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Archive for the ‘Evangelism’ Category

‘This is the mark of an immature church: it’s all about me and not about [those who don’t know Jesus].’ – Mark Driscoll

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Asking (most) people to come with us to church is an unrealistic expectation:

Church is where we feel safe and comfortable. Church is where non-Christians feel embarassed and awkward. We offer people the gospel, but on our terms and on our territory. Put like this, it becomes clear that we must take the gospel – and indeed the church – out of our ghetto and into the world around us.

Steve Timmis and Tim Chester, The Gospel-Centred Church, 24-25.

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More from Timmis and Chester:

Think about the contexts in which you rub shoulders with unbelievers. What is the distinctive gospel behavior that should characterize your relationships?

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From The Gospel-Centred Church by Chester and Timmis:

We are not all gifted, eloquent, vivacious, engaging personal evangelists. But we are all children of God, saved by grace and heading for glory. Commending the One who has adopted, rescued and enriched us is an enormous privilege. This is the heart of God’s plan for me to bear a credible witness to the gospel in whatever context I find myself. The source of this consistent and believable witness is the sense of being gob-smacked by grace. Gripped by grace to the extent that it infuses our hearts and transforms our lives. This grace will also nurture within us a love for those who, in the words of Jonah, have ‘forsaken the grace that could be theirs.’

Loving God to the extent that we want to make His truth winsome, and loving others to the extent that we want them to know the God of truth is not the exclusive prerogative of preachers, evangelists and missionaries.

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If you’re looking for help in starting and sustaining gospel conversations, these posts from Chris Walker should do the trick:

These are in no particular order, but rather a list of some of the most popular sought after articles on Chris’ website regarding personal evangelism.

  1. Take the Risk, Offer to Pray.
  2. Scripts for Evangelism
  3. The power of testimony
  4. God is at work — Do you see it?
  5. Conversion Stories in the NT — Pisidian Antioch
  6. Look for God’s activity
  7. Beginning a Conversation about Christ
  8. Take a Look Across the Room
  9. Dot on a Watch
  10. Helpful Questions for the Evangelist
  11. Three ways to repel / Three ways to attract
  12. Ashamed of the Gospel?
  13. 15 ways to Keep your Evangelism Passion High
  14. Prayer and Evangelism
  15. Evangelism PAINS
  16. Evangelism 101: Beginning to Share your Faith.
  17. Compelled to share?
  18. God — The Evangelist
  19. 20 Fears about Personal Evangelism
  20. Guest Article: Sharing your faith in the ordinary course of life
  21. Fit your evangelism style to your personality
  22. Keeping Your Evangelism Passion Hot
  23. Evangelism Oozing from our Pores (on motivations)
  24. Define Evangelism Series
  25. Personal Testimony Questionnaire
  26. Personal Evangelism Mentoring
  27. Ten Devotional Questions about Your Evangelism
  28. Evangelism as Storytelling
  29. Role of the Holy Spirit in Evangelism
  30. Evangelistic Conversation Starter Questions
  31. Ten Prayer Points For your Friends
  32. How to Practice a Gospel Presentation
  33. Using Questions In Spiritual Conversations
  34. 44 Spiritual Conversation Starter Questions
  35. 5 Evangelism Tips for Pastors
  36. The Big Story – Improving the Bridge Illustration
  37. 10 practical ways of sharing your faith
  38. 20 Evangelism Questions To Start a conversation
  39. The Holy Spirit Prepares the Way
  40. Respecting Boundaries in Conversation
  41. How the Holy Spirit Directs Evangelism
  42. 7 Tips For More Spiritual Conversations
  43. Drifting Away from the World

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…but you don’t. You want to but you’re not sure where to start.

Try this out – for the next month, ask God to connect you to one person who: a) you get along with; b) shares common interests with you; c) would enjoy our Sunday gathering and/or your community group; and d) is open to you about their life and opinions.

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Assessing where we’re at: Discouraging

Watching where we’re going: Unbelievably exciting and encouraging.

First the hard part…from Chris Walker:

Gene Getz in his book, Sharpening the Focus of the Church, lists some helpful questions to clarify the church’s purpose in evangelism.

  1. Is our church concerned about its immediate community? Are we reaching people for Christ? Or, are we substituting a program of foreign missions and neglecting those who live within the context of our local witness?
  2. Are we active “as a body” in local church evangelism? Are we providing backdrop against which individual evangelism can take place? Or do we expect individual Christians to witness in a vacuum?
  3. Are we substituting the “church gathered” as the primary place to “preach the gospel,” rather than a place to develop Christians and serve as a dynamic example of Christian love and unity to the world? Are we using the “church gathered” as a place where non-Christians can “come” to get saved rather than a bridge to the world?
  4. Are we reaching whole households with the gospel, concentrating first on reaching parents? Or are we substituting a program of child and youth evangelism for adult evangelism?
  5. Are we discovering and recognizing those in the church who feel especially called to evangelism, and are we encouraging them in their community and worldwide witness through moral and financial support?
  6. Are new believers integrated into the life of the local church as soon as possible?
  7. Are we utilizing contemporary strategies and approaches to community and worldwide evangelism, that are distinctive and unique to our particular twenty-first century problems in reaching people for Christ?

The good stuff…

As a church, we believe that we are missionaries living in community empowered by the gospel. That’s our identity – but it’s an identity that we are growing into. So rather than wallowing in despair because we’re not doing well in the above assessment, I’m really stoked about how God is already at work, helping to motivate and teach us how to live this way.

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