Tag Archives: outreach

5 Tips for Living On Mission with God

For us to live on mission with God and allow Him to do His work through us means that we must be attentive to how ‘we see life.’  It will help if we can see the whole of life in the context of sowing and reaping… understanding the importance and implications of this Biblical principle in the context of everyday relationships.

Sowing and Reaping1. Forget shortcuts

Don’t look for substitutes, cramming schemes, and quick-fixes when sharing the gospel.

2. Focus on sowing

Live to contribute, not consume… to invest, not get… to serve, not be served.  We are usually too harvest-driven, too focused on reaping.

3. The fruit is the seed

The Spirit’s fruit produced in my life is the seed planted in someone else’s life.  The Spirit’s fruit in me grows out of a good root system.

4. The field is not my solitude

The field of others is located a great distance from the solitude and isolation of self-interests.  I can’t live for self and others simultaneously.  Note: My interests may not be evil within themselves… only if they keep me from my purpose for being on earth as one who worships God.

5. My fulfillment in life will be the sheaves I bring forth with rejoicing

Praise the Lord!  It is after we go and sow in tears… that we come and reap with joy, bringing our sheaves with us… those we have influenced to follow Jesus.  In this experience, we find fulfillment and the joy of obedience.

 

by Pastor Bob Cook | facebook |  bio
The Church at Grace Park

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The NEW Church Foyer

I can’t help noticing church trends, and I love visiting churches. Just ask Laura, my wife, and she will tell you that I will drive way out of our way when on vacation to visit a church that I’ve heard about. You can learn something from everybody.

Recently I have been contacting numerous churches and scheduling presentations designed to communicate the need for church planting in the Urban South.  As a result, I’ve had occasion to view lots of church websites. Some are great—some are not so great.

Church leaders, your website is your church’s new foyer!

Quite a while back, Zondervan sent me a few books from their Leadership Network series. One of them was A Multi-Site Church Road Trip by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, and Warren Bird.  This book offered me a unique opportunity. I could, in essence, visit a number of diverse churches around the nation without ever leaving my local ministry on a Sunday. To a churchman like myself, this was an appealing opportunity!  Since all of the churches in this book were multi-site (already a bit out of the box) I wasn’t surprised to read that many of them had also added an “internet campus” so I could virtually visit as well.

This post isn’t about the pros and cons of the multi-site church model or even whether an “internet campus” is or isn’t church. Rather, let’s focus on the simple thoughts that this book, along with other factors, has generated in my mind.

Specifically, let’s talk about how important online media has become to churches. One thing that each of these diverse churches seemed to “get” was that their church must leverage media. Experience seems to be indicating that 20-somethings will watch/listen to services online for several weeks or more before ever attending church in real life.

In Reaching the Unchurched Next Door, the survey team was surprised to discover that “most of the unchurched feel guilty about not attending church.” In addition, “96% of the unchurched said that they are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited.”

This would seem to indicate that truly unchurched people are likely intimidated by all the unknown factors presented by any given church.

I remember going to play golf for the first time with “serious golfers” only to find out that there were all kinds of rules of golf etiquette that I was completely unaware of.  It was intimidating! In the same way, the unknown intimidates people who are unfamiliar with church!

Enter: the church website. Your website is a tool that unchurched people who want to visit church are using to become familiar with an intimidating setting before they come.

  • Do you have a high bounce rate? Rethink the design of your site.
  • Do you have primarily single page views? Maybe you should re-work the content of your site.
  • If you provide audio—great! Could you provide video?
  • If you provide video, how could you make it more consumable?
    • By adding an attractive lead in?
    • Could you divide each video into parts?
    • Could you optimize for quicker uploads?
    • What about a better-written explanation for each video?
    • Should you consider moving your service media to a different location on your site?

I think that we will find more and more visitors spending a few services with us online before they ever meet the church in person.  It’s like the new foyer—the place where people take time to get comfortable, get to know what your church is all about, and ultimately decide whether or not to push through the sanctuary doors.

RELATED POST from P4G: Practical Helps for Your First Impression

Article by Brian Norris

@BrianNorris

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Getting to the Point

There are a lot of things to debate and dissect in the Christian life today.  There are multiple denominations, Bible versions and doctrines.  Everyone from scholars and theologians to new Christians have different views and interpretations of Scripture.

Some argue these things because they truly believe their views are correct and they do not want fellow believers to be deceived.  Others use these things to create trouble, or to set themselves apart from everyone else.  I too have gotten caught up in debates over Scripture for any or all of these reasons until I read Titus 3:9; But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

I felt very convicted about how I had lived my Christian life – I had spent most of it spouting out views and opinions to prove how unwavering my faith was.  But if we are to spread the good news of the Gospel to the world and lead people to Christ, does it make sense to debate with other Christians the things that Paul called unprofitable and vain?  I could just imagine God looking down saying, “You spent so much time arguing this thing and you both missed the point.”

 I want to take as many people with me to Heaven as I can.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  The study of God’s word is a wonderful and necessary pursuit.  To read Scripture with a humble heart is exactly what Proverbs 27:17 means when it says, Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.  But Revelation 22:13,14 says I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.  Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

At some point, we will pass out of time into eternity.  Time will not stop.  It will cease to exist.  With no other plans to make, bills to pay, things to fix or schedule to keep, I will bow down at the feet of my God and Creator.  I will hold the hand of my Lord and Savior.  And I will hug my Father with the joy of a child and say, “I love you.”  And to be honest, I want to bring as many people with me as I can.  I want them to experience eternity being washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.  I would keep writing, but I don’t know how much time I have…

Article by C.S. Depew

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