It seems pretty evident that Jesus expected (and expects) his followers to be sharing his "good news" message with others.... "fishing for people" is the way he said it in this passage of scripture. Otherwise, the gospel would have very little impact - not many lives would be changed by it, the world wouldn't be transformed.
But we mainline United Methodist Christians have a hard time with evangelism - the "e" word that actually comes from the Greek word for "good news" - (evangelion). And there are some very good reasons for our discomfort with evangelism.
So let's talk about this. The chat this week could go in many directions. Here are some ideas I have for what we might discuss...
1. What's your personal reaction to the word "evangelism." What has shaped your opinion?
2. For many Christians today, salvation isn't only about getting to heaven or being saved from hell. In other words, the securing a good afterlife isn't the prime motivation for sharing one's faith. Why would you share your faith with someone?
3. A related question to the one above, what is your understanding of the "good news" message?