Archive for the Evangelism Category

The Axehead Falls

Posted in Christian Music, Christianity, Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, God, Jesus, Megachurch, Religion on December 2, 2008 by Scott

What better way for the Axe to fall than to say goodbye with our friends from Audio Adrenaline.

No tears. It’s simply time to shut-up and start making a difference somewhere. But we’re not disappearing completely.  You can find us on Twitter and Facebook

In the words of Forest Gump, “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

Fanatics

Posted in Christianity, Church, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Religion on November 23, 2008 by Scott

How about this?  85,000+ fanatics screaming and jumping as the Sooners beat Texas Tech.

Imagine if we got that excited about spreading the Gospel, serving others, and following God.  What kind of difference could we make then?

Who’s Fault Is It?

Posted in Christianity, Church, Culture, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Missional, Politics, Religion on November 12, 2008 by Scott

blameNo…not the election.

Who’s fault is it that we have become reliant on the government to solve our societal issues?

Christians have become a pawn in the political process and we allowed it to happen.

Meanwhile, our society is full of people who need help – the homeless, young women considering abortion, kids who are starving, families breaking apart, and more.

And where are we?  Canvassing for our favorite politician so that they can cure everything that is “wrong” in our country.

Pastor Greg Matte of Houston’s First Baptist Church puts it this way:

…government policy has stepped into theology. The beginning of life and definition of marriage are theological issues, not political… We redefine family and look to government as the lone savior – and here we sit.

Baby Boomers moved from biblical values to “do your own thing” which included raising their kids to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning instead of church.

We now raise our kids on the sporting fields while shoe polishing our SUVs each weekend with “Go Team! On to the ‘ships!” instead of teaching the difference between eternal rewards and plastic trophies.

All valid points.  So, now what?

Roxanne Wieman at Relevant Magazine has some great ideas:

We do not rest our hopes for change on a political party or candidate…. in January when Obama takes office, we get up and we continue our sojourn to follow Jesus. We live our votes for life, for justice, for peace, for equality.

We comfort our friend who tells us she’s considering abortion. Then we gently tell her why we believe life in the womb is precious. We help her find alternative options … and we stick by her side all through the pregnancy and birth and after. She is not a statistic or a faceless evil to us.

We love beyond racial, gender and sexual lines. We reject stereotypes. We embrace individuals. We work for reconciliation.

We do not talk about “that side of town,” we live there and work there and mentor there. We are a part of educational reform, and ESL, and rehabilitation.

We recycle. We reduce our imprint. We consciously make our purchases, recognizing the global implications. We strive to “live simply that others may simply live” (Ghandi).

We personally pray for our soldiers in Iraq, for the citizens of Iraq, for our leaders who are making tough decisions that affect millions of lives. We really do pray, and we believe our prayers matter.

We continue to work hard in the jobs God has given us, saving our money and stewarding our resources. We tithe. We donate. We volunteer.

We continually challenge each other to deepen our understanding of whole life ethics and Jesus’ call to follow Him.

Rather than sitting around and “grieving” the election results like James Dobson, it’s time we stop blaming the government, look in the mirror and heed the words of Jesus:

Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

If you really want to make a difference in the issues that plague our society, that’s where we start. It’s time to stop going to church and time to start being the church.


It’s My Church and I’ll Cry if I Want To

Posted in Christianity, Church, Evangelism, God, Jesus, Religion on October 30, 2008 by Scott

Every now-and-then I read something and its as if the writer were speaking directly to me. Such is the case with this rant from Gary Lamb:

…I am convinced most churches will never change because IT IS ALL ABOUT THEM. They would never admit it, but the large majority of churches care more about what they like, then what it takes to be effective.

Most churches will tell you they want to reach unchurched people AND I believe them…. They want to reach unchurched people but they want to reach them on their terms.  What they mean is they want to reach lost people as long as the lost people like the music we play, the traditions we have, and the way we do things. If they don’t like our way of doing, they can die and go to hell. They won’t say it like that, but trust me that is what they mean.

We are a selfish society and nowhere is this more evident than in the church. As long as we are getting what we like, we are good to go.  Very few people join a church to see how they can help; instead they join to see what is in it for them.

It takes unselfish people to make change happen in church.  It takes people who are willing to put their preferences on the backburner and do whatever it takes (even changing) to reach those who are far from God. Sadly, those type of people are hard to find.

Guilty as charged.

Saving Christians

Posted in Books, Christianity, Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Missional, Religion on October 29, 2008 by Scott

In their new book, Jesus Wants To Save Christians, Rob Bell and Don Golden examine the disparities between the message of Christ and the message of the modern, Western Church.

From Relevant Magazine:

“To preserve prosperity at the expense of the powerless is to miss the heart of God.”  (Rob Bell)

In what ways do you believe the church in America has “preserved prosperity” at others’ expense?

Perhaps one obvious question a church can ask herself is “What percentage of our budget is spent on us and what is spent on others?”

The Church has missed the heart of God by speaking out against abortion while keeping silent about war. Both are forms of violence used to preserve prosperity. Abortion is prenatal war against the powerless child. War is postnatal abortion that destroys innocent life. The kingdom is life for the fetus and life for the civilian. The church embodies this life in a world of expedient and preemptive killing.

It can be difficult to understand the plight of the powerless when we have so much, what can church leaders do to help connect their communities with the heart of God for those suffering right now?

The most powerful thing we’ve seen is when people make a friend from outside their bubble—through a tutoring program, a job skills training class, a Habitat for Humanity build project-when “the poor” has a name and a face and personality for you, everything changes.

As the title of the book suggests, Jesus Wants To Save Christians. In your opinion, what are the biggest things we need saving from?

Boredom. Which is really despair in its non-caffeinated form. And boxes. Where we live in fear and where we put those who unsettle us.

You describe the plan of God for the church to be a gift to the world. Many people today would say that the church is anything but. What are some crucial changes that our churches need to make to become a Eucharist that is broken and poured out for the world?

1. Master the art of doubt. Faith needs it to survive.

2. Surrender the compulsive need to constantly remind people that according to your worldview you’re going to heaven forever when you die and they’re going to burn in hell forever.

3. Celebrate the good and the true and the beautiful wherever and whenever you find it regardless of the label it wears or the person it comes from or the place you found it. All things are yours.

4. Remember that the tax collectors and prostitutes loved to feast with Jesus and the religious establishment gossiped about him and dissected his teachings and questioned his commitment to orthodoxy and eventually had him killed. There’s a lesson for us there.


Factoids

Posted in Christianity, Church, Evangelism, God, Religion on October 29, 2008 by Scott

According to Lifeway Research:

  • 37% of Protestant churches are very involved in local evangelism/missions
  • 41% of Protestant churches are very involved in overseas evangelism/missions

More churches are more involved in the other side of the world than they are in their own communities.

  • 32% of evangelical Protestant churches are in a strong financial position
  • 48% of the average church budget is spent on personnel expenses

48% of the budget is too high. Church staff is underpaid.  We need to give more.

  • 24% of both Protestant pastors very informed about sports

Yet at least 75% use lame sports analogies.

  • 36% of Protestant pastors very informed about politics

Correction…36% think they are informed about politics.

  • 7% of Protestant pastors are very informed about clothing and fashion

Have you seen these guys on television? Hawaiian shirts, old guys dressing like teenagers, bad suits, and more.  7% seems high.

  • 4% of Protestant pastors are very informed about celebrities

What about Pastor celebrities…Rick Warren, Ed Young, Rob Bell, etc? Guess they had to abstain.


Give Me Your Eyes

Posted in Christianity, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Religion on October 15, 2008 by Scott

We’re not real big on the Christian pop scene, but Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath has an interesting concept.

Imagine if you could have God eyes for just one second…what would you see, what would you feel, how would it change you?

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the once forgotten

Alright….The video of this song from YouTube keeps saying “no longer available,” yet plays perfectly on YouTube.  You can view it here.

Here’s another video from Brandon Heath: