Eight Weeks of Effective Witness Day 15: A Place to Land for Evangelism

“Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth.” Archimedes.

I want to offer you a landing place for your evangelism. Actually, my publisher B&H Academic created it, and I’m grateful. You can search the page yourself here, but I want to comment about it with some screen shots.

The page is a one-stop location full of resources related to evangelism flowing from my Sharing Jesus book. Here’s an overview of some of the features:

This is the main home page for the book at B&H Academic. You can also find it by simply searching www.sharingJesusbook.com. PLEASE NOTE: There is a place to share your story about how this resource has helped you in your witness. Or, you can just post a story about sharing Jesus. It will encourage others!

Here are some very kind comments from others about the book. My pal D.A. Horton is planting a church in LA. Rebecca Pippert is a hero to me–her book Out of the Saltshaker had a tremendous impact on me in seminary. And my friend Ed Stetzer heads the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton and is a guru of all things missional. I’m grateful for these kind words.

You can “try before you buy” the book here. Also, when you place an order, if you want to order in bulk you can get copies for only $5.00 each for orders of 20 or more! That. is. amazing. I know student pastors who are giving this to high school grads, pastors giving to their staff and key leaders, church planting leaders giving one to all their planters, and businessmen giving them to employees, and other examples.

I’m very excited about this page. My dear friend Brian Upshaw and the North Carolina Baptist State Convention along with help from the North American Mission Board recorded a series of eight videos where I teach through each chapter in about 20 minutes or so. These are FREE for you at the site. I already know pastors and others in different states who are using these to lead training through the book over an eight week study. I’m so grateful for this.

ALSO: there are two videos of role-playing. I role play leading a young man named Eli to Christ, and two of our young ladies also role play a conversation. Note: these are not polished, but are real-life convos, the kind I have regularly with young professionals and others. There’s also a video interview with my dear friend Jonathan Dodson of City Life Church in Austin.

I hope you will take advantage of these amazing resources available to you, and I hope you wil join the EIGHT WEEK CHALLENGE and tell us your stories.

I’m praying for an evangelism movement in our time. Perhaps this can help.

 

 

Eight Weeks of Effective Witness Day 3: Love Fishing as Much as Catching

 

Last night I ate delicious, juicy, deep friend catfish for supper. Not just any catfish; Michelle and I caught these only this week. Okay, she caught most of them. But I cleaned all of them! We love fishing. Well, Michelle loves fishing. I love catching.

Michelle can sit on our boat dock for five plus hours to fish. I can do that on rare occasions, but I’m good with a couple hours or so. You see, I love to catch fish, but Michelle just loves to fish.

Jesus called his disciples to become fishers of men. It’s no surprise: the men he called were professional fishermen. He took men who loved to fish for fish and guess what? They soon loved to fish for men. When it comes to sharing Jesus, we should love fishing as much as catching. What do I mean?

  1. We love being with people. Fishermen love being on the water, being in the place where the fish are. If you don’t love people, being a witness is not your problem! Too many believers act toward the lost the way people do toward smelly, fresh fish: curl their nose, sneer, and get as far as away as fast as possible. But Jesus calls us to love fishing, i.e. to love being among people who need him.
  2. We don’t mind the stuff that comes with fishing. Tangled lines, spilled tackle boxes, getting caught with a hook, and sunburn (I know, I got baked this week), all these come with the territory. To enjoy the fish we just ate, we had to invest in fishing gear, create time on the calendar, and get our hands dirty. Those catfish are slimy, and if you aren’t careful they will stab you with their fins. Evangelism is messy, because people are messy. If you want a tidy little Christianity, you won’t have much to do with sharing Jesus. Or with Jesus, for that matter.
  3. We enjoy the work that comes with the catch. Cleaning catfish is work. Skinning them takes some strength, and its really messy. But my it’s worth it! Helping new believers grow is equally messy. It’s easier to get a group of believers who look alike, talk alike, and like the same things to get together and do some spiritual navel-gazing. But there’s not a lot of growth there. I’m learning new things all the time about fishing. And, the more I fish with Michelle, the more I like fishing, not just catching.
  4. We enjoy the benefits that come with fishing. This week we watched a gorgeous bald eagle fly around while we fished. We’ve seen otters, a beaver, turkeys, deer, a great blue heron, an osprey, snakes and turtles, and this week, a fox. In a much greater way, when we share Jesus regularly we get the benefits of growing spiritually, watching our faith stretched, and experiencing God at work in our daily lives.

You don’t have to like fishing for fish, or even catching fish. But become a fisher of men, and see God at work in you.

 

Want to learn more? Check out Sharing Jesus {without freaking out}

The Joy of Sharing Jesus: An Update on My New Evangelism Book

What makes you happy? It’s not more stuff. In Paradox of Choice, author Barry Schwartz observes:

In the last forty years, the per capita income of Americans (adjusted for inflation) has more than doubled. The percentage of homes with dishwashers has increased from 9 percent to 50 percent. The percentage of homes with clothes dryers has increased from 20 percent to 70 percent. The percentage of homes with air-conditioning has increased from 15 percent to 73 percent. Does this mean we have more happy people? Not at all. Even more striking, in Japan, per capita wealth has increased by a factor of five in the last forty years, again with no measurable increase in the level of individual happiness.   

Stuff doesn’t bring happiness. We know that. What does? He continues:

People who are married, who have good friends, and who are close to their families are happier than those who are not. People who participate in religious communities are happier than those who do not. Being connected to others seems to be much more important to subjective well-being than being rich.

We were born for relationships, first with God and then with others. We were also born to share with others good news. What if we saw sharing Christ less as an awkward presentation forced into a given situation, and more as a conversation with others throughout our everyday life? What if we saw evangelism as less a “one-size-fits-all” outline, and more as the telling of our growing understanding of the wonder of salvation we have experienced and others can as well?

I’m convinced the overwhelming majority of folks in our churches really want to honor Jesus, which includes sharing the good news with others. Encouraging believers to share the unchanging gospel in the context of every day life is the need of the hour. That’s why I wrote my forthcoming book Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out: Evangelism the Way You Were Born to Do It. I’m happy to share with you the cover below. The digital copy will be available this December, and the print copy in the spring. The book is small, affordable, and very readable. It’s not filled with technical jargon, but offers practical insights on how people from introverts to experts can gain confidence in speaking of Christ to others.

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I’ve also recorded eight sessions of training to go with each of the chapters in the little book. This way, you can lead an eight-week class or small group where I teach via video for about 20 minutes, followed by discussion and application. Each chapter has practical steps you can take each week to encourage your growth in witnessing. I’ve written this for everyone from a teenager to a seasoned adult, from a novice witness to a veteran pastor.

There is no joy, no happiness, and no lasting contentment apart from knowing Jesus and serving Him. Fundamental to that is telling others the good news we have in Christ. Just this morning I read Psalm 26, where the Psalmist said he goes around “telling about Your wonderful works.” We all want to do this; In fact, we were created to do this. I’m hoping this little book will help you to do this with joy.