Tell your story, says J John

The church needs to be equipping its members to tell their story and that of Jesus Christ, says J John.

The popular evangelist was speaking on Thursday at the Group for Evangelisation’s consultation, ‘For God’s sake, say something’. Seventy evangelists came together for the consultation at Methodist House in central London to discuss how Christians can effectively proclaim the Gospel in the 21st century.

“We need to equip believers to know how to communicate their story and His story,” said J John.

“We’re not prepared so we’re not intentional about it but part of bridge-building is to tell a bit of your story and a bit of His story.

“Sometimes we’re just a lighthouse and hope someone sees it. But sometimes we’ve got to be both visual and verbal.”

J John said that sometimes the church itself could be a barrier to the effective communication of the Gospel.

“The challenge for the church is in do we adopt biblical values? And sadly we don’t,” he said.

“We’re not taking God’s principles seriously. Even those following Jesus don’t live up to the name and that’s making it difficult to communicate the message outside of church.”

Celia Apeagyei-Collins, founder and chief executive of The Rehoboth Foundation, addressed the consultation on the phenomenal growth seen within the black majority churches.

She said the secret to their success was a sense of mission and strategic prayer, with many churches committing to at least 40 days of prayer before undertaking evangelistic initiatives.

“We feel like we are here to do a job. When I wake up in the morning I literally say to the Holy Ghost: ‘Reporting for duty Sir,’” she said.

“It’s a conflict of kingdoms and God’s Kingdom’s got to win.

“There is a doggedness there, a determination, that this is what the Kingdom mandate is all about.

“The bottom line is this: we didn’t start this thing. He did. If He has confidence in you and me as we are, we know we are going to get this thing done.”

Ms Apeagyei-Collins stressed the need for conviction in the uniqueness of Christ, saying that an “intolerance” of any other gospel had been one of the keys to the success of black majority churches.

“Who is Lord? Mohammad? Especially these days when it is sensitive to mention other names, I think part of our thinking is that we really don’t care. Jesus Christ is our Lord and we declare it,” she said.

Ms Apeagyei-Collins said it was important that Christians help newcomers to the faith understand that their life of faith need not be separate from their careers and equip them to be ambassadors of the Kingdom where they are.

“Wherever you go, you represent the church and you influence there,” she said. “Let’s not do evangelism as an event but as a mission, a lifestyle and a reason for living.”