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Gospel priority: The eternal gospel

Gospel priority

Evangelism is the bread and butter of the CMS mission. We express this as our gospel priority. While the priority of communicating the gospel remains unchanged, the way we share this gospel will vary from country to country, with fascinating results. Who would have thought that showing a gospel film in a village would bring the crime rate down? Read on for stories of CMS missionaries looking for ways both creative and traditional to share the glorious Bible story.

The Mark Drama

CMS missionary Caroline Evenden works with French students in the Groupes Bibliques Universitaires (GBU). She says: “The Mark Drama is one of the GBU’s favourite ways of proclaiming the gospel. Fifteen amateur actors learn the structure of Mark’s gospel by heart over a six-week period, rehearse, and then dramatise the whole of Mark’s gospel in 90 minutes. No costumes, no props, just the audience in concentric circles around a small ‘stage’ in the centre. Audience and actors together experience laughter, tears and surprise as they (re)-discover Jesus’ life, teachings, death and resurrection.

“From March 2018, there are many projects underway throughout the GBU in France, including Clamart, Dijon, Nancy, Amnéville, Antony and Grenoble.”

To find out more about the Mark Drama in France and the impact it is having for the gospel, click here.

Colouring-in book

CMS missionaries Terry & Liz McCoy, serving on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory, say: “During a two-week workshop on Groote Eylandt at the end of 2017, local Anindilyakwa translators composed their own Christmas story based on the gospels. The story was published by the Bible Society as a children’s colouring-in book and arrived just in time before term’s end! The principals welcomed us into each of the three community schools on Groote and Bickerton Islands.

“We were thrilled by how attentive and involved the kids were and several mums asked for extra books so they could read them at home with other children.”

The Jesus Film

CMS missionary Liz Burns says: “In rural Tanzania we use the Jesus Film as one way of bringing the gospel to large groups. The dialogue comes from the Gospel of Luke. It is an amazing evangelistic tool that can see groups of up to 1000 people listening to the word of God.

“One local policeman said, ‘Bring the Jesus Film anytime. Whenever it is showing our work that night is so much easier than any other night. Everyone just wants to watch and they keep one another in order. The local pubs and discos even shut down.’”

Bible storytelling

CMS missionaries David & Georgina Newmarch use a method called ‘Discovery Bible Study’ to communicate the priority of the gospel. They help South Asian Christians realise that they can read the Bible for themselves and, with God’s help, understand it.

As David describes it: “We read a Bible story twice. Then we get in pairs or threes and tell the story to each other. So by the time we get to the discussion, we have heard the story several times. At the end of each session, we pray about someone we can share the story with. Then we ask questions like: What does this tell us about God? What does this verse mean? Why did God put this in the Bible? What do we need to obey or trust? It is exciting to hear people say, ‘I have never read the Bible like this’ or ‘I am discovering truths by myself.’”

To read more from David on his Bible studies with Pakistani Christians, including the joys and challenges of opening the word together, click here.

PRAY

We plant, sow and water, but it is God who gives the growth. Ask that he would bless the efforts of all who preach his word by many different means, and pray that we wouldn’t be distracted from this purpose.