Missional

preach470How is it today that the preaching the Gospel has come to be reserved to pastors behind the pulpit and inside the walls of a church building! When it was never meant to be confined to a building, Jesus taught His followers something quite different, to proclaim it everywhere they go, even from the rooftop.

What if pastors like Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Pete Wilson, Perry Noble, Miles McPherson and Francis Chan, took their gift of teaching and passion for preaching out into the world, to those who really need to hear the message of the Kingdom of God? What if all pastors like these awesome teachers uses their gift the way the disciples and Paul did among the lost just as did some of the greatest preachers of old like Charles Spurgeon, Dwight Moody, John Wesley and so many others. These great preachers went where the people where and didn’t stay within the four walls of the church building!

The only preacher that I know about personally today who even comes close is Greg Laurie who regularly does his Harvest Crusades. Reaching 10’s of thousands with the gospel. He has use his gift outside the walls of the church building, but I am not thinking of just something that grand in a stadium, but something done daily in every day places as well.

So this is my challenge to pastors and all like the greatly gifted pastors above who can deliver the gospel so effectively. What if we went back to the likes pastor of the past like above. These men of the pulpit that spent their week days and nights in the bars, social halls, dining halls, school campuses and street corners preaching the gospel. And then where in the pulpit of a church on Sunday filled with the repented sinners they reach preaching outside the church that week. They spent their days about what they knew to be the real business of church, reaching the lost, perching to the lost where ever they where. Like Jesus, the disciples and Paul they went into he world, where the lost are.

I challenge you all to spend your week, every week out and about proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Not where all the Christians are, not even with the un-churched Christians are but rather where the un-believers are, the unsaved sinners, the God haters, the drunks, the harlots, the gang members, everywhere anywhere the lost are, anywhere they gather.

Let history read your life story like the great pastors of old, how you empted the streets, the bars into the church buildings.

blessittArthur Blessitt is evangelist who back in the 70’s became famous world wide when in 1969 he carried a 12 foot wood cross for Jesus around the world. He walking across all seven continents including Antarctica, through 315 countries. He was second only to Bill Graham as the most well know evangelist in the world then. Thousands upon thousands of people came to Christ from his direct witnessing to them on his journeys and his everyday life back in Hollywood where he lived.

I read in one of his books years ago that when he was speaking at a bible college a student asked him what was the secret for so many salvations, leading so many people to Christ? He answered quite simply “I share Jesus Christ, the Gospel with every single living soul I encounter everyday, bar none.” He had determined very early in his life he wanted to live for Jesus, as Jesus did, and fulfill the great commission as Jesus commanded His followers to do. That resulted in a life that saw tens of thousands come to Christ.

But sadly I have to say in the last 10 years I could count on my hand the number of people I have known or even met who have lead someone to the Lord. And when ever I have brought up the subject of sharing Christ with others it brings strong opposition to doing such a thing. What I here is “I believe in friendship evangelism” Not that sharing Jesus or the Gospel with them type of evangelism, not that old school stuff.

But I would have to say that plan is not working! Has not worked over the last 10-15 years. Going back years before that when I was at Calvary and sharing Jesus and the gospel was a deliberate act, a way of life for Christians. When Christians lived like Arthur actively sharing Christ with others, straight out proclaiming the Gospel, talking about Jesus. Everyone I knew or met at church could testify of people coming to Christ on a weekly bases.

I think we need to once again become like Arthur Blessitt, or more precise, get back to living like Jesus and fulfilling the great commission, start sharing Jesus and the gospel outright as a way of life with every person we encounter every day, without exception.

We need to step out and take hold of the great commission and share the gospel. To begin each day asking the lord for both boldness and souls. Take Arthur’s advice and share Jesus with everyone we meet.

Pray the prayer of John Knox, “Give me Scotland or I die” only fill in our neighborhood, city, or “souls” period. I know that is where I want to be, to start living like Arhur, like Jesus said to, live to fulfill the great commission, to share Jesus, the gospel with everyone I encounter daily, in both deeds and words.

A simple test, ask yourself how many people have you shared Jesus, the gospel with in the last month, year? How many people have you lead to Christ in the last year, five, ten years? If the answer in none, obviously what you are doing is not working, bearing fruit.

And before you make excuses for not doing so, remember, Arthur’s life proved that if you share the gospel with everyone, every person you meet, leading people to Christ can be a daily event. If you go back before the days of “friendship evangelism” started, to the 70’s and 80’s they proved that when Christians live openly sharing Jesus, leading people to Christ can be a weekly event. I think the answer is we are to do both, befriend unbelievers with the intent of sharing Christ, but also openly proclaim the Gospel to everyone we meet daily. Something to think about.

Converts to What? – EdStetzer.com. Writes Stetzer:

I continue to see movements gaining traction among Christians that do not seem to have many converts. In other words, they have recruits to their cause, but few converts to Christ. And, I am concerned. I am concerned that in the name of “fixing the Church” we are not proclaiming the Church’s gospel.

… So, my Reformed friends, let’s not only read 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John (that is, John Calvin, John MacArthur, and John Piper), let’s go plant some more churches. My emerging church friends, let’s take a pause from the theological rethink and head into the neighborhood and to tell someone about Jesus. My missional friends, let’s speak of justice, but always tell others how God can be both “just and justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” My house church friends, let’s have community, but let’s be sure it is one focused on redemption. My Baptist friends, let’s focus more on convincing pagans than Presbyterians. And, my charismatic friends, let’s focus less on getting existing believers to speak in tongues and more on using our tongue to tell others about Jesus …

If you want to convince me (and the body of Christ) to your cause, you must show me it is a better way. You must tell and show something different. You must not just protest what is, but you must show me what should be.

Some simple but effective Ways to Share the Gospel on the Internet.

1. Answer a Question at Yahoo! Answers
2. Blog your testimony in plan English
3. Podcast your your testimony
4. Post your video testimony on YouTube
5. Blog what you learned in church
6. Blog what you learned in your daily bible study
7. Blog about your daily walk with God, what He is doing
8. Even when blogging about secular things interject a God/Biblical world view and solutions on the issue or how biblical prophecy fits in.
9. Edit for Wikipedia .org
10. Link you Bog and personal site to good Christian websites
11. Link other pastors Podcast’s and Blogs to yours
12. Post your testimony on other blogs and sites
13. Post on other blogs regularly in a Evangelical way
14. Share your beliefs in a Facebook Note
15. Put personal Christian book reviews on your blog & Facebook
16. Put a link to live service feeds for your or another churches
17. Put a link on your blog/webpage/myspace/facebook to where you can download a free MP3 of the Bible
18. Put a link on your blog/webpage/myspace/facebook to the online version of the bible
19. Comment on news stories and interject a God/Biblical world view and solutions on the issue or how biblical prophecy fits in.

You can be as settle or as bold as you want in sharing.

Helpful tips on blogging for outreach to the blogging world

Top 10 Social Networking Sites (World)

1. Facebook (http://www.facebook.com)
2. Myspace (http://www.myspace.com)
3. Hi5 (http://www.hi5.com)
4. Flickr (http://www.flickr.com)
5. Friendster (http://www.friendster.com)
6. Skyrock (http://www.skyrock.com)
7. Tagged (http://www.tagged.com)
8. LiveJournal (http://www.livejournal.com)
9. Orkut (http://www.orkut.com)
10. Fotolog (http://fotolog.net)

Books I would reckomend to everyone to read.

Total Church

 

Total Church – This small manual for doing church was surprisingly insightful and winsome to me. They cover a wide range of topics that are all essential for healthy church life. I love the focus on Gospel and community. This is must read for all church leaders.

the-mission-of-god

 

The Mission of God – What is God’s agenda in the world? You’ll find it clearly and exhaustively articulated in this tome from Dr. Chris Wright. I would say this book should also be required reading for all Christians. A bit longer than most want to tackle, but the blessing will be enormous. Those of us who are passionate about the gospel will want to consume this book as it convincingly articulates God’s heartbeat from cover to cover of the Bible.

deathbylove1

Death By Love – I have not actually read this book yet (on the list for 2009), but I have read enough excerpts to know that this book is certainly one that you will want to pick up and check out. Mark shows how the gospel applies to a variety of different and challenging pastoral situations.

rejesus-cover-v1-199x299Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost have written a new book, Rejesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church, in which they call the church to “reconfigure itself,” and “recalibrate its mission, around the example and teaching of the radical rabbi from Nazareth.”

Here is an interview with Alan Hirsch on this new book, it is an interesting read, check it out.

Church Leadership Book Interview: Alan Hirsch

I am Looking in 2009 for a Unstoppable church to be part of, the church seen in the book of Acts. I am looking for a church filled with passionate people, a people who are passionate about God. Passionately in love with Jesus, who’s love can not be contained.

A people, a church that says and lives like you can reticule me, imprison me, stone me, torture me, kill me, nail me to a cross, do what ever you want, I will hot stop. Even in the mist of doing these things to me I will praise and worship the Lord, I will still proclaim His word to you, announcing the Kingdom of God, we will not be stopped. Because we found a love greater than life its self and we will not be stopped, for us to live is to live for Christ alone.

I want to be part of a people who are striving side by side to proclaim the gospel. Nothing can cause them to shut up, keep them from talking about Jesus, they do not care if they get beat up, thrown in prison, fired, or killed. Like Paul they are unstoppable, like the first church they are a unstoppable force. A people who are striving together for the gospel, for the kingdom of God, for Jesus. A people that says I would rather be tortured and put to death for the cause of Christ, spreading the gospel than retire at an old age with a fat 401K.

A people who says I must be like, live like Jesus. I must be in a church like the one in the book of Acts, have church like they did, live like they did, turn the world upside down like they did.

A people who believe Jesus when He said unless you are willing to pick up a cross and be crucified together, if you can do that then you can follow me. If you are not willing to do that you are not worthy to be my disciples.( Mat 10:38, Mat 16:24, Luke 14:27 )

I burn to be part of a unstoppable church like the first century church, the underground china church today. I want to be part of something like that, a people like that.

A church that knows what Paul said is true that it has been granted, given to us that we are to suffer just as Jesus did, live with the same conflict Paul did. (Php 1:29-30)

Frances Chan has the same passion for this kind of church, life, he explains it very well, listen to his message, download it here .

I so desire to find such a church this year, be part of a people like that.

Alan Hirsch considers himself a “missional activist”. This article from LeadershipJournal.net is a helpful read aimed at bringing definition to what being missional really means. I think it’s a good reminder that churches that use an “attractional” weekend service are becoming less and less effective as the pace of cultural change increases. Do you have any examples of churches that prove or disprove the theory? Follow the link for the full article.

The attractional model, which has dominated the church in the West, seeks to reach out to the culture and draw people into the church—what I call outreach and in-grab. But this model only works where no significant cultural shift is required when moving from outside to inside the church. And as Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, the attractional model has lost its effectiveness. The West looks more like a cross-cultural missionary context in which attractional church models are self-defeating. The process of extracting people from the culture and assimilating them into the church diminishes their ability to speak to those outside. People cease to be missional and instead leave that work to the clergy.

Defining Missional | LeadershipJournal.net.

From: J Colber

My end of the month summery:

1. The last month God has been speaking to me about the importance of being an overcomer“.

Several times this month He has brought up the scriptures on it several times from many sources, through my daily study of the word as well as message I heard though out the month. He has been hammering “being an overcomer” I do not know the why, only the take note and learn what He means by being an overcomer and that it is key, important for me.

2. God has also been speaking to me all month about being a man who walks with God

“Enoch walked with God. Noah walked with God” This was the main theme of the month, learning what it means to be a man who walks with God as did Enoch and Noah. This has been at the core of my prayer the last month. To become a man who walks with God, what ever that means, what God wants it to be for me.

Bottom line, Be a man who walks with God as His friend in the same faith that Abraham had.

3. God reformatted my prayer life, gave me a new format to use as to how and what to pray. And it has revolutionized my prayer life the last two weeks. Thus effecting both my walk with God and my attitude in life.  It started by listening to Pastor Perry Noble podcast and a teaching on prayer, it was very challenge, caused me to change my prayer life that week. The Revelation from the Spirit about my prayer life and the need for change was continued, emphazised when I was introduce to Pastor Niles McPherson and started listening to his podcast and listened to his teaching on prayer also. Through those two teachings the Lord caused me to change my prayer life complete, it is on a whole new path now, and that has had a dramatic effect on my attitude and spiritual life, put me on a new course.

4. That I’m still trying to find my place in this world. And I thinking Shouldn’t I know by now what I want to be when I grow up? But it’s bigger than simply what I want to do in the future, It’s also about the right now, today, tomorrow, next week as well as ten years from now. I want to be relevant to God, to impact the world everywhere I intersect with it and maybe even transform it. But I have no clue, not even an inclination of what my place is in life, the world, the church, what my career is to be, or even reason for being here on this planet.

On a lighter note, I started Twittering two weeks ago, and it has been fun and has changed my world in some ways. No really! (I am still trying to get the hang of it) I am linked up with some awsome people and have enjoyed getting into their life and mind, and sharing some of mine with them.

I recently read about a book called Purple Cow by Seth Godin. The book revolves around this metaphor: if you’ve seen one brown cow you’ve seen them all. But a purple cow, now that would catch your attention. One statement in the book has profound implications: “If you aren’t remarkable you’re invisible.”

While this truth could be applied to a persons life in so many ways, it also applies to churches in every way. Every church needs to paint itself purple. I’m not talking about gimmicks or being weird or braking from the truths of God and what church is suppose to be, like the ones that are leaving out the gospel and Jesus like the emergent movement has done. I’m not talking about braking from the biblical church the one we see in scripture.

Brown churches sit on the sideline and invite the community to come to them. Do every thing they can to look like, sound like, be like the world around them. Purple churches are always going, compelling, and are an agent of transformation in the world. They seek to not look anything like the world, but to look like Jesus and the Kingdom of God. To stand out as something different, be an alternative to the world and its ways. And they are making such a big difference that they become a highly visible part of their community, everyone takes notice in a good way.  People drive by the brown churches, the churches that are invisible on their way to go to the purple church the ones that stand out from the world and its ways.

Purple churches are not a mirror of the world, but rather a window into the Kingdom of God. A refection of Jesus high and lifted up in a community of Christ like followers who live in community that is a glimpse of the Kingdom of God. When a church looks like Jesus, it stands out from the rest of the churches and the world because it is a purple cow in a brown herd.

A brown church look like the world, it’s a church that looks just like the society that surrounds it, it blends in with the same music, teachings, way of life, so no one notices the brown cow in a heard of brown cows.

After all isn’t the purpose of camouflaging something to make it fit in, go unnoticed, so that it will not stand out as different from the world around it. Well pastors have done a good job, they have made the church look, sound and function just like the world, made them brown cows, and well it worked no one notices them, sees church as different from the world.

So how do we paint ourselves purple? For starters, dare to be different from the world and look like Jesus and the Kingdom of God, make the good news, the Gospel the news.

Purple churches are where people can go to see God, get a glimpse of the Kingdom of God, see the transforming effect of the gospel in the lives of real people, changed lives. See that God is alive and His power at work in the lives of people, see it demonstrated in the lives of God’s people. See a people of faith living in oneness with God. See Gods love in action, in the love God’s people have for Him, and each other. It’s a church of a different color, it stand out from the rest of the churches today, and from the world around it.

What color is your church.