Archive for the ‘church outreach’ Category

“Bringing My World To Christ” local church relational evangelism workshop

Every church tends to have a group of people that seem to naturally be better prospects for sharing the Good News. They often are thought of as the extroverts, the outgoing, or the ones that have the “gift of evangelism”, which, by the way, does not appear anywhere in the Scriptures. It seems like we believe that Acts 1:8 or 2 Cor.5 was written for just a portion of the church. What about the introvert, the shy, the feeble, the fearful, the inadequate (in their minds) are they called to share their faith and reach others for Christ? If so are we equipping them as they are, or trying to change them into something they are not? This seminar is designed to equip and motivate the 90% of your congregation that have pretty much checked out of sharing their faith. If you could energize the 90% just think how the 10% would be fired up.

Most Pastors that I know would go through the roof with excitement if they could find a way to energize and motivate most if not all of their people to be active in some role of sharing their faith. The truth is that it is challenging. We live in a world that is often more anxious to hear about Jesus than we are to talk about him.

As I look back over many years of evangelistic training I have realized there is a particular area that I wish I had spent more time teaching. I wish I had spent more time changing the way the people think before I tried to change the way they act. This seminar has been recently re-vised with that task in mind.

However it is not just the people that need to adjust their thinking. As leaders we also get caught in certain patterns of thinking that are not helpful. We often look at “our” ministry as consisting of the people that God brings into the services and programs that we so faithfully oversee. And yet that is only a portion of the congregation that we need to be concerned about. Every Pastor or Church leadership team has two congregations that they are responsible for. The first one is easily identified as they show up in the roles or records of the active ministry of the church body. They are the ones that we presently have some level of contact with.

The second congregation is the people our people know, live among, work with, recreate with, and are insiders within any group. This is our secondary congregation. They are already involved with our primary congregation outside the church, and can easily become part of our primary congregation if we can reach them. There is a group of people “out there” that should even now be on the inside rather than watching us from the outside.

Both congregations are vital parts of the ministry that we are called to. If we miss the second congregation we are in danger of neglecting our biblical responsibility. Your first reaction to having more people to think about may not be a pleasant thought for some. However the Bible is very clear that we are not the ministers at this point. Our calling as a leader is to release and train the people of congregation #1 to function in their God given role as “ministers” to congregation #2.

If we neglect this essential role of training and releasing, or mistakenly think we have to do it all and be it all, we will end up short-changing the body of Christ of their glorious calling, and will become a bottleneck who feels worn out, guilty, and trapped in an impossible role. The ensuing result is that most of the ministry will be centered on our gifts, talents, and abilities as leaders. Congregation #2 will not reached with the exception of those we can somehow persuade to come to us to check out how great we really are. Training not only releases the people, it releases the pastors, elders, and leaders!

It is time that we engage the whole church in taking the whole gospel to the sphere of influence God has given us. This seminar is designed with that in mind. We know from past experience that, if you can get your people to this training they will be impacted and you will be overjoyed to release your people to reach their ‘worlds’ with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

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Pastor Jerry Moen introduces Ken at the Teaching Church

The High Calling – Evangelism

“To evangelize/witness is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and others to bring one or more persons one step closer to Christ.”

    EvangeCoach Ministries is passionate about training Christ followers to be effective witnesses of the Gospel in his/her family, workplace neighborhood, school and friendship groups.

    We believe that, for the most part, the local church is proclaiming the gospel through the Sunday services and through programed outreach.  But the area of ‘every believer as a missionary’ is desperately lacking.  Most statistics reveal that 97% of Christians don’t actively witness.

    Why?

Because they are unprepared!   They are untrained!

    Will you allow us to help you?  Our desire is that every Christ follower in every evangelical church feel confident enough to begin the glorious and obedient mission to become “fishers of men, women, boys and girls!

    Our mission is to teach committed followers of Jesus Christ that they have a call to live ‘missionally’ and to give them the training and tools to be successful.
   ***  Endorsed by the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College and Mission America
   ***  An Approved Next Generation Associate Evangelist – The Luis Palau Evangelistic Association
                   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                        email:  kenramey1@gmail.com

Is ‘change’ a bad word in your church?

Leith Anderson, senior pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, in his book Dying For Change writes, “Change is an unavoidable part of life.  Each church member is changing while the church is changing while the society is changing.  Change is not the choice.  How we handle it is.”

For better or for worse, American people and society are changing.  Our community is changing.  Yes, we can value the past, and we must cherish our heritage; but we cannot hope that tomorrow will be yesterday.

As our society and people’s view of life changes, we as the church must adapt and change our methods also.  Our God does not change.  His truth does not change.  Humankind’s need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not change; but our methods for getting that Gospel to them may need to change.

Change for the sake of change is not good, but change for the sake of accomplishing our purpose is essential.  What is our purpose?  What is our mission?  If the purpose or mission of Jesus Christ while on earth was “to seek and to save those who are lost,” then how can the purpose of the church be any different?  The primary purpose of the church must be to constantly point all people of all ages to Jesus through the ministry of the Word and obedient service.

How is the church going to better fulfill that purpose 2012?  That’s up to YOU, the people that make up the body of believers who gather as committed families in various churches everywhere.  I feel that the first step must be change in our own hearts.  As we grow to understand who God is and His love for us more, we will love Him more.  As we obey His commands and allow the Holy Spirit to transform our lives, we will be more like Jesus in our character and actions.  As we allow ourselves to be broken before God, and grace-giving followers of Jesus, we will see others as Christ sees them.  We will then reach out in ministry to others and be the witness He has called us to be to everyone within our circle of influence as well as anywhere He leads us.

Let’s not shun or fear change.  We MUST continue to change in order to fulfill the mission Jesus has given.  May we embrace the attitude of “whatever it takes” to reach everyone within our changing culture with the only hope – the unchanging gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!

A call to become a “Missionalist!”

A call for Christians (committed followers of Jesus Christ) to become . . . “MISSIONALISTS” . . .
The Wikipedia world wide web Dictionary defines “Missional living”:  a Christian term that describes a missionary lifestyle; adopting the posture, thinking, behaviors, and practices of a missionary in order to engage others with the gospel message. The use of the term missional has gained popularity at the end of the 20th Century due to Tim Keller,[1] Ed Stetzer, Alan Hirsch, the Gospel and Our Culture Network, Allelon, as well as others to contrast the concept of a select group of “professional” missionaries with the understanding that all Christians should be involved in the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.

Maybe we should simply call it “Christian living” or “Biblical Living”, because that’s what it is!  The cause of Christ in our land is diminishing because “Christians” have lost focus on what’s most important:

John 3:16 (Amplified Bible)   For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

John 3:16 (The Message)  This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

Christianity needs missionalists – and lots of them!!!

We need an army of believers who view their mission in life through the lens of Christ’s redemptive mission.

To have a missionalist school of thinking within Christianity, we need more students, professors, bloggers, strategists, professionals, workers, leaders, and moms, dads, cousins, sisters and brothers to be trained as missionalists.

We need a new generation of Christians who will think and act as missionalists rather than Christian consumers!

The Church of Jesus Christ needs Christians who will adopt missionary thinking and behaviors to strategically engage those in their sphere of influence (workplace, neighborhood, community, school, hobby/friendship group, extended family, etc) with the gospel!

I’m calling Christians around the globe to become missionalists
(Missional Living, Biblical Living people, Biblical World View)  —
to seize the redemptive mission of Jesus as their own
and to adopt missional thinking and behaviors!

A missionalist is sent by Jesus to “be Jesus” to everyone everywhere.

“If The Church Lights Are On – The Lost Will Come! (Today – I Think Not!)”

Copied from the article by Maynard H. Belt from barnabasfile.com

Some of the older saints of our congregations will recognize these words, “If the church lights are on – the lost will come!” Actually, there was an era in which this was true. At the turn of the last century, there were many who made their way to the House of the Lord because there were not all of the other attractions of the world, and they often sought refuge in a place that could give them solace and peace. Have we not heard of the wanderer passing the church at night, seeing the lights, hearing the singing, and going inside to see what was happening?

One of the churches that I pastored was founded during the great depression. It began with a series of evangelistic meetings, from which came the first members. Their very first pastor was the evangelist who conducted those meetings thus the church continued to grow as people came to hear the gospel preached. By the end of its fourth year as a local church, membership had burgeoned to over 500 and was steadily increasing. During that year the Tabernacle that they had built, collapsed due to heavy snow on the roof, and two days later what remained of the broken structure burned. $2700 in debt in the midst of the depression, the flock decided to trust God and build again, and build they did, putting up a new Tabernacle that had a seating capacity of 3000! God honored their faith – they continued to grow and I have pictures of some 2000 people, on Sunday evenings, which were the evangelistic hour in that day, gathering to hear the gospel proclaimed. I know for sure in those days that they had a bus ministry, radio ministry and other outreaches but it was also a day when people came on their own, many by foot, just to see what was going on and went home “saved!”

Well, today unbelievers are not flocking to church just because the lights are on. For some churches, it is difficult enough just to get the believers there! As a result, we are living in a culture where the modern church is “marketing” itself in order to lure the lost. Are we attempting to “draw” them in by means of enticing techniques, or are we going to where they are through aggressive measures of loving kindness? The church must get out of the fortress, in obedience to Christ’s command in the great commission, but carefully analyzing our motives and methods as we do. If we market ourselves only to charm a lost society to “come and see” and amuse them in a way in which they are already accustomed, then we are not following the biblical pattern. John MacArthur in his book, Reckless Faith, states, “Many Christians have the misconception that to win the world to Christ we must first win the world’s favor. If we can get the world to like us, they will embrace our Savior.” An important question we must ask is, “Are our methods that we are using today pragmatic or biblical?” The church’s basic objective is evangelism, edification, worship and instruction. Evangelism is the weak link. Though I am greatly encouraged by the increased efforts regarding various aspects of evangelization that I am seeing, we still can improve in reaching out to our communities with the glorious claims of Christ and how He can fulfil their every need, beginning with that of the forgiveness of sins.

We also need to be reminded that we cannot confuse church growth with effective church evangelism. Many churches grow today by “collection” rather than “conversion.” Local church evangelism is a work of God in which he uses the members to take His word to people in whom the Holy Spirit works to bring them to the place of trusting in Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is also providing the means, whether it be financial assistance as with the supporting of missionaries, or providing instruction of members in order to be a witness for the cause of Christ. It is very clear that the early church was a training center whereby some were sent out into the culture of their day with a clear cut message of redemption (Acts 13:3; 15:30ff; 18:23). God always uses people in evangelism, and there are so many ways in which we can make ourselves more available, but we must “go,” for they will not come just because the church lights are on. As we spread the gospel, the Holy Spirit will spread salvation. As a dear pastor friend of mine once said, “They will not seek, they must be sought, they will not come they must be brought, the will not learn, they must be taught!

The dynamic of evangelism has been placed in the confidence of the church, not to be kept to itself, but delivered by sundry sources to a lost and dying world. Each local church must select the evangelistic strategies that are most suitable and effective in the context of their community. The heart of evangelism is the gospel and the gospel is a dynamic for, as Paul said in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God….” A bookbinder once put T.N.T. on the spine of His New Testament, for that is really what the gospel is – the dynamite of God. We but must proclaim it and share it. The Great Commission is a gigantic mission. The “GO” is the imperative of the mission; the “YE” is the instrument through which the mission is accomplished; the “ALL NATIONS” is the inclusiveness of the mission; and the “LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS” is the inspiration for making the mission a reality (Matt. 28:19-20).

When John Wesley wrote, “A charge to keep I have, a God to glorify; a never dying soul to save, and fit it for the sky,” his burden was for the church to evangelize. Evangelism will test the purpose, the programs, the power and the performance of the church. It is very important to keep the church lights on, but it is also vital to carry the Light to the lost.

Give us a watchword for the hour, a thrilling word, a word of power,

A battle cry, a flaming breath, a call to conquest or to death,

A word to rouse the church from rest, to heed the Master’s high behest!

The Word is given, you host arise! The watchword is….evangelize!

What is an Evangelizing Church?

Statistics show that evangelism in the American church has been dying a slow death.

Church growth, so many times, has been attributed to believers leaving one church in his/her area to join another new or ‘exciting’ church instead of the church growing by what’s most important … conversions.

We have been called to turn this tide.

The mission and vision of God on my life and the passion of my heart is to help pastors and churches succeed and excel in the ministry of evangelism – not just as a program, but as a whole-church lifestyle.

While there is a lot of discussion about how to define an Evangelizing Church, we at the Billy Graham Center are purposely setting our standards high according to the present benchmarks. We do so not because our approach is any better, but in looking at the present reality, the Church needs to make some drastic course corrections if we are going to see this generation brought to Christ.

With that in mind, the Evangelizing Church Project (ECP) will move your church towards certain benchmarks that are viable and practical.  Look at the ‘to the pastor’ page to see these benchmarks.

Ken Ramey – EvangeCoach
evangecoach@gmail.com