Evangelism and Mission

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

During the month of November, many churches around the world set aside time to prayer for the persecuted church. Believers in countries such as Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam face violence, imprisonment and even death because of their faith in Jesus Christ. There are other places in the world such as North Korea where acts of persecution take place, but we don’t see or hear of it. Brother Andrew of Open Doors once said: 'Our heroes are not with us simply because they are in prison.' IDOP is a time set apart for us to remember thousands... Read more →


30 Ways to be Missional in your Workplace

Many times it’s difficult to find practical ways to be a blessing in your workplace. Rapid pace, mounting deadlines, or co-worker conflict can often derail even the best of intentions to say and show the love of Jesus at work. Yet, it is important for us to know what it looks like to bring gospel intentionality to our jobs. Recently, Josh Reeves posted some very practical ideas for blessing others in the workplace. Hopefully this will help spark a few ideas for connecting with and blessing your coworkers. 1. Instead of eating lunch alone, intentionally eat with other co-workers and... Read more →


Australian Communities Report

Olive Tree Media recently launched the results from their Australian Communities Report conducted by McCrindle Research to discover what Australians really think of Christian faith, Christians and the Church. Held in Sydney on 4th November, the research was launched by Archbishop Peter Jensen. Mark McCrindle, Principal of McCrindle Research presented the findings to 50 church leaders and business people. Click here to watch excerpts of the presentation and here to download a summary of the research results or purchase a copy of the full report. The Research was commissioned in preparation for a new Apologetics Series being produced by Olive... Read more →


Justice Trumps Spices (Pt.3)

Practicing Justice Let's take this first important matter that Jesus mentions: justice. How can we move from believing in justice to actually living it out in practice? It requires as to ACT and that involves three things: Awareness - Ignorance is not bliss. Sticking our head in the sand until the storm blows over is bot meant to be an option for us as Christ followers. Jesus has called us to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ (Matt.5:12-13) which both involve a proactive positive influence on our world. We now live in a global village and we need to have our eyes... Read more →


Justice Trumps Spices (Pt.2)

Weightier Matters In the Pentateuch, there was as many as 613 different laws or commandments that God’s people were meant to keep - 248 affirmative commands and 365 negative commands. Debates and discussions often occurred as to which were the more important ones. One teacher of the law even asked Jesus this question: “What is the most important commandment?” Jesus selected two: “Love the Lord your God …” and “love your neighbour as yourself.” While not neglecting the others, Jesus made it clear that these are the two most important commands and that if a person does these two things,... Read more →


Justice Trumps Spices (Pt.1)

In Matthew 23, we have a record of Jesus’ strong condemnation of the religious leaders of his day, who had not led the people faithfully and who had become hypocritical and legalistic. Here is one of the seven “woe’s” he gave them: “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law — justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things (NLT).” To Tithe or Not... Read more →


Known by our Love

Jesus’ dream was that his followers would be known by their love (Jn.13:34-35). Think of all the various qualities Jesus could have told us to be known for – truth, justice, holiness, or righteousness. All of these are very important, yet Jesus’ desire was that LOVE be the mark, measure and goal for his new community – the church. The apostle Paul picked up on this priority of love from Jesus. In a letter to church at Corinth he addressed various groups within the church that had developed a variety of priorities and pursuits (1 Cor.13:1-3). To those pursuing more... Read more →


What is the "Gospel?"

Have you ever done any street witnessing before? It’s definitely not an activity for the faint of heart! I was involved with some street teams many years ago and we had some good conversations with people. I really admire people who still engage in street evangelism or door-to-door witnessing today and I have heard some amazing stories of people coming to Christ this way. However, it is important that we not see this as the only means of evangelism. Otherwise, we can wrongly think that evangelism is only for the courageous people who are bold enough to start up conversations... Read more →


Incarnational Mission

The God we serve is a sending God. God sent Jesus and then He sends us (John 20:21). We are a sent people. Mission is who we are not just what we do. It is part of our core identity ... even if we aren't sent very far. The incarnation of Jesus Christ (God taking on human form) informs us as to how we are sent on mission. AS the father sent the Son into the world SO Jesus sends us. Mission is about going out while incarnation is about going deep. Jesus is the best missionary that ever was... Read more →


Reformation Needed

At last year's Third Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, one of the speakers was Christopher Wright. In a stirring address, Wright compared in detail the sate of the church today and the church in the generations before Luther. "What is the greatest obstacle to God's mission in the world?' Wright asked. "It is not other religions or a resistant culture. Our idolatry is the single biggest obstacle to world mission. We are a scandal, a stumbling block to the mission of God. Reformation is the desperate need of our day, and it must start with us. If we... Read more →


Apologetics

The apostle Peter wrote the following to some first century followers of Christ ... "... worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ." [1 Peter 3:15-16. NLT] The word translated "explain" in our English language (or "reason" in other translations) is the Greek word apologia, which means to give an... Read more →


Our Approach in the Marketplace ...

Most Christians and churches today have a variety of approaches to presenting Christ and the gospel in the public marketplace. Some go with "Turn or Burn" while others try "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." It is important to carefully consider what the gospel actually is and what our approach should be to people we are trying to reach. In Luke 10, Jesus gives detailed instructions to his disciples as they were about to go out into the villages with the good news of the kingdom. In his teaching, Jesus has a clear strategy. First... Read more →


The Global Shift

Rick Warren recently said ... The last 50 years has seen the greatest redistribution of a religion ever in the history of the world. There is nothing even to compare to it. For instance, at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1900, 71% of all, quote, "Christians" lived in Europe. By 2000 only 28% claimed to be Christian, and I'm sure it's far smaller than that who actually even go to a church. On the other hand, Christianity was exploding in Africa, Asia and Latin America. If you want to know the future of evangelicalism, it is in those... Read more →


Movements that Change the World

Steve Addison is a lifelong student of movements that renew and expand the Christian faith. Thankfully, he has now published his many years of reflection and research into an inspiring new book, Movements that Change the World. It should help to fuel church planting movements everywhere. Steve notes that movements that change the world are characterised by five things: 1. White-hot faith. Missionary movements begin with men and women who encounter the living God and surrender in loving obedience to His call. 2. Commitment to a cause. Nothing is more important that their faith in Christ and his cause. 3.... Read more →


Melbourne

Here are a few statistics from our beautiful city of Melbourne given at the recent Transforming Melbourne research launch: Melbourne is growing by 44,000 people per year. It will become Australia's largest city in the next 20 years. Although church attendance is not keeping up with population growth, there are still more people attending church than the AFL (Australian Football League)! Over 1.2 million people attend church during a year (excluding another 1.3 million who attend events such as funerals and weddings) while about 1 million people attend AFL games. About 520,000 people attend church monthly while 360,000 attend the... Read more →


Transforming Melbourne

Transforming Melbourne is a ministry that exists to unity, servanthood, and prayer to see the church become a united missionary movement for our city. Recently, this ministry has been a catalyst for a major research project aimed at giving an accurate picture of the current condition of the church in Melbourne, a metropolis made up of 31 different cities or municipalities. For the first time ever, the National Church Life Survey results from participating denominations have been combined with additional surveys carried out by Transforming Melbourne. The Christian Research Association research has been added, and all this put alongside the... Read more →


Third Space Conversations (Cont'd)

To follow on from yesterday's post on "Third Space Conversations" ... here are a few reflection questions ... One approach to evangelism is for Christians to invite unchurched people into the ‘first space’. What kind of person is this applicable to? What kind of person may never come straight into a ‘first space’ gathering? What ways could we can make the ‘first space’ more welcoming to outsiders? The majority of Christians spend a great deal of their time and energy in ‘second space’. How can the church better equip them to fulfil God’s purpose for them in this space? Reflect... Read more →


Third Space Conversations

Slowly read the following record of the Apostle Paul visiting Athens ... "While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the market-place day by day with those who happened to be there. A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, 'What is this babbler trying to say?' Others remarked, 'He seems to be advocating foreign gods.' They said this because Paul was... Read more →


The Ripple Effect

In 1855, a Sunday School teacher, a Mr. Kimball, led a Boston shoe clerk to give his life to Christ. The clerk, Dwight L. Moody, became an evangelit. In England in 1879, Dwight L. Moody awakened evangelistic zeal in the heart of Fredrick B. Meyer, pastor of a small church. F.B. Meyer, preaching to an American college campus, brought to Christ a student named J. Wilbur Chapman. J. Wilbur Chapman, engaged in YMCA work, employed a former baseball player, Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work. Billy Sunday held a revival in Charlotte, North Carolina. A group of local men were... Read more →


Evangelism for Non-Evangelists (Part 4)

4. Keep the Passion Alive Priorities can be easily replaced by other seemingly urgent or pressing matters. As we become busy with so many things in church life we can begin to drift from our mission. That’s why the work of an evangelist also involves keeping the evangelistic passion of a church community alive and bright hot. There are a number of ways to do this: · Have new Christians share their testimony with the church. There is nothing more impacting than congregations hearing stories of changed lives. · Preach and teach about evangelism every year. Good Bible teaching has... Read more →