Archive for April, 2014

EvangelismWe want you to be involved in sharing the Gospel but the unfortunate truth is that most believers will not.  The reasons are usually related to fear or ignorance.  We launch new programs and campaigns and offer training in our church and we still have the same results; those people who are predisposed to sharing the gospel do  and all others have just add another area of their spiritual life where they feel failure.

I want you to be a success in your journey with Jesus. I want you to be able to think about the Gospel, about missions, about soul winning without feeling like a guilt-ridden failure.  I want to show you how believers can freely and enthusiastically be involved in evangelism.

Two Observations about Evangelism

  1. When Jesus and the Apostles talked to people about the Gospel they were often in a large group but sometimes in smaller groups and one on one.  In each of these groups, they were invited to speak about the Gospel.  The group expected to hear it, the group came for that purpose, or the group asked a leading question.
  1. In our culture, the people reject any effort to impose the Gospel on them.  They will resist an unsolicited presentation. However, if they initiate the conversation about Jesus, they will freely talk and listen.

You are at this moment freed from ever having to interrupt a person’s day with an unsolicited Gospel presentation.

 At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, – Colossians 4:3

How can we all be involved in evangelism in the local church?

Pray

As the text tells us, pray that God opens a door for the message.  In 1 Timothy 2 we told to pray for everyone because God’s wants to save them all, in Luke 10:2 we are told to pray that God will send workers into the field.  The Bible is clear that God wants us to pray and to pray for people to hear the Gospel.  The movement of a non-believer to believer is a supernatural event that requires a supernatural force. We ask God to do the work in preparing the non-believer and the believer.

If you don’t do anything but pray you are heavily involved in evangelism.

Pause

Then we wait. John 6:44 tells us that no one comes to the Father except the Spirit draw him.  So we must wait for this drawing to take place.  We must wait on the Spirit to prepare us and to prepare others.

This is evangelism you can do every day for as long as you want.  You haven’t spoke to a soul yet you are still involved in the ministry.

While you are in Pause, you could still Pray.

Proclaim

Now, this is where we could have a break down but we won’t. See, we are waiting for the invitation.  When you are “prayed up” and watching for God’s movement, you’ll also be ready.  Someone will say something to you that indicates they are ready to hear from the Lord.  You are not going to miss it, they will ask you a question and all you have to do is answer the question.  I don’t know what they’ll ask, but if you have  a good handle on your own salvation story and a good handle on Jesus’ story you’ll be able to answer those questions.

I  was working  in a “serving” type ministry one day when a person who had been watching stopped me and asked “Why do you do this?”  This is a clear invitation to speak.  I simply answered the question.  “I like people.  I became a follower of Jesus Christ and He lead me to this job to help people.”  They person continued, “what does following Jesus have to do with this?”  I said,  “When I heard the Good News that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, was buried and rose again on the third day and is alive today and that I can be forgiven and changed, I became his follower and have been in this process of becoming like Him.  He has put into me this desire to love people as He does and to serve them as He does.  I wouldn’t  be able to do this without Jesus Christ.”

It was that easy.  I just answering a question.  The fellow was not offended  and didn’t yell or argue or do anything negative.  He said, “Interesting” and wandered away.

You might not get an opportunity everyday, but you’ll get them. You’ll be able to enthusiastically talk about your faith because someone asked you a simple question.  You’ll be involved in the ministry of evangelism every day and we’ll be fulfilling the Great Commission of “as you go make di
sciples… “

About that meeting…

Posted: April 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

We don’t have a lot of business-type meetings at sojourn. We like to keep our processes simple.  We communicate well. We have the same vision. When we have them, meetings help us to clarify decisions, brainstorm ideas, and disseminate information.  We try to keep it short.  Last Tuesday, March 25, we had a meeting with some people who were in a leadership position at Sojourn and a few others.  Here are the results of that meeting.

We talked about what we see God doing in and around Sojourn.  We talked about spiritual growth, relationship healing, and ministry. God’s work in and around us is evident and the group was very excited about it.

We talked about our vision.  We all see it as “we are on a daily, interactive, life-changing journey with Jesus.”  We all so that the application of this is to Read. Pray. Obey.  Within the obedience part is the Great Commission and our requirement to evangelize the world and disciple one another.

What is the one thing that needs to happen that only God can do?  The group agreed on a spiritual revival in Council Bluffs.  We agreed that this would be our primary prayer request.

We continued talking about some of the questions/issues on the pastor’s mind.

Should we push to have most people in small groups?

We determined that people were growing and being discipled without being in a small group.  We found that several people enjoy their group and it is beneficial to them.  We decided that we would not put all our discipleship efforts into small groups that meet each week but would continue with some small groups and add affinity groups that meet monthly or periodically.

Should we pursue online giving?

No one found the concept to be unbiblical.  Almost everyone stated that they do most of their banking and spending electronically.  We decided that we would continue with our offerings giving during worship taking checks and cash but that we would look into and pursue getting online giving also.

Should we push visitors to fill out a visitor’s card?

We decided that we still did not want to be pushy or smothering.  We would have a card available, we’d be more intentional about inviting the people to fill it out but we would not push.  If they want that level of connection they will make the effort. If we get a card, though, we most definitely need to follow up without being pushy or smothering.

We wrapped it up with this question; What is our plan of action from here?

Pray daily for revival in Council Bluffs.  Continue being friendly.  Participate in church fellowship.  Read. Pray. Obey.  Keep it simple.