“The church ‘bids for people’ in its evangelization. How could it be otherwise, since the church is entrusted with such good news for the world? Indifference to people, lack of concern for those who do not know the good news of the reign of God, is not a faithful discipleship. The church, however, does not bid only ‘for souls,’ but for people, real people who are called to enter into the reign of God–a multidimensional reign that has to do with the totality of life for people.
And the church does not bid for people for its own sake, for church growth. Church growth is never the aim of the church, but the fruit of its witness to the kingdom, the outcome of the ministry to the world, the Lord’s free blessing. The book of Acts, after describing the quality of life and ministry of the early church, spells out God’s gift of growth: ‘And the Lord added to their number day by day’ (Acts 2:47).”
Mortimer Arias, Announcing the Reign of God: Evangelization and the Subversive Memory of Jesus, (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1984), 105.
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