Thursday, January 31, 2019

Thinking down on others

Picture this: It's freezing cold and you see someone walking outside.

He doesn't have gloves or a hat.

Is your first thought "What is that idiot doing?"

I'm afraid I've been guilty of thinking down on someone like that before.

What if you had the same upbringing, the same parents, the same schools. Would you be any different?

Treating someone as less than human, even if it's a fraction less and just in a mental comment we make to ourselves, is a dangerous slope.

Maybe instead of thinking down on 'that idiot' we should look at ourselves: Are we willing to sacrifice to change his story?


PS. He needs more than gloves. He needs the Gospel too. You can probably give him both.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Crossing the line

At some point you just have to cross the line.

Maybe you're not comfortable talking to someone you don't know. Maybe you're not comfortable introducing a meaningful topic into a casual conversation. Maybe you love to talk deeply with people but have never ventured into a spiritual conversation.

If you want to share the Gospel with people that are far from God, you're going to need to cross the line.

Me? I hate the fact that EVERYONE is looking at their phone, usually with earbuds in. The only way to start a conversation with them is to cross the line of interrupting them. (Don't worry, most of us just waste time on our phones anyway.)

In any of these scenarios the line is there. It needs to be crossed. The mission of Jesus calls us to leave our comfort behind and reach out to others.

Finally, wherever your line is: It's not going to be any easier to cross it tomorrow. You might as well go ahead and do it today.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Waiting, praying and what God wants

I've got wise friends. One of them told me this in a recent phone call:

"We're so used to the American culture of getting what we want when we want it, that when we pray for a desire for more than a year we think something must be wrong." (Loose paraphrase.)

Maybe God just wants to to pray more.

Abraham Lincoln thought the same thing about the Civil War:
 "The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party -- and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true -- that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere great power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And, having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds." (Emphasis mine).

We're interested in the resolution to our trouble or dilemma and we usually want that resolution to happen quickly. I'm not sure God is interested in the same thing. Maybe we're supposed to learn and grow from what we're facing.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Why I don't use tracts

Some people love their Gospel-tracts. Me? Not so much.

I'm not talking about the bad ones (and trust me, there are some bad ones out there): Literature that is insulting and mean in how it presents the Goodbest news in the world.

But I don't even like to use the good ones.

It has nothing to do with the tract itself, the problem is me. (What's that old break-up line? "It's not you, it's me.")

For me, a tract is a crutch. An easy way out of the difficult work of starting a conversation, caring for someone in that conversation, and directing it to the Gospel.

[There's a difference between a crutch and a tool. If you use a tract so you can talk less or listen less (bigger deal!), then it's a crutch. If you can use a tract to start a conversation or further it towards the Gospel, that's using it as a tool. Go for it.]


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Knox County Gospel Conversation Training - February 9

Gospel Conversation Training

Saturday February 9, 9am-Noon at The Oaks Church in Dahinda IL.

In Knox County there are 34,000 people living without Jesus in their lives. At least half of them will never set foot in a traditional church. What's it gonna take to bring the Gospel to them? This training will equip and challenge you to share the Gospel and make disciples with the people in your world.

Learn how to:
  • Naturally take a conversation from "Hello" to the Gospel. 
  • Share the Gospel in a simple and effective way. 
  • Help people take their next steps towards Jesus. 
Please contact me to RSVP.  Interested in training but can't make that day? Let me know!

Other upcoming trainings:

Friday, January 11, 2019

Is caring for others "the Gospel"?


So, is caring for others "the gospel"? Is that evangelism? No, not without the spoken message of the gospel of Jesus... We should never confuse meeting physical needs with sharing the gospel. Caring for others represents the gospel, it upholds the gospel, it points to the gospel, it's an implication of the gospel, but it is not the gospel, and it is not equal to the gospel.

Mack Stiles in Marks of the Messenger (pgs 68-69)  eloquently completes my thoughts about free meals without a Gospel conversation.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

411 Training on January 25

[A quick service announcement It seems I've had several people get subscribed without their knowledge, sorry if that's you! You can always unsubscribe via the link at the bottom of the email, or reply and I'll remove you myself. I've added a double opt-in requirement to the sign up form to prevent this problem in the future. Back to your regularly scheduled post:]

Four simple questions any follower of Jesus should be able to answer (and do!)

Why do we make disciples?
What do we say?
Who do we reach?
When are we going to do it?

During the evening on January 25th, in Eureka IL, we'll be training these 4 questions. It will take about 1 hour and we'll cover it all 1 piece of paper.  (Hence, the 411.)

If you'd like to come let me know and I'll get you more details. If you can't make that night but would still like the training, let me know and we'll get another time scheduled.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Pekin High School Late Start Gospel Conversation Training



On January 23rd, 815-915am at Pekin Starbucks we'll be meeting to train students how to share the Gospel with their friends. We'll leave that day with a goal to contact fellow students that are far from God, inviting them to the next Late Start at Starbucks.

On February 6th we'll meet our friends (same time, same place) with the specific intention of sharing the Gospel with them.

Then on February 20th we'll do a Discovery Bible study for anyone that is interested in learning more about Jesus.

We'll repeat the whole cycle March 6, 20 and April 3rd.

If you're not a Pekin High School student, you might know one. Can you pass this training on to them?  If you don't know any, but you're interested in a similar training for yourself or your ministry, contact me!