Tag Archives: Evangelism

Block Party 2012

What is Evangelism?

I know a whole lot of Christians who would disagree with what we did at Riverside Baptist, today. They would say, “You never preached, handed out a tract, or sang a gospel song. You call this outreach?

Why, yes I do.

You see, there are many in the Church who think that there is only one way to evangelize the lost and reach the back-slidden. They would never even consider having  an event where no one preached, handed out literature, or did a mock hell pit with straw-men torches. They would consider our event a failure.

But what is evangelism? Is there only one way of reaching people with the gospel? Is there only one way to show people you care about them?

An Old Adage

Painting faces.

I believe it was Zig Ziglar who said, “People will never care what you know until they know how much you care.” That is the absolute truth, too. And that was the mission of our block party.

There are so many who are not in church simply because they feel unloved and unwanted. They think that all Christians want to do is take up offerings and sing old hymns. The last thing they ever think is that we are real people who really care about their lives. If they could only know that we care, they might want to hear what we believe.

Instructions

As pastor of Riverside, I gave instructions to all who were to participate at this event. I did my best to make it perfectly clear what was expected of each of us.

  • Kids in a fire engine.

    First, this was not to be a church service. We invited people to a party, not communion.

  • Secondly, everything was to be free. No asking for donations. No admission. No charge for “stuff” that was done.
  • Next, it didn’t matter who showed up, they were to be talked to and befriended. I asked all of my congregation to show up, if for no other reason than to just sit and talk. People like to sit and talk about their lives to somebody who actually listens – and cares.
  • Have fun without any expectations.

This event was to be a seed-planting event. It was to be a time to let the community know that we are here. It was to be a time to let the Holy Spirit work through us in the way that we cared.

The Results

Eating inside where it was cool.

My legalistic friends (do I have any legalistic friends?) might like to ask me how things turned out. I am sure they would want to know how many got saved. I am sure that they would love to ask me at what point I stood up and shared the gospel with all the visitors. I am sure that they would love to point out that this event was a failure, since there was not one conversion.

I would totally disagree.

Our little church had scores of people show up today. Many of them did not attend any church. How do I know that? Because they told me so. They filled out cards in order to register for genuinely nice door prizes.

I got to talk with one young mother who wanted to go to church, but thought people would make fun of her tattoos.

I spoke with a young mother of four who wanted to go to church, but felt that her life was too messed up. Oh, really? I told her we would love to have her. I told her about how God’s grace and forgiveness was there for her.

The Expectations

What do I expect? I expect to see visitors at church in the morning. I expect our members to come to church tired, but with a feeling of hope. I expect people to show up that didn’t even come to the block party (because that’s how God works).

Smiling coming and going.

I expect kids on my bus to mention to their families that their bus driver is a preacher, but he is cool.

I expect people who never talked about this little church to talk about this little church and say, “Hey, those people are really nice. Why don’t we go hear that guy preach?”

I expect more things to come.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under baptist, Food, legalism, salvation, Witnessing

“Don’t Be Skeerd” (My Own List)

This is a post about a post about a post.

After reading a post today on GrowUp! (click for link), I couldn’t help but respond with my own list of things that a Christian shouldn’t be scared of. Maybe the first one should be, “Don’t be skeerd to end a sentence with a preposition that you’re sick of.”

OK, so if you don’t get it, “skeerd” is “scared” spelled that way we say it sometimes in the South.

Here are 8 things of which a Christian should not be afraid….of:

Dracula, or any other vampire that stalks you through your window.

Just show them your cross. If that doesn’t work anymore, then quote Scripture. Of course, if you are a girl, then you’d be better off to just call 911, or better yet, shoot the idiot trying to act like a character from Twilight.

Disclaimer – DO be afraid of Vampire Bats. They have rabies. You may be alright when they bite you, but then again, you may be wishing your church family had something else to pray for…(I ended with a preposition, see?).

Atheists

If they prove that there is no God, no reason for faith, and no reason for forgiveness of sin, then you have nothing to worry about. They can’t prove there is no God, you know, but if they ever did, then you are free to whack them in the head with the biggest hardcover KJV you can find. If there’s no God, then there’s no absolutes or basis for morality outside of what makes you feel good. Make yourself feel better when they take away your hope by knocking the grin off their face…they should understand.

Women wearing pants, or men wearing dresses.

It may help some of you to know that even though most of the Christian world is more concerned with staying alive amidst persecution than with dress codes, some of our brethren and sistren still freek over this. For them let me just say, “Don’t be skeerd!” If Obama gets re-elected then we will probably end up wearing potato sacks, anyway. As we go back to the economic lifestyles of pre-electric days, no one will be able to afford any fancy stitching and things. Who knows, the toga may come back in style and everyone will wear a skirt.

Crazy worship styles and screens on walls.

No reason to fear these things, people. As long as the worship is from the heart and it IS true worship, not self-satisfying, self-glorifying entertainment, then God will be pleased. On the other hand, if church attendance continues to decline in this country, you won’t be able to afford the electricity needed to run the projectors and fancy sound equipment used by many praise bands. Where two or three are gathered together, there the non-electric bluegrass will be in the midst of them.

Disclaimer – For the record, I love bluegrass gospel. Sorry. Wait, I’m not sorry. Scratch that. I love bluegrass and want to see the words projected on screens in church for all to sing along….with.

Stray dogs that wander in through an open door and listen to the church service.

Had it happen. Didn’t mind. At least when the dog fell asleep he didn’t snore.

Week-long revival meetings.

Where have these things gone? All we see anymore are the 3-day kind, if not the weekend ones that include Sunday, but not Friday.

Just think, if we went back to longer revival meetings, then……wait…..does anybody have revival meetings anymore? We must be too skeerd of having to get dressed up each night; miss some TV we could easily DVR for later; miss a ball game or party; or hear something from God that might convict us. THAT should scare our socks off.

Visitation

What is there to be scared of? Why do we hate knocking on doors, prayer-walking streets, etc.? As long as we’re not trying to sell anything, then most people are happy to meet someone who cares about them. Sure, there are the few vampires that don’t want you coming around, but most folks are at least cordial, at least here in the South. Folks don’t like being banged over the head with your Bible, but they do appreciate being greeted kindly and invited to some place nice. Just invite them to the King’s house for a meet-and-greet (with a little sweet tea and love, they might just figure we’re not out to take their money).

Change

Somethings remain the same, and they have stones above their heads. Now, when those things come back from the dead, you DO have something to be skeerd….of (one more preposition misplacement). Of course, it all depends on Who raises the dead, too. Are they being raised to “walk in newness of life,” or to eat the flesh of screaming movie-goers? Either way, just invite them to a homecoming dinner on the ground and they’ll be alright.

5 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Culture Wars, General Observations, legalism, Witnessing, worship

When You Think this Blog is Pointless…

Please watch the video linked below…

At the bottom of this post you will find a link. The link is to an internet program hosted by Ray Comfort called On the Box. Please open the link and start watching the program at around the 20 minute mark.

Some people think that the idea of having a blog dedicated to battling legalism is a little extreme, maybe pointless.  Many think that all I would have to talk about is stupid stuff like how long your hair should be, or women wearing pants, or what we eat or drink. How shallow would that be?

The Purpose

The purpose of this blog goes so much deeper. Legalism can damn people to an eternity without God. Just watch this video. Listen to the “de-conversion” testimony of a girl who once believed in God, but later “saw the light” of atheism. Listen to her testimony and see if you can pick out all the boxes she felt she needed to check in order to be a part of the church, even saved.

Many people are drawn into a religious life out of a search for answers. They, like this girl did, find themselves in a time of uncertainty and emotional need. Legalism provides the structure that seemingly give rest and assurance. In reality, legalism builds a faulty foundation that is not based on the grace and mercy of God. Legalism leads people to believe that they have earned something with God, if not simply avoided His condemnation.

Nowhere in this video did this poor girl state that she repented of her sin. Nowhere did she speak of the grace and mercy of a Holy God that provided a ransom for her lost soul. All she spoke of were the emotional, the metaphysical, and the judicial aspects (obeying) of a manipulative, dangerous denomination.  It is no wonder that she fell away, because she never gave a single clue that she found a biblical faith in Jesus Christ. All she talked about was the relationship that she thought she had based on the things that she did to comply.

This is why I hate legalism. Hell will be full of those that thought they could keep the Law.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/12436109

Eph 2:8-9 KJV – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

1Ti 4:1 KJV – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Leave a comment

Filed under Apologetics, God, legalism, salvation