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.





GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES

25 09 2014





THE URGENCY OF OUR COMMISSION

16 11 2012

BY STEVE DUNN

In our current round of Bridgebuilders Seminars and in presentations about the Bridgebuilders Principles, we have been sharing some disturbing news that goes to the heart of  renewing our passion for evangelism and making more and better disciples.

As a follow-up, I’d like to share some graphs that summarize the recent findings of the Pew Research Center.

Shawn Anderson in his blog living dangerously has some counsel for us based on these observations:

1. Realize that we are the seekers, not the religiously unaffiliated. Jesus told his followers to “go”. Instead of building a church building with the notion that “they will come” to us, we need to actively and intentionally go to our communities.

2. Target young people. The younger generations are the ones with the largest percentage of religiously unaffiliated. They will also dictate the future of the church. Therefore, we need to intentionally seek to develop relationships with them.

3. Communicate the love of Jesus. If we share the love of Jesus by serving others with no strings attached and by being transparent with them, it will show them that we are more concerned with their souls than money, rules and politics.





SHARING ONLY GOD’S LOVE IS CONFUSED

7 04 2011

Sharing Only God’s Love Is Confused

God Loves You

by Clay Jones

I’ve often heard Christians say that when witnessing Christians should “just share the love of God,” meaning: don’t talk about hell or judgment. In this context I have also heard things like, “you can’t draw flies without honey” and “I don’t want to scare people into heaven; I want to love them in.” This sounds nice and loving.

But it’s not.

This approach to evangelism fails to understand the proper distinction between law and Gospel. The Reformers understood that when law and Gospel are properly distinguished, law is preached only to secure sinners and the Gospel (or grace) is preached only to insecure sinners. What they meant is this. You don’t just tell people who are secure in their sin that God loves them. Why? Because that only emboldens them in their sin. Those who are righteous in their own eyes don’t need a large dose of hearing about God’s grace. Instead what they need to hear about is judgment and the wrath of God. Secure sinners need to be made into insecure sinners (of course, this can’t be done without the work of the Holy Spirit). Once they become insecure sinners, then, and only then, do we preach to them the Gospel of Grace.

This is what Jesus did…

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO CONTINUE READING >>>

Sharing Only God’s Love Is Confused | Clay Jones





EVANGELISM WITHOUT DISCIPLESHIP

4 03 2011

Evangelism without Discipleship
Posted on February 28, 2011 by Dr. Tom Cocklereece

My readers know that I am passionate about disciple-making and it pains me when other Christian leaders accuse proponents of full discipleship of being less than zealous of penetrating lostness by saturation evangelism. I am just as zealous of evangelism as I am about the teaching part of the Great Commission. However, I am also against what I call “Constantinian evangelism” which is evangelism without discipleship. Allow me to explain.

CONSTANTINE’S CONVERSION TO CHRISTIANITY

Chi-Rho Symbol

In the spring of A.D. 311, Constantine and his force of about 40,000 troops marched toward Rome to confront the more numerous forces of Maxentius. In the evening Constantine saw a vision in the sky which was described as a bright cross with the words “By this sign conquer.” According to Constantine’s account, Jesus Christ told him in a dream to take the cross into battle as his standard. Constantine reportedly had his commander to mark every soldier’s shield with the Chi-Rho symbol- thought to be an early Christian sign identifying allegiance to Christ (Christianity Today).

CONSTANTINE SET THE STAGE FOR EVANGELISM WITHOUT DISCIPLESHIP

Constantine

Stories continue to circulate that Constantine supposedly marched his army through a river for a ritual mass conversion to Christianity or gave them a sprinkling baptism as they marched under a bridge. There is scant evidence that such a mass conversion event occurred. It is well documented in history that Constantine himself remained a superficial Christian at best during the rest of his life. The standard practice of that day for new converts to Christianity was a rigid discipleship course lasting up to three years followed by baptism. Constantine refused any such course of training and even refused baptism until he was close to death.

By his victory at the Milvian Bridge using the Chi-Rho symbol, many soldiers likely adopted the mark in a superstitious way. They accepted the symbol of Christianity while never seeking to really know the Savior Jesus Christ. Thus began what might be called “Constantinian evangelism” or evangelism without discipleship. Constantine may have instituted mass conversion of his military by the use of an indoctrination prayer:

Constantine’s Army Prayer
Emperor Constantine ca 320

We know Thou art God alone;
we recognize in Thee our king.
We call on Thee for aid.
From thee we receive victory,
through thee we are made greater than our enemies.

We recognize thy grace in present blessings
and hope on Thee for the future.
We all beseech Thee, we implore Thee
to preserve our king Constantine
and his pious sons safe and victorious to the end or our days.

In A.D. 303 it was illegal for a soldier in the Roman army to be a Christian; by 416 it was mandatory for a soldier to be a Christian (Adventist Review). The possible use of a prayer for either mass conversion (which converts no no one) or represents compulsory religious conversion by the state should send chills down the spiritual spine of any evangelical Christian. However, it does raise the question for evangelicals: “Do we use what is known as “the sinner’s prayer” in a similar manner?

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.” The Sinner’s Prayer

Certainly evangelicals do not approve of or use the sinner’s prayer for state compulsory or mass conversion but the focus on evangelism and baptisms without an equal focus on discipleship raises concern.

INVESTING IN EVANGELISM FUTURES

Process Discipleship

I am not a proponent of a several year discipleship process before one is accepted as a genuine Christian. However, if only by default, many evangelical Christian leaders today may have unintentionally accepted a powerless form of Christianity—evangelism and conversion without discipleship, i.e. Constantinian evangelism. I am for all evangelistic efforts PLUS discipleship.

Discussions rage about the decline of evangelical churches and much of it centers on the need for more evangelism. However, undiscipled Christians are often poor evangelists. Consider that an original document is printed and then successive photo copies are made from copies of the original. Eventually the document will be unreadable. Undiscipled Christians may be like the illustration and fail to make new disciples. On the other hand, good discipleship of new Christians is an investment into future evangelism and real church growth.

Good discipleship of new Christians is an investment into future evangelism and real church growth.

It is time for the evangelical church to return to making disciples as the Great Commission commands—baptizing AND teaching. Church leaders should connect all discipleship ministries in an intentional process as well as cultivate a church culture where people are motivated to follow through in the growth process. The process must include missional opportunities that encourage hands-on ministry experience. Churches that do this are revitalizing their ability to do effective evangelism, as they create needed sustainability.

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QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT

1. When Jesus commands his church to make disciples, to what degree does the responsibility belong to the church and to what degree is it the individual Christian’s responsibility?
2. Do you think that some evangelists use “the sinner’s prayer” as Constantine may have used “Constantine’s Army Prayer?”
3. What process does your church use to make disciples?
4. Does your church focus on evangelism without a viable plan for discipling new believers?
5. Does your church take a passive laissez-faire approach to discipling new Christians?
6. How may your church improve the discipleship process?

Simple Discipleship Blessings!

Dr. Tom Cocklereece, The Disciplist

The Simple Discipleship blog is read by Christian leaders in over 66 countries. Pray for this ministry as God has enlarged our territory!

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Simple Discipleship: How to Make Disciples in the 21st Century was published and released by Church Smart Resources in November 2009. It is not a self-published book. To learn more about Simple Discipleship and to order the book, follow the link below:

http://www.simplediscipleship.com

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Dr. Tom Cocklereece is CEO of RENOVA Coaching and Consulting, LLC

Author “Simple Discipleship,” contributing writer L2L Blogazine
He is a pastor, an author, professional coach, and leadership specialist