You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
With these words from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ gave His disciples the motivation and the mandate to demonstrate that His people have something to offer a darkened world. The Savior is the Light of the world, and He touches lives and illumines minds and hearts. It does no good to cover up that light. Rather, as the Sunday School chorus instructs, ‘let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
A touched and transformed life in Jesus Christ is designed to radiate a compelling testimony to the world. As that light shines forth, it is to till in people’s minds a statement about God. Good deeds done in Jesus’ name should effectively plant in a non-Christian’s mind a hint of the reality and presence of God.
The goodness of God has so impacted the Christian that he becomes an ambassador of that same goodness through demonstrating intentional acts of kindness toward those alienated from God.
This paper is about developing a new program for outreach into local communities that practices the goodness of God in common grace as a pre-evangelistic strategy in the local church. The program endeavors to mobilize a congregation in creative, effective ways to display His character in a community. It emphasizes on ‘showing’ the Good News as compared to ‘telling’ the Good News. As mentioned, it is pre-evangelistic.
This paper is not about articulating the gospel. It is not the purpose to develop a plan for verbalizing a salvation message. Much has been written along these lines and excellent material is readily available at Christian bookstores. Nor does this paper provide an in-depth or exhaustive comparison of types of pre-evangelistic strategies. Rather, the aim is that a local congregation can effectively display certain attributes of God to a community by demonstrating the goodness of God through various activities. Hopefully, this approach to sharing the love of Jesus with others will be seen as viable, attractive and effective in making a positive statement for Jesus Christ.
Because this is a recent strategy at the church where this writer is Senior Pastor, no extensive period of history exists from which to evaluate impact. This approach has been utilized only eighteen months. However, enthusiasm continues and initial efforts have only fanned the flame of encouragement. The congregation is committed to this ‘Invasion of Kindness’ over the long haul. The goal is to establish a growing presence in the community. This cannot be accomplished in eighteen months. It may not occur in five years. But leadership believes this effort is viable and effective. Long obedience in the same direction will be required.