Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Actually Pray

If we want to see the lost in Peoria reached with the Gospel, we need to pray.  Not talk about praying, not meet about praying, but actually pray.

You can do it on your own, but here are a few reminders I've found helpful:

1) Set an alarm at 10:02 everyday. When it goes off, pray Luke 10:2"The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields."

2) Fast one meal a week. (I don't like this one, but it's really helpful.) Skip one meal each week and when you get hungry, use that feeling to remember to pray for people without Jesus.

3) Get a reminder. You can sign up for a weekly email reminder here:

Let us pray. Actually pray.

If you decide to do any of these, let me know at

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Show up. (Repeat).

I  have a new evangelism strategy. It's profoundly simple, yet amazingly difficult.

Show up. (Repeat).

So simple, yet so difficult.  Here's what it looked like for me:

Last April God put a group of people on my heart.  They had been outside my office window for years (smoking at a picnic table every Tuesday and Thursday.) But it wasn't until 9 months ago that I opened my eyes to the harvest that was right in front of me.

Walking up to them the first time was amazingly difficult. But I did it. I asked a couple of get to know you questions, and then I asked how I could pray for them.

The next week I walked up to them again. It was easier. I followed up about their prayer requests. I shared the Three Circles Gospel presentation.

The next week I did it again. It became easier and easier to walk across the parking lot, start spiritual conversations and share the Gospel. Something else became more difficult:


There were so many other things I could do besides hang out with a bunch smokers. But I kept at it.  About 4 months in I was about to give up, when Jerry came and found me. He sought me out with spiritual questions. Why did he come to me? Because I repeatedly showed up for one reason: I was there was to pray, start spiritual conversations, and share the Gospel.

I shared the Gospel with Jerry. He understood it but also had more questions. I invited him to start a Discovery Bible Study the next week.

What's going on now?  This picture sums it up:
A group of people learning from God's word about what it means to follow and obey Jesus.

Where do you need to...  Show up. (Repeat). ?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

From Discovery Bible Study to Gospel Share

I told you Jim's story earlier. I was able to go to his apartment and lead a Discovery Bible Study with him two times. Both times "his girl" Elizabeth was there. The first time she sat apart from us, but the second time I invited her over to the kitchen table as I reviewed the Three Circles with Jim.

Elizabeth listened to the Gospel. She told me that she believed in what Jesus had done, but wasn't following Him. (This seems to be a fairly common answer.) I told her that I would be coming around again to study the Bible with Jim, and she was welcome to join us to learn more about how to follow Jesus. She seemed interested and I was pumped for my next visit.

...Unfortunately the story fizzles out there. Jim (and his girl) had to move out before the next week. I've exchanged a few text messages since then but haven't been able to connect to restart a Bible study.

Here's what I learned though:
Start with the Gospel
Go to a person to lead a Bible Study (instead of inviting them to you)
Engage others that are there in that Bible Study... with the Gospel

I can't wait to try it again.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Training Opportunity - Wednesday Mornings in Pekin

Save the date for Wednesday morning trainings in Pekin this winter and spring! 

This coming Wednesday January 10th, we'll meet at 8:15-930AM at Grace United Methodist Church.

We'll be training on starting spiritual conversations, sharing the Gospel, and making disciples.  At later days we'll go out and practice what we learned by engaging people at coffee shops, restaurants, or outside the high school.

Note: While we're meeting at a time that's great for Pekin High School students, this training is open to anyone. Let me know if you're planning on coming and feel free to bring a friend along with you.

Late Start Dates Spring 2018
January 10, 24
February 7, 21
March 7, 21
April 11, 25

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Start with the Good News

I hadn't seen Jim at church in years. And if even half of the stories I had heard about him were true, he had been on quite the prodigal journey over those years.

Jim had been in the youth Sunday School we taught and just disappeared during his sophomore year of high school. But he showed up at church recently and when he did I used the Three Questions to guide my conversation.

After a short greeting, I asked: "So, is there anyway I can pray for you?"

He dodged the question completely. I wasn't sure where to go but I eventually came back around:
"Right now, would you say you're near to God or far from God?"

He actually gave me a straight answer.

"Could I show you how to be close to God?"

He said yes so I shared the Gospel using the Three Circles. Jim had heard the Good News before... hundreds of times... but despite that he actually listened. (The brokenness of life really resonated with him.) He wasn't ready to change how he was living, but he was willing to study the Bible with me in his apartment.

My "norm" would have been to strike up a conversation, keep it friendly and light, and then see if we could grab coffee later in the week. (At coffee I would have attempted a "How are you doing spiritually?" type question.) 

But instead I started with the Good News and through it I was able to go to his world and share more of God's truth through a Discovery Bible Study.

I dare you to try this. Start with the Good News today and see where God takes it.