It’s a pleasure to be a regular contributor to The Gospel Life blog. sponsored by the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. My latest post dropped today: “The Pastor and Evangelism: Six Freeing Approaches to Fulfilling Our Evangelistic Calling.” Here’s an excerpt, but you can read the entire post here.
If we are honest as pastors, there are often times when we talk more about aspects of our faith than we actually live them out.
One of the areas we may feel most guilty about in our lives is the practice of evangelism. We hear the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist,” and many of us may feel the guilt of failing that calling in the midst of our many responsibilities, including sermon preparation, pastoral care visits, board meetings, staff leadership, and so much more.
While we must not ignore our calling to “do the work of an evangelist,” I’d like to offer us to consider six ways in which we of how we might fulfill our calling to evangelism within our ministry as pastors. I hope you find these as freeing as I did when I began to gain a bigger perspective on fulfilling my evangelistic calling…
[Read the entire post here.]
This coming weekend begins the season of Advent. Advent is a preparatory season of four weeks leading up to Christmas. It is a chance for us to wait in anticipation for the coming of Christ, both as a baby at Christmas and as the victorious king at His second coming. The term ‘advent’ derives from the Latin word adventus, which means arrival.
As a child, my family took the season of Advent seriously. Each evening, we would gather around an advent wreath to sing songs and read a brief devotional about preparation. Although I was more excited about lighting or snuffing the candles than the substance of the time, the way we stepped outside of our normal hurried lives to focus on Jesus’ coming made an impact on me.
This weekend, our family worked on decorating for Christmas. It’s always interesting to unpack the boxes of decorations and supplies that you only see once a year. “I forgot about this one!”, one of our kids said as they held a memorable ornament in their hands. Another of our boys laughed at a particularly interesting crèche set we have from another country. The anticipation is growing.Read More »
A couple of weeks ago, I was visiting the Middle East, in order to spend time with some friends and church partners there. Jordan is one of the most stable countries in the midst of a particularly turbulent region, thanks to a variety of factors, including . Even though the Christian population of Jordan is less than 3% of the entire nation, the relative stability of Jordan gives tremendous opportunities for the church and individual Christians to touch the lives of those who are seeking refuge in their country.
In one part of the country, where refugees are spilling over the border from neighboring Syria and Iraq, I witnessed a number of people and groups from various backgrounds working together. The needs are massive, but the total amount of work being done was much larger than what one person or group could do on its own.
It is amazing what happens when people come together to serve a great need with greater unity.Read More »
Today at our ministry staff meeting at Eastbrook Church, we talked broadly about the topic of evangelism. We watched a video from the Exponential 2014 conference by Rick Richardson on six models of evangelism seen in 20th and 21st century evangelicalism:
- Evangelism as proclamation – exemplified in the life and ministry of Billy Graham
- Evangelism as discipleship – exemplified in the life and ministry of Dawson Trotman
- Evangelism as acts of service, justice, compassion and peace – exemplified in the life and ministry of John Perkins
- Evangelism as the demonstration of God’s power- exemplified in the life and ministry of John Wimber
- Evangelism as church planting and church growth – exemplified in the life and ministry of Bill Hybels
- Evangelism as the counter-cultural life of the alternative community – exemplified in the life and ministry of Shane Claiborne
Rick suggests that these six models of evangelism are mutually complementary and necessary in the life of the church, and that they can be traced throughout the 2,000 years of the church’s existence.
We had a fascinating discussion of which models we appreciate and which are harder to appreciate for each of us. We also wrestled with the fact that these are predominantly Western models and examples.
That being said, it was a helpful picture of what we want to do.
After that, we spent time studying how Jesus engaged evangelistically in His encounters with people from list below. We noted that Jesus:Read More »
Last night we gathered for our quarterly Leadership Forum at Eastbrook Church. The Leadership Forum gives us the chance to share new ideas, learn together, and pray for the ministry of our church.
We talked through ministry wins around our vision and six priorities, then offered updates on our generosity survey and upcoming church plant. Finally, I shared a teaching on leadership development. I’ve included the brief presentation that we utilized last night for those who were not able to join us. It will at least give you some idea of what we discussed.
I would love to interact further with the thoughts contained here.