If people come a few times and leave because you do not follow up with them, or you just go around being arrogant jerks to everyone you meet, you push people away from ever even coming in the future. In many cases, the church is offering answers to questions no one is asking, or that nobody cares about and the important questions people are too lazy or spiritually immature to answer, because that might take months or years of your life to help someone find those answers. Are you willing to put in the time and the work? Many are not. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.
Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.
I think this process-oriented understanding is absolutely spot-on and crucial for us to do good outreach today. I have found that my process-orientation makes me hesitant to call people to make a commitment or hopeless that a call to commitment will ever garner any response—the over-correction from the previous over-correction, perhaps! How do we maintain a patient process orientation while not giving up on the real need to invite people to make a decision? One interesting data point that they reported was that non-believers who were around for longer than a year actually were significantly less likely to make a decision for Christ because real seeking takes serious energy and after a year or so of hanging around they likely had just settled into church or Jesus as a nice add-on to their lives rather than seriously considering re-organizing their lives around him.
While your points are worth considering, the title is very debateable. Is the existence of 2 billion believers something negligible? How can you refer to this as a Post Christian era while ignoring the presence of 2 billion people? Time to toss that defeatist terminology. Point 4 is deathly important.
2. Come unto Christ and Be Perfected in Him
I observe that. Post modern sorts are not already steeped in assumptions about the identity and nature of God that make the jump to embracing Christ a given assumption. Hi Carey, This is stuff I need to constantly remind myself about. Carey What are the 15 points you mentioned by Barna about the post Christian mind? Yep, you pretty much nailed it! Thanks for reminding those of us who are Boomers that engagement takes some ways of thinking and interacting that we need to work at!
I could not agree with you more, this is a different time and we must adjust, without compromising the message. We must be ready to walk with the individual till they are ready to make their commitment to Christ, for the forgiveness of their sins. I found after posting on our church sign the following message some new members came to our service that Sunday. Find him here Sunday 9AM. People want to be served welcomed and loved. That is what will bring them to your church and faith.
When you see a new face in church, tell them how glad you are to see them. This will bring them back and maybe there friends and family. Thank God for your simple approach in sharing the gospel. I think your method will help me and my discipleship group to be more effective in reaching our desperate generation.
God bless! I fondly, that friendship evangelism and meeting human needs is my best way, because it demonstrate love!!!! When we see Jesus on the cross, I see a demonstration of genuine love!!! Great article Carey. Our team is actually writing a book on some similar topics. I think we will be citing this article a few times.
Some good stuff here. It still works. Helfire and brimstone even. That is if blanced with the truth of love and grace can still feel incredibly pressuring but can be incredibly effective. Ive seen the most impactful changes in peoples lives and my own because of this. Street preaching, tracts,confronting an unbelieving friend in sin.. I can only guess but i feel that in our mass media culture, the strong message of repentance has gotten around enough bo be considered common, without these people seeing true examples of beleivers living out that self denying repentance.
Everybodys heard about Jesus, they just need to see him. I will add one disagreement with you. I hear this Darryl! I think large chunks of the evangelical Western Church have reduced conversion to an assent to doctrine. What is that all about? This is a great page turner and I think addresses some of the discussion here.
Yes, the Lord has attached our sanctification to our justification, but ironically to grow in sanctification we need to keep hearing the primary, core Gospel to put it in my own words and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar.
Seems the more we focus on getting Holy, the more our old natures buck the system and go the other way. Good article.
Open The Bible At Random
This allows for more input from the questioner and gives them a chance to share more with you. After that I generally make it personal. Great article and so true. Hi Carey, Great article! Listening is key!
Bob Dylan - Wikiquote
One young man was milling about on a university campus, obviously listening into an evangelistic conversation some students and I were having with a couple of other half enibriated gentlemen. When I noticed him, I stepped aside from the group and asked if he knew the Good News. After ignoring me once, I asked again, to which he replied that he almost killed himself over it.
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You should have seen the shock in his face. This is the first time that a street preacher has ever wanted to hear what I have to say. In turn he was calm, pleasant and genuinely interested in hearing the Gospel. I think addressing social injustices in our culture is an effective way we could influence our world towards God. I think we have separated the preaching of Gospel from Social Justice works, and we need to close that gap.
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Timeline is longer. We evangelical Christians are so success-driven that we want to close the deal right away instead trust the work of the Holy Spirit. So true. Amazing what you see when you stick around. Just give me the truth and the facts. The second response sounded too condescending and patronizing to me. The thing I like in the general tone of the article is three keys that resonated with me: listening, openness which I think leads to good listening , and humility.
There are peole who would like 1 but they are more likely to be looking for trivia facts than seeking…… There are exceptions, of course. If people are looking for 1, 2 will answer it. I think these were always true. I agree totally with you. I have been a pastor for 45 years now and still pastoring it. This was an excellent article. I am a more mature in age seasoned pastor who chosen to change with the times.
Such a good discussion. So many Christians seem to be in a quandary about how to share their faith these days. It seems every church has a couple of folks who are tract-handing, door-to-door-preaching, turn or burners who genuinely love the lost. You posts always give me a lot to think about and quite a bit to act on as well.
John…thanks for this!
I agree…longer timelines are the norm for sure.
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