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Posted by on Nov 21, 2015 in Blog, Kingdom |

How Do You Connect Good Deeds and Good News?

How Do You Connect Good Deeds and Good News?

This week I had the opportunity to facilitate one of the gatherings for our New Evangelism Paradigms Leadership Community.  Nine churches are journeying together for two years in a collaborative effort to develop new pathways to engage those far from God who will not be reached through a Sunday morning service.  This week’s gathering focused on how to make the connection between “good deeds” and the spreading of the Good News.  And despite popular sentiment to the contrary, conducting good deeds does not create an automatic link to God.

You’ve probably heard a quote attributed to Francis of Assisi (despite the lack of any compelling evidence linking Francis to this particular quote): “Preach the Gospel at all times.  Use words when necessary.”  The idea expressed in the quote rests on the assumption that, when the people of God serve others through love and good deeds, those witnessing will directly link their benevolence to God.

However, as my colleague and Externally Focused Church author, Eric Swanson, pointed out, left to themselves, people will jump to the wrong conclusions.  Eric went on to share the story of a church group that was doing some roadside cleanup.  An unchurched neighbor who say what they were doing just assumed it was a group of offenders doing some community service (oops!).

As I’ve also heard Eric say before, good deeds do create good will, which serves as a platform for sharing the Good News.  But we must find ways to explicitly connect the good being done to the Good News that gives it significance.  Failure to do so would be like trying to solve a complex math equation using the method below:

Miracle

So how do you increase the odds that a connection can be made between our service in the world and the One whom we serve?  Some key ideas from the week included:

  • More intentional training on how to share your faith relationally and naturally.
  • Creating a sense of “expectancy” among people so that they’re more tuned into the opportunity to make the connection.
  • Focusing on being a better neighbor to the people who live around you.

One of the speakers for the week, Brian Mavis from Lifebridge Church in Longmont, CO, took a lesson he learned as a young dad and began applying it to their church.  As he prayed about how to be intentional about being a great dad to his young kids, Brian observed four key things he could do to “up his game” as a father:

  • Stay Connected – know what’s going on in the lives and worlds of your kids.
  • Pray Daily – be specific about the things you learn as you stay connected.
  • Say Often – “I love you” and their family values “This is what it means to be a Mavis…”
  • Play – don’t forget to make time out just to have fun.

These same principles can be powerful tools in helping us make the connection between good deeds and the Good News:

  • Stay Connected – know what’s going on in the lives and worlds of the people around you.
  • Pray Daily – be specific about the things you learn as you stay connected.
  • Say Often – when the opportunity comes, talk about the ‘why’ of what you do.
  • Play – have fun by engaging in the interests of those around you and inviting them into your home.

Sometimes its ok “just to serve”.  Other times we need to connect the dots for those God has called us to reach.  What are you doing to turn your good deeds efforts into an opportunity for the Good News?

Image Source: www.foothillscc.org