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Category Archives: Missional

The thought of Evangelism is quite scary right…Maybe we should go downtown and do some street preaching. Or better yet let’s head out and do some door-to-door witnessing. I used to be a huge personal evangelist guy. One day I led 40 people to the Lord or should I say I helped 40 people say a prayer. Did they get saved? I’ll leave that question for another post.

Along the way my philosophy of evangelism shifted. I begin to realize the importance of living an incarnational life. Another words, how can I take the gospel to my city, neighborhood, workplace and live it out amongst the people. I realized whatever work I was doing was a ministry to the Lord and a way to be with the people that desperately needed the gospel. This gave me a greater sense of work and why I was doing what I was doing. I’ll never see work as a way to make money, I now see work as a way to bring Jesus to my world first and foremost.

When I worked in corporate sales I was able to see the fruit of this ministry. Years later I still get phone calls…Friends telling me they are now attending church and they know that I’ve prayed for them for many years. The gospel is foundational to proper living. We live in such a broken world, deeply wounded by sin and shame. The church has a great opportunity to respond with the hope of Jesus-the hope of change-the hope of transformation.

But for many people the gospel does not include transformation, therefore the gospel loses it’s power and influence. And this is why I think personal evangelism has lost it’s status in the minds of those who follow Jesus. It’s hard to proclaim change if one has not been changed. We are so frustrated with ourselves and we can easily become narcissistic.

When one has been changed by the gospel; when we realize that we are broken and depraved. Then the story of Jesus unfolds and shines bright on our brokenness. It’s this place that one has no other option but to share this transformation with the world around them. We all need to be the voice of Jesus for our generation. A voice that is grateful, filled with humility, but we also need to be bold and walk in the power and love of God.

I’m praying that God will help me remember that I’m an evangelists and I must prepare everyday to be used by the Holy Spirit to help bring shalom to my world.

By the way, you’re also an evangelist.¬† This does not mean you have the spiritual gift of evangelism. But if you follow Jesus, you are called to share your story to your world.

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Someone asked me recently why I’m so passionate about social justice issues. (more in word then deed I think)

My reply was pretty simple. I told this person that I get to live an amazing life and I want everyone else in this world to be able to say the exact same thing.

I believe life is a shared experience. I grew up with much hurt and pain. I was consantly sad, wondering why I existed. My true goal as a young kid was to stay away from drugs and violence, watch as many Lakers/Raider games as possible and pray that somehow I could escape my ghetto world.

Then a Filipino/African American family took me in as their own, gave me a place to stay that was safe, food to eat that was warm, and hugs that were real (I hated the hugging part). They became the “hands and feet” of Jesus. And I’ve spent the rest of my life trying to do the exact same thing.

I came across a very cool online journal: The Other Journal. Lot’s of article by the likes of Miroslav Volf and Shane Claiborne.

HT: Creation Project

I probably should stop blogging right now…

But…I’m not going to stop….

So…

I just want to say this-I’m over church planting-I think it’s over-rated.

There, I said it ūüôā

Why?

Because church planting has become the prima donna¬†of the evangelical world.¬† I just think we can’t stop at “church-planting.” Church planting is not enough. Sunday’s are not enough. Numbers who attend are not enough.
I want to focus more on being a catalyst for movements…(Which includes church planting) I just worry that church planting in and of itself has not got the ROI that we need in America. Also, I think church planting in America has really hurt the global church. We spend so much of our resources in America on reaching suburbanites. Hmm, we spend the most money on reaching the wealthiest-strange! If I was not a lazy blogger I could come up with all the stats, how fewer and fewer people are attending church now then ever, etc.

Just because you start a church and you have 10,50,100,200 at launch does not make you a missional church. We’ve got to stop using the word missional. Showing up and hearing a sermon and listening to worship does not make you missional. But leaving the the four-walls of the church and “living” out the gospel in your community-that is missional.

I think we spend so much time, effort and resources to attract people to our services. Maybe it’s time to really create pathways for people to understand the Lordship of Jesus and how He had called them to “go” into their world and “proclaim” the gospel story with action, love, justice and power. And then bring them into our church community. No money spent on “hooks” or anything.

Think about this. When is the last time you got together with fellow friends and just worshiped and prayed?¬† Not planned, not scripted, not forced. Just natural. Just some friends who love each other and Jesus. I can’t remember, maybe 10 years for me. Back then I believed prayer and community could change the world.

Sorry for the randomness. I just can’t grasp this deep stirring in my soul. Something must change. Somehow movements have to break out and missional men and women must walk with Jesus into their world with the sole purpose of bringing redemption.

If I’m “off” on something please let me know. This is not a negative post-I just want to think deeper from a missional perspective.

It’s basically impossible to turn on the TV or fire up the web browser and not have to deal with some sort of tragedy. Global communications causes us to be reminded of all the evil, hurt and pain that exist in our world. We can’t escape it…But sometimes I wonder if we just simply ignore it.

For instance…23 of our brother and sisters in Christ have been kidnapped. Two are dead. Why. because they cared for the poor and outcast and they put their life in danger. Last night I prayed for these men and women. I prayed that somehow my life would reflect their life. That I would not live in the safety of suburbia or allow the rhythm of going to church and Com Group to be “end all” of my Christian faith.

I know deep in my heart, somehow my faith must deepen. I can’t be content with who I am…I need to know Christ deeper,¬† I need to live-out the my faith deeper, I need to be more generous, I need to re-evaluate how I spend my time and resources…Why? Because tragedy exist, evil surrounds and we are called to push back evil.

I wish I knew better ways to respond…More fruitful ways. I just know this. Somehow, we have to encourage and help people to live-out deeper faith that produces more fruit and allows God’s shalom to come forth.

So, this has been one of the best weeks of ministry that I’ve had in a long time. Why you ask? Because I’ve spent time with people and not locked in some office dreaming about ministry or doing some lame to-do list. I suck at that stuff!

I love vision-casting, dreaming, planning, sharing and pouring into people. It’s just so freaking vital that we pastor types spend time pouring into people and helping them on life’s journey.

Sample of my week: I preached Sunday, hung with our Africa missions team last night, met with Com Group leaders today, studied theology with Jeff and Bedwell yesterday morning at Starbucks, meeting with some folks tonight to train them to take over our greeters ministry on Sunday and now I’m getting ready for an outreach that we are doing next Tuesday in E. Austin and I also get to prepare a message to speak next Sunday. I

love it. Rock on!

This morning I took the girls and wonder pup to Seattle’s Best Coffee to catch some breakfast and hot chocolate. Bailey started a conversation with a young couple. Long story short we were saying goodbye’s and Bailey walked up to the young women and asked her “what church do you go to?”The lady responded “I have not been to church in a long time.”Bailey responds with a “why, church is so fun.”Before it was all said and done, Bailey invited the young lady to Vista and she accepted. I was able to give her the needed information and she wants to come and check it out.Let’s just say I’m a proud dad!¬†

I had lunch with a missioanry from Yemen today. He told some pretty surreal stories. Sometimes in America it’s hard to read the Bible-you wonder if those crazy stories in the book of Acts are still happening.¬†Then you meet people who live in places like the Middle East and your reminded of how different the gospel is here in American as opposed to other regions.Smuggling Bibles, underground contacts,¬†villages¬†¬†getting one Bible and memorizing the entire book etc.Ah…The Book of Acts is still happening.¬†

Saturday, while working-out I listened to Craig Groeschel message he gave at the Buzz Conference. I’m now a huge fan of that dude….So real.

He asked the pastors in the audience “when was the last time they had an unsaved person at their house?” BTW, the plumber does not count-sorry!

I think we pastors have no clue the impact that we can make. But maybe we are just too busy “doing” church work that we are not “missional.” We tell our people to “love the lost” and “be missional.” Maybe we think we are automatically missional when we do church stuff…? But I think not. We are missional when we move into our city and neighborhoods and “live out the mission” that we want our people to live out.

I think the church staff should be inviting and bringing more people to church then anyone else. And if we can’t do that we should not expect our people to do it!