Fresh Approach to Witness-Evangelism

A helpful 17 minute talk by Becky Pippert on evangelism in our current context.

http://conversation.lausanne.org/uploads/networks/images/2/player.swf

1. We lack MOTIVATION
a. We have focused on techniques to the detriment of actually evagelizing.
b. Theology impacts our methodology
c. THEREFORE: We must begin with God
i. He is loving
ii. He is powerful
d. This is the deepest motivation
2. Do we have a MODEL?
a. We do: The doctrine of the Incarnation
b. Reflection on the Incarnation will motivate
c. “As the Father sent the Son, so he has sent us”
i. Birth
ii. Life & Ministry
1. The Kingdom of God is relational
2. Love God and Neighbor
a. The foundation of evangelism needs to be relationship because we reflect the Trinity to our world.
b. How do I maintain my identity and walk alongside unbelievers
3. Jesus was radically identified in:
a. Love
b. Holiness
c. Authenticity, credibility, and spiritual power
4. So much of or evangelism is “hit and run” rather than getting in the mix with people
a. We are surrounded (and pursue) Christian relationships, but do not get out of our salt shaker
iii. Death
iv. Resurrection
v. Ascension
3. We do need METHODS
a. This must reflect the theology we believe
b. How do you go from a natural conversation to a spiritual one?
i. By teaching people how to ASK QUESTIONS
ii. What is the passion of the person to whom you are speaking
iii. Ask them about general interests
iv. Then you move into specifics
v. Then the belief question

An EXAMPLE
c. Pippert went to an agrarian community and asked these questions:
i. How are your crops?
ii. How are you dealing with the stress?
iii. Have you found a way of dealing with the stress that doesn’t make you worse, but better?
iv. Do you think there is a God who can help you deal with the stress?
d. We Need to STATE THE GOSPEL
i. Sin
ii. Redemption
iii. Transformation
e. We need to be relevant and speak about things that are eternal
f. We need to rediscover the irresistible Jesus?
i. The world hasn’t a clue what Jesus is like.
ii. We need to stun people with the fact that the religious hated Jesus and the outcasts loved him
iii. The chief complaint about the God-Man was that he wasn’t religious enough.
iv. Too many times people think our devotion to Christ means that he helps us with our devotions and keeps us from cussing.
v. We need to show them that Jesus never walks away from people who struggle with eating disorders, violence, brokenness. He wades into the mess.
g. We can do this through small group evangelism.
i. A Bible Study for non-Christians–seeker Bible studies

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Filed under Culture, Evangelism

Strength in Weakness

From Seth Godin’s blog, entitled “Demonstrating Strength“:

Apologize

Defer to others

Avoid shortcuts

Tell the truth

Offer kindness

Seek alliances

Volunteer to take the short straw

Choose the long-term, sacrificing the short

Demonstrate respect to all, not just the obviously strong

Share credit and be public in your gratitude

Risking the appearance of weakness takes strength. And the market knows it.

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The Pendulum’s Tether

This is not a pendulum swing back to child-centered parenting. Rather, it is a reorientation of the very tether of the pendulum.

I am untying it from man and moving the center to God. We need to do our parenting with reference to God. Remember, Mom and Dad, you lead as one under authority. You tell this child come and he comes. You tell that one goes and he goes. And yet, you are not worthy to have the Lord come under your roof. These children are gifts to you. Take your eyes off the temporal problem found in the horizontal and lift your eyes up to be reminded of your leadership and authority under the gaze of God.

There will be times that our commands need to be obeyed merely because we are telling our child to do them. I got caught up in the need to explain “why” every time I asked my daughter to do something. When your child asks “Why?” you are not obligated to give a detailed answer. Sometimes the answer “Mommy said so” is sufficient. This response, however, must always be set in the context of your love and care for your child. In other words, the child needs to hear you say: “God is good and in control of everything. He has given you Mommy and Daddy in order to protect you and provide for you. We want you to obey us because it is good for you. You may not understand now, but please know that we love you and everything will not always make sense right now–and maybe not even later.” You don’t have to say the extended version every time, but your children need to know that the shorthand form–”Mommy said so”–summarizes the longer form.

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Filed under Family | Parenting

The Art of Marriage

I am so excited about this project Family Life has been laboring toward for a couple years now. This is something that will bless the church tremendously and deepen couples’ walks with Christ in ways we can only dream of!

A wonderful snip on anger in marriage below:

http://mediasuite.multicastmedia.com/player.php?v=f33lpem8

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Filed under Books & Media, Family | Parenting

Parent-Centered Parenting: Reflections from a Park

A corrective to some parenting perspectives. Some of us have been taught that our worlds are not meant to revolve around our children. While this is true, oftentimes the pendulum is swung in the wrong direction.

It is detrimental to the growth of our children to let our worlds revolve around them–thus creating self-worshipers. It is, HOWEVER, also wrong for us to demand our children revolve around our worlds.

I was sitting on a bench in a park while I heard a distressed mother scream to her two-year-old, “Eat!” A few minutes passed by: “Sit down and eat your food!” The father steps in out of guilt and stands over his child and says, “Eat!” By the sound of it, you would think they were trying to get him to eat some poison or gruel that would kill him. They were demanding that he eat his pb & j. He didn’t want to. It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon. This child should probably be napping somewhere. Not eating lunch! The parents are right: that the child should eat his lunch. BUT they have failed to care for their child. They are not listening to the child.They are demanding with little or no reference to the child’s needs. As a relatively new parent myself (I have a four year-old), this has been a rough learning curve for me. How much do I demand? Is it wrong to demand obedience? I know that it is right for my children to obey me. But I take issue with parents who give little or no thought to the humanity of their children. Their children are often talked to like animals–as though a one word command is all that is required on their part as a parent.

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Arguing of No Consequence

Most things we argue about with our children are of little to no consequence. Typically, they are our attempt to commandeer worship from our children, rather than obedience to us as an expression of worship to God.

Is it really necessary that your child finish all her broccoli? Is it necessary that your child obey in the split second you have uttered your command? Delayed obedience is not always disobedience. It can be. That takes a few moments on your part to pay attention to your child and see why they are delaying response. This requires that you know your child better than a parenting method or book. My eldest daughter is a very intense little girl. When she wakes up before the sun rises to when she struggles with going to bed, she is constantly moving. She is running. She is jabbering. She is observing. She is playing hard. When she plays with her dollies, she does not pay attention to things around her. She doesn’t hear the television. She doesn’t smell the aroma of bacon and eggs. Her surroundings are non-existent while she is playing in her little world of dolls. For me to yell from another room, “Dinner’s ready.” I should not expect her to drop her dolls and run to the table every time. She is a human being. I should treat her with respect and love. That may mean I walk into her room (ten feet away from where I am standing), get on the ground at eye level, pick up a doll, and play. Taking her face in my hands, I then say, “Darling, supper is ready.” Let’s go set the table.

Sure this take A LOT more time. But is it not a little more respectful. Perhaps we can train our children, like in days gone by, that when the supper bell is rung you have five minutes to get to the table. This would help you in your time management as well. This is merely, home management. Every system and organization requires truncated ways of leading. But it requires consistency and explanation. It’s not yelling one minute and dolly playing the next.

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Filed under Parenting, Theology

Two Conferences of Interest

One on John Bunyan in Whitlinsville, MA:

“A John Bunyan Feast”

October 22-23. Joel Beeke and Derek Thomas are the speakers.

Friday, October 22, 2010
12:30 PM Book Table Opens
1:30 PM Registration Opens
3:00 PM First Session: Pilgrim’s Progress: from the City of Destruction to the Cross Mr. Thomas
4:15 PM Dinner Break (at local restaurants)
6:00 PM Second Session: Bunyan’s Preaching to the Heart Mr. Beeke
7:20 PM Third Session: Pilgrim’s Progress: from the Cross to Vanity Fair Mr. Thomas
Saturday, October 23, 2010
8:00 AM Registration and Book Table Opens
9:15 AM Fourth Session: Bunyan on Justification Mr. Beeke
10:15 AM Coffee break and fellowship
10:45 AM Fifth Session: Pilgrim’s Progress: from Vanity Fair to the Celestial City Mr. Thomas
11:45 AM Questions and Answers
12:15 PM Lunch Break (at local restaurants)
1:30 PM Closing Session: A Bunyanesque Sermon on the Holy War Within Mr. Beeke

The other at Princeton Theological Seminary:

“These Speak of Me: The Glory of Christ in All of Scripture”

November 5-6. David Helm and Kent Hughes will be the speakers at this second conference.

PrCRT 2010

 

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Filed under Christian Living, Current Events, History, Interpretation, Theology