Archive for the ‘Missional Living’ category

“Any 3 – Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime”

January 16, 2013

Evangelism is the sharing of the “Good News” of God and His love, grace, and forgiveness for sinful mankind. This love and forgiveness of sin is made available by God’s grace and is secured through simple faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God Who gave His life on the Cross to purchase our salvation.

The Bible teaches us that we are to share the Gospel. Courses have been taught on how to evangelize people. Gospel pamphlets Any 3 have  been  published for distribution during house-to-house neighborhood canvassing or while standing on city street corners. And, books have been written on various topics related to evangelism: the biblical basis for and theology of evangelism, our motivation for sharing the Gospel, and different methods for communicating the Gospel to those who need Christ as Savior, to name just three.

My favorite book on the subject has always been The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman (1963). This is not only a classic on the subject of evangelism, it is a tremendous book on the subjects of discipleship and small groups.

I have just finished reading a recently published book about evangelism that is quickly becoming a favorite text on the subject. It is entitled Any-3: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime. Lead Muslims to Christ Now!  Any-3 was written by Mike Shipman, a Church Planting Movement training specialist, and is published by WIGTake. While Mike specifically addresses the evangelization of people who adhere to Islam, the teaching that Mike shares can be applied to our witness to people of any faith or no faith at all.

Mike says that …

“Any-3 implements the simple, natural way Jesus witnessed to the woman at the well in John 4. In so doing, it recaptures foundational elements of the first-century evangelism that Jesus modeled for His disciples. It worked then, and it works now.”

“Any-3 combines bridging, gospel presentation and drawing the net into one seamless approach.”

“Any-3 allows you to share the gospel in a natural and relational manner. It is persuasive, but never combative.”

Mike goes on to say that because Any-3 “feels spontaneous and free,” it helps believers “live an evangelizing lifestyle, rather than try in vain to do lifestyle evangelism.”

The Any-3 approach to evangelism employs a five-step approach to sharing the Gospel of Christ. The steps and transitions between them are:

Step One: Get Connected

When speaking with someone, ask “connecting questions,” some relationship-building questions, such as: “How are you?” “Where are you from?” “Do you live in this neighborhood?”

Then ask the transition question: “Are you Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or Christian?’ This question moves us to the second step.

Step Two: Get to God

In this step we engage the person in a discussion of God by asking one question and making one observation. “Most religions are alike aren’t they?” and “We are all trying to please God so that we can go to heaven one day, and we are all trying to pay off our sin debt. We all sin, don’t we. Even good people sin. Sinning is easy, but paying off our sin debt to God is much more difficult, isn’t it?”

Our transition question that will lead to the third step is: “In your religion, what are you doing to get your sins forgiven?”

Step Three: Get to Lostness

Let the individual share some of the things that they are doing, according to their religion in an effort to please God and pay off their sin debt. The ask them three questions: “Are your sin debts paid off yet?” “When do you think your sin debts will be paid off?” “On Judgment Day, do you know that your sin debt will be paid off?”

At this time, the believer will begin a transition to the Gospel by saying, “What I believe is different; I know that my sins are forgiven. It is not because I am a good person, although I do try. I know that my sins are forgiven, because God himself has made a way for our sins to be forgiven.”

Step Four: Get to the Gospel

In Step Four we share the Gospel message, the message of God’s love for sinful man and the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, for the purchase of our salvation and the forgiveness of sin.

After the Gospel has been shared, we say, “According to the Bible, if we surrender our life to Jesus as Lord and believe that He has paid for our sines through His sacrifice and that God has raised him from the dead, our sins will be forgiven.”

This statement transitions our conversation to Step Five.

Step Five: Get to a Decision

After progressing through the first four steps of the Any-3 and sharing the Gospel of Christ, we want to the bring the person to a decision about Christ. It is not enough to just share the Good News of Christ with people, we must invite them to accept the Christ of the message.

We ask them, with respect to the message of the sacrifice of Christ for our sins: “That makes sense doesn’t it?” and “Do you believe what I have told you: that Jesus died for our sins and was raised again?”

After sharing the essence  of the five steps of  the Any-3 approach to evangelism, Mike Shipman goes on to elaborate on each step, share ways to adapt the presentation depending on the religion of the person being spoken to, and what to do and say when a person either accpets Christ as Savior, rejects Him, or desires to continue the conversation at a later time. Mike also share insights into the evangelistic ministry of Jesus taken from His encounter with the Woman at the Well.

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I enjoyed reading and have benefitted greatly from the reading of Any-3: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime by Mike Shipman. It has encouraged me to be much more alert to the Holy Spirit’s leading and prompting to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those around me.

In fact, several weeks ago I had taken one of my sons to the barber shop to get his hair cut. While he was in the chair getting his hair trimmed, I sat in the waiting area and was reading Any-3. A man walked into the shop, sat in a chair across the room from me, and watched me as I read.

The man then asked me, “What book are you reading?” As I looked up, somewhat surprised that he would disturb me while I was concentrating on my book, I said, “It’s a book about evangelism.”

The Holy Spirit then spoke to me and asked, “You’re reading about the sharing of the Gospel in a natural and informal way. What are you going to do now that I have opened a door for you?”

The gentleman and I then entered into a discussion about evangelism. I was able to “guide” the conversation through the five steps, and was able to determine and rejoice with the man that he was a follower of Christ.

 

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WIGTake?

May 30, 2012

WIGTake (What’s It Going to Take) to move us from “the present reality of (spiritual) darkness” that pervades our community to the fulfillment of “the vision that all have the opportunity to be saved”?

A change in motivation for daily living, from self-serving to Kingdom-focused? Sacrifices in our lives and adjustments in our calendars that reflect Kingdom priorities? Changes in the way we think of, understand, and “do” church?

What’s It Going to Take?

(WIGTake publishing publishes Church Planting Movements: How God Is Redeeming a Lost World by David Garrison and T4T – A Discipleship Re-Revolution by Steve Smith and Ying Kai.)

Help Me Read

July 9, 2011

Whether you are visiting my blog, tangiblethoughts, on purpose, or you are surfing the net and have stopped here just to check me out, may I ask you to do something for me?

May I ask you to scroll down on this page until you come to the category “Books” in the right-hand column? There you will find two links. One is to Monergism Books, the other is to WTS Books. When you click on them you will be taken to the on-line book stores of Monergism.com and Westminster Theological Seminary. At each of the stores you will find excellent conservative and Reformed books and resource material for your head and heart.

Each time you click onto the stores from my blog site I receive credit for your visit. When I have earned enough credits, I receive a purchase certificate which enables me to purchase books for my head and heart.

So, linger here a moment longer … scroll down and click  … and peruse the sites.

Thank you for your great help.

Simple Churches On Campus

December 31, 2010

The fall 2010 student enrollment at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas was 49,129. This includes an estimated 4,600 international students from 120+ nations of the world.

No one that I have spoken with in our community – church staff or on-campus student ministries – can estimate the number of students who attend local evangelical churches, or, more importantly, are followers of Christ.

Even though many students are believers and attend local churches, the number who do not know Christ as personal Savior or attend a local congregation is certainly overwhelming.

This begs the question: How are we going to reach these young people for Christ? While established churches in our community conduct wonderful ministry among students, perhaps we need to think more about taking the church to these students than trying to get them into our established churches and programs.

Perhaps we should consider a new strategy, a new model, a new approach for doing church in order to reach, for Christ, the world’s future leaders who are currently studying at Texas A&M and our nation’s universities, colleges, and community colleges.

I would suggest that we give prayerful consideration to the start of reproducing simple churches that penetrate and saturate our student populations along different relational, or oikos, lines. These oikos lines could be common language, ethnicity, nationality, academic field of study, fraternities and sororities, and student organizations.

A reproducing simple church approach to reaching students can not only be an effective missions strategy, it can serve as a model for church that can be easily reproduced by students when they relocate to other universities for further study or to places of employment after they leave Texas A&M.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about such a concept. If you are involved in such a ministry, I would appreciate hearing how you are pursuing it and how you may be relating to local established churches and how they are responding to this strategy.

Note: The 2000 US Census reported over 17 million students enrolled at US universities and colleges. The 2009/2010 international student enrollment in US universities and colleges was 690,923.)

Ministry Update

December 20, 2010
Praying Friends,
 
First of all, my family and I want to wish you and yours a very Blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We pray that you will have a safe and enjoyable time with family, loved ones, and friends.
 
Secondly, I would like to give you brief update on our application to the missions organization in Dallas that we wrote to you about in late October.
 
We did not hear from the organization until late November. The reason was that most of the human resources department had been in the Philippines on a lengthy mission trip. When I spoke to the HR representative she said that our material had been reviewed and that it looked like we had been very thorough with our answers and written responses. I was told that we would receive a contact from someone in the department and would be invited to an interview with the HR team.
 
Last week, we had contact with a gentleman in the HR department regarding an interview date and time. My wife  and I will travel to Dallas the first week of January to meet with representatives from the team.
 
We would ask you to please continue praying for us as we continue to prayerfully seek the Lord’s perfect will and leadership regarding ministry among the “nations.” 
 
We appreciate you and your prayers.
 
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 I would also like to share a few praises from this fall semester’s ministry with international students at A&M.
 
  • Our Saturday night pot-luck meal and Bible study with Mainland Chinese students, which started meeting in August 2009, continued meeting for food, fellowship, and the reading and study of God’s Word. This small group relates to a local Mandarin congregation.
  • The Lord opened a door for us to re-engage in ministry with a local Korean congregation. At the invitation of an elder at the church, we started a Thursday night Bible study that was attended by two Korean families and two single Mainland Chinese students. I will be preaching at the church on Sunday, January 2.
  • Two of the young people who have participated in the Saturday night group – one for three semesters and the other for one – were among eleven (11) people who were baptized as a declaration of their faith in Christ at a local language congregation in October.
  • One of the men who has been attending the Saturday night study for three semesters, and made a profession of faith and was baptized last spring, made a request of me several days before he returned to his home country for Christmas. He expressed his desire to meet with me twice a week next semester, in addition to our Saturday night group, for times of one-on-one Bible study and discussion. I was very excited to hear of his desire for more time in the Word and discipleship. Please pray for “Peter” and our time together.
We are very thankful to the Lord for all that He is doing in the lives of the students that we have the opportunity to know and relate to in ministry. We are also thankful that the Lord has given us a wonderful relationship with the two language congregations mentioned above. We pray that the Lord would allow us more time each week to devote to ministry to the “nations”  who have come to Texas A&M to pursue their academic and professional careers.
 
Again, thank you so much for your friendship, encouragement, and prayers.
 
Merry Christmas,
 
Scott
 
Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7:9

Gimme The Combo Meal

December 9, 2010

This past Saturday we had a special small group event at our house. Let me explain.

During the course of each week I have the opportunity to facilitate two international student Bible reading and discussion groups.

One group has been meeting on Thursday nights. It has consisted of two Korean families and two Mainland Chinese PhD students. This group has been meeting for one semester.

The second small group has been meeting on Saturday evenings for one-and-one-half years and is attended by Mainland Chinese students. Attendance has consistently averaged five but individuals attending change with each semester.

Because the two Korean families from the Thursday night small group were returning to Korea on Monday of this week (the 6th), we decided to combine the two groups and have a pot-luck meal and farewell fellowship to say good-bye to them.

What is cool is that no one from the Thursday night Bible knew anyone in the Saturday group, and no one in the Saturday small group knew anyone from the Thursday study. Introductions were made as people arrived, conversation ensued, and friendships were made.

It was a great evening. We had delicious food, sang some Christmas hymns (accompanied by E-J on the piano), and had a brief devotion on the birth of Jesus Christ, His life, and His death on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins. The kids even had time to play Wii while several of the moms and dads played a game that helps improve English word acquisition.

Friendships that are made with students are wonderful and departures are always sad, but we were blessed to know and have time to study the Bible with the families who returned home Monday. Our prayer is that our time in the Word of God together was used of the Lord to build our relationship with Him and better equip us for Gospel service in His Name.

Our small groups will continue to meet on Thursday and Saturday nights. We pray that the Lord will continue to bring students to these times of fellowship, Bible reading, study, and discussion, and that many will receive Christ as their Savior and be discipled to be disciple-makers.

~ reach students … disciple the “nations” ~

The “Sentness” of the Church

August 26, 2010

AND is a book about how the church should, can, and must balance its ministries of gathering the saints and scattering them into the world if it is going to be effectively used of the Lord in and for the expansion of His Kingdom on this earth.

The authors of the book, Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, co-pastors of Adullam church in Denver, begin the book with a chapter entitled “The Beautifully Sent Church.” In this chapter they trace the  “Missio Dei,” the mission of God in this world, using Scripture and examples from the lives of Abraham, Isaiah, Christ Himself and the Apostle Peter.

When we hear of and speak of the “Missio Dei” today, we speak of the fact that as God sent His Son, and as the Father and the Son sent the Spirit, so the Triune God sends us, individually and corporately as the Church, into the world with the Gospel message of His love, grace, and salvation.

Halter and Smay, in their conclusion to this chapter, write that people in our churches are ” … weary of church services, sermons, in-house programs, and Bible studies that never push them out and challenge them to really be the missional people God has called them to be.” (p.48)

So, if  we wonder if there isn’t more to the Christian life and church as we know it, we must

” … settle this issue of why the church exists. God’s church is a missional church, a community that is sent and given away for God’s purposes.”