Went evangelizing the other day, for the first time in like 3 years. It was with some old and new friends in Nashville who wanted to hand out food and share Christ with people in the Nashville Projects. As we went, I was kind of in a pickle because during the years I hadn’t outwardly shared my beliefs, I’d been accumulating doubts and dealing trust issues with God, and the questions reeled at me:
Do you really have anything to offer these people besides food? The words you tell them–do they have real power? Are they relevant? True? Does the gospel apply to these people and does it tangibly help them, or are you just throwing words at them so they’ll join your (or your parents’) religious club?
It was a stark reality check: there is a reality we have inside church and there’s a reality that exists outside those walls (everywhere else), and if the reality in church can’t apply to the reality outside church, then I have a fairy tail religion and I need to wake up.
But I am awake, and truth spoken in church does work outside the church, and this is why:
The gospel is not just words; it’s food for our souls. Just like the people at the Projects were hungry, we are all hungry souls scavenging for purpose, belonging, worth, forgiveness, healing. Every day we nibble on this and that: things and people that let us know we’re all right, tell us we belong. We’re eating, and we may think we’re all right, but if we are not eating truth, we are still starving and maybe even dead inside.
The truth: the gospel tells us our situation, about this world, about an extremely powerful, inventive, complex, destroying and creating God, tells us about our value to God, about a wall that was put up between us and God, about Jesus who spent time here to prove God loves us, who had the power to break down the separation wall for us, who made it so whoever receives him has family access to God again, who gives those people his spirit to guide and put new desires in them, who is working all situations together for our good, who seals those people–faults and all–for himself after they die. That’s the truth.
When you get a chance, check out this 5 minute video, an artistic rendition of our story that blew my mind and fed my soul.