OUTREACH & The 4 Basic Tools (to Cure Church Apathy)

by Bob Whitesel DMin, PhD, January 17, 2017. A colleague asked for a simple process to help a new church reach out.  Here it is:

4 Simple “cures” for church apathy which will help a church reach out:

Cure 1: find a need (among non churchgoers) and fill it.

Cure 2: disciple in interpersonal small groups, rather than the anonymity of large venues.

Cure 3:  your goal should be “making learners” (i.e. disciples or as McGavran said, “enroll in Jesus’ school”).

Cure 4: make conversion the apex of the process.

You can tell I use these simple four aspects with church planting (and growing church) clients.

EVANGELISM & Quotes on Its Importance and Holistic Nature

Compiled by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/22/13.


Evangelism relates to people’s eternal destiny, and in bringing them Good News of salvation, Christians are doing what nobody else can do.  Seldom if ever should we have to choose between satisfying physical huger and spiritual hunger, or between healing bodies and saving souls, since an authentic love for our neighbor will lead us to serve him or her as a whole person. Nevertheless, if we must choose, then we have to say that the supreme and ultimate need of humankind is the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and that therefore a person’s eternal, spiritual salvation is of greater importance than his or her temporal and material well being.

  • John Stott, Evangelism and Social Responsibility: An Evangelical Commitment (Lausanne Committee for Evangelism and the World Evangelical Fellowship, 1982), 25.

Evangelism is the first priority of the Church’s ministry in the world (italics Snyder).  This is true for several reason: the clear biblical mandate for evangelism; the centrality and necessity of personal conversion in God’s plan; the reality of judgment; the fact that changed persons are necessary to change society; the fact that the Christian community exists and expands only as evangelism is carried out.  The Church that fails to evangelize is both biblically unfaithful and strategically shortsighted.”

  • Howard A. Snyder, The Community of the King (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press), 101.

When a person dies without hearing that ‘God so loved the words that he sent his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16, RSV), it is too late. The best thing that could possibly happen to that person has been denied.”

  • C. Peter Wagner, Church Growth and the Whole Gospel (San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 1981).

“By leaving the ghetto behind, the church has implied that its mission is meaningless to the poor, the hopeless and the wretched – except when an ocean separates the church from the ghetto.”

  • David L. McKenna, ed., The Urban Crisis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1969) 138.

Howard Snyder reminds us that, “an evangelism that focuses exclusively on souls or on an otherworldly transaction which makes no real difference here and how is unfaithful to the gospel.

  • The Community of the King (Inter-Varsity) 102.

“Today the sinfulness of the social order offends thoughtful Christians everywhere…. The great inequalities of wealth and poverty among the haves and have-nots, and the revolting treatment meted out to oppressed minorities, are clearly contrary to the will of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

  • Donald A. McGavran, Understanding Church Growth (Eerdmans, 1970), 25.

“In postmodern terms, we might say that Jesus came to bring equal access and opportunity to those in substandard living conditions, to give voice and identity to those other than the dominant social elite, and to alleviate the ravages of capitalistic imperialism and colonialist economic aggression.”

  • Lewis A. Drummond, Reaching Generation Next: Effective Evangelism in Today’s Culture (Baker Books, 2002), 179.

Of the current authors you are reading …

  • Were more go focused?
  • Were more come focused?
  • Were balanced?
  • What must you do to prevent imbalance?
  • What is missing between “going” & “coming.”
  • Why is the “missional middle” missing?
  • What must you do to prevent the missing middle?

 

OUTREACH & “School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it!”

Colossians‬ ‭2:7‬ ‭MSG‬‬, Paul admonishes:

“School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.” ‭

Read more at … http://bible.com/97/col.2.6-7.msg

ORGANIC OUTREACH & The Importance of Cultural Bridges w/ Believers Living on the Other Side

“By means of the ‘Gentile on the bridge’ there came to be in town after town within a comparatively short time a considerable number of Gentile converts who remained in close organic connection with large numbers of unconverted relatives.” Donald McGavran

  • The above quote is from p. 34 of The Bridges of God, by Donald A. McGavran.
  • Secure your copy of McGavran’s biography by Gary McIntosh by clicking the link.

OUTREACH & Europe’s churches find new spirit from unexpected source: Muslim refugees

by Elisabeth Braw, Contributor and Sara Miller Llana, Staff writer, CSMonitor, February 10, 2016. BROBY, SWEDEN; AND VIENNA

On a recent Sunday in Broby in southern Sweden, some 100 people settled in for morning service at their Lutheran church. There was nothing unusual about the liturgy – apart from the fact that some 20 worshipers were wearing headphones to hear a simultaneous translation. They were asylum seekers from Muslim countries.

Their presence has grown increasingly customary at this 1930s-era, peach-colored church in the past half year. In fact, as the population of asylum seekers has grown in this town of 3,000, so too has a new curiosity about Christianity.

Reverend Dan Sarkar, the local vicar here, says it started last summer when a Syrian man turned up at their doors. “He said, ‘I don’t want to be a Muslim anymore. Can you tell me about what it’s like to be a Christian?,’” Rev. Sarkar recalls. “Then an Iranian turned up asking about it, too, and since then there has been a steady stream of new people.” Sarkar decided to launch a weekly baptism class for the newcomers, to which he later added a weekly Christian education class. Most attend both.

As many fear an influx of Islam into Europe, Christianity is also getting an unexpected – if anecdotal – boost. “The humanitarian and charitable efforts on behalf of refugees have given new meaning to both Catholic and Protestant churches in Europe,” says Andrew Chesnut, an expert on global Christianity at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Read more at … http://m.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2016/0210/Europe-s-churches-find-new-spirit-from-unexpected-source-Muslim-refugees

SMALL GROUPS & Why A Growing Church Stays as Small As Possible #Video

QUOTE: “Small groups are one of the most important structures in the church for discipleship.” Bob Whitesel.

VIDEO of Bob Whitesel Ph.D., Oct. 2012 at the Turnaround2020.com Conference, Nashville, TN. Published by ChurchCentral.com. For more info see Cure for the Common Church: God’s Plan to Restore Church Health (Wesleyan Publishing House).

http://www.churchcentral.com/videos/PZwsvnDJ/A-growing-church-stays-as-small-as-possible

Speaking hashtags: #PowellChurch #DWC

OUTREACH & One Way To Check How You Are Doing (a leadership exercise)

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 9/1/15.

A key principle in my Abingdon Press book, ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church, is this:

Healthy organizations put non-churchgoers’ needs ahead of churchgoers’ needs. – Bob Whitesel, 2010.

But, this is challenging because churchgoers have louder voices at the decision making table.  Also churches soon become mini-cultures of Christians who are more familiar with their own needs than those still outside of their community.

To get your emphasis back upon non-churchgoer needs, I have written an entire chapter on this in CURE for the Common Church and a chapter titled, “OUT: Grow Out.”  There I suggest you:

CURxE O:  Observe whom you are equipped to reach
CURxE U:  Understand the needs of those you are equipped to reach.
CURxE T:  Tackle needs by refocusing, creating or ending ministry programs.

You can download the chapter here (not for public distribution, but if you enjoy it please consider supporting publisher and author by buying a copy): BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – CURE Chpt 2 HOW OUT

Plus, in ORGANIX I explain how to put others first in your:

  • decision making,
  • focus
  • and prayer life.

You can download that chapter here (again this is not for public distribution, but if you enjoy it please consider supporting publisher and author by buying a copy): BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – ORGANIX Others

Below is an exercise to help you see how you are doing regarding keeping non-churchgoers as your primary ministry focus (and only secondly your congregants).

EXERCISE

Take a look at your webpage and then the webpage of several growing churches.  Then evaluate how, where and how much emphasis non-churchgoers get in the website artistic and visual structure.

For example, one church said “Belong, Live, Know and Serve” prominently on their webpage. But this gives the impression to non-churchgoers that the first emphasis of the church is that you belong.

A better example from another church is, “Help others, know God, grow together.”  I think you can see how this website gives a more Biblical impression that non-churchgoers’ needs take precedence over churchgoers’ needs

So, take a look at your website and the websites of several growing churches. Then write down what you find.

  • Any insights?
  • Any missteps?
  • Any changes you want to make to your website?

Speaking Hastags: #SalvationCenterTX