Monday, September 06, 2004

The difficult task of Evangelism

I have been told by other pastor’s to NOT talk or reflect upon a service for 24 hours. But heck I am a rebel.

The last three services in my mind have not been as absolutely wonderful as previous. There are craft mistakes on my part as a preacher but I am more concerned with the focus of the message and passion.

But that is not really the point: Here is the point. There are different ways to grow a church.
1, There is the “you have a very good professional service” method. The preacher is good. The band or choir is really good. The service is pretty concise and the sermon about 25 minutes.
Well we can’t do this. First, I am not that good a preacher. Our band is passionate and wonderful but not professionally impressive. And this just isn’t my style.
These churches I think get a lot of transfer growth. I think that’s not really the point.

2. There is the “service is OK, but the people do evangelism really well” method. This is the Calvary chapel method. These churches grow because the people are universally evangelistic. The key to this is that the DNA ofthe church is very evangelistic. Not every church has this foundation. In these chuches, the services are catered toward the simple gospel every week with alter calls. This is very similar to Rick Warren in that the church has a strong evangelistic ministry or method that feeds the chuch service other than the church service itself.
I would love to do this but we have a long way to go. I am looking to do a hybrid of this. The strength of this method is that the church actually does the stuff. It is not a hope to grow method. This is so key. The issue is do we actually exercise the means to grow.

3. The third method is the method I came from which is just pray. The answer is power so pray.
This method is partially true but it is often an excuse for failure. There is some hidden spiritual reason that the kingdom is not advancing. BUT the reality is we are going to be judged at the throne on objective terms of whether the kingdom actually advanced in our generation.

I wrote a song this week that relates to the cry of the heart to see the kingdom expand in our generation and the lyric goes:

This weight upon my chest
Its gonna kill me
The dreams I can’t lay rest
Will be the end of me
The enemy.

What I hear inside my head
A melody
If I ever let it rest
That will be the end of me
The enemy.

The point is that we need to be driven by our dreams but they need to be spirit led dreams. Our ego dreams will kill us,but our calling keeps us alive.

The chorus goes:
“Everybody else who dreams a dream is just pretending
Without you, without you.”

POINT: The pray and give it to God without exercising the proper means method, I cannot live with. The passion and the dream is too big to let years go by and the kingdom not advance.

The sermons lately are about first, the need to exercise means with courage like a militant evangelical (i.e. method 2) and to also pray because of the incredible obstacles like method 3.

The key though is leadership. Leaders are those who lead. It is terrible to ask people to do womething unless the "leader" is doing it and is at least a few steps ahead of the the congregation.

So here we stand with the existential present staring us in the face and the a faith that is spelled – R-I-S-K!!
Pray and go is the plan. Every Saturday until we get it right!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe that #2 and #3 must go together. We must "Pray as if it is all up to God and work as if it is all up to us." And if we are sincerely praying like we should, God will show us exactly what "means" we should be working on. So go on, Brad, lead the way. Show us what to do. The sermons have been great, let's put it into action.

But what's this about "every SATURDAY"? Have I been missing the Saturday prayer and evangelism meetings?