Archive for March, 2011
I love John 15:16 where Jesus says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (NKJV).
The word “chosen” means “a select favorite.” Someone said that if God had a refrigerator your picture would be on it. God loves us so much that He has selected us and appointed us to go and bear fruit. Dear ones, we have churches that go an entire year and never lead a soul to Christ. Can you imagine that? One year—no one saved! What is going on in a church that can open its doors for 52 weeks and never see anyone saved? The truth is that God has chosen [selected] us to go and bring forth fruit for Him. I will share some ideas that I am working on that will help up to bring forth that fruit.
This is a simple plan to merge local church small groups with personal evangelism. The primary target group is couples. Other groups such as youth, singles, men or women will also work. The units can be merged if desired (some couples and some singles). We offer a simple equation:
Small Home Groups + Relationships + Ministry = Church Growth
The plan consists of five couples, which will meet in respective homes for five months. Each couple will target five unsaved/unchurched couples to reach for Christ during this time. This monthly couples event would include a fellowship meal, followed by a 20 minute video teaching followed by about 30 minutes of discussion. The evening would conclude with a time of prayer and intercession for the lost and especially the target couples. Take Five would allow for three vital elements: supper—breaking bread together in homes; soul winning—cutting edge teaching and small group interaction on up-to-date methods of reaching the lost; and supplication—sincere prayer for others that are unchurched or unsaved
We would do this in two semesters each year (January – May and August to December) allowing us the potential to reach up to fifty new couples each year. There would eventually be four separate study units: personal evangelism, apologetics, cults and Islam and discipleship
The Gospel in Three Stories: Reaching a post-modern culture
Here we are talking about evangelism training. The message never changes but the methods sure do. It is not longer “is it true?” but “is it real?” We are preparing all new, one-day “power” seminars that are H.O.T.—High on Touch and High on Technology! Our new conferences on training the laity are moving from illustration to animation. Did you hear about the sign of the glass door of a bankrupt bookstore? It said, “Words failed us.” We have to move with the times. We are teaching “relationship” evangelism. We are showing believers the vital importance of loving God and then letting that love spill over to their friends, relatives, associates and neighbors (someone has called this frangelism!). In this new teaching series we learn about three stories: THEIR story (everyone has one!), YOUR story (your testimony) and HIS story (the GOSPEL-God Offers Sinful People Eternal Life). We are taking a new look the challenge of the cults in our nation and world. We are now told that by the second decade of this new century, Islam is expected to replace Judaism as the second largest religious group in this country. We will show new and innovative methods of dealing with the cults and stemming their growth.
Let’s Win the Lost
Every child of God has been commissioned to be a part of a concerted effort to bring the good news of the Gospel to every creature. Once this good news is heard and received, the recipient of God’s free gift of salvation must be discipled so that he, too, is involved with God’s program for every Christian – intense cultivation and abounding fruitfulness. There is no way to escape the responsibility of being a bearer of these glad tidings. In order for this message to go into all the world to every creature, the full mobilization of God’s army is required. The tragedy of the Christian Church today is that the vast majority of Bible believing Christians are too concerned with amassing treasures on earth and padding their bank accounts that they have never taken God’s commission seriously. What is this commission? He has called us to be “ambassadors.”
So many believers today are very much anchored to this world. This fact is apparent when we consider the huge importance given to accumulate worldly treasures and enjoying earthly pleasures. Recently I read the book Radical by Dr. David Platt. This excellent work helps us to refocus our desire on Christ and His commission to reach the harvest. Dr. Platt issues a challenge to all believers who want to get more involved. Perhaps one reason for our lack of involvement in God’s great program of evangelism is that we feel we lack the ability. This can either be a genuine obstacle because we do not feel as talented or able as others, or it can be a cop-out to make us think that because we find it difficult to do certain things, God is going to excuse us.
We can remedy this situation by believing a very simple promise – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Php. 4:13). This simply means that He has taken the responsibility of enabling you to do that which He has bidden. God will give you many things you cannot do in your own strength; if you could, they wouldn’t be worth much. However, God assures us that He will enable us to do all that He wants us to do – the obedience is our responsibility; the enablement is His!
We can evangelize. We must evangelize.
God has chosen you and me to be partners with Him in this journey. He has “called” us. The word calling in the Bible means “invitation.” We have been invited by the Master to work with Him in ministry. The key to fulfilling this ministry in the church is empowerment. Business gurus have found that empowerment requires three gifts: decision-making power, adequate resources, and the knowledge base from which to work. Spiritually, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be priests. True empowerment means giving the person with the ministry vision the ARK (Authority, Resources and Knowledge) of empowerment. If there isn’t enough money, we can allow the person to raise funds. If the person doesn’t know where to begin we can facilitate training. Pastor and board committees become coach and coaching staff rather than impediments to be overcome. Trust is the key element to release individuals to empowered ministry. My personal philosophy is “Don’t worry about what’s ahead. Just go as far as you can go — from there you can see farther.” Let’s get busy!