Thursday, July 19, 2012

REACH OUT: The Secret Evangelist

Interestingly, none of the apostles set out to grow the church.  They shared the incredible stories of Jesus and through their lives and actions the Holy Spirit grew the church.  We all know this.  It is not the pastors, youth directors, etc. who grow the church.  It is, indeed, the Holy Spirit working through every single one of us as believers.  The church today provides opportunities to hear and study God's Word and by our lives, we go out and live accordingly, unafraid to speak of what we know as any opportunity arises.  Just look at how Jesus himself did it. 

I have heard many people who say their church isn't growing because...
  1. Their building is old and outdated.  If it doesn't look right we won't entice the younger generation.
  2. We need more programs for people to have fun.  We'll entice them in and then we'll secretly infuse them with the Holy Spirit?
  3. Our church doesn't have a band.  Without contemporary music the church won't grow.
Perhaps your church isn't growing because you're too busy putting God and the power of the Holy Spirit into a small box.  I don't think anybody has left a church saying, "Ya, sure, I would have believed, but the music just wasn't any good and the old pew was uncomfortable."  There is enough entertainment in society.  Give them the truth.  It is easy to share, it is powerful, and it is what they're looking for!  As I read Paul's letters in the New Testament not once did I read anything about adding a new education wing or the future of the church depending on a really cool youth room.  The future of the church is not when the kids grow up.  It is every person right now, this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow living in and being unafraid to speak of the love of Christ.

Outreach Philosophy in a Nutshell
  1. Change your focus from recruiting to caring.  The great commission is NOT the greatest commandment.
  2. Teach people what to say when somebody wants to know what they believe and why they believe it.  You'd be surprised how many people know but can't verbalize it.  Give them the opportunity to practice answering "why?"
  3. Don't freak out about money.  Showing people Jesus is not a financial endeavor.
  4. Talk more about Jesus and less on the issues in the church.
  5. Stress reading scripture.  If you don't know what the Bible says, how can you talk about it when somebody asks?
  6. Trust that the Holy Spirit will use every seed you plant as you focus less on yourself and live your life showing Jesus to everybody everyday in the smallest ways. 
I believe the story of creation is the beginning of a love story that ends with a beautiful reunion with our creator and savior in paradise and it needs to be shared in word and deed as we live!  You do your job and let the Spirit do his.  It's just that simple...

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