one encounter with people of faith who had built relationships with people seeking faith.
Peer relationships and peer equality are vital in sharing the gospel. A “better-than-thou” attitude or a “cleanup-your-act-to-be-accepted” speech is never received well. A sinner is more apt to accept grace from a sinner saved by grace because he/she can identify with both being sinners as common ground of equality.
The Facebook generation understands the importance of “acceptance”. Being “accepted” as a “friend” is the key to social interaction. Being a “friend” gives one an equal voice. Hitting the “like” button means “acceptance” and often “approval”. What starts out on Facebook as shallow communications builds with each entry, each post, each picture, and each “like”. Only after a considerable time of sharing does one finally listen to another’s belief system. Only then can the “friend” now accept or reject the offer. That is also how the gospel works.
Today’s churches have it backwards by inviting someone into their building rather than reaching out to them, telling them they must clean up their lives, follow the church’s doctrines, beliefs, and social codes before being accepted into church membership. This gives the message of rejection before acceptance. Both social networking and presenting the gospel first accept one as an equip peer where they currently are and builds relationships before opening up in sharing one’s belief system. When they embrace this new belief system, it is the Holy Spirit who will convict, producing change.
The church can continue to promote its bull horn, hell, fire, and brimstone street evangelist or dooms day prophets handing out gospel tracts, or it can embrace, equip, and release ordinary believers in Jesus to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, built relationships with their neighbors and work colleagues accepting them as peers, and watch the Holy Spirit convict with power and compassion. Peer2Peer evangelism is about people accepting people, people recognizing people as peers, people sharing and receiving faith from one another. It’s all relational. It is not about church programs or offices. It is about “sharing” Jesus and “giving” them Jesus when they are ready to “receive” Jesus. Rejoicing begins upon the “”acceptance” of both parties in Jesus, for now both are equal peers as brothers and sisters in the Lord in the family of God.
“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” - 1 Peter 2:10
“And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.” - Romans 9:26