Evangelism or Compassion

I really like how British church leaders Tim Chester and Steve Timmis speak of the both/and of evangelism and compassion in their book Total Church.

  1. Evangelism and compassionate action are distinct activities.
  2. Proclamation of the good news is central. Compassionate action without proclaiming the gospel is like a signpost leading to nowhere. It could imply that socioeconomic betterment is the goal of life.
  3. Evangelism and compassionate action are inseparable. They can't be separated because mission takes place through relationships. Compassion and love compelled Jesus to proclaim the good news and heal the sick. Paul says of his relationships with the Thessalonians, "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us" (1 Thessalonians 2:8)