I’ve got three words for the church in Ireland. Words I think we don’t include in our thinking when we endeavor to preach the Gospel with our lives together. Proclaiming the Gospel, in Ireland, we need to remember to be; Simple, Urgent and Flexible.
The Gospel takes the greatest of minds to understand the complexity and fullness of it’s mysteries, however a 3 year old can accept it, and we must continually keep our witness simple enough for people to understand, and if asked or receive opportunity, we must, for Christ’s sake we must explain simply the Gospel message.
Mission is urgent. Why? Because there is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to loose for every single person you will ever; talk to over the shopping counter, be class-mates with, see through your car window, shake hands with, pass on the street. It’s urgent, but it’s not to be rushed. When we’re in a rush we forget things, and do them half-assed but when something is urgent, we make sure it’s done right, fully and in good time.
Or proclaiming for the Gospel should be simple and urgent but flexible, not a one size fits all approach. The Gospel is the same message for everyone, God has made grace available who whoever calls Jesus ‘Lord’. But you simply don’t tell a friend the same way you’d tell a stranger, you don’t explain it to a child the same way you’d explain it to your mum. Jesus when talking to the rich man said, ‘sell all you have,’ when talking to nicodemus he said, ‘you must be born again,’ or to peter, ‘follow me and I’ll make you a fisher of men.’ The Gospel must not be diluted but we must make sure our friends/families etc understand the Gospel in their level of understanding. Using hip and trendy phrases wont make the Gospel any more understandable to a 60 year old bachelor farmer, nor will using big words help a child understand.
Simple, Urgent, Flexible.