In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had been writing my recent thoughts on evangelsim into sermons. This is a portion of the first one.
It’s a different world! We can no longer say “It was good enough for my parents, so it’s good enough for me” or “it’s good enough for everyone else.”
I mean, I’ve heard that. I’ve heard people say that. Let me put it into perspective. He would be in his mid sixties now. He was an elder in the church that he grew up in and a farmer in the mid-west. He was very closed-minded to most methods that were different, maybe they weren’t new, but they were different than what he knew and grew up with, that his “daddy” taught him, and he usually brought the opposite perspective to the table whenever the church board was deciding about trying or doing something different with the church. Even when he was the one who suggested the start of something new, to do something different – whenever issues in life or in the church bore down on him, such as the divorce of one of his children, he reverted back to the default setting that was “It was good enough for daddy, so it’s good enough now.”
There are times that this is true, but not always. It still all comes down to the heart. What’s behind it? What’s the motivation? When it is a close-minded excuse to avoid change and it is something that someone simply does not like personally . . . then there is a problem.
Normally we encounter this attitude when considering musical styles in the church. Sometimes it is about the way the preacher preaches. Often it is about budget issues. At times it is about how evangelism is done and more often about who is to do the evangelism.
I believe we cannot be that closed-minded. I don’t believe God ever intended for Christians to be so close-minded and shut down the progress of vision and growth He has for the church. The church should never be that way. It always puts a brake on what God can do or is doing. You know, it’s like we have a huge bus that seats any number of passengers. There is one engine and one accelerator, 14 steering wheels, and 38 brake pedals. The bus either doesn’t go anywhere, or it goes in so many directions no one knows where it is going and actually crashes.
I have gone through a variety of personal evangelism presentations. There was personal evangelism class in college. The Roman Road (think 1960s); Evangelism Explosion (popular in the 1970s); A Peace Treaty with God (came through the 1980s); Lifestyle Evangelism (cropping up in the 1990s); to Permission Evangelism and Service Evangelism (a couple of the current trends). And you know . . . every one of them has the so-called “answer.”
Let me state unequivocally right now, the answer is nothing more than preaching Jesus Christ. None of these programs are the answer. They are tools. They may be the right tools for one situation or another, but they are only tools.
You may be wondering should we learn them. Probably, yes! More importantly, we should know the scriptures that teach Jesus and that lead people to accepting Christ. We should already know the scriptures that tell us what they must do once they believe so that when they do believe and want to know what to do to accept Jesus and salvation we can direct them that way (John 3:16-17; Romans 3:23 & 6:23; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:10-11, etc).
. . . more to come . . .
If you don’t want to be convicted, than don’t watch this video. http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=c999ad735a62a52d92aa&utm_source=newsletter0828&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weeklytopvideos
Jeff a past, present, future evangelizer