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Evangelism in Hostile Enviroments

The Q-Questions of this week is “What is the Future of Evangelism?”

Pastor Jon Tyson responded this question with his post “Cosmopolitan Evangelism“. I was attracted by two of his view points:

  1. Evangelism is kind of aggressive and how do we communicate our faith in a way that resonates and does not offend, and
  2. Evangelism in religious pluralism environments isn’t the work of a moment and it cannot be about counting “how many” we were saved today or this month or this year. This is to say, it takes recognizing a long-term view.

The second view-point echos Ruth Young’s believe in that she is more concern about the welfare of the villagers than counting how many villagers were saved this year (see my earlier post “What Gospel are we preaching?“).

In a large city like New York, there are many religious institutions and practices. The way we deliver our messages will be seen to be too aggressive if we are not careful. The religious environment in Taiwan villages is dominated by the Folk Religions and is hostile to outside intruders like we Christians. It is better to build certain friendships before we even talk about the Gospel messages.

Today, I went to the market to buy some fruits and I met this sales woman who is a foreign bride. She asked me where I am from and I told her that I came from US and stay at the Church. She said she is a Christian but her in-laws forbid her to attend the Church. She showed me the program running in her smart phone — some Church services back home. I was deeply in sympathy with her and gave her encouraging words. This is a common scene in Taiwan villages.

Guogou Church has been here since 2008 and the Church grows slowly and steadily with the community care programs supported by Ruth Care and Development Associations. As Jesus said, the kingdom is like a mustard seed, it will grow to a large tree [Mark 4:30–32; Matthew 13:31–32; Luke 13:18-19]. This is the faith we have.



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