Gathering and Scattering

There are five stages of God’s relationship with man.

1> God and us … Adam and Eve walked naked in the garden with God. They had no shame. God and man lived in perfect harmony with one another. Unfortunately, this was short-lived.

2> God for us …After the fall, man couldn’t be in the presence of God. God, however, sent guidance. Whether He did it through prophets, judges, commandments, or covenants, God was still for us.

3> God with us … Then God took on the form of man. He sent His Son to preach the good news and call people home. His Son was born in Bethlehem, and His name was Immanuel, “God with us.”

4> God in us … As Jesus predicted, the temple was later destroyed (in 70 A.D.). Fortunately, God’s presence was no longer bound to a temple and accessed through a high priest. Jesus put an end to animal sacrifices when He became our sacrificial lamb. The temple’s curtain was torn. The altar closed. And the temple was multiplied. The cross of Jesus changed the church. God moved from being for us, to being with us, to being in us. We became the temple of God. And the Bible states, “Christ in you [is] the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

This idea of God being in us is laced throughout the New Testament.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
  • 2 Timothy1:14 says, “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you – guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”
  • Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

All these verses point to one revolutionary idea. The Church is no longer a place. It’s now a people. Wherever we are, there the church is. Basically, Christians turn buildings into churches. Churches don’t turn people into Christians.

How you view God’s Church changes how you view God’s mission. And vice versa.

According to the Barna Group, 71% of Christians say the main influence in their salvation was not going to church but a personal relationship with a Christian. This is so important for us to recognize, because this generation don’t trust institutions. But they will trust someone who represents one.

Things have changed in this generation. Young people don’t read the Bible. They read Christians. Although millennials and Gen Zers may not be going to the event on Sunday, they are meeting Christians throughout the week. They’re meeting us at their job, in their neighbourhood, in their daily rhythms. We have ambassadors all over the world. But many don’t realize they are called to be ministers of reconciliation right where the live, work, and play. 

One of the issues is that churches are strong at gathering and weak at scattering. Barna found that within two years of conversion, 80% of Christians give up their former friendships with unbelievers. We subtly construct holy huddles. We become comfortable with the 99 and forget the one.

Remember, the Bible says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news” (Romans 10:15). Not, “How beautiful are the churches we bring people to.” When we shift our focus from creating great temple experiences (Sundays) to training Great Commission disciples, we leverage the full benefits of the cross. After giving us His commission, Jesus said, “Surely I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). So God is with is, because God is in us. 

Do people in the pews live like this? What a shame if they don’t realize it’s “through the church [that] the manifold wisdom of God should be made known” (Ephesians 3:10).

5> God and us … One day Christ will return and all things will be made new. God and man, back in harmony. What a redemption story! The beautiful irony is that there is a fifth stage, which is simply a return to the first stage. 

This is good news. This is worth sharing. 

The Gospel (by Eric Ludy)

An incredible video showing the fullness of the “power of the gospel unto salvation for all who truly believe” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPIOkdNL-QQ&app=desktop

 

12 Principles of Supernatural Harvesting – Part Two

We were looking at the 12 principles of supernatural harvesting (of souls) as we evangelize using the gifts of the Holy Spirit received when we were baptized in the Holy Spirit

We can use many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to touch the lives of others so as to present the Gospel of the Kingdom to them…

The main ones will be: Read more

12 Principles of Supernatural Harvesting – Part One

Jesus said: “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Mark 1:17

If you are following Jesus, you should be catching fish.

God is going to cause you to be an attractive magnet, a supernatural fishing net, to see the fish come in Read more

Five Things God Never Said

There are a number of wrong impressions being given by those of us who minister to the saints on a Sunday from the pulpit. As well, all of us as we minister to people who are both born again and who have not yet crossed the line of faith are also giving, at times, the wrong impression.

GOD NEVER SAID #1: If you don’t know the date you were saved, then you are not saved.

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I’m Not a Christian but I’m Coming to Your Church This Sunday

I’m not a Christian, but I’ve finally made the decision to come to your church this Sunday. Here’s what you need to know about me.

Okay, I’m not a Christian, but I’ve finally made the decision to come to your church this Sunday. Read more

What Evangelism Is Not

If we’re not cautious and clear, a sloppy definition of missions and evangelism will destroy renewal efforts.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee. (BP)–The Great Commission Resurgence proposals within the Southern Baptist Convention have reminded us of the high priority of evangelism and local/global missions. The same is true of many denominations across the theological spectrum of beliefs as Christian leaders worldwide seek to regain strongholds of spiritual influence in North America and Europe. However, unless we’re cautious and clear, a sloppy, imprecise definition of missions and evangelism will destroy renewal efforts. Let’s define evangelism by what it is not and then by what it is.

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Overcoming Fear in Witnessing

John 7:10-13

Our life should be a living witness…but we haven’t FULLY COMPLETED our witness until we open our mouth and speak. That is hard, but necessary, as we are called to share “the actual WORDS of the gospel.” 

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher (witness)?

People need to do more than see a believer live according to the Bible – they need to hear the actual words of the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus came to preach.

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You shall not bear false witness – The 9th Commandment

I’ve always been interested in church mission statements. They can range from typical (“…to know him and make him known”) to transformational (“We strive to proclaim the Good News of Christ through worship, ministry, and outreach missions”). As I think about it, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a church’s mission statement that doesn’t make evangelism a central priority in one way or another.

But when it comes to evangelism, a mission statement can turn from big black letters on a church marquee to a little white lie that the church is telling the community. Strike that…it’s a big lie. If a church claims to be making evangelism a central priority and the people in that church are not actively sharing their faith, then the mission statement of that church is not just a joke; it’s a lie.

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Modern Technology and Evangelism

In today’s world, the use of technology is rampant, and now more than ever, people are using it to communicate, especially young people. Most days I will spend an hour or more text messaging young people all over the world – building relationships, teaching, training, and evangelizing. Texting is the mode of communicating for teens and twenty to thirty age groups. E-mails are for the older generations.

Whether we like it or not, whether you are flowing in this stream of communication or not, it is becoming more and more important to learn how to reach people via an additional medium: the Internet, emails, Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging. Some ways of going about that might appear somewhat obvious, for instance, writing blogs about evangelism. However, here are some more helpful ideas below on how to use the internet to evangelize…

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