The Gospel in Seven Words, January 29, 2019

by Jennie Wintermote, Conference Resource Library Director

During 2018 WDC observed the “Year of Evangelism” and explored together what it means to share the Good News with those around us.  As we live in a society increasingly impacted by globalization and technology, we are more aware of the pain, injustice, and brokenness around us and around the world.

Recently I was asked to express the gospel in just seven words.  What an interesting and challenging experience!  I started out trying to talk about God’s creative power and Christ’s life and ministry, but it’s hard in just seven words!

As I wrestled with the challenge throughout the week, I found myself considering a variety of different answers!  But then I started thinking about the gospel as the “Good News.”  What realities of God and Christ’s ministry of reconciliation are Good News in my context?

I find that the Good News becomes the news I need to hear the most.  And that, perhaps, is the most important point I would like to make.  The Good News of Shalom (healing and right relationship) is shaped by the brokenness we are experiencing at the time.  In the great ministry of reconciliation, God works in various ways to bring healing and rightness to each and every individual as they need.

So, even though the official Year of Evangelism is over, I invite you to consider how you’d define the gospel in just seven words.  What is the Good News your family, your congregation, your community, and our broken world need to hear?

Having trouble finding your seven words?  Grab and friend and chat over coffee, or try checking out a book from the Resource Library to explore how others define the Good News.  A new book on my “to read” list is The Magnificent Story : Uncovering a Gospel of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth by James Bryan Smith.

No matter the seven words you finally settle on, hold them lightly and recognize that in order for others to hear the gospel, you need to speak Truth, yet in a way that the message you bring is truly Good News of the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5).

So what were my seven words?  “Love, comfort, and a reason to hope.”

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