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 ….





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.





IS YOUR WEBSITE ATTRACTIONAL OR MISSIONAL AND WHY IT MATTERS

24 06 2013

Social-Network-Marketing-BusinessThis is precisely what we teach in Bridgebuilders course INTERNET EVANGELISM AND SOCIAL NETWORKING TOOLS

From PLANTING CHURCHES

Attractional vs. Missional. It’s all the buzz. But have you applied the thinking to your website?

An attractional website:

Is a destination on the web.
It is static and doesn’t change much.
It is difficult to foster relationship and communication.
It looks good and gives all the critical information about the church in one place.

A missional website:

Is dispersed widely across the internet and found in many different places (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Community Forums, Blogs, Google Ads, etc.)
Everyone can play and interact with the content pushed online. It is social by nature.
It can be found in the online communities where everyday people interact on the web.
It is often discovered because of relevant content and social interaction rather than directly sought out.
The critical information about the church can be difficult to find.

Just as church models are evolving, so is the internet. Ten years ago church website were largely static pages on the internet. They were little more than an online brochure, a destination to learn more about the church. Sites were build to be attractive. The site’s ease of use and look communicated something about the church. It still does today. The internet at this point was a popularity contest. Every link to the site was like as vote for best church website. To get found online, you simply had to be the most popular.

But the internet has changed. It is now largely about social and content. A church’s web presence cannot only be in one static place. A common phrase in missional circles is “The Church has left the building.” Applied to web presence, “The Church has left it’s domain.” To be relevant today, church websites have to be missional. They have to go where the people are. This is why it is critical to have an interactive presence in social media.

Interactive is the key. You can’t just hop on Facebook and start shouting out church announcements. Put your megaphone done and have a conversation. This can’t be accomplished with just the church staff. You have to get the entire congregation involved and help them be evangelists on the web. Open their eyes to how their online communication can be seeded with the gospel. If you just make announcements, you’ll be annoying. Stop it.

It used to be that links to your site were the key metric in the popularity contest on the web. Now content is king. Google will evaluate everything on the web tied to your church. All of your website, podcasts, blogs, social media outlets, white papers, webinars, etc are evaluated. The more Google can see that your content is relevant (measured by sharing, re-posting, liking, etc.), the more you will show up in search results.

Here are a few tips to start moving from attractional to missional with your website:

Distribute lots of content. You already create lots of content (sermons, small group lessons, parenting classes, etc.) With a couple of tweaks this content can be easily transformed into blog posts, podcasts, white papers and more. Move all of your content online.
Pick a couple of social media outlets and do them well. You can’t jump into every online community. Pick a few (Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) and get social.
Model for your congregation how to interact online with the gospel in mind. Spread seeds of hope and love in your communication and don’t just point back to your website; point to Jesus. People are raw online, be equally raw and transparent about the hope we have in Jesus.





WILL ANY ONE BE IN HEAVEN BECAUSE OF YOU?

8 03 2013

by Stephen L Dunn

I was introduced to this church sign today by two different blogs to which I subscribe.  Look at the sign very carefully. Let its message sink in.

Now that you have done this, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree?  At one level, it seems to be a reflection of Matthew 6:19-21:

   “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Instead of pursuing material gain or earthly position, invest yourselves in the lives of people. Build relationships that lead to their reconciliation with God and redemption in Christ.  Their presence in heaven, in part because of your hearts, will be what you treasure in heaven.

I agree with that interpretation and if the sign supports it, I affirm its message.





CHURCHES BUILDING BRIDGES – NEW CUMBERLAND

7 02 2013

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FROM CHARLIE ZAHORA and the New Cumberland PA Church of God:

We have a small team at our church called the CORE team, Community OutReach Events. We formed last year and have completed several outreach events. We began by adopting a “mission field” outside our church door, which is about 10 square blocks and 350 homes. In this area we hosted three “Meet Your Neighbor Barbeques”, gave every home a potted flower with an invitation to the barbeques, walked around giving away quarts of homemade chicken corn soup, hosted free summer lunches for school kids, done a few home repair projects for disabled folks, elderly & single mothers, picked up litter, done prayer walks, and a few other ministries. We’ve had lots of “touches” and have been content with our impact. Our intent is to GO into the local community and serve as missionaries. Thanks for any ideas.





WITHOUT FAITH YOU CANNOT BUILD BRIDGES

7 02 2013

BY STEVE DUNN

“And without faith it is impossible to please God…” – Hebrews 11:6a

I cannot tell you how many times I have this conversation in some form with a pastor.  “Steve, I weep for the people of my community who need Jesus. My heart breaks as I see the unrealized potential of the church I am leading.  There is so much that needs to be done and yet we cannot seem to break free of doing church as we have always done it.  People are afraid to take a risk and it is easier to just try and perpetuate what makes us comfortable instead of helping people find salvation.”

Our desire to be safe and comfortable often makes us resistant to the change needed to follow the leading of God.  Some of that is fear–fear that we will lose something precious to us in the process of giving ourselves away to others.  Some of that is a lack of vision.  We see a church as a building, or as organization that meets our needs, or as a closed fellowship that insulates us from the troubles of others.  Some of that is our image of God.  And to quote JB Phillips, (Our) God is too small.”

God is intimately concerned about the smallest portion of His creation.  All people great and small matter to Him.  As Bill Hybels says, “You have never locked eyes on someone for whom Christ did not die.”

But God always has a Big Picture.  For God so loved the WORLD not just our small corner of it.  And God commands us to join Him in the work of making disciples of the whole world–starting with our small family circle, but never limited to it.

God does great work in our comfortable surroundings, but He does His beat work in the zone of the unknown.  But you and your church will never go there with Him if you are afraid or if you try to ignore Big Picture. Without faith you cannot build bridges to the Bridge because those who need to cross over are always beyond the place where we feel safe.

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THE LEADWOOD STORY CONTINUES

7 12 2012

Kristina Wallace shares more of the story from Leadwood and reflects our kingdom focus in Bridgdbuilding churches. -Steve

This story is not ending or should I say mission? Philip felt he needed to go check back on a new family we found on Thanksgiving, by the way others were praying for and we did not know it. The husband has left wife and 4 small kids. 8 yr old boy says there is no Santa or God, if there why did this happen. We did call our group together and as of now they are going to have a Christmas. They are having to relocate so, the kids have been set up with an Awanas Baptist group for church near them since Mom has no car.. Not that we want to encourage Santa or the Baptist, LOL, but we are trying to to get him to believe, God does care. Praises for the Thanksgiving dinner and God mixing our paths and for allowing a special prayer to go on, on her front porch. Just to be able to watch all these things are amazing.

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BRIDGEBUILDING IN LEADWOOD, MISSOURI

6 12 2012

601451_417497298299652_1223959938_nKristina Wallace and her husband Phil were part of the Bridgebuilders Seminar we did for the Western Regional Conference of the Churches of God in October in Branson MO.  She shared this report with Steve.

My husband and brother thought I should send you a message with NUMBERS, since I am a numbers person. As I discussed with you at Branson, we have had a summer feeding outreach and I have been concerned about not seeing the numbers at church attendance. Well, I was totally not prepared for the numbers God sent to me. Leadwood City Hall contacted Kendall because they wanted to make sure people in the community had thanksgiving dinner. So he and I went to talk with them. Their words were,”since you are the only church in town who feed and help people, we wanted to partner with you.” These are not church going people. I met with our group and we contacted the ones we had helped during the summer and got flyers out. Meanwhile City Hall got donations of: 10 turkeys(cooked by the school), 3 hams, 100# potatoes, all the veggies and stuffing. Our Church of God sister churches found out and brought in desserts. Police officers and firefighters came to go out with us and 162 meals were delivered. 42 church and non-church people worked side by side to fill meal boxes. 16 bags groceries were given out. We found new people without food. The meals were truly needed by those who were served. As we prayed at homes our non church workers were right there beside us. Praise God it was ” ONE”, wonderful day! Thought you might be interested in the NUMBERS. FYI-Kristina Wallace





FEEDBACK FROM BRIDGEBUILDERS

31 10 2012

Persons from eight central Pennsylvania churches attended a recent Bridgebuilders Seminar in Camp Hill

Kelly Hall is a member of the Newville PA Church of God who attended a recent Bridgebuilders Seminar. This is what he shared with Steve a few weeks later.

Just a few comments on our outreach in our Couple’s Ministry Class.

We have had some great discussion in our couple’s class the past two weeks. Within that time we have decided to select 3 star’s off a Christmas tree at our local grocery store. The star has names of children in our area that are in financial need. We are able to provide a gift box with their needed requests and we are also open to include our own special gifts.

We have made contact in our local high school guidance’s office. We are being provided with name(s) of families in our area that have special needs. They will give us permission to contact them and help with their needs and this will allow visits from our class. At this time, there is at least two families that we should be able to connect with.

We are also purchasing children bibles to distribute in the community for random visits.

This has been something heavy on my heart …… to do more in our couple’s class. We have helped within our church but your seminar has motivated me to move outside our church walls. Thank you for the inspiration.

Kelly

 





SHARING JESUS

18 07 2011

 “Yesterday a little girl told me I sounded like Jesus’s wife when I sing… and she knows because “she saw the movie.” – Stacie Reber

photo courtesy of Lauren Zimmerman

Last week I had the privilege of leading a team of 26 persons to work with our Navajo sister congregation, Tsaile Community Church, conducting a Vacation Bible School for more 100 students. My team ranged in age from 15 through 78. Some were high school students, several bankers, several school teachers, another pastor, a financial planner, an electrician, a retired middle school principle, a candy-maker, a person who works with autistic adults, a candy maker, a graphic arts specialist, a quality control manager and more. An eclectic group with a common passion to help children meet Jesus Christ. We did this through stories and song, crafts and whiffle ball, a lunch, direct explanations of the gospel. We mostly did it by trying to let people see Jesus in the flesh by meeting him as he worked in and through us.

That’s a tall order when you think about it. We are imperfect vessels of a holy God. His unconditional love is expressed in his amazing grace, but we frequently hide that love in our actions and daily test his grace. We talk about Jesus in moment and live for ourselves in the next. We claim to be transformed into a new creation but reclaim our old nature when it is more convenient or comfortable.

Yet as imperfect as we may be and as inconsistent as we are in our actions, we still have the responsibility to share Jesus. It’s not our plan, it is His. In John 15:6 we read: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.” And as if to reassure us in any hesitancy we may be feeling, he adds, “Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

Sometimes the odds before us are almost daunting. Not all of us have the opportunity as did the folks from the Church of God of Landisville to go work in another culture. Yet Christians are vividly aware that they live in a culture for whom God is increasingly out of sight and out of mind. We live among people who have heard many empty words and have grown deaf to many religious expressions. The first witness is not words, it is a life lived as a reflection of the Jesus that lives within us. The apostle Paul explained that to the Colossians.
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ (Colossians 1.27)

2011 Tsaile VBS Team from Landisville Church of God (photo courtesy of Stacie Reber)

Hopefully when they hear the words of Jesus spoken they will believe those words because “they have seen the movie.”

(C) 2011 by Stephen L Dunn

This post originally appeared on the blog LIFE MATTERS

You can also read more about the work of the Tsaile VBS Team by going to the blog WE ARE THE CHURCH OF GOD OF LANDISVILLE