Emily C. Heath
"Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God." - Exodus 34:29
People in the recovery community often talk about the concept of "attraction rather than promotion". 12 Step groups like AA have a tradition of not taking out advertisements or trying to recruit. Instead, they hope that people who can benefit from the group will see the ways the 12 Steps have worked in the lives of people they know and decide that they want to have the same sort of serenity.
When Moses comes down from Mount Sinai after receiving the Ten Commandments he was a changed man. He had come close and talked to God. And the experience was so profound that he couldn't hide it. The light was literally shining through him, and the people gathered at the base of the mountain could see it.
I think the church could learn a lot from people in recovery when it comes to evangelism. There's nothing wrong with a church putting an ad in the paper or putting out a new sign. But if you really want people to come to church, you and the other members of your church will play the biggest role in attracting others.
If someone looks at you, can they see that you have been changed by God's love? Does the light shine through you? Do you have a peace they want? Do you live a life filled with grace?
If so, good news! You are already a great evangelist.
Loving God, transform us. Show yourself to us and make us people of light. And when others see us, may they know that we have been changed by seeing you. Amen.
Emily C. Heath is Senior Pastor of The Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire.