31 Days of Evangelism Day 27: The Reports of Our Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

It’s easy today for believers to be intimidated. Our culture is changing. We read of the rise of the “nones.” We are sometimes embarrassed by professing Christians who seem to represent anything but Christ. It’s true, more people in the US don’t know the Bible, and we have lost the home field culturally in many ways.  But Bible-believing, Christ-honoring, people-loving believers are no where near an endangered species today. Be encouraged, Jesus-follower, for no less than researchers at Harvard argue the numbers of Christians who seek to honor Christ is quite healthy. Sure, liberal churches are drying up. But no so our tribe. To quote the article: “ People are navigating toward substantive Christianity.”  Read the article yourself HERE.

 

31 Days of Evangelism Day 26: Evangelism Training Via Technology

We live in a fantastic time of technological advance. Sure, there are plenty of trivial cat videos and a variety of general knuckleheadedness on YouTube and different websites. But these platforms can also be leveraged for the gospel.

I’m for one so grateful my publisher B&H Academic set up a wonderful landing page filled with a bevy of free resources at sharingJesusbook.com. Churches across America use this, and my church does as well!

Here’s the first video of eight where I talk about sharing the good news without freaking out about it.

31 Days of Evangelism Day 25: Where Are These Today?

As I scroll through my social media feeds I’m struck with a consistent, painful reality: believers post about a ton of things, most of them important and helpful. Many are quite timely; few seem to be focused eternally. What I see little of, and perhaps I’m just not seeing clearly, is a burden for those things at the very heart of God and Scripture.

I’m not mad; I’m not even frustrated. But sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes I think Satan’s very best ploy for American Christians is to get us to be obsessed with the good while ignoring the crucial.

Where are people today burdened with thoughts like these below? I meet these people all the time: everyday Christians who really care about the lostness of humanity and hunger to see the gospel bear fruit. I wish I saw it more in so-called mature believers. Maybe I’m the one who needs to mature, maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m not “with it” in today’s Changing world. Or maybe we live in the generation of spiritual confusion, particularly in the church. I will never say Evangelism is the only thing the church should be about. But for too many it seems not to be a thing at all.

where are these people today?

The salvation of a single soul is more important than the production or preservation of all the epics and tragedies in the world. – C.S. Lewis

I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.-Zinzendorf

We talk of the second coming; half the world has never heard of the first. -Oswald J Smith

America is not dying because of the strength of humanism but the weakness of evangelism. -Ravenhill

The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. -CS Lewis

 

 

 

31 Days of Evangelism Day 24: Encouragement from a Very Fine Book

I started a new semester last night with a great group in my Evangelism 5100 class. I recommend a number of books (and require them to read a couple of mine, along with Robert Coleman’s MasterPlan of Evangelism and at least one more). One I love to recommend is the book Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. I don’t know Tim Chester, but I’ve had a meal at Southeastern with Steve, and found him to be a delightful and articulate minister of the gospel.

I love Everyday Church and their earlier book Total Church for a lot of reasons. In Total Church they make a great statement, how we need “ordinary Christians doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality.” I love how they build so much of what they do in Everyday Church around the grand narrative of Scripture. But what I love as much as anything they write is the list of four statements about God. Let me list them, and I will add a little personal commentary relating each statement to our witness.

God is GREAT, so I don’t have to be in control. We are all control freaks to some level. This is a reason some don’t share Jesus: we know the drill in church–sing songs, hear a sermon, pray, go to Bible study, serve in a weekly role, give some money, you know. But when we talk with someone outside the church about Jesus, we don’t know where the conversation will end up. But think about it: if God is truly the great one, can’t we serve him regardless of how people respond? Can’t we see our value as witnesses is not based on our control, but his majesty?

God is GLORIOUS, so I don’t have to fear others. If you are a people person, guess what? You are also a people pleaser. But we all have some tendency to want to please those around us. A reason some don’t witness is quite simply because we are more concerned about pleasing the people around us than our heavenly Father.

God is GOOD, so I don’t have to look elsewhere. If we truly believe God is the one who is ultimately good, we can be satisfied in him. As Piper said, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” I’m afraid a lot of Christians have met Jesus but gotten over it. We lose our love for God in our desire for other good things.

God is GRACIOUS, so I don’t have to prove myself. Romans 8:1 does not say, “there is now therefore some condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” It says NO condemnation. We don’t have to seek to impress God; he knows we aren’t impressive. Yet he loves us. We certainly don’t have to impress others. Jesus is impressive enough!

I hope you will read this book. It’s blessed me. And I hope these four truths about God will encourage you.