Politicians in the Netherlands are discussing the possibility of legalizing euthanasia for healthy people. The proposed “Completed Life Bill” would allow any person age 75 or over who decides their life is “complete” to receive euthanasia. It doesn’t matter if they are otherwise perfectly healthy.
Home > 2017 > JuneJUN 28, 2017EVANGELISM, CHURCH PLANTING, CHURCH REVITALIZATIONHow Do We Get at Effective Outreach?As the mission field changes, churches will change. | ED STETZERImage: Matt H. WadeI frequently get asked about the future of outreach. Let me be honest, and perhaps you already know this: outreach will not get any easier.Let me share at least three reasons why I believe this is the case.First, our culture will continue to experience a decrease in nominal Christianity and an increase in “Nones.” More people will leave the Christian identification and cease to identify as Christian. This will be connected with more skepticism towards Christianity and the institutional Church.Second, our culture will continue to be dominated by secular people, both in worldview and in numbers. Many who hold a secular worldview in the halls of power—media, entertainment, academia—will attempt to marginalize those who practice a robust Christian faith that disagrees with them on controversial issues.Third, our culture will continue to experience a rise in religious pluralism, where Christianity will increasingly become one voice among a sea of competing voices (and narratives). The continued rise of pluralism will give credence to individual autonomy and relativism, where truth for one person isn’t seen as truth for another.Given that all of these elements are present now means that we are in the “present future.” So, the future of outreach is now. But what will be the most effective forms of outreach? I believe churches that make the following three shifts will be more effective at outreach in an increasingly skeptical, secular, and pluralistic culture.1. Churches that shift from a temple mindset to a network mindset will be more effective at evangelism.Many have bought into the assumption that evangelism takes place at church, not through the church. As a result, church people are encouraged to constantly invite their neighbors, coworkers, and friends to the corporate gathering. I am a firm believer that we should encourage our people to invite others; however, this is a temple mindset that will need to be offset by a network one. In other words, instead of solely relying on the invite method so that people will come to a place and hear a ‘professional’, we must equip our people to go and share with their network—their neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends.Making the shift from building-based to home-based outreach will require intentional training. Resources and programs like Alpha, Christianity Explored, and others will prove to be very helpful tools for believers to use as they invite their networks to a safe place for guided video conversations that explore the Christian faith.2. Churches that shift from an attractional mindset to an incarnational mindset will be more effective at evangelism.Using attractional elements is not bad or wrong; I believe they are quite useful, and in many contexts, contextual. However, if more and more people are skeptical about coming to a place, then we must teach and train our people to ‘be’ the church—the incarnational presence of Christ in the places they occupy. In essence, teaching and equipping our people about the implications of the gospel lived out in real life is the true attraction.As the Early Church lived out the implications of the gospel in their networks—how they treated women, slaves, and outsiders; how the family was oriented; and how they were joyful even in the face of persecution and suffering—believers displayed an alternative reality that the other faiths and religions simply couldn’t replicate. Essentially, gospel living in the real world became the attractional means by which God drew people to Himself. The contemporary Church would do well to go back to the future and embrace this same approach to evangelism.3. Churches that shift from traditional forms and structures to innovative ones will be more effective at evangelism.As the mission field changes, churches will change. The changes will be methodological, not theological; they will be contextual, not textual. In other words, churches will continue to have the marks of a biblical church, but those marks might be lived out in a restaurant, pub, coffee house, movie theater, community center, or a network of homes.
So I did a little Google search, I just typed into Google ‘Steve McQueen, conversion to Christianity.’ I didn’t find a lot of articles but I found a few. And one name kept bubbling up and that was the name Leonard DeWitt. He was the pastor of the church that Steve attended. I tracked him down. He’s in his 80s now, sharp as a tack.
But Israel should matter to Christians because Israel mattered to Jesus.
Israel should matter to Christians because Israel mattered to Paul.
…and Peter, and John, and God!
If no one is coming to your church, that’s a problem that needs to be solved. If there is known sin flaunted within the body, that’s a problem that needs to be solved. If a wolf is loose among the flock sowing discord and wreaking havoc, that’s a problem that needs to be solved.But there are a few problems that should never ever be solved. As Atlanta pastor Andy Stanley describes them, they are ‘tensions to manage, not problems to solve.’ Here are three of the biggest problems in the church that should never ever be solved:
More babies were born to Christian mothers than to members of any other religion in recent years, reflecting Christianity’s continued status as the world’s largest religious group. But this is unlikely to be the case for much longer: Less than 20 years from now, the number of babies born to Muslims is expected to modestly exceed births to Christians, according to new Pew Research Center demographic estimates.
On one hand, among U.S. adults overall, higher levels of education are linked with lower levels of religious commitment by some measures, such as belief in God, how often people pray and how important they say religion is to them. On the other hand, Americans with college degrees report attending religious services as often as Americans with less education.
More than six in 10 (62%) also say that family plays a significant role in their identity (“a lot”). But this is changing generationally. Only slightly more than half of all Millennials (53%) say family plays a significant role (“a lot”) compared to over three-quarters of Elders (76%). Despite these shifts, parents are taking their task of character building very seriously. Self-control, patience, fairness and conflict resolution are some of the virtues being discussed daily between parent and child.
Charlotte NC is No. 6!!! Source: 2017 Bible-Minded Cities – Barna Group
By a margin of nearly two-to-one (62% to 32%), more Americans now say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry than say they are opposed.Views on same-sex marriage have shifted dramatically in recent years. As recently as 2010, more Americans opposed (48%) than favored (42%) allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. In the past year alone, support has increased seven percentage points: In March 2016, 55% favored same-sex marriage, while 37% were opposed.