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#1 Brian Rushfeldt

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:40 AM

AB Simpson wrote a number of years ago about an issue that I belive to be more relative today in western culture than ever. His Nov 26 posting states "Preeminent above all other ministries for the evangelization of the heathen world is the Great Commission." Luke 16:15

In the evangelical circle this concept has been preached endlessly, but as I observe the decline of morality, decency and justice in North American society it strikes my soul that we are failing to either take our commission seriously or we are not doing evangelism the way that is effective in our home culture.

Many churhes have declining attendance. And if unbelievers are not likely to attend churches where do we reach them, and how ? Go into their places.

It is my conviction and what Holy Spirit has stirred in me for several years now that I must be publicly vocal about my faith, my beliefs and my savior right here at home - my mission field. And that means every person whose path I intersect with should know I am a Christian. My behavior and words must reflect that.

The electronic era has given me an opportunity like never before to communicate publicly. To share those deep principles of life that God has revealed to me is easy. What medium is right now having the greatest impact on what people believe? TV, radio and more recently social networking. What an amazing opportunity to share what God is doing in my life, who He really is and what He has offered me and those listeners. Talk radio call in shows, face book etc and letters to editors can all be ways of evangelism. But don't forget the one on one opportunity.

Lord said to me - let everyone you meet know WHO you are (that meaning a believer in Christ). Like doctors and lawyers who practice what they have learned - PRACTICE what you have learned from Me.

#2 Dan Morrow

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 12:17 PM

We live in interesting times...

Yes, church attendance is declining. Here's the kicker, attendance is declining amount believers and non-believers!

There are so many alternatives for building community, so many ways of accessing great teaching, so many non-church minitry opportunities. It is increasingly convient (and functionally possible) for Christians to get along quite well without any committtment to a church community at all...

We desperately need to face the fact that the age of Senior Pastor as CEO model of church is a dying model. Our demoninations, leadership structures, silos, constituted authority, ordination practices, buildings, constitutions and by-laws are working against us.

Here's the good news: I've run into several vibrant, healthy christian communities that are thriving without constitutions, payrolls or buildings. It's not clear to me if they are sustainable, but it is wonderful to see these "new testiment" church communities thriving!

#3 Dave Dagwell

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 08:49 AM

The Great Commission should be our Everyday Commisswion. We have bought in to the enemy in that we focus on the outside instead of the inside. A heart change is needed which requires evangelizing the lost by sharing one's walk (your life before Christ, your conversion experience, and your life today) and asking the Holy Spirit to draw them to Christ. As Matt 28:19 says, "As you are going" make disciples.

Regarding declining church attendance in the USA and the CEO's, a great read is "The Priesthood of Every Believer:Resolving the Clergy/Laity Distinction" by David Dawson. Our church has a large missionary budget, but will only include those going overseas to be part of a sending service----so much for the local church evangelizing Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

#4 Jay Turner

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 10:23 PM

One easy way to be Christ for those around us is to look around our neighborhoods. If we have a neighbor that is cutting down a tree in their yard or are shoveling snow, we can go over and lend them a hand. If you have a fire pit, light it up once in a while and invite them over or have a neighborhood barbecue. By doing simple things to build community, we can be opening doors where ministry opportunities can be possible. Once community starts happening and trust begins to be built, the Holy Spirit will show us opportunities where we can minister to the needs of those around us in even greater ways.

To take things a step further, take a look at the interests of the people in your neighborhood and see if there are any common interests. If you see that there are common interests, then seek God for ways to bring them together to form some sort of a group.

My son likes video games and computer games. He just got turned back on to Star Wars Galaxies, which is a Massive Multiplayer Online game (MMO). He just joined a guild (a type of in-game player organization) and has the idea of at some point creating his own player city. As he moves forward with this, this could be a good avenue through which ministry can happen.

With this type of ministry you don't need to do a lot of preaching, but instead be more of a visible witness. As you build peoples trust, being open about your faith, but not pushy about it, God will open up doors through which ministry can happen. The main thing is to let the Holy Spirit guide you and show you where the doors are and how to walk through them.

#5 Marvin Harrell

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:02 AM

With this type of ministry you don't need to do a lot of preaching, but instead be more of a visible witness. As you build peoples trust, being open about your faith, but not pushy about it, God will open up doors through which ministry can happen. The main thing is to let the Holy Spirit guide you and show you where the doors are and how to walk through them.

Faith and works together! couldn't be more biblical!

I participate in an Alpha course at my church that has spread to the local college and rescue mission in our city. It all happens around the table where the trust develops. It's where I learned that very principle in action!
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#6 Jay Turner

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:50 AM

Alpha is an awesome ministry that God has used to transform many lives. I do think it is also important to look around us at all those who have been hurt by Christianity and the church. Many of them are not opposed to the idea of God or living their lives for Him, but because they still associate their hurt with the church, they will intentionally distance themselves from anything that reminds them of that hurt.

One thing that we need to do is to meet people where they are in their lives instead of waiting for them to come to us. The more we can meet them where they are and accept them for who they are, the easier it will be to earn their trust. In time, this can open doors of ministry that may have never been opened any other way. This is where building greater community in our neighborhoods and becoming an active part in the world around us is so important.

I think it is awesome how Jesus spent the vast majority of His time being out among the people. By just being real and caring for whoever He was around, He impacted the world. He taught wherever He went and could make just about anything into a lesson, but His teaching seemed to be more based on the situations at hand. One moment He could be teaching great truths about God, while the next He was teaching people how important it was to value children. But most of all, He seemed to be focused on meeting peoples needs. It seems that as their needs were met, they were more open to the deeper lessons that He had for them and their transformation was a product of His caring for them.

#7 StevePage

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 05:55 AM

Two great books that relate to this topic. The first, by Dallas Willard, explains how we have, for a large part, failed to honor the great commission by getting people to believe, rather than making disciples of them. As we know there is quite the difference in a shallow level of belief and the type of belief that moved the Apostles to follow and die for Christ.

The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship

"Most problems in contemporary churches can be explained by the fact that members have never decided to follow Christ."

Willard quotes and agrees withe Tozer, "This “heresy” has created the impression that it is quite reasonable to be a “vampire Christian”. One in effect says to Jesus, “I’d like a little of your blood, please. But I don’t care to be your student, or have your character. In fact won’t you just excuse me while I get on with my life, and I’ll see you in heaven.”


God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams

Wells is deeply critical of the Evangelical Church’s use of modern marketing strategies, aimed primarily at filling the pews – strategies which he believes have taken precedence over the church’s moral and spiritual life, at the expense of the Gospel and Biblical truths.

He argues that “we cannot market Christ, the Gospel, Christian character, or meaning in life, because the premise of all marketing is that the consumer’s need is sovereign, that the customer is always right, and this is precisely what the Gospel insists cannot be the case...Christ’s Gospel calls sinners to surrender their self-centeredness, to stop granting sovereignty to their own needs and (to) recognize His claim of sovereignty over their lives.”

Without the authority of the Gospel, Wells contends, what remains is “a God without wrath bringing people without sin into a kingdom without judgment through a Christ without a cross … (and) what is lost (in the process) is Biblical truth.”

Read more at Suite101: Book Review of God in the Wasteland by David F. Wells http://www.suite101....3#ixzz18BUq0XN7



#8 tammyshalom

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 06:15 AM

The Great Commission should be our Everyday Commisswion. We have bought in to the enemy in that we focus on the outside instead of the inside. A heart change is needed which requires evangelizing the lost by sharing one's walk (your life before Christ, your conversion experience, and your life today) and asking the Holy Spirit to draw them to Christ. As Matt 28:19 says, "As you are going" make disciples.

Regarding declining church attendance in the USA and the CEO's, a great read is "The Priesthood of Every Believer:Resolving the Clergy/Laity Distinction" by David Dawson. Our church has a large missionary budget, but will only include those going overseas to be part of a sending service----so much for the local church evangelizing Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.


well - i like what i have read in here - i myself am a missions girl... :)... i have a small multi-language Bible and teaching outreach - with little books and things to help the new baby christians as well in thier own languages - that go out for free --
my goal is to reach the nations in our local church areas - that is my call - and im not perfect- but doing my best - how can we even try to reach someone who speaks a different language if we as a church are not equiped? the nations are not only in distant lands -- they are all around us -- they are here!!!

alot of people when they think of missions - they think of distant lands - but - the harvest is everywhere -- what are some of us doing??? we are not looking on the ground God has put us on.... there is a reason we are where we are- and alot of people just keep thier heads down and keep on walking... it's a shame - and i can only do my part - i don't know - God has called us all to different things -- but, as far as the great commission goes -- it is for all of us - and i wish more people would see that - and also stop hideing thier light under a bussel..... God Bless -- tammy

#9 Robert Fugate

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 09:18 AM

HI Tammy, I too am a missionary guy! Great ministry with the bible study, keep up the good work.

I like the idea that US believers like Brian are looking to be more proactive personally in evangelism and disciple making. Proclamation evangelism was a model of the new testament church, and has been replaced by silent witness in our generation which I don´t see a lot of in the New Testament.


Everyone making disciples is biblical and as Brian has pointed out, a reason that some churches find themselves shrinking in size. But disciple making should not be misunderstood as being contradictory to international missions. Quite the opposite...as the church grows stronger in the US, its missionary passion should increase. The missionary movements at the turn of the contrary came as a result of revival in the church.

In general, 97% of church income goes to local ministry. We should be able to do better then 3% to international ministry. In a report by empty tomb this year tracking church giving to international missions, most churches give less then 3% of income received to international missions. The Alliance in the US ranks highest in percentage of income received going go international missions at 11%. Even though our perceptions are that we have supported international missions to the fault of local ministry, the reality is that most local churches spend far more on their own infrastructure and ministries.

If believers are discipled into becoming sacrificial givers and to generously tithe (the same report puts average church giving at 2.4 % of member income) , the local church would explode with resources to disciple the nations, everywhere...this kind of radical passion to follow Christ will most likely come from personal discipleship by those who have walked the path of faith and who bring others along by Gods grace.

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#10 Jay Turner

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:10 PM

I am a custodian for the local school district, by profession, and I will quite often use my time at work to encourage and speak truth into people’s lives. I put in my 40 hours, but I know that it is but a stop on the journey that God has me on.

When I am not at work, I spend a good portion of my time at my computer programming. I am in the process of starting up a software and game development company. I am learning as I go and right now it is just me, so it is moving slow, but I realize that that is the way it needs to be in this time and place. I have designated the basement of my house as my office and the location for the business as it begins to grow and though I don’t have a lot of money, I try to invest what I do have into the business.

The way I see it, this is my mission field. Though people may look at what I am doing, they may not see that I have much to show for the work that I am putting into it, but right now I am building a foundation through which the rest can be built upon. I don’t have any real backing, but I believe that this path that I am on is of God and He will provide for my needs as I continue to move forward and let His Spirit guide me.

The way I see it, doing the work that God is laying before me and being a missionary of sorts, I shouldn’t expect others to support me in what I am doing. Like Paul, he worked as a tent maker to pay for his own missionary journeys. As I build this business up, letting others become part of what I am doing, I am helping to build the economy. In time I may be able to help others to use their gifts and talents to glorify God through them. And by living my life for Christ, being a silent, and sometimes not so silent witness, I get the chance to speak truth into people’s lives and help draw them into a relationship with God by helping them to see how God is working in and through my life.

I am almost surprised at how many pastors, missionaries and evangelists have fallen into the mentality that just because they are doing God’s work, they shouldn’t need to work to build up the infrastructure through which to fund that work.

If I were to become a missionary to a foreign land, I would do exactly what I am doing now. I would start up a business and become part of the preexisting community. That would help defray at least some of the cost of the work I was doing and it would have the potential of breaking the ice in building the needed relationships with the people. In time I might be able to start hiring locals, which could help them to become more financially stable and if at all possible I would try to encourage and help them to start their own business by which they may be able to continue the process. Of course how it would look would depend on different factors, but building up a business type setting, while helping to provide for their needs, would create an environment where evangelism and discipleship can happen. You may not reach quite as many people quite as fast, but by focusing on a few and helping them to develop their relationships with God, they would be better equipped to do the same and continue the process.

The point that I am trying to make is that we will quite often get caught up in doing things a certain way and not see the possibilities of what could be. If the members of the local churches aren’t giving money to missions or if the churches are more focused on building bigger buildings and developing their services and programs than they are in getting outside the walls, then we just need to seek God to show us other avenues to get the job done. Doing things like building tents or making computer games, though they may not seem quite so Godly, they can be avenues though which God can work. Yes it may mean more work in some ways, but it may also open some doors that may not have been opened any other way.

#11 Robert Fugate

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 03:29 PM

HI Jay,

I like your thinking to work outside of the box, that is great that you are working on a small business, may the Lord bless you so that you can bless others, that is a great part of serving the Lord no matter what we are called to do. We live in Chile, for 20 yrs. now, and have come to know over the years several families that have moved to Chile as part of their job, but with the goal to build up the church. Last week we helped a new family from the US move into their home, they are hoping to stay for 6-8 years, a great commitment, we really love their world vision, they are here from their US company, and one of the first things they are doing is to get involved helping out our girls orphanage. It is only by the Lords timing and grace that they can do this. There are jobs for those who are willing to teach english in other countries, this is another way to minister outside the box, and others who can go in different work related capacities. I am with you that we need many more like this family we met, who will be willing to leave their homes, family and security and serve others around the world as God directs. i think the big issue in my life is to obey God with what he has called me to and to glorify Him with what he has given me. The rest is up to Him, as missionaries, we are dependent on God. It was the Holy Spirit who sent out Paul on his mission trips, but Paul had a mix of support, some from church and some from temporary work he did, but he was often supported by others. The same with the Lord, when he went into ministry years, he was often supported from others, including some wealthy women who helped the disciples.

In my own case, I cannot get a work visa in Chile, I have a residence visa, but am not legally permitted to take a job that a Chilean could have. it is this way in many countries around the world, especially countries where christianity is not permitted. I like your vision of working in the country because that does give us a different identity, it is a good idea where it can be done. But in our case, we are so thankful for the faithful tithes of churches that have supported our ministry over the years, that has made ministry possible. You are so right that we should never expect that others are going to support us, each one has to depend on the Lord for all that we have, as everything, our jobs, our health, is a gift from God above....


Will be praying for your business and your ministry at school.

Bob

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Robert Fugate  - Pastor SouthPointe Project
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fugate@cmamexico.net
 

#12 Jay Turner

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 05:04 PM

HI Jay,

I like your thinking to work outside of the box, that is great that you are working on a small business, may the Lord bless you so that you can bless others, that is a great part of serving the Lord no matter what we are called to do. We live in Chile, for 20 yrs. now, and have come to know over the years several families that have moved to Chile as part of their job, but with the goal to build up the church. Last week we helped a new family from the US move into their home, they are hoping to stay for 6-8 years, a great commitment, we really love their world vision, they are here from their US company, and one of the first things they are doing is to get involved helping out our girls orphanage. It is only by the Lords timing and grace that they can do this. There are jobs for those who are willing to teach english in other countries, this is another way to minister outside the box, and others who can go in different work related capacities. I am with you that we need many more like this family we met, who will be willing to leave their homes, family and security and serve others around the world as God directs. i think the big issue in my life is to obey God with what he has called me to and to glorify Him with what he has given me. The rest is up to Him, as missionaries, we are dependent on God. It was the Holy Spirit who sent out Paul on his mission trips, but Paul had a mix of support, some from church and some from temporary work he did, but he was often supported by others. The same with the Lord, when he went into ministry years, he was often supported from others, including some wealthy women who helped the disciples.

In my own case, I cannot get a work visa in Chile, I have a residence visa, but am not legally permitted to take a job that a Chilean could have. it is this way in many countries around the world, especially countries where christianity is not permitted. I like your vision of working in the country because that does give us a different identity, it is a good idea where it can be done. But in our case, we are so thankful for the faithful tithes of churches that have supported our ministry over the years, that has made ministry possible. You are so right that we should never expect that others are going to support us, each one has to depend on the Lord for all that we have, as everything, our jobs, our health, is a gift from God above....


Will be praying for your business and your ministry at school.

Bob


When you look at the process of game design and development, there are many different aspects and skills needed to take a game from start to finish. You need writers, programmers, artists of various types, musicians, actors to do voice overs, etc. Part of the vision that I have for this isn't simply to build up a business, but instead to build a community of individuals and groups that are using their skills and talents to glorify God. As a starting point, I am currently working on a GUI editor to help in the design process to take care of some of the basic graphical user interface aspects. I plan to use in in the business, but also to put it into other hands. This could be one possible way of funding things.

I have also been sharing ideas with the school Superintendent and others about the concept of a more vocational based school. The idea is to start helping students identify their strengths and interests starting at an early age and slowly start building on those strengths. I am not an educator, but I believe that if done right, by the time a student reaches high school, they could have enough of an idea of what their strengths and interests are where they could choose the path that they would want to pursue as a career. One aspect of this is to bring local businesses into the education process where there can be mentoring and different aspects of apprenticeships in the education process. The more students can work with professionals who use their skills in the real world, the better prepared they will be when they do graduate.

A large part of this is simply building community. By building community where people are working together towards a common goal, it will benefit the community as a whole. And of course this goes back to the whole idea of what it means to be part of a body. I don't know what it is like in Chile, but in the US, our whole society suffers horribly from division in one form or another. It is like a body of severed parts trying to figure out how to work together. Because we are so divided, things like being a silent witness or friendship evangelism, though they have the ability of being powerful tools, instead become almost completely ineffectual. But by working to bringing a community together as a community, these modes of ministry can be empowered to have more of the effect that they are meant to have.

There are many believers that want to serve God, but they simply do not know how they could ever be used by Him. By building community, what you are doing is giving people opportunities to use whatever skills, talents, wisdom and knowledge they have to pour into the lives of those around them. By working or playing together, God will open up doors where they can share whatever is in their hands to impact the lives of others, but without real human interaction, that becomes more and more of an impossibility.

I know you have your own ministry going, but for someone in your position who cannot get a work visa, one possibility would be to look at the needs of the community in which they are in and look at the interests, talents and abilities of the people in the community. By bringing people together who have like interests and vision, Ideas will begin to roll. Bring theatre people together and they will talk theatre or bring computer people together and they will talk computers. By placing an emphasis on building community, I believe it will help to open up doors for ministry, giving it greater variety and make the great commission a thing that isn't primarily a thing for pastors, evangelists, missionaries and bible teachers, but a function of the whole body.

#13 Robert Fugate

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:02 PM

Our church plant has grown mostly due to the sense of community people feel. It is not easy though, building community takes lots of time, and lots of patience with others who are different then us, as a missionary in a foreign culture, I have seen the grace of God work in amazing ways to unite us very different people together into one strong community. We have started an ONG for our girls orphanage to bring people together to accomplish that which none of us could do alone, we can do so much more when we are committed to work together. it is amazing to think that we have a world wide community of believers, that we are part of a world wide body of Christ, that will one day stand together in unity and praise the name of the Lord!

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#14 Jay Turner

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:27 PM

It is important that we find our place within the body of Christ and come into community as part of that body. But it seems that far too often we set our focus on building up our church, and we get so engrossed in that process that as communities of believers we never get beyond the walls of the church. We are told in the Bible to live in the world, but not of the world. It seems that the way we let it play out in the body of Christ is to isolate ourselves from anything that we deem as not being of God. In the process we have created an us/them mentality where we have little to nothing to do with the “un-churched”.

It seems that Jesus went out of His way to spend time with the lost and the hurting. He spent His time in the temple and in the synagogues, but His main focus was in reaching and touching people’s lives out in the world. That was the community that He seemed to be mostly a part of.

As the body of Christ, I believe that we need to get outside of the walls of the church and become a part of the communities in which we live. The more we can get out and be a part of the world around us, the more the light within us will have a chance to shine into the darkness. The problem is, how can we love our neighbors as ourselves, when we never have real interactions with them.

I think that one of the best things we could do is to place ourselves in positions where people can see us in our day-to-day lives. People need to see the real us, not just the facade we put on. They need to see us, flaws and all. The more real we can be with people and interact with them without patronizing them, the more apt they will be to listen to our words and our actions.

One of the hard things to accept as believers trying to fulfill the Great Commission is the idea of our need to humble ourselves before the world to win over their trust in the hopes to gain the right to be heard. We think that just because we are children of God that the world should bow at our feet, but when you look at the life of Jesus, He never expected anyone to bow to Him. In time, that day will come, but when He was here on earth He took the time to win over peoples trust through His love for them and through the love that He showed, He won the right to speak into their lives.

I think we are at a time and place where most people have heard the salvation message, at least here in the States. A lot of people are not necessarily turned off to the idea of God, but when they look at Christianity, they don’t see it working any better than what they already have. They see the brokenness it has caused over the centuries. They see how believers far too often place themselves on pedestals, separating themselves from the rest of the world, but they don’t see the love that is supposed to be an integral part of being a body of believers.

I think it is time that we start talking and preaching less and get out into the world and let our sermons be through our actions instead. Words can only take us so far. When people begin to experience God’s love first hand through our choices and actions that alone will accomplish more than all the sermons spoken from the beginning of time. As St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel always, If necessary use words."

#15 Marvin Harrell

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 07:20 AM

I think it is time that we start talking and preaching less and get out into the world and let our sermons be through our actions instead. Words can only take us so far. When people begin to experience God’s love first hand through our choices and actions that alone will accomplish more than all the sermons spoken from the beginning of time. As St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel always, If necessary use words."


I couldn't agree more, Jay. St Francis of Assisi is one of my favorites--he seemed to really understand the incarnation of Jesus and show it to those around him. As I've been reading, I see you commission is the same---very incarnational. There was a book I recall reading some time ago called "out of the saltshaker and into the world" that points to this very topic. Let's be sure we are getting out there and showing Jesus' love to a world that doesn't even know there is a problem.
Marvin Harrell
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#16 Marvin Harrell

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 07:25 AM

Everyone making disciples is biblical and as Brian has pointed out, a reason that some churches find themselves shrinking in size. But disciple making should not be misunderstood as being contradictory to international missions. Quite the opposite...as the church grows stronger in the US, its missionary passion should increase. The missionary movements at the turn of the contrary came as a result of revival in the church.


And hence a solid argument not to throw the baby out with the bathwater when discussing church vs. individual expressions of faith. It was the church in the NT that sent out Paul and Barnabas, the church that supported the NT missionary journeys, and the church that is the bride of Jesus, fulfilling His Great Commission. His commission is our commission, yes?
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#17 Marvin Harrell

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 07:36 AM

Everyone making disciples is biblical and as Brian has pointed out, a reason that some churches find themselves shrinking in size. But disciple making should not be misunderstood as being contradictory to international missions. Quite the opposite...as the church grows stronger in the US, its missionary passion should increase. The missionary movements at the turn of the contrary came as a result of revival in the church.


And hence a solid argument not to throw the baby out with the bathwater when discussing church vs. individual expressions of faith. It was the church in the NT that sent out Paul and Barnabas, the church that supported the NT missionary journeys, and the church that is the bride of Jesus, fulfilling His Great Commission. His commission is our commission, yes?
Marvin Harrell
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#18 Jay Turner

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:14 AM

One thing we want to be careful of is the terminology that we use and how we use it. Words like "Church" and "Christian" have different meanings and significances. Being a christian can mean being a follower of Christ. But it can also mean that you grew up going to a christian church even if you know nothing about Him or even have an interest in Him. The church can be the institution that we call the church or it can be the body of Christ. I could go to church without being part of the body of Christ or visa versa. The problem is that the terms have become interchangeable and in the process have blurred the lines between the meanings. Just think of the effects that the Roman Catholic church has had in the past. The institution of the Roman Catholic church was considered to be the body of Christ of the day and because of blurred lines, the choices of the leadership of the church was assumed to have been of God. These blurred lines, though quite often are not intentional, can be the very avenues through which manipulations can occur.

In like manner, it is easy to fall into the trap of manipulating peoples emotions and using false guilt to bring people to the point of saying the sinners prayer. When people come to Christ, it is important that they do it on their own terms and are able to see the truth behind the decision. If it is the product of an emotional high, then as soon as they come down from that high, they will begin to question the validity of their choice to accept Christ into their lives. This again blurs the lines of what it means to be a believer and in turn just fills our churches with partially committed christians.

We can also look at "The Way of the Master" type evangelism which uses the Law to force people to admit to their sins. The problem with this type of evangelism is that it forces people into a place of condemnation and guilt then tries to show God's grace in the midst of it. In some ways it sounds like a valid way of leading someone to Christ, but really it is more like sticking your finger into someones wound in the attempts to heal them, especially when we don't know the sin and the hurts that ail them. Yes it may bring them to a confession, but will that confession be real? Grace comes in letting peoples nakedness remain hidden, while helping them to see the freedom that Christ died to give them as they become ready for that truth. It is not in revealing their nakedness to the world and then coming after the fact to cover them up. Deep down, people know their sins without us needing to constantly bring them up.

So much of what we do as believers may seem good and right, but when we look at the overall effects that they have, our very methods of living for Christ and doing God's will are more preventing people from coming to a saving knowledge of Christ than they are helping to draw them near. A large part of living our lives for Christ and fulfilling the great commission is having a willingness to question what we believe, what we have been taught by our parents, pastors and teachers, and to question our very sense of what we perceive as being good and holy. The more we are willing to question these things, the more pliable we will become in God's hands.

#19 tammyshalom

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:39 AM

hi everyone - i hope you are walking in blessing today -

i love missionary work and love to read stories about thier lives and expieriences (sp?) but as most of you know i am called to homebased missions - and have the multi-language Bible and teaching outreach for new believers -- we are to not just make christians here- but true disicples, right? that's my aim - and to supply other members of the body with books and things needed to help the baby christians is whatever language needed...

but as to the subject - like someone mentioned- we are to follow Jesus' exsample - to reachout to non-believers and even befriend them (like i tend to do)- but we also must be careful not to fall into our old ways - in other words- lets not have thier influence rub onto us.... that- i have fallen into before when younger- and it's not good... but God does help us to get back on the right track again -- i find that i have to stay away from certain types of people so that i don't take the chance to fall into bad habits again - i know my weaknesses - and i also know that someone else will be able to minister to them -- and of coarse that doesn't stop me from praying for them or helping if someone asks -- by being a witness - we are taking our light and our world out into the world - and your right - actions many times speak louder than words.... we cannot stay in our own little boxes - and we weren't ment to in the first place - or Jesus would of just stayed with His followers....


i know that one of you mentioned the book "the great omission" there are two books like that -- which one do i get? which author? i have been reading "becomeing a world class christian" it is a great book.... i recomend it highly... please if any of you are able answere my ? about the book i'm looking for i would appreciate it...

thank you -- God Bless everyone -- tammy

#20 Ruthie Hankins

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 11:46 AM

Tammy,
I think the book you are looking for is the one by Dallas Willard, though the one by Steve Saint looks interesting to me as well. It is about a different topic though.
Ruthie