We’re on day three of our trip to Israel. We’ve been working with two ministries who are forging a partnership to reach the diverse population of the young nation ( just short of 70 years) of Israel. Much of what we have done so far is learn about the unique challenges of sharing the gospel here. Two things are significant to me:
- There needs to be a healthy community of believers for new Christians to come to. One of the characteristics of Israel is division and disunity among people. This is also true among churches.
- Second, we need to explore ways to communicate the gospel apart from the historical distortions of it, such as the Crusades and Nazism. We need to help people discover, or better to rediscover, the joyful Jesus, the rabbi of the first century who declared liberty to the oppressed and healed the sick. (You may be interested in a post of a few years ago about this topic. Here is the link.)
Those are big picture issues that don’t have any easy resolutions. Other things that we have discussed are related to the way American churches might help churches in Israel better communicate the Gospel through ministry partnerships and collaborative efforts of different kinds.