Tag: Evangelism (home)

You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.

permalink source: John Viscount Morley
tags: Apologetics, Evangelism

If he exalts himself, I humble him. If he humbles himself, I exalt him. And I go on contradicting him Until he understands That he is a monster that passes all understanding.

permalink source: Pascal
tags: Evangelism

One thief on the cross was saved, that none should despair; and only one, that one should presume.

permalink source: J.C. Ryle
tags: Evangelism, Theology

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.

permalink source: Elizabeth Taylor
tags: Wisdom, Evangelism, Self-righteousness

Going to church does not make a person religious, nor does going to school make a person educated, any more than going to a garage makes a person a car.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Apologetics, Evangelism

Never was Rome in more danger from the church than when Christians refused military service. When the Empire was threatened on three borders at once, the pacifism of the church threatened the Roman way of life. Roman officials saw clearly that a vast organization with many conscientious objectors, and opposed to Roman ideals, could not be tolerated in a time of war. Thus, Christians were purged from the army in the early fourth century. In 320, near the end of the Great Persecution, the emperor Licinius ordered all Christians to renounce their faith on pain of death. Forty soldiers of the Twelfth Legion, stationed at Sebaste in Armenia, refused. On March 9 they were stripped naked, forced out onto a frozen lake, and left to die from exposure. Fires were built on the bank, and warm baths were prepared for anyone who would recant. Only one gave in. Yet when he did, another soldier, moved by the example of the suffering Christians, declared himself a Christian and took the apostate's place. Within 24 hours, most of the 40 were dead and the survivors were put to death. All were made famous by Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa Source: Persecution in the Early Church: Christian History, Issue 27.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Courage, Evangelism

The pastoral team at Trinity Church in Columbus, Ohio, "retreated" to Indianapolis for the NCAA "March Madness" basketball playoffs. The ubiquitous guy with orange hair and a homemade "John 3:16" sign was under the basket at the other end of the court. Seated directly behind the pastoral team were two well-dressed couples debating what the "John 3:16" sign meant. Reduced to guessing, one thought it must be an ad for a new restaurant in town. The others dissed that idea since "who would send someone out with orange hair and a hand-drawn sign to advertise anything?" Another thought the "John 3:16" sign might be a signal to someone to meet at the John on the third floor, stall 16.

permalink source: Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami 45
tags: Communication, Evangelism

In the few weeks between the day kids leave high-school and the day they respond to their college's entering freshman survey, one out of eight of them bolt from the church.

permalink source: Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami 47
tags: Evangelism, Today's Students, College

As the devil showed great skill in tempting men to perdition., equal skill ought to be shown in saving them. The devil studied the nature of each man, seized upon the traits of his soul, adjusted himself to them and insinuated himself gradually into his victims's confidence -- suggesting splendors to the ambitious, gain to the covetous, delight to the sensuous, and a false appearance of piety to the pious -- and a winner of souls ought to act in the same cautious and skillful way.

permalink source: Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
tags: Evangelism

The Church seems to have lost heart somewhat, has allowed the old assurance and enthusiasm to cool below the temperature at which big things get done, is always whimpering and complaining about something, has developed a foolish trick of gathering into corners in discouraged groups and bleating disconsolately that God seems to be strangely little in our day, the very mood that so maddened the Hebrew prophets that they itched to lay violent hands upon their countrymen, and literally shake it out of them. We Church people have become so prone to loud and abusive self-depreciation that the thing amounts to a disease... and though these doleful spirits are not altogether serious, the world is listening, and takes us, not unnaturally, at our own dismal and unflattering valuation.

permalink source: A. J. Gossip, The Galilean Accent
tags: Church, Evangelism

In the 1960s at a theological bookstore in Durham, England Christopher overheard two students in the next aisle talking. They had just finished finals and were in a celebratory mood. One said to the other, "I think I'll go buy some Jesus stickers and plaster them all over the town!" There was a long pause, and then the second said, "Do you think Jesus would do that?" There was an even longer pause, "No, I guess Jesus wouldn't do that. But I bet Paul would!"

permalink source: Christopher Gornold-Smith at TWS
tags: Evangelism, Jesus

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.

permalink source: John Piper, LET THE NATIONS BE GLAD: THE SUPREMACY OF GOD IN MISSIONS, Baker Book House, 1993.
tags: Evangelism, Worship, Call To Worship

Well I am going to tell a story today. It is a story told by a man named Tony Campolo. Tony is a Christian, a sociologist, a college professor and a gifted speaker, so he gets asked to go and give presentations all over the place. One time he was called from his east coast home to go to Honolulu. Now if you have ever flown from the East coast to Honolulu you know what happens to your time clock. He was in the hotel the first night and he woke up, wide awake, a little bit before 3 in the morning. His body said "It is 9 o'clock, time for breakfast," so he got dressed and went downstairs. Nothing was open so he went outside from the hotel and wandered around a bit until he found a place, a diner, a real greasy spoon - one of those places where you are afraid to open the menu because you're not sure what might crawl out? And there he was in that place, no one else was there. He ordered a cup of coffee, and then, in a weak moment, he also ordered a donut. And then this rather obese, unkempt, unshaven man - named Harry - that was working behind the counter came out, wiped his hands on his dirty apron, reached into the jar and gave Tony a donut. Tony wished Harry had given it to him in a different way, and yet there he was. So he was sitting back, musing to himself and drinking his coffee and eating his donut when the door suddenly burst open and 8 or 9 rather boisterous prostitutes came in. Now Tony was even more uncomfortable. They sat down at the counter next to him, because there wasn't any other place, and he drank his coffee, tried to look inconspicuous, and listened to the conversation. And one of the women said, "Tomorrow is my birthday, I'll be 39." And her friend said, "So what do you want from me? I suppose you want a party or something, maybe you want me to bake you a cake?" And this woman, whom he later found was named Agnes, said, "Why are you so mean? I don't want anything from you. Why would I want anything from you? I've never had a birthday party, and no one has ever baked me a cake, and why would I want anything from you? Be quiet." Right then Tony got an inspiration. Soon the ladies left and he said to Harry, behind the counter, "Say do they come in here every night?" and he said, "Yes they do." And he said, "This one next to me?" and Harry said, "You mean Agnes? and Tony said, "Yes, that's the one, does she come in every night?" And Harry said, "Same time just like clock work every night she is here." So Tony said, "What about if we throw a party for her, a birthday party? Tomorrow's her birthday." Harry began to smile a little bit and called to his wife who was back in the kitchen cooking, and said, "Hey, this crazy guy out here wants to have a birthday party for Agnes." And they said what a wonderful idea! So the plans were made and everything was set for the party. The next night Tony came back to the same place, same time, and the place was decorated with crepe paper, and the sign on the wall said, "Happy Birthday Agnes." It was cleaned up and it looked like a different place. They sat down and waited and pretty soon people began to trickle in. The word had gotten out on the street, prostitutes from all over Honolulu were filling up the place. The place was full and at about the appointed time Agnes and her friends came bursting through the door and they said "Happy Birthday, Agnes." Her knees buckled a bit, her friends caught her and she was stunned, speechless, touched. They led her over to the counter and she sat down. They said to her again "Happy Birthday," and Harry brought the cake out and her mouth fell open and her eyes began to fill with tears. They put the cake down in front of her, they sang happy birthday to her and Harry said, "Blow the candles out so we can have some." Agnes just stared at that cake. Finally they convinced her to blow the candles out and Harry handed her a knife and told her to cut the cake. She looked at it and said, "Do I have to? let me wait a minute." And Agnes looked at that cake, so lovingly, like it was the most precious thing she had ever seen, a sacrament of love for her, and she said, "Do I have to cut it?" And Harry said, "Well, no, I suppose you don't have to cut it." And then she said something even more strange. She said, "I would like to keep it for awhile - I don't live far from here. Can I take it home? I'll be right back." They looked at her with a puzzled look on their faces and said, "Sure, you can take it." She picked the cake up and Tony said she carried it like she was carrying the Holy Grail in a sacred Cathedral and she walked out the door. There was silence, stunned silence, and Tony said he did something on the spur of the moment that he wondered about. He stood up and said, "What do you say that we pray?" Now what an improbable picture this is. A Christian sociologist surrounded by every prostitute in Honolulu in a greasy spoon diner and he says, let us pray. But he did. A simple prayer. He prayed for Agnes that somehow she would meet Jesus, that somehow she would find salvation and that God would be good to her, especially on her birthday. He said Amen and the party resumed. Harry said to him, "Hey, I didn't know you were a preacher." And Tony answered, "I'm not a preacher, I'm a sociologist." And Harry said, "Well what kind of a church do you come from anyway?" Tony, inspired by God's spirit, said, "I guess I come from a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3 o'clock in the morning." And Harry said, "No you don't, there's no such church like that, cause if there was," he said, "I would join it." _________________________________________________ -From the 'Episcopal Voice', Nov 1994, Western Washington. Original story from a book by Tony Campolo.

permalink source: Tony Campolo
tags: Evangelism, Compassion

The pastor was astonished. He had just arrived at a Coptic monastery in the a day's journey from Cairo. The monks were treating him as though he were the most important guest they had received since the monastery was founded in the 12th century. They served him a fine meal, showed him to a comfortable room, brought him freshly cut flowers, and then introduced him to the abbot. "Wow! You really know how to treat a visitor here." Father Jeremiah replied, "We always treat guests as though they were angels--just to be safe."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Evangelism, Assimilation

When Ole quit farming, he discovered that he was the only Lutheran in his new little town of all Catholics. That was okay, but the neighbors had a problem with his barbecuing beef every Friday. Since they couldn't eat meat on Friday, the tempting aroma was getting the best of them. Hoping they could do something to stop this, the neighbors got together and went over to talk to Ole. "Ole," they said, "since you are the only Lutheran in this whole town and there's not a Lutheran church for many miles, we think you should join our church and become a Catholic." Ole thought about it for a minute and decided they were probably right. Ole talked to the priest, and they arranged it. The big day came and the priest had Ole kneel. He put his hand on Ole's head and said, "Ole, you were born a Lutheran, you were raised a Lutheran, and now," he said as he sprinkled some incense over Ole's head, "now you are a Catholic!" Ole was happy and the neighbors were happy. But the following Friday evening at suppertime, there was again the aroma of grilled beef coming from Ole's yard. The neighbors went to talk to him about this and as they approached the fence, they heard Ole saying to the steak: "You were born a beef, you were raised a beef," and as he sprinkled salt over the meat he said, "and NOW you are a FISH!"

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Evangelism, Morality

"Why Only Start Congregations That Will Have At Least 200 in Attendance? George, you must be crazy to suggest this. If you look at the North American Protestant scene, at least three-fourths or more of all congregations have less than 200 in attendance. What makes you think that we should only start new congregations that will have at least 200 in attendance? Well, as is typical of a George Bullard list, here are seven reasons why we should only start congregations that will have at least 200 in attendance. First, congregations need to be started with a vision that does not have a low ceiling. When congregations are started with the image of a close-knit extended family then they stifle creativity and the Spirit. They bind themselves in terms of size, and do not allow God's Spirit to help them soar to unbounded heights. They act like Depression Era congregations. Second, for most congregations to have a significant, positive, spiritual impact on their setting the need to be a significant presence with loving power and influence. To do this they need a size that gives them visibility and perceived impact on the neighborhood, community, or region. Third, increasingly people are looking for places where exciting things are happening. They also want places that have regular experiences that inspire, challenge, and inform. It takes a congregation of at least 200 in attendance to regularly have celebrations and authentic gatherings with a critical mass of people present to make it attractive to others. Fourth, the best way to start new congregations involves a sponsorship or mentoring model. Unfortunately, the number of congregations that are fully prepared for this role is few in regard to the number of new congregations needed. Therefore, when a new congregation is started, let's make it one of significant size among a significant target group of people to make its starting a good stewardship of resources. Fifth, increasingly new congregations will require multiple staff persons almost from the first day of operation. With two-income families, careful empowering of precious lay leadership time is required from the beginning. A system of lay mobilization must be in the DNA of new congregations, and this takes staff leadership. To make this economically viable requires a congregation of approximately 200 in attendance. Sixth, persons seeking a relationship with a congregation have higher expectations of the relationship experiences and the programs, ministries, and activities that congregations will offer. It takes an attendance of around 200 to begin to offer the types of services for which people are looking. Seventh, it does come down to economics at some point. The cost of starting new congregations is extremely high. When that high cost results in a worshipping community of 80-85 in average attendance or less, the full impact of the time, finance, and people investment is not realized. Seven Types of Congregations to Start That May Never Have 200 in Attendance There is a counterpoint to the idea that we should only start congregations that will have at least 200 in attendance. The counterpoint focuses on highly specialized types of congregations. Here is a list of seven. If you can think of others, please let me know at { HYPERLINK "mailto:BullardJournal@cs.com" }BullardJournal@cs.com. House Church or Cell Group congregation: These congregations tend to literally meet in houses or other small gathering places. Small Town, Community, or Defined Neighborhood: At times the chosen population demographics may not support a congregation that has at least 200 in worship. Resort and Leisure community: Many resort and leisure areas are seasonal and may swell to 200 in attendance during the high season. Multifamily Housing Community: Getting residents of a multifamily housing area to leave that are to attend church can be difficult. Deaf or Hearing Impaired congregation: Often the concentration of deaf or hearing-impaired people may not result in a large congregation. Senior Adult community or institution: Senior adult congregations are needed highly specialized congregations. Non-English Language or Immigrant congregation: Often the concentration of various language and ethnic groups is not sufficient to have a large congregation."

permalink source: George Bullard in Church Champions Update Dec 15, 2000
tags: Church, Evangelism

************************* SHORT BIO ON DYAN CANON ************************* Birth name Samile Diane Friesen Date of birth (location) 4 January 1937, Tacoma, Washington, USA Attended the University of Washington, Seattle, but didn't graduate. Spouse Stanley Fimberg (1985 - 1991) divorced. Cary Grant (1965 - 1968) divorced, 1 daughter. Perhaps best known for her trademark curly blond tresses. Cannon starred in the pop-culture classic “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” in 1969 and her received her third Oscar nomination for 1978’s “Heaven Can Wait,” opposite Warren Beatty. Cannon’s most recent film credits include “Drop-Dead,” “Out to Sea” (1997, starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon), and the comedic mystery “8 Heads in a Duffel Bag” (1997), where Cannon starred opposite Joe Pesci as a recovering alcoholic. Her additional film credits include “Revenge of the Pink Panther,” “Deathtrap,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” and 'That Darn Cat' (1997) 'Drop-Dead' (1998) and the upcoming television movie, “My Mother, the Spy.” Currently, Dyan Cannon stars as the vivacious and free-spirited Honey Bernstein-Flynn on NBC’s mid-season comedy series “Three Sisters.” Honey is a yoga and meditation enthusiast, as well as a die-hard Laker fan, whose open relationship with her three grown daughters -- played by Katherine LaNasa, Vicki Lewis, and A.J. Langer -- is unconventional and often outrageous. For a more detail biography: http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/dyan_cannon.htm ************************* DYAN CANNON'S INCREDIBLE INTERVIEW WITH LARRY KING Monday, April 23, 2001 on CNN ************************* LARRY KING WAS BLOWN AWAY Larry King opened his interview with Dyan Cannon by saying, "Last Saturday night, my producer, her husband, the wife and I went out to Studio City here at CBS Lot in California to see an amazing thing: Dyan Cannon perform a kind of service... A lot of people watching this. In fact, standing room only, people outside ... what is with the God thing? What happened to you? You're a Jewish person." After much laughter Dyan Cannon responded, "You know, you come to point in your life and you say, I want to be happy and I'm not happy, and I really want to know what real love is. That's how it started with me, my search for love." HOW GOD'S PARTY BEGAN Cannon does not call what she does a church service, but rather, "an outreach... called GPDC, God's Party With Dyan Cannon." It started in her house which it quickly outgrew. So she called the president of CBS, Michael Klausman, and made arrangements to lease the CBS lot to hold the party there two times a month on Saturday night. The party consists of singing with a band and a time of healing. It's been going on for 3 years. Large numbers of people come. It's standing room only. Many can not get in DYAN EXPLAINS HOW PEOPLE ARE HEALED One of the unique features of God's Party is when people are prayed and healed. Dyan Cannon claims that God has healed many through her. Larry King was most fascinated by this. DYAN EXPLAINS THE NEW BIRTH. "All you have to do is say yes. Yes, Christ, I will receive this love that you have taught me about. I'll receive it in my heart say yes just as I am right now, I don't have to lose weight or gain weight, get a job or lose a job, or do anything. I can, just right this minute, say "come in to my heart." I have been so hungry for love, I have been so thirsty I have been so needy, I have been at point of death ... just come into my heart." HOW MARIJUANA ADDICTION BROUGHT DYAN TO JESUS "I was addicted to marijuana. I would have to have a puff off a joint before every take. I'd run out to the bathroom and come back... Well, I just said I need help and I have to do this and I knew I had to do it. I'll tell you what happened. I was going to go make a film in Greece and in Greece, if they caught you with this much marijuana, they threw you in jail, no questions asked, and I was trying to stuff it in my deodorant bottles, you know, in the bottom of my deodorant because I thought they'll never look in there. And I thought, what I am doing? Is this thing bigger than me? Yes, well, I need help with it." And so she turned to God and opened her heart. BEAUTIFUL MUSIC Dyan Cannon has made a bold step. She has come forth in a public way to proclaim her faith in Jesus Christ as a Jewish Christian. Her God Parties are an explosion of that faith with balloons, streamers and beautiful music. Her bottom line is to help others know the love of God. I thought this was a tremendous thing for Dyan Cannon to do. There are lots of people of faith in Hollywood, but few share in a public way as Dyan Cannon did. As you watch the video clips (http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/dyan_cannon.htm) notice how Dyan seems to use laughter to mask her nervousness, and yet at the same time project a strong sense of confidence. I also thought she did an excellent job in not using religious language, and how she included a kindness toward people of other faiths. Here is a woman on a mission. Her life will never be the same again. FOR SOME AMAZING REAL VIDEO CLIPS OF THIS INTERVIEW: http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/dyan_cannon.htm Several videos located in middle of page to bottom Also you will find info on how to get the full transcript and a complete video tape of the Larry King show. Also check out all her films on video.

permalink source: Hollywood Jesus
tags: Evangelism, Culture

This is a story about a little girl who, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, the Preacher's sermon this morning confused me." The mother said, "Oh! Why is that?" The girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?" "Yes, that's true," the mother replied. "He also said that God lives within us. Is that true, too?" Again the mother replied, "Yes." "Well," said the girl. "If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn't He show through?"

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Discipleship, Evangelism

A U.S. Army officer told of the contrast in his pupils during two different eras of teaching at the artillery training school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma (Home of the Field Artillery). In 1958-60 the attitude was so lax that the instructors had a problem getting the men to stay awake to hear the lectures. During the 1965-67 classes, however, the men, hearing the same basic lectures, were alert and took copious notes. What made the difference in the class of 65? They knew that in less than six weeks they would be facing the enemy in Vietnam.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Evangelism, Preparation

Salt, when dissolved in water, may disappear, but it does not cease to exist. We can be sure of its presence by tasting the water. Likewise, the indwelling Christ, though unseen, will be made evident to others from the love which he imparts to us.

permalink source: Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929)
tags: Evangelism, Holy Spirit

What exactly has Christ done for you? What is there in your life that needs Christ to explain it, and that, apart from Him, simply could not have been there at all? If there is nothing, then your religion is a sheer futility. But then that is your fault, not Jesus Christ's. For, when we open the New Testament, it is to come upon whole companies of excited people, their faces all aglow, their hearts dazed and bewildered by the immensity of their own good fortune. Apparently they find it difficult to think of anything but this amazing happening that has befallen them; quite certainly they cannot keep from laying almost violent hands on every chance passer-by, and pouring out yet once again the whole astounding story. And always, as we listen, they keep throwing up their hands as if in sheer despair, telling us it is hopeless, that it breaks through language, that it won't describe, that until a man has known Christ for himself he can have no idea of the enormous difference He makes. It is as when a woman gives a man her heart; or when a little one is born to very you; or when, after long lean years of pain and greyness, health comes back. You cannot really describe that; you cannot put it into words, not adequately. Only, the whole world is different, and life gloriously new. Well, it is like that, they say.

permalink source: A. J. Gossip, From the Edge of the Crowd [1924]
tags: Evangelism, Worship, Awe

"Did not I, through faith, conquer kingdoms, apply justice, obtain promises, stop the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escape the edge of the sword, win strength out of weakness, become valiant in war, and put foreign armies to flight? Was I not a man of faith and a man of action in one skin? Why are the faithful so afraid of deeds for fear they should fall into 'Justification by works'? And why is Thy Church so uncomfortable with its men of action? And why do men of spirit so often have to work apart from, and even against it? Are there no longer kingdoms to be conquered, injustice to be destroyed, promises to be obtained? The Son of David is a warrior still. Must He tread the winepress alone?"

permalink source: David Head, Shout for Joy [1962]
tags: Evangelism, Spiritual Warfare

We have all been inoculated with Christianity, and are never likely to take it seriously now! You put some of the virus of some dreadful illness into a man's arm, and there is a little itchiness, some scratchiness, a slight discomfort -- disagreeable, no doubt, but not the fever of the real disease, the turning and the tossing, and the ebbing strength. And we have all been inoculated with Christianity, more or less. We are on Christ's side, we wish him well, we hope that He will win, and we are even prepared to do something for Him, provided, of course, that He is reasonable, and does not make too much of an upset among our cozy comforts and our customary ways. But there is not the passion of zeal, and the burning enthusiasm, and the eagerness of self-sacrifice, of the real faith that changes character and wins the world.

permalink source: A. J. Gossip, From the Edge of the Crowd [1924]
tags: Evangelism, Faith, Passion, Culture

An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, "How do you expect to get into Heaven?" The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I'll just run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For Heaven's sake, Jimmy, come in or stay out!'" Good luck, Jimmy. It's a plan, but it's not God's plan. And that's the problem--most people have a plan for getting into heaven, but they don't really understand God's plan of salvation by grace through faith.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Heaven, Salvation, Evangelism

An executive hirer, a "head-hunter" who goes out and hires corporation executives for other firms, once told me, "When I get an executive that I'm trying to hire for someone else, I like to disarm him. I offer him a drink, take my coat off, then my vest, undo my tie, throw up my feet and talk about baseball, football, family, whatever, until he's all relaxed. Then, when I think I've got him relaxed, I lean over, look him square in the eye and say, "What's your purpose in life?" It's amazing how top executives fall apart at that question. "Well, I was interviewing this fellow the other day, had him all disarmed, with my feet up on his desk, talking about football. Then I leaned up and said, 'What's your purpose in life, Bob?' And he said, without blinking an eye, 'To go to heaven and take as many people with me as I can.' For the first time in my career I was speechless."

permalink source: Josh McDowell
tags: Evangelism, Purpose

There were 20 lifeboats on the Titanic, and people scrambled to get into them. Many were only half full. Hundreds of people were in the cold water with life preservers on: they didn’t die from drowning, they froze to death. The people in the lifeboats heard the cries of those drowning, but chose not to go back for fear of capsizing themselves. Only one lifeboat out of twenty returned, and it did so after it was too late. Of the hundreds in the water, only six were rescued. Those who were already saved didn’t go after those who were dying.

permalink source: Ron Hutchcraft
tags: Evangelism

From time to time we hear statistics about how people first came into church membership. These figures trace back to the Institute for American Church Growth, which asked 10,000 people about their pilgrimage. What led them in? Answers were: Special need, 2 percent; Walk-in, 3 percent; Pastor, 6 percent; Visitation, 1 percent; Sunday school, 5 percent; Evangelistic crusade, 5 percent; Program, 3 percent; Friend/relative, 79 percent.

permalink source: Institute for American Church Growth
tags: Friendship, Evangelism

Christianity can be condensed into four words: admit, submit, commit, and transmit.

permalink source: Samuel Wilberforce
tags: Commitment, Discipleship, Evangelism, Confession, Gospel, Submission

I was able to spend time with Dr. Schuller before my talk. (He told me not to preach, but to tell my failure stories to the crowd – that would encourage them he said!) It was a thrill to spend time with this seasoned veteran of the evangelism world. During lunch with Dr. Schuller he leaned over to me and said that he had followed the progression of servant evangelism with eagerness. He is excited about the idea and relates to the spirit of the concept. He then told me a secret that has guided him through many years of ministry highs and lows. He said when he gets stuck he converts that moment into a prayer – “God, give me an idea!” Those were profound words that have echoed through my soul for the past several weeks. I have realized that that has been my prayer on many occasions whether I realized it at the time or not. I’ve gotten stuck in many ministry quagmires over the years. I’ve needed inspiration. God has come through time and again as I have prayed that simple prayer and waited upon him. For example, we have had a desire to reach out to the college community around the University of Cincinnati. While there are many needs in the lives of these students, we wanted to grab their attention in a way that they would not soon forget. We prayed for an idea and got one. Give them toilet paper in Christ’s name. As we knock on apartment and dorm room doors the standard response is, “But I already have toilet paper.” To that we say, “Yes, but this is Christian toilet paper!” We usually have them at that.

permalink source: Steve Sjogren, "God, Give Me An Idea!"
tags: Failure, Creativity, Evangelism

Environmental researchers from Oxford University recently made an astounding discovery. More than 33% of Earth's plant and animal species exist on a scant 1.4% of the planet's surface. They identified 25 "hot spots" covering a total of 810,000 square miles and were surprised by the "riot" of life they found occupying such a relatively small portion of land. As a result they suggested that conservationists use a "silver bullet" approach and concentrate on saving pieces of the hot spots from logging, slash and burn agriculture or other fates.

permalink source: From Off The Map - Jim Henderson
tags: Evangelism, Priorities, Missions

Love God, Love People Help People Love God

permalink source: Will from PostmodernPentecost
tags: Church, Evangelism

THE REAL JACI VELESQUEZ Jaci's decision to step into Hollywood and the criticism it has invited. by Jonathan McKee "Mommy, why are we burning Jaci's poster?" "Because Jaci's the devil! As soon as we finish, we're going to burn all her albums just like we did that brood of Jezebel Amy Grant!" Jaci Velesquez, whom you may know from one of her three platinum albums, six Dove Awards, 16 #1 radio hits, or her recent hit "You're my God" off her "Unspoken" album, is taking as much criticism as the Dixie Chicks after the release of the film "Chasing Papi." However, Jaci won't be responding by showing up naked on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. Instead, you'll see her completely dressed, representing Christ with her music, representing a wholesome family image for Pepsi & Dorito's, and impacting Hollywood with her lifestyle. 23 year old Jaci has faced criticism before, but all the "hype" really began when her movie emerged with her playing the role of one of three women who are pursuing a young man named Papi. Unfortunately the film has been chasing Christians away from the box office because of "objectionable" material, including a scene that made the trailers where all three women show up in lingerie or nighties to impress Papi. I thought it would be cool to hear first hand from Jaci about the situation. JONATHAN: Jaci, thanks for taking time to talk with me today- I really appreciate you opening up like this. I think some people would like to hear your heart. JACI: Jonathan, I really appreciate you doing this because, (sigh) you know it's been a hard road going through a lot of the storms that we went through when it came to the movie. JONATHAN: I bet it has been, and I want to hear about that . . . but first, congrats on the Pepsi thing. You're replacing Shakira? JACI: Yeah JONATHAN: Did she get caught drinking Coke or what? JACI: I don't know. But they said they wanted a clean family moral image with ethnicity. JONATHAN: So did you shoot the commercial yet? JACI: We shot the commercial a couple weeks ago and then we shot all the press stuff. JONATHAN: So, being the Pepsi girl, can you get as much Pepsi as you want to drink now? JACI: Yeah. Actually I can. JONATHAN: That would be so cool! JACI: It's pretty bizarre. JONATHAN: You don't look like you drink a lot of Pepsi. Are you sure you're not . . . maybe you should be the Pepsi One girl or something like that? La Chica de Pepsi Uno! JACI: (laughing) Actually, what they have me doing is walking around holding Doritos and Pepsi. JONATHAN: (laughing) Sounds like my kind of work! JACI: I've been eating Doritos my whole life . . . JONATHAN: Now do you have to be careful what soft drink you drink when you're out? JACI: Never can be seen in public drinking Coke. I cannot. I can't even drink Aquafina or anything. JONATHAN: Will you drink Diet Pepsi, Pepsi or what? JACI: I drink either diet Pepsi or Sierra Mist or Pepsi Blue, Pepsi One . . . if a picture came out of me drinking something else, I'd be gone! JONATHAN: Absolutely! Well, the thing that is so cool is that your career has totally taken off. JACI: Yeah, a lot of the opportunities that have come across the table have been because of this movie. Maybeline, Pepsi, the Jeep Cherokee . . . JONATHAN: Do you get a Jeep Cherokee? JACI: No, I wish! JONATHAN: What? You get Pepsi, but no Jeep? JACI: No Jeep. JONATHAN: Do you get as much Maybeline as you want to wear? JACI: Actually yes. JONATHAN: Ah, the perks. Well, as I researched every interview with you, a lot of people were critical of you, some downright cruel. But it didn't look like these people had talked with you? JACI: It's the weirdest thing. If people actually talk to me they usually write positive articles. But if they're just writing about me, they're usually pulling facts from who knows where. JONATHAN: I hear you. Well, when I started reading some of what people were saying, I had two thoughts: 1) Some of these people are pretty judgmental, even cruel, and 2) I would like to hear Jaci's side on some of these issues. For you it must be awkward because you know exactly what's true and what's not. For me and for your fans, we are trying to determine what to believe and what not to believe. JACI: Well, I know some of those things that you read. And- it's funny- I made a promise to my family to NOT read what people were saying on the internet because they (my family) saw things and realized that if I read it I'd be really discouraged. But I see some of it, like the Focus on Family film review and when that one guy (Kevin McCullough) insinuated that my mom was money hungry- trying to make her child a star. JONATHAN: That article was harsh. JACI: Well, he doesn't know me. And the truth is- my opinion about all of that is- say what you want about ME. Because I bargained for that. I mean, I knew that when I came into this and when I chose to do the movie that people were going to say horrible things about me. Because they don't understand me. But just say it about ME. JONATHAN: It must be incredibly complex- incredibly difficult as a Christian trying to decide whether it's worth it getting your foot into Hollywood. Especially knowing that when you, living your life under a microscope, make that choice there will be repercussions. How do you handle hearing that criticism all the time? JACI: You know, it's really painful for me. Because you know- I don't hear any criticism from the world. The world is like, "You're a Christian? Okay- well, do you want to do the Warren Brady show? Do you want to be our spokesperson? Do you want this role?" JONATHAN: I read all your interviews . . . the Latin world and the secular world out there all know that you're a Christian. And when they talk to you- you always end up talking about your faith in God. That's an incredible open door. They think you're an angel. But a lot of Christian's think you're the devil! JACI: That's so true. JONATHAN: I'm not sure where the role of the "Christian critic" is. . . but I figured that if I had questions, I'd ask you myself. JACI: I understand why people have questions. I was in a movie that had nothing to do with God. It was just a corny romance, a film that was actually really clean. But I feel like we (Christians) create our own subculture and we don't ever infiltrate pop culture with the light of the Lord. JONATHAN: Some of your fans are confused though. Because even though the film is clean in the world's mind, it might not be the kind of stuff we want our kids watching. A fan wrote a letter to a friend of mine who does media reviews. And this letter might be a little hard for you to hear- but I think he asks good questions that might be valuable as you make choices in the future. He says: "I hope that Focus on the Family's film review is way off base. . . Jaci's website justifies her presence in the movie by pointing out what a terrific witness she has been to the cast and crew. She also says she consulted with her pastor and family to make sure she was answering her calling. How can a "jiggle" movie be part of her calling? Roger Ebert says it "looks more like a fashion show by Victoria's Secret." He also says Jaci and the other stars of the movie are on display, "in a way that would make your average Maxim reader feel right at home." I've got to do damage control with my kids now. I need to explain the time we spent at a Jaci concert, singing along with "God So Loved the World," and "I Get on My Knees." I've got to talk to them about the stupid decisions we make, and that even people we admire make stupid decisions. I've got to re-review the lyrics on Jaci's albums with them, and talk about how important our words are (and try to minimize Jaci's actions)." - A Fan- How do those questions make you feel? I mean, do you think that in the future, as you look back, you'd do the Patricia role again? Or do you think you should come out and explain it before you do it- because I don't think people are satisfied with the answers they've been hearing on your fan site, etc. JACI: It was a really hard choice. But you know what? Parents have to decide their convictions and what the convictions of their families are. I can't be the one to decide for their convictions. I have to act on my convictions and I have no problem with what ended up happening in the movie. Because I felt like it ended up being a good story, it ended up being a story of, "I learned my lesson." JONATHAN: Everybody who reads this is going to take the one sentence you said about you "having no problem with what ended up happening in the movie" and they're going to come back and say, "She came out of a door wearing lingerie! Are you saying that's okay?" JACI: My opinion is . . . I was playing a role! That wasn't me. I'm a Christian and I don't date a guy that looks like that. And when I fall in love in my next movie- I'm not really in love with that guy, I'm in love with my real love in my real life. I'm able to enter this world as a light and hopefully I can change these people that are key people in this industry and then . . . hopefully I can be the actress that does the "Sweet Home Alabama's," the romantic or fun little movies that you want to watch with your families. JONATHAN: And right now you're trying to just get your foot into Hollywood? JACI: Exactly. I have no right to ask them to change everything for me. They'd be like, "Who are you? We can get someone else to play that role." Yes, it does hurt my feelings that people have to do damage control because of a choice I've made, but the truth is, if this is the wrong choice by some standards, why did God give me a peace about it. I don't question God's will in my life, I just sometimes question whether it was the easiest way or not. But see, this is the problem. I have no problem watching films like "Legally Blonde," and "Sweet Home Alabama." How hypocritical is it of us to say it's okay to sit down and watch it but we're not allowed to act in it because we're Christians. JONATHAN: So you feel that some people are saying, "How could she play in 'Chasing Papi?' By the way- did you get our tickets to 'Matrix Reloaded?'" JACI: Exactly. But then if a Christian plays that part- it's "OH MY GOSH!" Yet we have no problems sitting down and watching it. The reason I know this is because I DO HAVE a problem sitting down watching that "Goldmember" movie or "American Pie" . . . I didn't even see that movie because I would have a problem watching that. JONATHAN: But don't you think that line exists of roles you would and would not take? JACI: Definitely. JONATHAN: And that line exists somewhere between Polyanna (Wow, I'm really dating myself) and "American Pie?" JACI: (Laughing) Yes. Do you remember that film "Just Married" with Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy? JONATHAN: I missed that one. JACI: Well, I turned down the role of the girl that leads him away from Brittany Murphy. This girl meets him at a bar and leads him away . . . I turned down that role because I felt, you know, I just can't picture myself doing that. JONATHAN: Well how do you go about deciding what roles to take? Because on one hand you're saying, "I can't tell Hollywood that," but on the other hand if they offered you the next role in "American Pie III," you're saying, "I can't do that!" Where do you draw the line? Where does it become NOT worth getting your foot into Hollywood? JACI: It becomes not worth it when I'm compromising my personal convictions. JONATHAN: Well how does this happen, because obviously, hopefully, you wouldn't show up at your real fiancé's house wearing lingerie, when you're not married yet. So how can you say- "well that's a role I could play, but yet I can't play a role where I'm naked or . . ." how do you decide that line? JACI: I think that I have to say, "I'm playing a role- this is pretend." And what is the end result of this role going to be. And if the end result is me ending up in bed with somebody, then that's not good. But if I'm playing a role where I'm madly in love with this person and we end up almost doing something where I would have regretted it later, but there's redemption in the end, then that's something else. Because the character is learning a lesson. In "American Pie" you're not learning lessons. It's just crude humor. I want to be part of films where you learn a lesson. Even if I'm playing the role of a girl who gets pregnant when 16, who later realizes, "Wow, that was really dumb. I could have ruined my whole life." And then she becomes someone who ends up working with teenage kids and helps them through the same problems because of the problems she had to go through to get to that place. JONATHAN: That sounds like a good film. JACI: Do you know what I mean? I want roles that have redemption. JONATHAN: So, your saying this role (in "Chasing Papi") wasn't the perfect role that you would have chosen, but at the same time, you feel it was a foot into Hollywood and, for you, it wasn't crossing the line. JACI: Exactly. It was a door that got opened. And now I'm getting tons of opportunities. I've got meetings all week with an incredible studio that is opening doors. And then you can work your way up to that place where you can say, "I'm not going to do this! Change this!" But until then I've got to decide, "What can I feel comfortable going to sleep with at night?" "What can I be comfortable with my pastor watching with his family?" JONATHAN: And that's a tough call to make. And I think it's easy for us outside the situation to look back at the film in 20/20 and say, "I wouldn't have done that!" and then start shelling you with criticism publically. But we all have our opinions and we definitely do not all agree. I mean, my oldest daughter is 7 and, you know, I wouldn't bring her to "Chasing Papi." JACI: And that's your call. The film is PG. That's parental guidance suggested. JONATHAN: Well, I think we as leaders are called to be above reproach. Does it mean that you try to please everybody all the time? No, that's not the answer. Because that's impossible. But does it mean that there are fans, teenagers, kids that are out there watching me and that's important? Yes. I can't help to think of something Marshall Shelly from "Christianity Today" said to me as we were talking about this conversation that you and I were going to have. He had a theory about this- he wondered if people were confused because what you (and other cross-over artists) have been giving the public up till now is very different from what you're trying to sell now. You're trying to mix two incompatible elements. You made a name as "a worship leader," one who turns audiences' thoughts Godward. You portray yourself as authentic and transparent in your devotion to God. Now that you show up as a Christian working in the secular entertainment industry. That's a noble calling too (despite what Falwell says), but blending the two roles publicly is like mixing salt and incense. Those are two very different functions. JACI: I can see that. JONATHAN: One is "sacred" and "holy" and "set apart"--the impression given is "You can see right through me and all I want you to see is Jesus." The other role is "acting." "I play a different role in different situations." In that role you're not transparent anymore, you're just putting on a show. Hopefully using discernment in the roles you choose, and being good at what you do so you're a credible voice for Christ. So when people see you now they might be confused. Which is the real Jaci? Is she the worshipful singer now, or is that just another acting role she assumes for a while, like the lingerie-clad Patrica? Do you think it is possible to do "authentic" and "actress" at the same time? Or do you need to make a switch? JACI: You know what. I'm telling you. It would just be so much easier if I just stayed in the walls of the church. And even though I get criticism even when I'm just doing Christian music, at least it would be easier and no one would have any of THESE questions, right? But I want them to see that we're not weird, we're not condemning, we're not legalistic. I'm not going to condemn them, I'm not going to be legalistic. I'm just wanna love them and show them that when they have one of those days of just wondering and longing and going, "Why do I feel lonely in this world?" that there's God and that they have hope because there's love and hope in Jesus Christ every second of the day. My calling is very simple and very evident. He has called me into two different kinds of worlds. A world of glamour and spotlights with so much darkness. This world includes the Latin music world, a world where women almost have to show their body to get any respect. JONATHAN: It's an unavoidably sexually charged atmosphere. JACI: Definitely. That's just the way it is. And then he's also called me into the world of singing Christian music. I can't even imagine singing pop music. JONATHAN: Everyone predicted you would go pop next. The Christian critics are saying, "She's going to crossover." But then you come out with the album "Unspoken" which is a very Christian, worshipful, very real album where you are vulnerable and honest about your need for God in your life. The very fact that you came out with this album says a lot. It shows where your passion still is. And that's why I personally wondered if you were rethinking the acting thing. Because I think it's hard to do both. I think it's hard to be the worship leader and then turn around and say, "Now it's time to play Patricia" or whoever. JACI: I have a couple more roles coming up that I'm trying to decide whether they're okay. And my whole battle is, I'll be honest with you, I'm not sure I want to act anymore because I have people like that Kevin McCullough bashing my family. He talked about my mother like she's some adulteress. People just know what happened when my parents broke up. She was NOT in the wrong. JONATHAN: This is the same Kevin McCullough that said "But when the industry's No. 1 icon of all time (Amy Grant) leaves a wake of destruction of two families to justify her own illicit emotional realities, it's not surprising that rising stars are beginning to say to themselves, 'hey, I can do what I want and nobody will say boo about it.'" (newsmax.com, April 24, 2003) Of course Kevin is saying "boo." You know when I first read this article I thought, "that was unfair." But I think your fans also felt, "I hope this isn't true." Because some of the things he said made me wonder. Like for instance. He ripped on your stand for abstinence saying that it was the "strangest promotion of abstinence I've ever heard." Was he there to see you that day? JACI: I don't remember meeting him. I don't even know who he is. I can't believe that he even went on to question my sexuality. JONATHAN: Well, he said that when you appeared you were asked about abstinence. He said, "Her answer was strange, convoluted and confusing." Then he quotes you. "Well, you should save yourself for marriage," she stated, "but God does forgive you if you mess up." Then Kevin says, "WHAT? That's the strangest promotion of abstinence I've ever heard." Jaci, what was your abstinence message that day. JACI: My abstinence message is always the same thing. That I believe in sexual abstinence because I believe God has called us away from sexual immorality. I mean, it's not easy in this day and age. Let's face it. I mean, in my relationships I've been in, it's not easy to NOT have sex. Let's be honest. JONATHAN: Yeah it's very difficult. JACI: My message is always, "So wait until you're married." And he didn't finish quoting me because what I always say is, "But if you have messed up know that God forgives because God is full of Grace. But from this day forward you can save yourself." JONATHAN: He made it sound as if you gave a very watered down message, leaving a way out for students. Grace is an essential part of an abstinence presentation. Ask Pam Stenzel. JACI: You know, my whole thing with that is, I'm still a virgin. And it's totally by the grace of God. I've always dated Christians, I've always dated people that know where I stand as a True Love Waits sex person. JONATHAN: Your virginity speaks loudly to a lot of young people today. Jaci, thanks so much for having this conversation. JACI: Thank you Jonathan. JONATHAN: I know that you're just in a tough, tough situation living your life under a microscope. And you've got some stuff to think about here. You're a leader, you know you're being watched and it's not an easy situation. You've got to make this decision between opportunities to represent God in a dark world, and "where can I walk and not cross the line." I don't envy your situation. It's a tough one. But I appreciate you talking with me and sharing your heart with us. JACI: Well thank you. I really appreciate you. You've got a good, good head on your shoulders and I trust your opinions. You seem very open minded but yet very aware of God's word. I respect that because it gets very frustrating to be constantly involved with people that can't see past their own front door. JONATHAN: I appreciate that. Thank you. Let's both keep this stuff in prayer. JACI: Thanks Jonathan, I will. JONATHAN'S FINAL THOUGHTS Whether we like it or not, Jaci's Hollywood roles, her Pepsi deal, her Maybeline deal, and her influence in the Latin market are putting her in the presence of more people in the world. These people are getting to know Jaci and are saying "What's different about Jaci?" My prayer is that as she rubs shoulders with people around her in the next few years, people won't see Jaci, people will see God in Jaci. Then they will say, "Hey that's what I would like to be. Jaci's got something." Her co-stars will come up to her between takes and say, "What is it that I see in you that's different?" and she'll be able to live I Peter 3:15 which is, "Always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks the reason for the hope that's within you." What so many of us forget is, "How is anyone ever going to ask that question of me if they don't see the hope that's within me?" The encouraging thing I've been seeing in Jaci is that everywhere, especially in the Latin industry, they're asking, "What is different about this girl Jaci- there's something there." And they end up asking about her hope and she has a chance to talk about Jesus. That is what makes her presence in the world a good thing. It doesn't mean throw out discernment, but it means it's an open door to good conversation with people in Hollywood and people in the world that so desperately need Jesus. Even if we don't agree with every one of her choices, we should continue to pray for her as she makes these tough situations in her near future. And we should continue to pray about the decisions WE make daily, the movies we watch, the stuff we allow into our lives. And most of all, we should pray that people see "the hope" within us. God Bless, Jonathan McKe

permalink source: Jonathan McKee, The Source For Youth Ministry
tags: Discernment, Evangelism, Culture

A few years ago, Chuck Colson was standing in a long line in the airport in Jakarta, Indonesia. He and some Prison Fellowship colleagues had been traveling all night. It was now early morning. The terminal was hot and steamy, and they were tired. As Chuck relates in his new book, Being the Body, "Passport in my sticky hand, I was exhausted and exasperated at the long, inefficient line snaking ahead of us. I was worried we would miss our next flight and the ministry friends who were waiting for us." But, Chuck adds, "I was also determined not to let my frustration get the better of me. I talked with my friends; we laughed and made the best of the situation." Two years later, he received a letter from a businessman who lived in Singapore. The man had been a follower of Confucius, but he sent his children to Sunday school at a Presbyterian church for moral training. One Sunday, as he picked up his kids, he heard the end of the sermon. A visiting missionary held up a copy of Chuck's first book, Born Again. On the cover was a picture of Chuck. A few months later, this businessman was stuck in a long line in the steaming Jakarta airport. Glancing over into the next line, he spotted the same face he'd seen on the cover of Born Again. He was so impressed by Chuck Colson's calm demeanor and cheerfulness that when he got back to Singapore, he got the book, read it, and committed his life to Christ.

permalink source: Chuck Colson
tags: Character, Evangelism, Virtue

THE SNEEZE They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-three students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt. Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and moms freely brushed away tears. This class would not pray during the commencements ----- not by choice but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it. The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families. The speeches were nice, but they were routine ... until the final speech received a standing ovation. A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then he delivered his speech. An astounding - - - SNEEZE! The rest of the students rose immediately to their feet, and in unison they said, "GOD BLESS YOU." The audience exploded into applause. The graduating class found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval. Isn't this a wonderful story?

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Creativity, Evangelism

I use a small personal size spiral note pad, not a clipboard. Clipboards are associated with political campaigns. I write the questions down so that if (when?) my mind goes blank, I don't end up asking an inappropriate question. To start an interview I normally approach someone that’s walking (at first I didn't do this but I learned that it’s probably best). People are less defensive when I offer to walk along with them wherever they’re going. If they’re in a hurry or feeling pressured it’s easy for them to say so without feeling awkward or mean. I ask if they would mind giving their personal opinion on a few things and I tell them that 'm not going to comment on their answers. This is is really just an interview. I usually begin by asking "Do you normally feel comfortable talking to people you don't know about spiritual or religious matters?" After that question I usually ask 2 or 3 more. Some of the questions I've asked are: Do you think ghosts (or spirits) are real? How do you feel when the subject of Jesus comes up in a conversation? Do you think the church has a positive influence on society? How do you feel when someone invites you to a religious event? Have you ever had someone try to convert or “save” you? Does Christianity have a positive influence on society? Is there a religious or spiritual person that you admire? Do you think there are messages for you in your dreams? Do you think that Christians in general are a good representation of Jesus?

permalink source: how Israel Askew interviews people at Portland State University
tags: Communication, Questions, Evangelism

"I pray that when I die, all of hell will throw a party to celebrate the fact that I'm no longer in the fight."

permalink source: C. T. Studd
tags: Prayer, Death, Evangelism, Influence

As a public service, here are some common phrases used in the church, along with their English-language equivalents: Christianese: "If it be God's will." Translation: "I really don't think God is going to answer this one. Christianese: "Let's have a word of prayer." Translation: "I am going to pray for a long, long, long time." Christianese: "That's not my spiritual gift." Translation: "Find someone else." Christianese: "Fellowship" Translation: "Organized gluttony." Christianese: "The Lord works in mysterious ways." Translation: "I'm totally clueless." Christianese: "Lord willing . . ." Translation: "You may think I'll be there, but I won't." Christianese: "I don't feel led." Translation: "Can't make me." Christianese: "God led me to do something else." Translation: I slept in instead of going to church. Christianese: "God really helped me with this test." Translation: "I didn't study but I guessed good, so I'm giving God credit in the hope that He helps me again." Christianese: "She has such a sweet spirit!" Translation: "What an airhead!" Christianese: "I have a 'check' in my spirit about him." Translation: "I can't stand that jerk!" Christianese: "I'll be praying for you." Translation: "There's an outside chance I'll remember this conversation later today." Christianese: "Prayer concerns" Translation: "Gossip" Christianese: "In conclusion . . . " Translation: "I'll be done in another hour or so." Christianese: "Let us pray" Translation: "I'm going to pretend to talk to God now, but I'm really preaching at you." Christianese: "You just have to put it in God's hands." Translation: "Don't expect me to help you." Christianese: "God wants to prosper you!" Translation: "Give me all your money."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Communication, Evangelism, Language, Relevance

Once when I was in the Himalayas, I was sitting upon the bank of a river. I drew out of the water a beautiful, round stone and smashed it. The inside was dry. The stone had been lying a long time in the water, but the water had not penetrated the stone. It is just like that with the "Christian" people of the West. They have for centuries been surrounded by Christianity, entirely steeped in its blessings, but the Master's truth has not penetrated them. Christianity is not at fault; the reason lies rather in the hardness of their hearts. Materialism and intellectualism have made their hearts hard. So I am not surprised that many people in the West do not understand what Christianity really is.

permalink source: Sadhu Sundar Singh, excerpted from Wisdom of the Sadhu, the Bruderhof Communities website
tags: Evangelism, Apathy, Spiritual Formation

During the darkest hours of World War II, Britain faced a critical shortage of silver for the war industries. Informed of the crisis, Winston Churchill asked if there were any possible sources of silver, however remote. The answer came back: Yes, the churches, cathedrals, and abbeys held beautiful, sterling silver statues of the saints. From Churchill came the now-famous reply, "Well, it's time to put the saints into circulation!" And so they did. Citation: John S. Barnett, "Saints in Circulation," Discipleship Journal (March/April 1986)

permalink source: Winston Churchill
tags: Evangelism, Culture

print up checks that say "Pay To The Order Of" and leave the name blank in the "amount" field write down "eternal life" sign it "Jesus Christ" in the memo field write - "a gift--I was thinking of you" at the end of the service have people choose to sign it

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Salvation, Evangelism

St. Patrick was a deacon's son (and a pagan as it turns out). At the age of 16 he was captured by Irish slavers and served as a slave in Ireland for 6 years. It was during this time that he was converted and first began to dream of converting his captors. He escaped at the age of 22, walked 200 miles to freedom, and trained as a missionary before returning to Ireland and founding hundreds of churches and leading thousands to Christ.

permalink source: http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/stpatricksday/
tags: Forgiveness, Evangelism, Missions

Less than 1% of those who come to Christ do so as a result of an evangelistic crusade. No more than 4% say they are influenced by local church programs or worship services. Fully 80% come to faith “because a friend or family member cared for me until I accepted Christ.”

permalink source: www.thejesusplan.com
tags: Evangelism

For many Mystery Worshippers the most challenging part of the review process is its requirement that they test the degree to which each church welcomes strangers. The instructions are clear. At the end of the service, they are asked to stand alone in the back of the church for five minutes -- looking sad and lonely. The goal is to count the number of people who approach them to chat. Nearly 50 percent of the time, the answer is "zero."

permalink source: Terry Mattingly on Ship of Fools Mystery Worshiper
tags: Church, Evangelism

Early in the 20th century, French painter Georges Rouault gave people a new way to see Jesus. Using layer upon layer of luminous colors and bold black lines, he brought biblical themes to life on his canvases. His shockingly powerful images expressed his profound personal faith in a living Jesus. Though highly skilled and trained in the popular styles of his day, he turned his back on artistic fashion to provide fresh perspective. Because Rouault saw beyond the accepted pictures of Christianity, he exhibited his work with other creative, cutting-edge rebels. His incandescent images of Christ healing the lame and feeding the poor were (and still are) hung side by side with landscapes by Henri Matisse and abstracts by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. During his 60 years as a working artist, Rouault depicted many subjects, but his favorite by far was the face of Jesus. His studio overflowed with hundreds and hundreds of portraits of Christ. When asked why he was so obsessed with painting Jesus, his answer was, "My life's goal is to paint a portrait of Christ so moving that whoever looks on it will be immediately converted."

permalink source: Steve Sjogren, Dave Ping, Doug Pollock, "Irresistible Evangelism," Group Publishing (p. 109); submitted by Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois
tags: Evangelism, Jesus, Culture, Art

Take Christians. I am surrounded by Christians. They are generally speaking a pleasant and agreeable lot, not noticeably different from other people -- even though they, the Christians of the South, the USA, the Western world have killed off more people than all other people put together. Yet I cannot be sure they don’t have the truth. But if they have the truth, why is it the case that they are repellent precisely to the degree that they embrace and advertise the truth? One might even become a Christian if there were few if any Christians around. Have you ever lived in the midst of fifteen million Southern Baptists?... A mystery: If the good news is true, why is not one pleased to hear it?

permalink source: Walker Percy, The Second Coming
tags: Evangelism, Christianity

In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering.

permalink source: Howard Hendricks
tags: Evangelism

One pastor asked the other, ‘How many members does your church have?’ The reply came back, ‘Do you want to know how many in training on Sunday or how many in battle during the week?’

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Work, Evangelism, Ministry

Before I am saved, Christians will have to look more saved. By: Friedreich Nietzsche

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Apologetics, Evangelism

We must attack the enemy's line of communication. What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects - with their Christianity latent. By: C.S. Lewis Source: C.S. Lewis, God In The Dock, Christian Apologetics@, 1945, paragraph #9, page 93

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Work, Evangelism

A truck driver declared, “I always thought I was in the world to go to church. Now I see that I am in the church in order to go into the world.” By: Nelvin Vos Source: Seven Days a Week, Nelvin Vos, Laity Exchange Books, 1985, pg. 20

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Church, Work, Evangelism

When the famous missionary E. Stanley Jones asked Gandhi how to become a better missionary, Gandhi said, 'Become more like the man you follow.' By: Jeff Comment Source: Mission in the Marketplace, 1995, MITM Publishing, p. 42-43

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Discipleship, Evangelism, Mission

April 15, 1729: Johann Bach conducts the first and only performance of St. Matthew Passion during his lifetime at a Good Friday Vespers service in Leipzig, Germany. The choral work has been called "the supreme cultural achievement of all Western civilization," and even the radical skeptic Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) admitted upon hearing it, "One who has completely forgotten Christianity truly hears it here as gospel."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Evangelism, Art

Reuters Updated: 5:51 a.m. ET Nov. 3, 2004 TAIPEI, Taiwan - A man leaped into a lion's den at the Taipei Zoo on Wednesday to try to convert the king of beasts to Christianity, but was bitten in the leg for his efforts. "Jesus will save you!" shouted the 46-year-old man at two African lions lounging under a tree a few meters away. "Come bite me!" he said with both hands raised, television footage showed. One of the lions, a large male with a shaggy mane, bit the man in his right leg before zoo workers drove it off with water hoses and tranquilizer guns. Newspapers said that the lions had been fed earlier in the day, otherwise the man might have been more seriously hurt ... or worse. NOTE: attached photo - "An image taken from television shows a man being attacked by a lion after he crossed a barbed wire fence to "preach" to two of the animals at the Taipei Zoo on Wednesday." Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

permalink source: Reuters News - 11/3/2004
tags: Folly, Evangelism

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2005/01/08/do0806.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2005/01/08/ixop.html Sacred mysteries By Christopher Howse (Filed: 08/01/2005) Will cathedrals pay the price? English cathedrals have started reimposing admission charges or introducing more or less compulsory "donations". Their finances are under strain because fewer foreign tourists have been bringing in money since September 11 2001. But the reappearance of the turnstile is "bound to create disquiet and raise some fundamental questions about the nature of the cathedrals' future work". That is the opinion of the Very Rev Trevor Beeson, whose new book The Deans (SCM Press, £19.99) is published on Monday. He speaks from experience, for he spent a decade as Dean of Winchester. It is the deans who run cathedrals, with the cathedral chapter, and local bishops have less say over them than over any other church in their dioceses. Trevor Beeson does not use the word "betrayal", but he does say that the abolition of such obstacles to entry is "essential to a cathedral's mission". It is only 80 years since cathedrals were opened up without payment to visitors and worshippers, and the man who made it possible is one of Trevor Beeson's heroes, Frank Bennett, who transformed Chester cathedral in the 1920s. Bennett did not want to be Dean of Chester when he was appointed in 1920. He had had little contact with cathedrals and "looked upon deans as the fortunate occupants of an office in the Church of England that could easily be dispensed with altogether". But by 1925, when he published The Nature of a Cathedral, he had not only changed his ideas, he had established a working model of a cathedral as "the Bishop's and his Family's great House of Prayer". By "Family" Bennet meant principally the people of the diocese, and he saw as "outrageous" the charging of sixpence for those people "to whom the cathedral really belongs" to spend a limited time looking round it. That was the usual thing. Vergers could act almost as showmen. In the 19th century, Westminster Abbey had waxworks exhibited for the paying customer. Frank Bennett threw open the doors of Chester cathedral from early morning to dusk. Beautifully printed and framed notices explained the purpose of various parts of the building. Side chapels were looked after by diocesan organisations - the Mothers' Union, the Scouts and so on. There were no locked gates and no officials demanding 6d. Voluntary donations outdid former fees fourfold. Dean Bennett abolished the singing of early-morning matins, preferring to concentrate on sung evensong, choosing popular items of music when larger congregations gathered on Saturdays. The daily services were: matins (said, not sung) at 7.30am; Eucharist at 7.50am (said, but sung on Wednesday and Friday at 9.15am); sung evensong at 5pm. A far reaching innovation was "people's Communion" at 9am on Sundays. In most parishes at the time the lengthy programme of Sunday services was enough to "fairly wear the godly out and frighten the not very godly clean away". A 9am Communion, with organ and singing, was not as daunting as an earlier service, for working people who had spent the week getting up early, and it gave families free time after its conclusion at about 10am. For him, tinkering with service times was not the whole answer. If the cathedral was to be the great House of Prayer for the bishop and his "Family", then he had to live near the cathedral and enter into its life regularly. Bennett rebuilt the ruined monastic refectory at Chester not just as a commercial teashop, but to serve the parties from all over the diocese who came to use the cathedral. Parish groups would hold short services in the cathedral and end their visit with lunch or tea in the refectory. Since Bennett's day, ordinary life has become less integrated with the parish church. But interest in cathedrals remains high. BBC2 has just begun a new prime-time series on their history. In Trevor Beeson's view, the realisation that mission is the priority in Christian life means that parish system will be remade. Meanwhile cathedrals must retain their "heritage" role, provide theological resources for the diocese, and, foremost, ensure that worship of the highest level is offered.

permalink source: news wire
tags: Church, Evangelism

<img src="http://glenandpaula.com/quotes/uploads/1106724636scott-mutter-churchaislelg1204.jpg" width="385" height="600">

permalink source: Scott Mutter "Surrational Images"
tags: Church, Evangelism, Culture

We resent offenses against our taste at least as much as offenses against our conscience or reason... The `sentimentality and cheapness' of many Christian hymns had been a strong point in my own resistance to conversion.

permalink source: C. S. Lewis
tags: Evangelism, Art

There are no entirely false opinions. The listener, then, must proceed from what is valid in the opinions of the speaker to the fuller and purer truth as he, the listener, understands it.

permalink source: Josef Pieper
tags: Apologetics, Opinions, Truth, Evangelism

God made me realize that His mercy does not grow weary of waiting for some souls and that He enlightens them only slowly. So I took good care not to anticipate Him.

permalink source: St. Thérèse of Lisieux
tags: Patience, Evangelism, Spiritual Formation

No. 6: Emphasis on Small Groups Our studies show that a new member who gets involved in a Sunday school class is five times more likely to be an active church member five years later than one who attends worship services only. Our research on other small groups is limited, but we suspect that some of the same issues are present. Evangelistic churches are disciple-making churches. They believe that the evangelistic process is not complete until a believer becomes a fruit-bearing disciple in the local church. And leaders in these churches seek to conserve their evangelistic gains by seeking to incorporate the new believers into a small group, most typically the Sunday school.

permalink source: Thom Rainer - http://www.churchcentral.com/nw/s/template/Article.html/id/16178
tags: Evangelism, Assimilation, Small Groups

I was new and nurturing a transcendent hatred of Ohio. Verm found out I liked the Smiths, and we started swapping tapes. Before long, we were hanging out after school. Then the moment came that always comes when you make friends with a born-again: "Listen, I go to this thing on Wednesday nights. It's like a Bible study—no, listen, it's cool. The people are actually really cool." They were, that's the thing. In fifteen minutes, all my ideas about Christians were put to flight. They were smarter than any bunch I'd been exposed to (I didn't grow up in Cambridge or anything, but even so), they were accepting of every kind of weirdness, and they had that light that people who are pursuing something higher give off. It's attractive, to say the least. I started asking questions, lots of questions. And they loved that, because they had answers. That's one of the ways Evangelicalism works. Your average agnostic doesn't go through life just primed to offer a clear, considered defense of, say, intratextual Scriptural inconsistency. But born-agains train for that chance encounter with the inquisitive stranger. And when you're a 14-year-old carting around some fairly undernourished intellectual ambitions, and a charismatic adult sits you down and explains that if you transpose this span of years onto the Hebrew calendar, and multiply that times seven, and plug in a date from the reign of King Howsomever, then you plainly see that this passage predicts the birth of Christ almost to the hour, despite the fact that the Gospel writers didn't have access to this information! I, for one, was dazzled. [http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_301&pageNum=14]

permalink source: Upon This Rock, John Jeremiah Sullivan
tags: Apologetics, Evangelism

<img src="http://glenandpaula.com/quotes/uploads/1113244473pearls-god-no-love-him.gif" width="600" height="205" /> God No Love Him

permalink source: Pearls Before Swine
tags: Evangelism

We win people <em><strong>to</strong></em> what we win them <em><strong>with</strong></em>.

permalink source: Unknown
tags: Evangelism

Christianese: "If it be God's will." Translation: "I really don't think God is going to answer this one. Christianese: "Let's have a word of prayer." Translation: "I am going to pray for a long, long, long time." Christianese: "That's not my spiritual gift." Translation: "Find someone else." Christianese: "Fellowship" Translation: "Organized gluttony." Christianese: "The Lord works in mysterious ways." Translation: "I'm totally clueless." Christianese: "Lord willing . . ." Translation: "You may think I'll be there, but I won't." Christianese: "I don't feel led." Translation: "Can't make me." Christianese: "God led me to do something else." Translation: I slept in instead of going to church. Christianese: "God really helped me with this test." Translation: "I didn't study but I guessed good, so I'm giving God credit in the hope that He helps me again." Christianese: "She has such a sweet spirit!" Translation: "What an airhead!" Christianese: "I have a 'check' in my spirit about him." Translation: "I can't stand that jerk!" Christianese: "I'll be praying for you." Translation: "There's an outside chance I'll remember this conversation later today." Christianese: "Prayer concerns" Translation: "Gossip" Christianese: "In conclusion . . . " Translation: "I'll be done in another hour or so." Christianese: "Let us pray" Translation: "I'm going to pretend to talk to God now, but I'm really preaching at you." Christianese: "You just have to put it in God's hands." Translation: "Don't expect me to help you." Christianese: "God wants to prosper you!" Translation: "Give me all your money."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Church, Evangelism, Language

<em>On the challenges of leading a church in our culture:</em> Treating the members as customers rather than distributors

permalink source: Fred Smith, www.breakfastwithfred.com
tags: Evangelism, Ministry

You see, there is a great deal of difference between revival and evangelism. I am so sick to death, I hardly read any reports of meetings that come to me. Everybody is getting half of America saved. If you add all the lists of people saved, everybody in America, the whole population has been saved and filled with the Holy Ghost about six times over in the last ten years. And yet we are as dumb and as dead and as damned as we were when we started off... People come to the altar, yes, but meet them at the door and ask what happened. "Oh, ah, ah, ah, ah. I confessed my sins." There is not one evangelist in fifty in America today preaching salvation. They are preaching forgiveness. "Just come and get forgiven." That is not salvation. Jesus came to do more than forgive us our sins.

permalink source: Leonard Ravenhill, "Baptism of Fire" http://articles.christiansunite.com/article581.shtml
tags: Salvation, Evangelism, Revival

The Brahman attended an evangelistic meeting where Christians glowingly described how Christ had saved them. "You people say you are saved," declared the Brahman. "So am I. As Christ has saved you, so Krishna has saved me." The missionary in charge of the meeting replied, "I am very glad to hear that you are saved - very glad indeed. Now we are going down to the outcaste quarters and are going to see what we can do for these poor people. We will sit on their beds and in their houses and will share their lives to help them. Will you join us?" The Brahman thought a moment and then said, "Well, sahib, I am saved, but I am not saved that far.”

permalink source: E. Stanley Jones, Christ of the Round Table, 1928
tags: Evangelism, Missions, Pluralism

People Aren't Projects

A priest on Long Island tells me that, when he was newly ordained, he had the chance to visit with the legendary Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who was famed for, among other things, winning many converts to the Catholic Church. Sheen was in the hospital and, as it turned out, on his deathbed. “Archbishop Sheen,” my friend said, “I have come for your counsel. I want to be a convert-making priest like you. I’ve already won fifteen people to the faith. What is your advice?” Sheen painfully pushed himself up on his elbows from his reclining position and looked my friend in the eye. “The first thing to do,” he said, “is to stop counting.”

permalink source: Richard Neuhaus, First Things (December 2007), http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=6094
tags: Evangelism