Evangelists, and apostolic, entrepreneurial Christian types generally, seem to be the unsettling opposite of ‘slow mission.’ They dash about. The apostle Paul seemed always to be in a hurry.
This can make the rest of us feel uneasy. These people are out evangelizing the world while we are digging allotments, playing games, visiting Aunts or watching cricket. Do they show up us slow mission types as wicked, lazy servants?
Here’s why that isn’t—or at least might not be—the case.
- Much of what is achieved in haste seems either to evaporate altogether or need re-doing more slowly.
- In my experience, some evangelists cut corners. They might be slapdash with relationships, or with money, or with the speed limits. Their evangelistic zeal is a kind of coverall to hide their character defects.
- God in any case has his ways of slowing evangelists down. Paul kept being put in jail, and arguably did his best work there, writing half the New Testament.
- Slow mission is not about laziness. When you follow your love and your passion, you work harder and for longer than when you work at anything else. Duty can take you a long way, but devotion will take you further.
- Evangelists’ love and passion is in winning people. That’s their thing and their devotion. Wonderful. But it shouldn’t–should it?– be foisted on the rest of us as if it were the final word in discipleship or obedience.