How to reach somebody. Or, don’t phone them—text.

How to reach people? It depends on the person. If you want to reach me, email me. That’s the quickest way. If you send me a message on some social medium, I may not see it for a day or two.

Other people won’t read email. Others, especially young people, don’t answer phone calls—you have to text them. I seldom answer or return phone calls originating out of our area. I may not see a text message for hours or even a day. Continue reading “How to reach somebody. Or, don’t phone them—text.”

Emphasis on results treats people as things

On his personal blog Texas preacher Kevin Cauley wrote today something that is valid for churches the world over, and especially for those who tend toward the practical and toward efficiency:

This [emphasis on results] never works with the church because the church is not a product, the church is a people, and we should be people focused. People are not predictable.  They have free-will.  You never really know what they are going to do.  For this reason, they can never be “results.”  People are not results.  When we look at people as if they are a result, we dehumanize them.  They cease being people and start becoming a commodity.  Jesus didn’t die for a commodity; He died for people.  Things are commodities; people are not commodities.  Things may be abused,  misused, and destroyed.  People may not be abused, misused, and destroyed.  Our mistake is that we use people and love things when we should be loving people and using things (thank you Dick Sztanyo for this point)!

What do we lose when we are results oriented?  People.  People become means to an end.

Read the whole article here.

The ongoing need for sustainable missions

I almost let the Gospel Progress website go by the wayside. There’s not much demand for it. Most missionaries and missions trainers already have too much to do, yours truly included. And what difference would one little website make in the big scheme of things?

But didn’t the Lord say that where one or two are gathered, he is there in their midst? The context? Saving a soul. Continue reading “The ongoing need for sustainable missions”

No option to determine who should hear

Jesus does not give to Christians the option of determining who should hear the message of salvation. The gospel is to be preached to “all creation” or to “every creature” Mk 16.15. We have no way to judge accurately who will accept and who will not. To judge receptivity, or the lack of it, in a person’s heart, before the message is shared, is to put ourselves in God’s place.

Seeking wisdom

“In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching others.”

—Ibn Gabirol, quoted in R.L. Alden, Job, 318

If Jesus is the “Wisdom of God” Lk 11.49, the above quote can direct us well.

The effect of poverty and prosperity upon evangelism

Mike Brooks writes from Bangladesh today in his regular “Field Notes” column over on the Forthright Magazine site, about the effects of poverty and prosperity upon evangelism and missions.

Almost always, the more a country begins to rise out of poverty and desperation into economic prosperity, the more difficult it is to preach the gospel effectively. Within the space of only a decade or two many former third world nations in which congregations grew rapidly have now suddenly shown marked decreases in conversions. It is not coincidence that these same nations have climbed into a more prosperous standard of living.

Mike provides two points on how Christian should respond. His article should provoke some thoughtful consideration.

Mission math: Twelve plus 72 equals great commission

go-flags

In chapters 9 and 10, Luke records the limited commission of the Twelve and of the 72 others (besides the Twelve). It appears he makes symbolic use of the numbers. The Twelve represent the Jews. Twelve apostles, twelve tribes of Israel. The 72 represent the number of the nations of the world (see Gen 10; cf. NLT Study Bible).

Luke 10 appears near the beginning of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem (9.51-19.27), during which he has in view their mission of preaching after his death (W. Kummel, Introdução ao Novo Testamento). Various elements, though not all, seem to look toward fulfillment after the beginning of the church, such as their prayer for more laborers. Continue reading “Mission math: Twelve plus 72 equals great commission”