No apology for Jewish Evangelism
How does one walk into a room of strangers and feel at ease? It is not difficult when you are united in purpose and spirit.
At the LCJE Conference, Jewish evangelism needed no explanation and no apology. The meeting was filled with nearly 200 people who have set their hand to the plow and will not turn back in the pursuit of making Yeshua known among His own People. The CINergy was incredible, the encouragement amazing and the worship rapturous.
Two voices – Jewish and Gentile – were present and needed. There were heads of organizations that represent the core of the Messianic movement. Some of the organizations were relatively new, and some have been involved in Messianic work for more than one hundred years. Also present were representatives of some of the mainline protestant denominations who include Jewish ministries as part of their outreach. These representatives were both Jewish and Gentile. Again, both are needed to share the Good News since statis-tics show that in a majority of cases both Jewish and Gentile believers play a major role in helping a Jewish seeker come to faith.
This was my first LCJE meeting, and I didn't know what to expect. However, one thing was clear from the first moments of the meeting – the purpose was the urgency of Jewish evangelism. Papers were presented and ideas debated, but the overall focus was how to work together to get the job done. Participants sat patiently as others presented differing viewpoints and reports from different fields. Some of the papers were informative, some academic, some encouraging, but all are related to the messianic movement.
This year there was much discussion of the necessity of a clear understanding of the Deity of Yeshua within the messianic movement as well as papers that reviewed the differing Christologies present within the movement. The question of how much tradition should be included in messianic congregations was broached. There were several who looked at aspects of Generation Xers and what it will take to reach them. Papers dealing with the history, use and effectiveness of Isaiah 53 were presented. Clearly, there was some controversy and some hard stands made. Not all agreed, yet there was a feeling of unity.
By the end, however, one was left with the impression that the main work was not done in formal presentations, as important as that may be. LCJE defines itself as a loosely formed network that supports the movement of the Gospel among the Jewish people worldwide. Consistent with that description, the long-term impact of the conference will be the results of meetings over meals and between sessions. Networks were established, cooperation was initiated, and relation-ships and trust were built which will aid the Gospel’s flow to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
Hebrews 10:23-25 (NASV)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.