The mission of the United Methodist Church is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the the transformation of the world.” But how, exactly, does a person become a disciple of Jesus? It turns out to be a question that was as important to the early readers of John’s gospel as it is today. The answer is as rich in complexity and diversity as the human race. Some people seek the path of God aggressively, and others are surprised to stumble upon the truth. Some believe with little more than a nudge, and others “will not believe until they see the Lord for themselves.“ In the midst of such diversity a pattern does emerge, however. People with good news end up sharing that news on a person-to-person level…and those with whom it is shared have an personal encounter with Jesus that is transformative.
These encounters with Jesus are the essential piece in sustaining the Christian movement for over 200 years. So much so, that from the standpoint of evangelism, our task as Christians is not to “prove” the truth of the Christian faith to others, (though libraries and bookstores are filled with the excellent scholarly writing of Christian “apologists”). Nor is our task to persuade others to become Christian. Our task is to simply say, “Come and see.”
Jesus himself will take it from there.