Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Soul Winning/Witnessing:

I was recently in a discussion with a dear friend of mine about how we should be about the task of Soul-winning or should we. Before you jump on your soap box and have a heart attack let me explain. The discussion was around “Door to Door Witnessing” as opposed to what he referred to as “Relational witnessing.” This is not saying that we should not try to win souls, only pondering the most effective method.

I was raised in Michigan and attended an Independent Baptist church with a large bus ministry and a thriving Sunday school; averaging over 750 weekly (this was back in the 70’s). The pastor preached soul winning from the pulpit, and taught it in the Sunday school.  Dozens of people, from teenagers to adults, would gather at the church for a quick bite to eat, and head out into the neighborhoods around Flint, Michigan to visit those that had attended for the first time,  maybe those that missed, or maybe we were given a name of a friend that someone would like to see attend.  We would walk up to the door unannounced and simply knock. I honestly can only remember a few times when the door was slammed in my face.

During the summer between my freshman & sophomore year of college the church hired three of us college students to knock on doors around the church. We knocked on 10,000 doors that summer, witnessed hundreds make professions of faith, and about two dozen began to attend the church just because we took the time to invite them. To me that is “Door to Door Witnessing” or as friends call it “Impact Evangelism.”

The friend I was talking with shared that he felt that was rude and inappropriate for a person to make a cold call on someone, you need to build a relationship and most importantly don’t offend them by showing up unannounced.  You should always call and schedule an appointment, and never offend them by asking tough personal questions at the door. The question he is referring to is my favorite question “If you died today are you 100% sure you would go to heaven? To me it is a simple question, yes or no, you know or you don’t.

I have got sad news for you if we wait for individuals to call us to visit them, you will be waiting a long time. 

In my thinking, and you may disagree, it is time for us to go backwards to some of the old traditions that have worked in the past.  Let’s invite people where they are, encourage them to know Christ for who he is, and Challenge them to except HIM as their Savior. 

My personal view for what it is worth …. I think both sides of the debate are right, don’t be scared of either one.  I challenge your step out of your comfort zone, knock on a neighbor’s door and invite them to church, and continue to build those relationships that will grow into a great opportunity to share your story of faith.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Great book for you to checkout

Those that know me personally know that I love teaching and studying Pastoral Theology; simply looking at how and why we do the ministry we do. This includes everything from pastoral counseling, Ethics, Homiletics/Teaching, Church Leadership, and the Church Ordinance.  I’m always reading and looking for good books or articles on the subject, and ironically I came across a book on Amazon that is free to download to my Kindle entitled, “The Preacher and His Model, the Yale Lectures on Preaching, 1891.” 

This awesome nine part lecture was presented at “Divinity School of Yale University, New Haven, Conn, April 25, 1891 by Rev. James Stalker D.D. of Glasgow, Scotland.  Dr. Stalker was a minister, lecturer and preacher for the Free Church of Scotland (United Free Church).   From 1902-1924 he was Professor of Church History at the United Free Church College in Aberdeen, where he also added the Chair of Christian Ethics in 1905. He maintained these until his retirement in 1924.

Dr. Stalker has joined the other great British authors that I have enjoyed over the years including but not limited to C. S. Lewis and Thomas Torrance, both of whom have had a profound impact on my thinking as a Christian and minister.   Dr. Stalker has the ability through his teaching to help you develop a unique understanding of what God has called you to as a minister of the Gospel, and a preacher of the word.  A great quote in the book is “Preaching is not merely the speaking of a man. If it is, then it is certainly not worth coming to church for. Preaching, if it is of the right kind, is the voice of God.”  He takes time through the short lecture series to take each student/preacher on a walk to understand the calling, ministry, purpose, and requirement.

My prayer as you read this short blog post is that you would take time to read this awesome book by a mighty man of God. Allow his thoughts to challenge you as you become the man of God and preacher/teacher he has called you to be.

Sad day in American history!

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