Post Mortem

Kumbh Mela and Naga cultural team: A window of opportunity for evangelism

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/18/2019 12:37:12 PM IST

 (From previous issue)

In the midst of defensive attitudes and reactions, we can also take advantage of the given opportunity for telling the story of our own faith, the salvific story of Jesus Christ. Had the SBN not purposefully selected to be a Hindu or Haraka  team from Nagaland, I am sure more than 90 percent of the 373 team members will be Christians. The core of Christian faith is mission and evangelism, to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially to the unbelievers. Telling to someone that Jesus died for our sin and he rose again to give us eternal life to those who believes in him is a prerequisite mandate for every believer in Jesus Christ. Simple telling the story about Jesus will be such an opportunity for the Naga contingent, who are professed Christians, to the Indian and foreign Hindu pilgrimage. They are also seekers, searching for truth in life but has not found fulfillment for future life. And Christianity has the answer to all those who seek the truth and life. This truth and life will be witnessed by the Naga Christians in words and in deeds. I pray that at least 100 out of 373 members do this “intentional evangelism,”  exploring opportunity to share the gospel, along with the exhibition of the Naga culture in Kumbh Mela.   
Some may ask what Kumbh Mela has to do with evangelism. 373 members Naga team is to do cultural exhibition. It is a cultural troupe, not a gospel team. Yes, Nagas are going to showcase their cultural  heritage at the Kumbh Mela Morung. But can an official church gospel team get permission to enter Kumbh Mela for preaching and to do evangelism. It will be foolish to do so. However, a big Naga team, majority are practicing Christians, was already invited by the organizer and financially sponsored by them, and are on the way to the venue. This would be like entering communist China with bibles during the time of rescue operation, or  lay missionaries entering Kathmandu, Nepal for rescued operation work caused by the great earthquake in 2015. Indeed, in every believer’s life, gospel and culture go together. 
In every culture gospel has to be proclaim and in every gospel proclamation culture has to be respected. If Naga Christians feel shy to share the gospel in any given opportunity but feel very courageous to enjoy anything found in the world, then we have the biggest faith problem and we are just on the edge to fall away from Christian faith. 
This problem boils down to the church’s teaching and practice transmitted to its members. If the church does not arouse “passion” for evangelism in the life of the congregation members, then our churches are simply cemetery to keep the epitaphs. If church leaders unable to motivate the members to enjoy dying for for something which they so much in love, than our Christian churches in Nagaland have become moratoriums for preserving death faith. 
Living church must motivate its members in such a way that any member must feel it’s her or his Christian birth right to share the gospel in any given opportunity wherever and whenever she/he goes. As some congregation members move around for their profession the rest of the congregation must be on their knees for them that they may be true to the Gospel.  In the same way, the rest of the Naga Christians must be on our knees for the 373 Naga cultural team as they go to Kumbh Mela during January 22 to 24, that they may be the best missionary team to the Hindu seekers. That one day this Kumbh Mela may turn into a great mission centre by God’s power.  Let us be positive for the Lord. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

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