In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, which we celebrate tomorrow, I thought I would share some thoughts from the book “The Celtic Way of Evangelism” by George G. Hunter. (We had an amazing Saint Patrick’s Day Party this past Saturday by the way which I’ll write about tomorrow).

I read the book a few years ago and as I look back on it I realized just how influential this book has been in my life, my theological journey and the ministry and mission of Veritas. Here are some random quotes from the book.

“Indeed, the fact that Patrick understood the people and their language, their issues, and their ways, serves as the most strategically significant single insight that was to drive the wider expansion of Celtic Christianity, and stands as perhaps our greatest single learning from this movement. There is no shortcut to understanding the people. When you understand the people, you will often know waht to say and do, and how. When the people know that the Christian understands tehm, infer that maybe the High God understands them too.”

“The apostolic band would probably welcome responsive people into their group fellowship to worship with them, pray with them, minister to them, converse with them, and break bread together. One band member or another would probably join with each responsive person to reach out to relatives and friends. The mission team typically spent weeks or even months, as a ministering community of faith within the tribe. The church that emerged within that tribe would have been astonishingly indigenous.”

“So the British leaders were offended and angered that Patrick was spending priority time with ‘pagans’, ‘sinners’, and ‘barbarians'”

The Celtic model of reaching people: 1. You first establish community with people, or bring them into fellowship of your community of faith. 2. Within fellowship, you engage in conversation, ministry, prayer, and worship. 3. In time, as the discover that they now believe, you invite them to commit.” (Sometimes what we call belonging before believing)

“Evangelism is now about ‘helping people to belong so that they can believe.”

“The Irish and other Celtic peoples were predominately right-brained and, in reaching them, Christianity adapted remarkably from it’s earlier Roman reliance upon words, propositions, concepts and theological abstractions.”

Those are just a few of the thoughts from this great book. As I flipped through it, I realized that I need to read this book again very soon.

I close with this prayer from Saint Patrick:

…Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.