"Go into all the world..."

"Go into all the world..."
Mt. Rainier, Washington

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What is evangleism? Well, here is one thought...

I was surfing the web and came across the article on evangelism on Wikipedia.com, one of the most popular sensations to hit the web in recent years. It was an informative article so I thought I'd share it with you...Enjoy!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelism

Electronic Church: by Wayne Jackson

"There are Bible commands and principles that obligate us to 'come together' when we are able to do so, and no “flip of a switch” can satisfy those demands upon able-bodied people..."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hospitality: Opening Doors to Share the Gospel

by: Norman Rockwell

This past weekend I concluded a nine-month work with the Woodland Park church of Christ in Woodland Park, CO. As I stood before the majority of the congregation on Saturday night during a dinner Natalie and I had hosted for them, I struggled to find words to express my gratitude to this small in number but large in spirit congregation. One thing I made sure I told them was how their hospitality towards me had enabled me to labor among them like I had known them all my life. As I concluded a brief devotional, I challenged them to continue to not only display this hospitality towards fellow Christians but also with those in the community that they might open new doors to share the gospel with others.
I once asked a more experienced evangelist for one key piece of advice on getting started in doing personal evangelism. He said one word, "Hospitality." One of the main areas that we will focus on in our work in the northwest right from the start is the area of hospitality. A study of the word hospitality in the NT reveals the fact that it's common NT usage was that of a kind act towards a stranger (although it is not limited to this cf. 1 Pet.4: 9). I've grown to appreciate the advice given to me years earlier and have seen it's effectiveness in several ways:
  1. The old adage that says, "A person does not want to know how much you know until they know how much you care" is good proverbial wisdom indeed. Hospitality breaks down all sorts of barriers that otherwise might make communication with a person impossible.
  2. Hospitality creates a none threatening environment where thoughts and emotions can be expressed that, like it or not, aren't expressed in the foyer dash.
  3. Hospitality reflects one of the true essence of Christianity and that is an others above self principle such as that which our Lord displayed (Philippians 2).

For your own study on hospitality, consider these text: Rom.12:13; 1 Tim.3:2, 5:10; Tit.1:8; Heb.13:2; 1 Pet.4:9

Use some original language tools and study these Greek Words:

ξένος, ξενία,  ξενίζω,  ξενοδοχέω,  φιλοξενία,  φιλόξενο

Talk About Getting Your Message Out!!!

RSS Logo
Really Simple Syndication

Over the past two weeks I have been blessed to learn a wealth of information regarding technology and its potential impact on church ministry. This information was of particular interest to me as we began to discuss it's use in personal evangelism. If you have not done any research in this area, let me be the first to tell you...STOP PROCRASTINATING! The potential to expand your ministry through the effective use of modern technologies is incredible. The above RSS logo is just one example.
I've seen this logo before and never thought twice as to what it was. That was until I learned it was a way for me to connect my sermons, blogs, websites to the entire internet! What's the big deal, aren't all things published online available to all internet users? Well yes, but RSS is different in that users subscribe to your website or blog and every time you update the material the subscriber is made aware of it. As I was taught, it is a way of "pushing" your message out to the world through this technology as opposed to "pulling" them in. Like I said, this stuff is new to me but I sure am excited about it. It brings to life new ways of reaching people on a GLOBAL scale. I don't know about you, but I am interested in reaching as many people as possible with the message of Christ (Mark 16: 15).

The Internets Increasing Impact On Lives

After browsing a site I was referred to in class (Ministry Technologies) today, I came across this powerful study. To me this study, and others like it, point to the necessity of our understanding just how much the internet is impacting our culture. Here are the results of the study and a link so you can read further details of the study:

54% in the number of adults who said the internet played a major role as they helped another person cope with a major illness. And the number of those who said the internet played a major role as they coped themselves with a major illness increased 40%.

50% in the number who said the internet played a major role as they pursued more training for their careers.

45% in the number who said the internet played a major role as they made major investment or financial decisions.

43% in the number who said the internet played a major role when they looked for a new place to live.

42% in the number who said the internet played a major role as they decided about a school or a college for themselves or their children.

23% in the number who said the internet played a major role when they bought a car.

14% in the number who said the internet played a major role as they switched jobs.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Little Humor: Evangelism Linebacker!

Here's a little humor for us evangelist. This guy reminds me of Willie Franklin for those who know him. Enjoy!


Monday, January 21, 2008

The Faith - To Share or Not to Share?

I came across this recent survey from the Barna Research Group. Granted, the results specifically pertain to "Christendom" as a whole in the U.S., but I think the results would be nearly the same if it only pertained to the church. What do you think?

The Responsibility to Share your Faith

Adults' View On Having A Personal Responsibility To Tell Other People Their Religious Beliefs: 2007-35% 2006-39% 2005-34% 2004-35% 2002-35% 2000-31% 1998-29% 1996-31%
49% of Blacks strongly agree that they "personally have a responsibility to tell other people about their religious beliefs" versus 34% of whites, 32% of hispanics, and 26% of asians. (2007)

Americans living in the South feel more of a responsibility to share their faith with others than do adults in other regions of the country, with 45% of southerners feeling a sense of responsibility to share their faith with others, compared to 40% of Midwesterners, 27% of those living in the West, and 21% of those living in the Northeast. (2007)

More than half of born again Christians (54%) feel a sense of responsibility to tell others about their faith. (2007)

Overall, Catholics (19%) are less likely than Protestants (47%) to feel a responsibility to share their faith with others. (2007)

Mosaics are the generation least likely to strongly agree that they have a personal responsibility to tell others people about their religious beliefs. Compared to the 25% of Mosaics who strongly agree with the tested statement, 30% of Busters, 39% of Boomers and 41% of Elders strongly agree. (2007)

Married adults (37%) are more likely than are singles (28%) to believe that it is their responsibility to tell other people their religious beliefs. (2007)

People that make less than $35,000 a year are the most likely to agree strongly they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others; 47% believe so compared with 35% of those that make between $35,000-$60,000 and 26% of those who make more than $60,000. (2007)


Saturday, January 19, 2008

What in the world are we doing?

"Go therefore into all the world and make disciples..." Matthew 28: 19

You ever get bored? I do. Yet considering the present condition of most people on this earth I must say Jesus' words in Matthew 28 often give a reality check to my state of "boredom."

There's plenty of work to go around for the would be evangelist in this present age. With the worlds population well over 6 billion now, we certainly have more than enough souls to seek to keep us busy for several lifetimes, though we'll be given only one. When I consider this tremendous passage at the very end of our Lord's ministry on this earth, I am reminded of several things regarding my role as an evangelist. First, I am reminded that the command here is to "make disciples" while I am "going." It's not some sophisticated plan. It's as I am going about my daily life (at the store, at the ball game, etc.) I am interacting with people and in doing so I am always looking for an opportunity to share the gospel with the lost. Second, making disciples involves two things. (1) Immersion (And the teaching of the gospel that brings a person to this point); (2) Teaching (Taking this new child of God under my arms and leading them into the precious truths of God's Word). Lastly, He is with me. What a great promise indeed. That as I am going about doing His work His Word is there to guide me and the souls that I am teaching!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Evangelist vs. Politics?

"The Fruit of Righteousness Is A Tree of Life, And He Who Is Wise Wins Souls." ... Solomon's words may strike a chord in the heart of any well-intentioned evangelist in the Lord's church, but what difficult ground we must trod during the political season. I've had friends who encouraged me to stay as far from politics as possible, even to the extent of never utilizing my voting rights. Yet others, just as close to me, have been on the other end of the spectrum, sending significant contributions to political figures and campaigning diligently to get them in office. But what of me, and other evangelist like me? Is there a clear cut line I must choose? Is there a fine line to walk in doing what's right for the Lord and what's right in terms of my civic duty as a citizen of my country?
Many denominational groups have plunged themselves into the political landscape in recent years. Groups like Focus on the Family are frequently seen lobbying in Washington for leaders to uphold their religious views on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, etc. I've even heard the rhetoric that our most recent President, George W. Bush, only got into office because of "those evangelicals." While we could look at these recent facts as well as many others and debate the extent to which a Christian should be involved in the political landscape, I'd like to make a few practical comments regarding our role as Evangelist that can help us keep our REAL mission front and center, that being the mission of saving souls.
(1) It is not ones political views that are going to change the world or that God prescribed as the source for solving the worlds greatest problem, that begin the problem of sin. It is through the GOSPEL ALONE that mankind receives it's greatest blessing. And so the Lord commanded, "God into all the WORLD..."
(2) While some are in politics to affect the moral good of our nation, others are involved to affect other, less moral and more subjective areas of politics. And, as is I think most often the case, the two go hand in hand with a fine line separating the them. I think as an evangelist it is wise to adopt a "push the morals and not the man philosophy." Ultimately, we want others we interact with to see we wish to see people who will make decisions "with Christians best interest in mind" occupying our nations political offices.
(3) Democrat...Republican...How about, Christian! Labels mean different things to different people and wearing one can bring different reactions from different people. While we may be more inclined to favor one political party over another (such as right now, the Republican Party for Christians) we ought not be so hasty in wearing our feelings in this regard on our shirt sleeve. Again, we want other to see that we hold the views we do because we are God's children (Acts 17: 29) and we wear the name of Christian (Acts 11:26) and we want the world to see Christ living through us.
We could say much more about this topic, but these are just a few thoughts to keep our minds in check during this political season. Always remembering that glorifying God and saving the lost is the highest office to which any man could attain. And so we have in Christ Jesus!