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Posts Tagged ‘Evangelism’

This is not an attempt to demean or nullify or to downplay the evangelistic methods of others. I do; however, want to communicate what I think “evangelistic methods” convey to others.

Most of us Christians live in the Christian Bubble.  We have no real intimate relationships with non-believers. A great deal of us wear our morality on our sleeves and expect many if not all of those in our path to conform to our morality and thus leading people further away from us.

Because we have no relationships with people the need for Drive-by Evangelism has been substituted for the need to win people over with the love of Jesus. As a matter of fact one is now the other. We are told today (I have read this just recently) that the reason we don’t evangelize the way Ray Comfort and others do is because we have no concern for the souls of man. In other words you don’t really love people if you aren’t out there trying to share the Gospel with as many people as possible.

Let first say to those who don’t evangelize is such a way, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the fact that you don’t. It is ploy, a tick, a manipulative tool to get you to do something you are not comfortable doing and may shouldn’t be doing anyway. I will say this quite candidly; attempting to get people to do things your way by manipulating them and especially calling their love for humanity and God into question is of Satan. Okay I am off that soapbox.

Back to where I was going. Because we believe that Evangelical Morality is God’s utmost concern we live very isolated lives. We don’t want our children interacting with the kids across the street, 99.99% of our friends are Christians or at least morally astute, and our idea of Christian Service is greeting or parking lot ministry. Then Comfort and Cameron comes along and gives you “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” or some other guilt trip that make you feel dirty because you aren’t evangelizing enough and you build up enough courage to order some tracts to leave on your company’s lunch table, or hand out with sweaty palms at the mall, or you join the churches evangelism team and go out in numbers to save the world from Hell.

Others build there entire ministry on what we call “street preaching” on college campuses or downtown in major cities and they feel they have reached martyrdom if someone curses them out. They feel they have suffered for the Lord Jesus because someone yells at them or throws a tomato at them. I will tell you this quite honestly friend. It is much easier to stand on a box, hand out tracts, corner people who are guilty and get them to say a prayer, or any other evangelistic method. It is much more difficult and life altering to sit in the house with vilest of humans, have them over for dinner, invite your nosey neighbor into your life, hang out with someone who’s vocabulary is more in line with a Bar around at 1:30 A.M. It is much more difficult to get to know your neighbors, to have them over for movie nights or game nights, to help that prostitute off the street, become a father figure to that troubled kid in the community.

You see doing life on life evangelism takes, time, energy, and maybe even money. A CD with a gospel message, or some tracts only take a little money and just like many evangelicals in America we love to throw money at problems instead of getting in the trenches with the wounded.

Let me end with this. I am not discouraging you from doing any of the above “methods”. But I implore and challenge you that the person who does give you that 3 minutes to do the “good person” would be more than an evangelistic conquest and they become a real human being. That since they gave you 3 minutes that you would take them to lunch or have them over for dinner (that is if you ain’t evangelizing 45 minutes from where you really live). I challenge you to first start in Jerusalem (your home community) then go to the outer most parts. I ask that you wouldn’t just tell the convert to wrestle with these issues, but that you will wrestle with them even if takes 5 years. That you will not just hand them a tract but give them your number even if they never accept Jesus Christ that you will befriend them as fellow human being. I challenge you to take the same evangelism team from your church to the same community that you were trying to convert and serve them with reckless abandon. My challenge is that you evangelize like Jesus. Who not only shared the Good News but served humanity by giving His life. The key to evangelism isn’t convicting people of sin, or getting people to pray a prayer, or getting people to say yes they will receive Jesus and not even getting them into church. It is reconciling people to God and becoming Christ to them. When we begin to quote quantity of converts instead of quality of disciples we have missed it. Not only that, if you will only relate to them based off of a decision for Christ then I don’t know if you are evangelistic as God is. It took Jesus years to win most of us over, God invested His only Son, how much are you willing to invest?

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waldo1

I remember when I was in elementary we could play games for prizes. One of my favorite was “Where is Waldo” the other “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego”. I was thinking of something the other day. Where in the world is grace today?  Why is that the seeker sensitive and emerging guys are busy pulling in all of the vilest of characters? Why is it that most of the churches I go to, the people who join are the most polished of individuals. Why aren’t we bringing in the drug dealer, the drug addict, the prostitute that turned a trick less than 3 hours ago, the woman with 5 baby daddies, the alcoholic that if he burbs you will get drunk, the dude fresh out of prison or on his way in, the homeless, the heroine addict with no areas left on his body to shoot up, that person who smells really, really bad?

Why are their no broken people (socially economically speaking) filling our churches. We say “oh the church is a hospital” it looks more like the Country Club. Where is the promiscuous little girl (the one we I shook our  my head at because her shorts were just as long as her underwear), where is the thugged out young man (you know the one we said “he needs to pull his pants up”). Where are those people who threaten our way of life?

I tell you what they aren’t as hard to find as Waldo or Carmen. The problem is we ain’t looking for them. It isn’t that they aren’t available. They know and so do we, that we don’t want to interrupting our polished service. Heck they can’t understand those “deep” theological expository sermons anyway right? The church isn’t for them anyway right?

It is funny that I see a Jesus that heals throughout the Gospels. Okay, let me start over. If you don’t want to be exposed, please stay away from the Gospels. Okay I am back. Our churches don’t smell because we avoid smelly people. We don’t feel uncomfortable because uncomfortable people aren’t welcomed in our church, small groups or our lives. We would rather not have these people interrupt our church services. Never know who we might run off.

The reason I know this is true is because I have never heard a sermon on actively and aggressively bringing the most uncomfortable people into the church. We like growing the church but I don’t think we want it to grow with people who will take! Let me say that again. We want to grow but not at a cannibalizing rate. Okay let me say it this way. We don’t want to bring needy people in because that may interrupt the building fund campaign! Why because they have needs and now instead of bringing people in that will increase our reserves, we would be bringing people that may dwindle it quicker than the Dow dropped last month. The value of our religious stock will drop if we take on “unsecured debt”. Our religious portfolio may just be dwindled in the kingdom of man. That is why we have no problem ministering to marginalized people in Africa. Why? Because they won’t come back to our churches. They won’t be a pest to us. A nuisance so to say. That is why there are no broken, poverty stricken, drug addicts (not recovered but current addicts) in our churches. Why? Because we don’t want them there and Jesus knows it. He knows that we are frauds and really want no part in the lives of those individuals.

You know in 3 Corinthians 3:5 “God helps those who help themselves” and in Thessalonians it says “if a man don’t work he don’t eat”. Right? In the Gospel of Matthias it says “Give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach him how to fish he eats for life”. What if there ain’t no fish in the river he stays by. What if he ain’t got arms? You see we don’t want to be bothered with hoochies, thugs, drug addicts, alcoholics and the like. We don’t mind throwing them a bone, or even going to share the Gospel with them. But what we don’t want is them to bother our lives, to interrupt God’s plan for us to bite into the American Pie!

We wonder why Jesus isn’t using us to make a difference in the world and why secular Bono can get more troops rallied to feed the poor than the millions of “Christians” that are in the United States. We wonder why America has gotten progressively worse. It is because we have built a barb wired fence, which is both electric with armed guards around our churches.

Okay you don’t believe me. I want you to tell your pastor to preach a sermon or to start an aggressive ministry campaign that will bring in the vilest of individuals. And when they come we will have this huge dinner for them and serve them for two weeks straight. All they need to do is show up. Tell him that we are going to walk past everyone who looks half descent and find the scariest people possible. See what he says.

Jesus is a joke to the world, because his body has forgotten its mission. Which is to reconcile the world to him. The reason we have all of these para-church ministries is because it is feeling the void of the Church. There were no para-church ministries in the scriptures. The church fed the poor, took care of the orphan and widow, invited those rejected by society in for a meal, took care of the handicapped (those who were treated severely in the Roman empire), they took in the lepers, the diseased, those who hospitals wouldn’t even accept, those without healthcare and welfare. The church did this because this was their mission!

But today we are more concerned about if your expository sermon has the right components to be a true expository sermon. If you handled that verb the right way, if you use lights and puppets in your church, if women are teaching or not, if the gifts of the Spirit are for today, if the atonement was brutal, what type of baptism is correct, if God is 100% knowing or if He gave a little of that up, if people are speaking a prayer language in their spare time, if someone is partnering with someone I disagree with theologically (I am so guilty here)!

If I sound frustrated I am. Why because our Master has bigger fish for us to fry. We are having major conferences on Calvinism or Arminianism! Are we serious? National Conferences? So we go on our cruises with our favorite theologians while the world goes to hell in a hand basket! And we clear our conscience by ensuring we are paying our tithes, and making sure we spend at least 1 hour per day in devotion time. Oh yeah, can’t forget got to memorize those scriptures.

What type of Grace am I talking about. The Grace that tells a hurting world that we know a Savior who has died on the cross for you just like you are and we take you with no conditions. We place no conditions on you that the Savior of the world didn’t. Jesus takes drug addicts, homosexuals, rapists, child molesters, Muslims, Atheists, fornicators, women with 5 baby daddys, thugs with two felonies under their belts, promiscuous little girls, sorry fathers, no good mothers, alcoholics, liars, thieves, porn stars, strippers, con-men, and those in false religions just as they are. His death purchases a spot for them all in eternity, the problem is his Church doesn’t. How do I know, because we have no aggressive campaigns to pursue them recklessly.

I close with this, Jesus didn’t take the long way around Samaria. He went straight through the middle to meet a woman at a well. A broken and promiscuous woman. A woman who seemed to enjoy the company of other women’s husbands. One who was probably going to fetch some water to freshen up for the one that she was currently entertaining. A woman who was well known around the way. She couldn’t walk by without being looked at funny without other women pulling their husbands in close. When her roof was leaking no women sent their husbands to help her. But God who stepped down in human flesh back in eternity planned to meet this woman on a sunny day by a well. His purpose was to bring her to Himself, so that He can show us the type of people He saves. His disciples thought He was mistaken or in error. But that day she conversed with the Savior not by chance but by divine appointment. He shared Himself with Her and in turn she immediately became an evangelist and ambassador of Grace. So impressed were the people that they said “let us see for ourselves”. Could it be that they said “if He talked with her, the type of woman she is, would He not also accept me”?

Church where in the world is grace?

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There are many great books on marriage and how to be a godly husband and godly wife and these books have been instrumental in the lives of me and my wife. One I recommend is “The Exemplary Husband” by Dr. Stuart Scott. It really changed me in 12 weeks. I went through a study with a close friend of mine and we had to ask the tough questions and really work through what God expects from us as husbands.

Where I think many of the great books on marriage (When Sinners Say I do, A Love that Lasts and Sacred Marriage) fall short I hope to convey here. This was a message I was going to give in a few weeks but I have been tagged to present something different. So I was thinking about making it an e-book or pamphlet or study guide or something. It is a Christ-Centered Character study that I hope all who are married or plan on being married one day enjoy.

The Couple in View (Prisca (or Priscilla and Aquila)

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If you live in the Dallas area you don’t want to miss this FREE (yes I said FREE)! Concert. Mercy Street Ministries will be hosting the 116 Clique this Saturday August 2nd! Please come check these brothers out. They put on an unbelievable show and you really should see what they are doing “After the Music Stops and them curtains are closed”! Reachlife has been doing some incredible work and the Read this Before You Die evangelism project has been a blessing to many also. So let me know if you are going to be there. I would love to hook up with some fellow bloggers. God bless. By the way they will need some help with evangelism, I don’t know how that is going to work so hopefully I can talk to one of the fellas before the concert and post some information.

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