Posted tagged ‘Evangelism’

I-5 Evangelism

January 21, 2013

In Any-3: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime, Mike Shipman shares five insights into the character of Jesus’ evangelistic ministry. These insights, drawn from Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:7-38), will serve us well as we seek to obey the Great Commission to share the Gospel and make disciples of all the “nations”, beginning in our Jerusalems.

The first characteristic of Jesus’ evangelistic ministry that Shipman points out is intentionality. Jesus was Intentional about Woman at the Well 1886everything that He did during the course of His life and ministry, including His evangelism. Mike writes that …

“The witness who understands the gospel and is willing and prepared to share it will have opportunities to do so. God will connect such a witness with people who need to hear the gospel, many of whom He has already prepared to receive it.”

“Christians who plan to share the gospel do so much more often than those who passively ‘wait for the Spirit to lead them.'”

“Prepare to share the gospel. And then make a plan to spend time where lost people are with the intention of sharing the gospel with them.” 

 Jesus was very Informal when engaging people evangelistically.

“Most of Jesus’ witnessing experiences occurred in the course of everyday life. Rather than waiting for a formal religious setting, Jesus witnessed informally.”

“The best place to witness is wherever you meet people.”

” … if anyone, anywhere in the world invites you to sit down and talk, what they are usually saying is, ‘Share the gospel with me.'”

Mike writes that “Jesus never acted condescending or condemning” when ministering evangelistically. “Instead, he was Interactive and engaging.”

Discussing this third characteristic of Jesus’ evangelistic approach to ministry, Shipman notes that Jesus spoke seven times and the woman spoke six times during their conversation at the well. He did not dominate the conversation; His style was interactive. It is also noted that the early tone of Jesus was gentle and relaxed when He began His conversation with the woman, but the tone of the conversation did became tense when the woman came under conviction because of her sin. When tension does enter the evangelistic exchange,

“Let the Holy Spirit do the work of conviction, while the witness helps to guide the person to the truth.”

“People are rarely won to Christ through arguments no matter how persuasive they may be. Instead, focus of giving a simple, loving presentation of the gospel.”

 Initiative characterized Jesus’ approach to evangelism. Mike shows us that Jesus not only initiated the conversation with the Samaritan woman, He guided the conversation to its intended goal. That goal was her decision to receive Christ as her Savior and transformer of her life.

The fifth and final characteristic of Jesus’ evangelism method that Mike Shipman observes in Any-3 Jesus’ encounter with the Woman at the Well is that Jesus Introduces people to the Messiah.

“Sharing biblical truths is good, but if we fail to introduce the Messiah, we have missed the heart of the gospel.”

” … the gospel has the power to save. For this reason, the gospel should be the primary message the witness shares.”

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If the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ truly is good news, those of us who are believers in Him should be eager to share the message of God’s love and forgiveness in our Savior with those who need to know Him personally. While many studies, programs, and courses have been written and designed to train and equip us for evangelism, there is no better preparation and equipping for the work than to study and follow the life, example, and teaching of Jesus Christ.

He was Intentional about the sharing of the Gospel. He was Informal, or relational. He Interacted and had exchanges with people. He took the Initiative in connecting with people and sharing the Good  News. And, He Introduced people to the Messiah and called them to make a personal decision to accept His as their Savior.

May we live an evangelistic life-style and may it be characterized by the evangelistic traits of Jesus.

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The painting above: Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well by Henryk Sieiradzki, 1886.

Am I Desperate?

August 9, 2012

We had a wonderful time of worship and prayer this evening at WoodsEdge Community Church in The Woodlands. WoodsEdge has hosted the Discipleship Multiplication Training event that I have been attending this week.

The Lord has used the teaching, new friendships, and conversations this week to teach me about evangelism, discipleship, and church planting.

He has also used this week to convict me about the lack of prayer in my life.

Am I desperate for God in my life, in my family, in my ministry? 

LORD, I’m desperate for You.

Discipleship Multiplication Training: Day 2

August 8, 2012

Today was the second day of the Discipleship Multiplication Training event in The Woodlands, Texas. Below are several quotes from today’s teaching.

“God saved me to lead my family to Christ.” 

“The quicker we baptize new believers, the bolder the witness.”

“Church Planting Movements are launched on the depth of our discipleship.”

“Obstacles are the greatest opportunities for God to work.”

“The minimum requirements of discipleship are to share our story, evangelize and lead people to Christ, and disciple new believers.”

 

Every Picture Tells A Story: CPM Infographic

June 18, 2012

In May, I posted an article that contained a graphic that pictured the Parable of the Soils. This parable is one of several Kingdom Parables spoken by Jesus that are referred to and used by Church Planting Movement practitioners when teaching about effective CPM ministry.

Below is a very interesting CPM graphic that pictures and teaches about the four fields and five parts of Church Planting Movements that are occurring around the world.

I found this graphic on the website of City Church Woodbine. City Church Woodbine is, as far as I know, a fairly new church in Nashville, Tennessee that is committed to reaching its city and the world through the multiplication of disciples and churches. The church had posted a “Church Planting Movement Multiplication” chart and then had it into the infographic.

This infographic pictures the CPM elements of entry, evangelism, discipleship, church formation, leadership development, and reproduction and multiplication of disciples and churches that are practical and relevant for ministry in all contexts and among all peoples.

The infographic begins by showing us that the Father’s heart-felt desire is that “all men be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” That  salvation, and that knowledge of the truth, is found in the Father’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are to go into all the world, beginning in our homes, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, multiplying disciples and churches, until all have heard the Gospel and have had the opportunity to either receive or reject Christ as their personal Savior. (Matthew 28:18-20)

The End Vision of all that we pray and labor toward, then, individually, as believers, and corporately, as churches, is that the time will come when ” … the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14) It is the time when ” … a great multitude, which no one could (can) number, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, (are) standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were (are) in their hands; and they cry out with one loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'” (Revelation 7:9)

The CPM infographic goes on to outline what one CPM practitioner refers to as the 5 Parts of CPM. Church Planting Movements, while a vision we have for ministry, is bottom-line a God ordained means of achieving glory for Himself, the expansion of His Kingdom on this earth, and, ultimately, the above described End Vision.

The first part is the Entry into any new community or culture. The Entry is much more than a “platform” (i.e., English, medicine, agriculture, etc.) that gains us a Visa and entry into a network or nation. Entry has to do with engaging a people where they live and immersing ourselves in their culture. This involves learning the language, history, culture, tradition, family structure, decision-making processes, and life nuances of those the Lord has commissioned us to serve and share Christ with. It results in identification with and better understanding of the people. Doing this builds relationship bridges across which the Gospel can travel into hearts and lives. Knowing the people and the world in which they live also gives us insight and wisdom for the development of ministry strategies for evangelism, discipleship, and church planting, with the understanding that it is the Lord Who directs and open the doors for ministry. A major component of Entry is praying for and finding the Person(s) of Peace (POP).

Evangelism, or the sowing of the Gospel seed, is the second part of CPM. Believers must be equipped for the ministry of evangelism. One aspect of this equipping is to ask three questions of the people : 1) “Why should I share the Gospel?” “I have been forgiven of my sins and I am commissioned by the Lord to share.” 2 ) “What do I say?”  “What my life was like before I became a Christian; how I came to faith; and how my life has been different since I became I a believer”. 3) “With whom do I share?” Have the individual make a list of people who “are far away from God” and commit to share the Gospel with them that week. The telling of “my story” (point #2) is a bridge to the presentation of the Gospel and the call to people to accept Christ as their personal Savior. Evangelism, of course, can be done in many ways, but perhaps the best way is Mouth-to-Ear *M2E). The point is this: share the Gospel often and share it with everyone. A characteristic of CPMs around the world is the abundant sowing of the Gospel seed.

Evangelism is followed-up with Discipleship. As individuals come to faith in Christ they must be discipled in their faith and for ministry. The Great Commission is to make disciples, not just converts. And, it must emphasized that discipleship is not merely a matter of gaining knowledge. Learning and knowing is a part of discipleship but discipleship is not simply knowledge-based. Discipleship is obedience-based. We are commissioned to teach disciples to ” … obey all things I (Jesus) have commanded you …. ” There are any number of ways that we can disciple pre-and-new believers, but the emphasis is that we must disciple people and we must be intentional and purposeful in this ministry. II Timothy 2:2.

As  unbelievers are being discipled for salvation and new believers are being discipled, it is natural that New Churches will be formed. It is in the context of church, the assembly of believers, that community and discipleship are best achieved. Scripture teaches that we need one another and that it is in community that we experience the “one anothers” of the Spirit-filled life. And, it is the church that God uses to carry out His work, extend His Kingdom on this earth, and represent and reflect Him to a watching world.

The fifth part of CPM is Leadership Development. As disciples are being made and churches developed, emerging church leaders are going to be identified. Characteristics of these men and women will be obedience, faithfulness, and sacrifice. Leadership can be developed in a variety of ways, but the CPM “best practice” process can be described by the acronym, “MAWL”.

“M” stands for “Model.” Current leaders will model leadership as he or she include emerging leadership in ministry. Jesus modeled leadership as the Twelve accompanied Him through three years of mnistry on this earth. So we must model ministry for our disciples.

“A” stands for “Assist.” In this phase of leadership development, the current leaders share ministry assignments and responsibilites with emerging leaders. When the emerging leaders are fulfilling their responsibilities, they grow in their ministry competence and gain confidence for their future ministries.

The “W” in “MAWL” stands for “Watch.” This is the time in the development process when the more mature and experienced leader releases the emerging leader to lead in and facilitate all aspects of the new church. The current leader participates, observes, and provides feedback that instructs and encourages the younger leader in his or her development and ministry.

The final letter in the “MAWL” acronym, “L”, stands for “Leave.” Once leadership has been modeled and the emerging leader has assisted and assumed ministry, the mentor leader leaves to continue his or her ministry of evangelism, making disciples, church planting, and leadership development in other places among other peoples. The mentor will not completely sever a mentoring relationship with his disciple, though. He or she will remain in contact through visits, the visits of his representatives, letters, or other means of communication, offering encouragement and ministry counsel.

“MAWL” ministry is the kind of On-The-Job training (OTJ) ministry that the Apostle Paul exercised as he carried the Gospel across the Mediterranean world, making multiplying disciples and starting multiplying churches. MAWL ministry is being implemented and found in Church Planting Movements that are occuring around the world today.

As these “parts” of CPM are lived out, implemented, and reproduced and multiplied in the lives of disciples and churches, the result will be, by God’s grace, a Church Planting Movement.

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I have found the CPM Infographic to be an interesting graphic that presents a number of the primary elements found in Church Planting Movements. The lay-out of the graphic helps us to easily trace and remember these elements.

The elements depicted in this graphic are usually associated with what the Lord is doing overseas in and through Church Planting Movements. I would remind us that Vision and Endvision should characterize the heart, life, and ministry of every believer, every church, every where. I would also suggest that the  Five Parts strategy for ministry (which there is much more to than I have described above) has very real application potential for the ministry of the multiplication of disciples and churches in our Western, anywhere USA, context.

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 You can view the original Infographic document here.

Wilson Geisler has written a very informative article about the Five Parts. It is entitled “Some Practical Aspects of the 5 Parts of Jesus’ Masterplan.” It can be read here.

If  you are prayerfully considering the implementation of a disciple making and church planting multiplication ministry, I would encourage you to check and go through the CPM manual of Nathan and Kari Shank. It is entiled “The Four Fields – Mark 4:26-29. Reproducing Churches Using Simple Tools.” The manual can be found at  Four Fields.

WIGTake @ TAMU?

June 14, 2012

Texas A&M University 2011 fall enrollment: 49,861 + 4,750 international students from 126 nations of the world.

WIGTake to reach them for Christ?

Roland Allen On Mission Finances and Preaching

December 24, 2011

This is my second installment of quotes taken from Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s Or Ours by Roland Allen. This book, considered by many to be a classic on missions and indigenous ministry, was written in 1912.

As I mentioned in my first post on MM, it is important to remember when reading these quotes that when Allen wrote the book missions conducted in “heathen” lands were dominated by Western missions organizations, were financed mainly by foreign capital, were led and overseen by foreign missionaries, and gave little consideration to a truly indigenous approach to ministry.

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From the chapter, “Finance.”

Allen dismisses the idea that ” … the stability of the church in some way depends upon the permanence of its buildings.”

“Christianity is not an institution, but a principle of life.”

“By supplying what they cannot supply we check them in the proper impulse to supply what they can supply. … The converts learn to rely upon them (the missionaries) instead of making every effort to supply their own needs.”

From  “The Preaching” chapter.

 “Philosophical disquisitions have no doubt their place; but for mission preaching the supreme subject is ‘the Cross’, ‘Repentance, and Faith’.”

“We tend to think that the duty of the Church is rather to Christianize the world than to gather out of the world the elect of God into fellowship of His Son.”

 “St Paul did not scatter seeds, he planted. He so dealt with his hearers that he brought them speedily and directly to a point of decision, and then he demanded of them that they should make a choice and act on their choice.”

Allen’s comments about St. Paul bringing men to a point of decision regarding the acceptance or rejection of Christ are convicting. How often do I share Christ with people? How rarely do I call them to decision?

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My next post of quotes from Missionary Methods: St Paul’s Or Ours? will be taken entirely from the chapter, “The Teaching.”

CPM Resources

December 7, 2010

Perhaps the greatest activity of God on the Earth today can be found in what are called Church Planting Movements. A Church Planting Movement, or CPM, is simply defined as

“a rapid and multiplicative increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group or population segment.” (Church Planting Movements, p. 7)

Through CPMs that are happening around the world, millions are entering the Kingdom of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am very excited about and intrigued with CPMs. Therefore, I do a lot of reading and praying about these movements of God and dream about the Lord initiating and reaching people for Himself in the West and in my community through the rapid start and multiplication of new churches.

The Lord has used one book and two training manuals to inform and encourage me regarding church planting movements. I am praying that the Lord will use these materials to motivate and move me to be more evangelistic and intentional about the multiplication of disciples and the start of simple churches that will penetrate and saturate Texas A&M University (TAMU) and our communities for Christ.

Perhaps the first book or material that I ever read about CPMs was the Church Planting Movements booklet by David Garrison. (I would note that Charles Brock’s Indigenous Church Planting was required reading in my missions classes in seminary). Garrison, a Southern Baptist strategy coordinator, researched CPMs that were/are taking place in the world and reported on them in this booklet.

In Church Planting Movements, Garrison: 

  • defines Church Planting Movements 
  •  identifies their universal characteristics
  • examines common obstacles to Church Planting Movements
  • analyzes a wide range of actual case studies
  • provides some practical handles for beginning and nurturing Church Planting Movements
  • addresses some frequently asked questions about Church Planting Movements.

David has expanded the CPM booklet into a book by the same name that addresses church planting movements in greater detail.

A CPM training manual that I have recently become aware of and am currently going through is The Four Fields of Church Planting – Reproducing Churches Using Simple Tools by Nathan and Kari Shank. The Shanks have written this manual based on their experiences as veteran church planters in India and out of a committment to sharing Christ in areas where He has not been known.

In The Four Fields, Nathan and Kari use Jesus’ Parable of the Seed in Mark 4:26-29 to help us to understand “big picture” issues pertaining to church planting and church planting movements.

The Skank’s teaching is built around the picture of four fields into which the Gospel Seed is to be sown. The “fields” are:

  • Field #1 is Reproducible Entry Strategy
  • Field #2 is Reproducible Gospel Presentation
  • Field #3 is Reproducible Discipleship
  • Field #4 is Reproducible Church Formation

Other subjects dealt with in The Four Fields include “Leadership Multiplication,” “Barriers to Overcome,” and “Church Planting Motives.”

I am enjoying this manual as I am going through it and am gleaning much that I pray that I will be able to implement as we seek to reach international students at TAMU for Christ.

The third piece, and second manual that I would share with you, is T4T – Build a Trainer. This material is sometimes called “Training for Trainers.”

I first became aware of T4T when I attended an International Mission Board (SBC) East Asia Summit in Shreveport, Louisiana in November 2009. In a break-out group on Unengaged Cities, the facilitator mentioned a material written by an Asian-American missionary serving in East Asia that the Lord has been using in powerful ways to initiate and propagate CPMs.

The missionary developed and began using T4T in 2000. By 2008, the initial small band of disciples he worked with multiplied into a movement of more than 80,000 new churches with more than 2 million baptisms.

The Bible study material that is used to disciple new believers is actually very basic. In fact, it is very similar to new believer material you may have gone through in your traditional American church when you became a Christian. But, it differs from the standard discipleship programs in that it seeks to instill a vision for evangelism and church planting in the heart of the disciple.

T4T begins with an introduction that addresses “The Fast Pace of Spreading the Gospel” and “Devotional Ideas for Use in the First Four Sessions.”

The material that trainees are taken through consists of seven sessions, the first of which is a training session for the trainer. The titles for the six studies that disciples are mentored through are:

  1. Assurance of Salvation
  2. Understanding Prayer
  3. Daily Devotions
  4. The Church
  5. God Is The Heavenly Father
  6. Spreading The Gospel

Following the sessions material, there is an addendum that includes readings on:

  • End-visioning
  • CPM coaching
  • Helpful Scriptures
  • Common questions and answers regarding CPMs
  • Characteristics of a CPM church

The final section of the T4T manual is a training schedule that can be used when training trainers.

I have gone into greater detail in sharing the T4T material because I am very excited about it. Several reasons that I am excited about T4T are:

  • T4T is very simple in its content and structure.
  • T4T is a material that can not only be used by the most mature believer, but by the newest follower of Christ as well.
  • The purpose of  T4T is not only to ground new believers in the basics of the faith and discipleship, it is intended to produce trainers who will train others (see II Timothy 2:2).
  • T4T builds the DNA of evangelism and the start of reproducing churches into the lives of those being trained.

I have studied and gone through this material on my own and prayerfully intend to use it next semester with two different groups. One is my own family. We will use the material as a part of our weekly family worship and devotion time. The second group will consist of several international students who have been participating in our mid-week Bible study small groups the past two semesters.

It is thrilling to read and learn about what the Lord is doing in the world today to “redeem a lost world to Himself” through the multiplication of disciples, leadership, and churches, or what is called, Church Planting Movements. And, it is exciting and motivating to have such excellent, God blessed material in our hands to use as we seek to be involved in the fulfillment of The Great Commission.

But, we must remember that the materials are simply tools that the Lord has given us through man. The Lord is looking for and uses Spirit-filled, motivated, obedient people who are committed to His glory and purposes to accomplish His work on this earth.

I pray that as you have the opportunity to look at, and possibly go through, the materials shared in this post that the Lord will reveal to you how He might use you in reaching a lost world for Himself through Church Planting Movements.

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Please visit Monergism Books and WTS Books for conservative and Reformed reading material.