This article was submitted to the missions magazine of the World Evangelism Ministry, Global Harvest.
Proclaimers of the gospel have a double responsibility. Before they step out into the street or into the home of someone outside of Christ, they ought to double their knees in prayer. When his people pray, God acts in ways that he otherwise would not.
When the Grecian widows were being neglected in the Jerusalem congregation, the apostles declined to do this work. They had been given a different service. Peter replied for the Twelve, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word” Acts 6.4.
These two elements are noteworthy. They constitute the two great activities of apostles and of all proclaimers of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “Prayer and ministry of the Word”
Wayne Burger writes about C.A.O. Essien’s conversion and amazing work in Eastern Nigeria in the 20th Century. A wonderful read. Thousands were baptized and many churches established before any Americans arrived.
Wishing to better his English, Essien responded to an ad to learn English that he saw in a magazine. It was an ad from the International Correspondence School in Munich and Anna Marie Braun became his teacher. At the bottom of one of his English lessons, Essien scribbled a note, “Do you know of a Correspondence Course that teaches the Bible?” On the graded return form Braun wrote, “Try the Lawrence Avenue Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee.” He wrote for a course and began studying the Bible in this way. During the year he finished the course and had requested another 140 courses to give to others.
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.
This is a good quote from the CoE head man:
“When Pharaoh kept the people of God slaves he instructed them to make bricks but didn’t give them the straw they needed to make them. Our God is entirely the opposite – God charges us with a task then gives us what we need.”
Continue reading “‘God gives us what we need’”
The father of Origen, a third-century theologian, was arrested for being a Christian. Origen, then only 17, was aflame with the desire to follow his dad and share in glorious martyrdom. His mother pleaded with him not to go, but the headstrong boy did not want to listen to reason. His quick-thinking mother did what she could — she hid his clothes.
Though Origen stormed and protested, she wouldn’t reveal where they were hidden. He couldn’t leave the house, and so he was unable to volunteer for martyrdom. Continue reading “A different kind of courage”
by Terry R. Townsend
The other night my son faced the hardest throwing twelve-year-old pitcher in the league. He was a bit intimidated, as were all the boys that night. Continue reading “It Wasn’t That Bad!”
Focus Press has a video series on evangelism, starting with Joe Wells’s “Understanding the Soil – Cultivate,” from a North American perspective. Apparently this series is new, since the video below was posted Sept. 9.
In an attempt to discourage his people from claiming its lack, the Baptist Mr. Stetzer affirms there is no gift of evangelism and therefore all are charged with the task of evangelism.
Some among us have also excused themselves from the direct task of proclamation of the gospel by claiming the lack of said gift. The problem he notes in his denomination is also a challenge in the Lord’s church.
Teachers among us have said that God has called some to be evangelists and called all of us to evangelize. The whole church must engage to fulfill her Lord’s mission, whatever be the individual members’ gifts.
Mr. Stetzer’s points are well taken. But I wonder: do we need to affirm that there is no gift of evangelism at all among us, rare though it may be, and more rare though it become? Is it the sword that slices Gordian’s knot, or a slip of logic that steps us further from the truth?
Daniel Dalp has an urgent appeal for getting out and evangelizing in “‘Call Me Maybe’ Evangelism?” It deserves reading and sharing. He says, “We need to make the first move.”