Every Person

I remember one of the biggest forms of evangelism in America was when we handed out tracts. I’m not sure why we thought that was so good and I’m sure it helped lead some people to Christ, but I was always uncomfortable with them. They seemed to be more about scaring people out of hell than inviting them into heaven.

But some missionaries in Taiwan are taking an approach that has some similarity to the old evangelism tracts with a major and in my opinion positive change. It is scripture, not a story or a discourse on spiritual laws, but just the scripture that helps the people who are overwhelmed by the large amount of scripture of the Bible. They don’t know where to go or where to begin. They don’t know how to make head nor heals of it, but the method that New Tribes Mission has employed seems to be effective in Asian cultures.

Take time to click the link and read the article.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/may/32.45.html?start=1

This is more than the tract-like publications New Tribes developed. This is about cultural evangelism – reaching people where they are at.

One of the New Tribes training centers is close to where I live in Camdenton, Missouri. We have several New Tribers (as we affectionately call them) attend our congregation.

http://www.ntm.org/

What might we learn for our culture from this method?  That might be a question we should investigate.

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He Chose to Obey God

The fields are ripe for harvest

The fields are ripe for harvest

It was high school camp.  It was the summer of 1999.  Phillip Gore was the chapel speaker and had challenged the 80 or 90 10th -12th grade students to take up the call.  God had sent them as Christians to tell the world about Jesus.

Let me back up about 17 years.  In a little apartment in Lawrence, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, a 24-year-old father took his infant son and held him up to God and asked God to make him a missionary like the apostle Paul, who would go into other parts of the world and tell them about Jesus.

His father always kept that in mind and would repeat the prayer and encourage his son.  He didn’t try to force him to be a missionary, but he encouraged him to consider it.

The boy had been struggling with the decision.  When Phil challenged the campers that evening, the young man’s struggle was intensified  and while the invitation was being offered, he asked God to show him, some way if he was sending him into the world as a missionary.

At that moment, they came to the end of a verse and the chorus and Phil began challenging them again.  Don’t know what he said, but it was what the young man needed to hear and he didn’t hesitate a moment, he stepped out and publicly declared that he would be a missionary for God.

It was a special moment for his uncle and his father.  His uncle was the dean for that week of camp and his father was one of the faculty.

He knew even then, what country he would be going too.  He made the commitment and after he graduated from high school in 2000, he went to Bible college ( http://www.cccb.edu/ ) and prepared to be a cross-cultural evangelist, or what is more commonly known as a missionary.

He is highly focused on the work God has prepared him for, working hard and working smart, within God’s will and always seeking God’s wisdom.

And his father couldn’t be happier.  And I am.

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What’s This Cross-Cultural Crap

crossculture picMy son started Bible College in 2000.  Now that seems soooo long ago.  He knew he then that he would be a missionary in a closed country.  He used his education not just to learn Bible and related stuff, but to prepare for that time when he would begin to work in the country that God was sending him to.

He’s gone and has been for a few years now, but I have his school books.  That’s good.  I don’t buy a lot of books because they are expensive and totally overpriced.  So . . . cheap skate that I am, I am accessing my son’s college textbooks.

Studying missions, some of his classes and obviously, some of his books are about cross-cultural ministry.  I am forward thinking in a backward way.  I mean, I grew up in very conservative, traditional churches and have served those same type of churches since I began ministry.  So, our methods have almost always been guided by the past regardless of how much I want or try to move forward with it.

So, my understanding of what cross-cultural ministry has been about is someone going somewhere else, the Philippines, New Guinea, Ireland or some other place and learning how to apply Biblical truth and teaching in another culture.

Am I short-sighted or not?  I realize, and I haven’t even opened his cross-cultural books yet and I will soon; I realize that it applies as much or more in America than anywhere else in the world.

I am going to learn and we are going to win every generation in every corner of America.  GO TEAM!”

Ok, bring it in here.  Jesus is Lord on three.  One, two, three . . . !

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