Archives For Evangelism

I know that it has been some time since I posted anything here on the blog. I have so many articles in the cue, but I’ve been without the margin to post them at this time. This morning, I watched this video by Andy Mineo about “Wild Things.” It speaks much of my heart for the people I’m seeking to love and lead from strangers to missionaries. Hope this video encourages you as much as it did me.

“let the gospel off the leash and go where the beasts at” – Andy Mineo
“What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? – Apostle Paul

“I talk about Jesus, all the Christians love me; I walk like Jesus, and now they judge me.”

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A couple weeks ago, I wrapped up the blog series “from strangers to missionaries” with a compilation post and summary. Or so I thought.

Since then more conversations have occurred, and I’d like to offer a few more posts that I believe could be helpful to those of you attempting to work this out. One stream of conversation has had to do with the online platform I use called NextDoor. I started using NextDoor to create an online hub for my immediate neighborhood with the purpose of owning my own square mile. Now more than six months in, I have experienced some highs and lows in seeking to live as a missionary to my own neighborhood. I have said this to more than one person: being a missionary to my neighborhood has to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

But it’s worth it. It’s what God has called me, called us, to do.

In our world today, pathways into people’s lives have changed. In times past, permission was given to enter through their front door (literally). People were much more accessible and approachable. Neighbors felt like neighbors. Now neighbors are more like strangers than ever before. People are more insulated and isolated through television, computers, video games, and other indoor hobbies that breed insular lives. People seem to always being in a hurry, with no time to talk and take every measure possible to prevent that from happening (tinted windows, gated entrances, security systems, and fenced in yards).

What I’ve discovered about my neighborhood, in particular, is that almost everyone is a transplant to our city and this neighborhood. The overwhelming majority have lived here less than five years. Several languages and nearly a dozen nationalities are represented in this diverse group of 1,400 people. And the few times I’ve hosted a “meet and greet”, the confession among us all is that we don’t know one another and really don’t know how to be neighbors to one another. There’s a desire, albeit often very small, but there’s a bigger problem of ignorance and incompetency in knowing how to live in community with other people. Someone has to take the lead and work to overcome the massive inertia to build relationships and forge meaningful community.

Continue Reading…

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The Pressure’s Off

Tim Brister —  September 16, 2013 — Leave a comment

Such an encouraging word from my seminary mentor and friend, Jason Meyer. “Doing little things with great love can make a big difference. It can change the world.” Lord, take our fresh brownies and fresh faith to behold Your mysterious and majestic work among us.

HT: Z

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The Series:

Other Supplementary Articles:

I hope this series has been helpful to you. I know it has been challenging and fruitful for me. I hope to continue to write more in the future on this important topic. After all that could be said, the simple fact is that Jesus is Lord. Those who confess Him as Lord are called to live under his reign and rule, bringing that kingdom come through life on mission by the power of His Spirit. It is impossible to have Jesus as Lord and not have His Great Commission in your life. May God help us take greater ownership of the call to make disciples of Jesus because His glory motivates us our hearts and His grace transforms our lives.

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The Series:

Christianity Today calls it “the craziest statistic you’ll read about North America missions.” What is it? One in five (20%) non-Christians say they do not know a single Christian. Nearly 13,500,000 people in North America do not know a single Christian, much less have a relationship with them. Even more startling, if you remove the number of non-Christians who once professed to be Christians, the percentage increases to 60%!

If we are going to reach our world for Christ, we have to embrace the Great Commission with a comprehensive vision to see strangers become missionaries. As I argued in my original article, churches can give the appearance that they are experiencing growth when in actuality they are merely adding already churched members through transfer growth, representing a very small percentage of people in most places. We can no longer tolerate the naive assumption that non-Christians will be attracted to our gatherings or that they will become religious consumers of our spiritual goods and services. They want community, not consumerism; authenticity, not activities. The greatest apologetic for those far from God is showing and telling them a better story–stories of lives changed by Jesus and compelled to love others as Christ as loved them.

Picking up from part 1 of fleshing it out, I want to add some additional practical ideas to encourage follow through.

6.  Acknowledge the Present Reality

We need an honest and realistic starting point. It hit me hard in the gut to realize that I was busy doing “the Lord’s work” while failing to know, much less lead, any “strangers” in my city to Jesus. It is easy for us to look at people and see the color of their skin, how they dress, what car they drive, etc. without acknowledging that they have souls that will never die.

  • The present reality is a spiritual reality: the massive majority of people in my world are rebels and traitors, not sons and daughters of God.
  • The present reality is a missional reality: the massive majority of people far from God do not seek God nor is there fear of God in their eyes (Rom. 3:10-18).
  • The present reality is relational reality: the massive majority of people in my world do not know a single Christian. They are strangers to God and strangers to Christians.
  • The present reality is an evangelical reality: what strangers know about God is very likely to be misguided or ill-informed and their understanding of the gospel message darkened.

Continue Reading…

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