Top 10 Excuses for Getting Out of Sharing Your Faith

13 06 2018

From the web site Church Plants comes this article by Luke Geraty

Does your pesky pastor or church community keep emphasizing God’s mission? Are there regular reminders of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and the purpose of Holy Spirit in evangelism (Acts 1:8)? Never fear! Here are the top 10 excuses you can use to get out of sharing your faith!

1. ) “I don’t know enough.” Sure, if you are a follower of Jesus you have heard the gospel message and realize that Jesus has died for your sins and that he was raised from the dead and that in order to have peace with God, you need to trust in Jesus. But since you don’t understand supralapsarianism, have a stated position on eschatology or know the biblical languages, you can’t possibly be expected to share your faith in Jesus with others! You have to go to seminary for that! Duh!

2.) “I evangelize my children.” Listen, I’m a parent. My priority is my kids, and because I have kids I’m unable to have any interaction with other human beings, so I can’t be expected to talk about Jesus to other people! I never see other people! Well, except the people that I talk to at work or in the other social encounters I have like the grocery store or the park or school. But I’m too busy discipling my kids at all of those places to actually be able to talk to other human beings. Plus I don’t know enough to disciple people … except my kids. And you can’t share your faith with both your kids and other people! You can’t disciple your children and other humans! It’s either/or, not both/and. Duh!

3.) “I need to pray about it first.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mission of God, Great Commission and the Holy Spirit was poured out to help me share my faith. But I really need to pray about whether I can share my faith with people. Unless I get a clear prophetic word on the matter, I can’t really jump into telling people about how God has transformed me. That’s far too presumptuous on my part! What if God doesn’t want me to share my faith? What if he doesn’t want to use me to tell that person about Jesus because he would rather that person not know the gospel. Come on! Don’t be so arrogant as to assume that the Great Commission is for everyone. Duh!

4.) “I’m too busy.” You just don’t understand. I’m too busy to be intentional about sharing Jesus. When I am at work, I’m there to work. When my co-workers tell me about their problems, I can’t offer to pray for them because I’m busy. You just don’t understand. You aren’t as busy as me. And you don’t realize that if I took the time to develop relationships with people who don’t know Jesus that would cut into my hobbies, like television. Duh!

READ MORE ….

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11 WAYS TO MAKE CHRISTMAS YOUR BEST OUTREACH OF THE YEAR

10 12 2017

Cary Nieuwhof is one of the favorite bloggers of those who work Bridgebuilders Ministries.  This is an extremely helpful post for this time of year. – STEVE

Christmas

Any idea what the best outreach opportunity of the year at your church might be?

You might think it’s an event you do, or perhaps it’s Easter. But whether Christmas has historically been your best opportunity to reach unchurched people or not, I believe it could be.

You may think it’s far too early to start thinking about Christmas, but think again. Whenever I’ve shared these ideas about Christmas, people say “Hey, I wish you’d talked about this earlier.” So we are.

In addition to this post, Jeff Henderson and I are doing a free live training outlining how to turn Christmas into your best outreach opportunity of the year.  Jeff takes all his learning from Gwinnett Church (#ForGwinnett)  and I take mine from Connexus Church and hand them to you.

The training is on replay for a limited time leading up to Christmas 2017, and you can watch it here.

So why can Christmas become your very best outreach event of the year?

It Only Happens Once A Year These Days

As our culture becomes more and more post-Christian, we’re seeing far fewer times when the holidays of the church and the holidays of culture sync. I remember about a decade ago hearing a Toronto DJ refer to Easter as “the first long weekend of summer” (in Canada Good Friday is a holiday and schools still take Easter Monday off…a relic from Colonial days). Good Friday and Easter were completely lost on him. It was simply time off.

Christmas is completely different.

Our culture still loves Christmas. Sure, the motives are commercial. But Christmas is the only time of year when you’ll hear malls belt out explicitly Christian songs like Charles Wesley’s “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing:”

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel

If you follow a lot of Christians on social media leading up to Christmas, you probably have noticed how many people lament over the culture’s disregard of Christ.

Well, you can see the obstacle. Or you can see the opportunity. I choose to see the opportunity. There are so many connection points with our culture you’ll miss if you only see the glass as half empty.

This is no time for the church to be more cynical than the world, which still remembers something is different at Christmas, even if they’re not exactly sure what it is.

Stop complaining about the world. Reach it instead.

As the general population thinks less about the Christian faith, Christmas provides a unique opportunity to reach people who no longer ordinarily attend church.

READ MORE – A WHOLE LOT MORE





THE DREADED E-WORD

14 06 2017

Several years ago I was asked by my regional conference to help establish a commission on evangelism. The purpose was to help develop a ministry of evangelism throughout our conference to help us live out the Great Commission. It was a challenge I gladly accepted because (1) I believe that is our primary calling as the church (2) evangelism is my personal life passion.

Not too long after it was announced that I had taken on this assignment, I received a communication from a good friend and pastor of one of our thriving congregations. “Congratulations and thank you.  This is something we have needed for some time. Just one thought. Could you call it something besides evangelism. People get really turned off or frightened by that word.”

Considering the source of that comment, and possessing the overall belief in the importance of what we would be doing–I was dumbfounded. It had never crossed my mind to call it anything but evangelism. (For reasons I will share in a later post, we chose to keep using the word.)

Most Christians care about the eternal destiny of their neighbors and families. Most believe the church should be doing evangelism. Most understand that they are the church.  So why don’t more Christians engage in evangelism?

Here are the top two reasons:

1. The fear of offending someone or being rejected.  Many of us buy into the cultural idea that religion is a personal matter. We tend to want to belong, to fit in.

2. They don’t know how.





BRIDGEBUILDERS SEMINAR AT ELIZABETHTOWN PA

14 06 2017




ACTS OF KINDNESS

8 06 2016

543d91b2112d4.imageBY STEVE DUNN

“Like a  a good neighbor, State Farm is there” – tag line for popular television commercial

I confess I often leave the room when the commercials come on.  Only the most clever or creative reverse that urge.  One that captures me has people finding themselves in unexpected predicaments or overwhelming problems and they say these “magic words” and poof!-their friendly insurance agent appears to help them.

One of the best ways for a local church to connect with its community and become a valuable neighbor is to keep their Acts of Kindness ministry active, aware, and timely.  Many years ago the “random acts of kindness” movement emerged in America, then refined by people like Steve Sjoberg and the Vineyard Fellowship into “servant acts of kindness.”   Such a commitment changed the focus and the image of local cburches–definitely for the better.

After a while all good ministries lose momentum and slip into the plethora of church activities that occupy volunteer time and church resources.  That might be acceptable for study group or worship methods, but it cannot happen to the church’s outreach.

It is helpful to remember these simple principles:

  1. Be more intentional than random.  Acts of Kindness need planning so that they produce the best results, avoid embarrassment to your people, and don’t cause your own busy people to think they are wasting their valuable time.
  2. Don’t abandon the spontaneous.  Nonetheless, sometimes the Holy Spirit presents you with an unanticipated opportunity.  Go for it!
  3. Teach your people to do individual acts of kindness.  Teach people to be alert to their neighbors and their needs, give them some tools of discernment, and encourage them not to have to have a crowd to serve Jesus well.
  4. Follow up. Not for bragging, but for ministry–try reconnecting with the people you have helped (a) to see if you really helped (b) see if there is a deeper need (c) connect them to the Jesus in whose name you were helping them.
  5. Pray for opportunities by giving you and your church a heart for their neighbors.

This post originally appeared in my blog BEING THE BEST CHURCH FOR THE COMMUNITY.

 

© 2015 by Stephen L. Dunn.  You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to www.drstevedunn.com. For all other uses, contact Steve at sdunnpastor@gmail.com 





THE NEXT BRIDGEBUILDERS SEMINAR – SEPTEMBER 11-12, 2015 CARLISLE PA

7 08 2015

40466_137821966257615_3396476_nThe next BRIDGEBUILDERS SEMINAR New Hope Church of God in Carlisle PA

 SEPTEMBER 11-12, 2015

“Bridgebuilders-Helping Your Church Reach Its Unchurched Neighbors”

Dr. Steve Dunn. Leader

The church is located at 1250 Waggoners Gap Road Carlisle PA 17013

Session One: Friday Night  6:30-8:30 pm

The Mission Field Outside Our Front Door

What Every Church Needs to Be

Session Two: Saturday Morning  9:00 am-12:00 noon

What Every Missionary Needs to Know

Christ’s Respectful Ambassadors

Tools for Building Bridges

Getting Started As a Church (And as Individuals)

Cost is $15 per person or $50 flat rate for 4 or more people registering from the same church. Materials and snacks are included in the cost.  Register by calling the church at (717) 241-5544 or emailing pastordickwarner@gmail.com.  Checks should be made payable to the ERC and are due the day of the seminar.





LEADERSHIP FOR BRIDGEBUILDING CHURCHES

25 06 2015

church1_editedIn cooperation with the School of Evangelism, Bridgebuilders is planning two “graduate seminars” that build on what we have been learning these past five years. Each school will have two 2 ½-3 hour sessions on either consecutive Thursday evenings or Saturday mornings. The overall topic is: Leadership for Healthy, Outreaching, Disciplemaking Churches.

Individual topics will include: The Stewardship of Leadership, Helping the Church to Mature to Match Its Mission, Managing Change and Resolving Conflict, Measuring Your Health and Fruitfulness.

If you would be willing to host, or if you have interest in participating in such a training experience, please contact Dr.Steve Dunn at 717-471-3018 or sdunnpastor@gmail.com