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Archive for the ‘Evangelism’ Category

the best evangelism happens over beers or lattes

— Rebecca Lipkowitz

Great quote, right from the Heart of Lippy.

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I am preparing a talk on 1 Cor. 2:1-5 for Youth Club, this Friday night. Youth Club is composed mostly of unchurched youth (age raging from around 11-17) from around the neighbourhood who come in and “play” on the premises, and are taken care fo for a few hours by church volunteers.

I was given the talk as an assignment, and I’m trying to work out how to teach its message to this particular group. And I have 10 minutes to do it.

Some things that I’ve come to think about as I prepare it (taking into consideration the context):

  1. For Paul, the Power of the Gospel is in the content. The content is a shocking story of a dead Messiah. A dead conquering king. A dead God. Absolutely scandalous.
  2. For Paul, the Power of the Gospel lies with the work of the Holy Spirit. (v.4; see 10)
  3. Paul seems to be saying:

“Look guys. You’re so obsessed with celebrities, with the ‘cool-leader’ thing. ‘Apollos, Paul, Cephas, etc.’ People, celebrities, status, charisma. That’s not how God operates. God operates through the Cross. God works through the weak and despised, the losers of class. You yourselves weren’t much to look at. You didn’t have much going for you. When I preached the Gospel I kept it simple, so that you’d be focused on the CROSS, and allow the message to speak for itself.”

4. The effectiveness of the Gospel lies in the work of the Spirit. That what Paul means by a “demonstration of the Spirit and of Power”. Paul wasn’t being “Benny Hinn” and convincing everybody. In fact that makes no sense. Paul’s whole point is that God working by His Spirit, through the Cross-Message (the Gospel) had brought them to faith. God was the one responsible. Not Paul, not Apollos, but God.(3:5-9). The fact that they had come to believe wasn’t due to Paul’s awesome rhetoric, but God’s Power, at work through the Gospel. (v. 5).

The shocking thing in this passage, is Paul’s utter confidence in God’s Gospel message. Its a message with a content that’s absolutely ridiculous to the non believer. Insulting, even. But Paul comes into a celebrity, rhetoric-obsessed society, and speaks the Gospel with weakness and trembling (v.3), because he knows that its God’s Power. He know that the Gospel, when preached, is a demonstration of the Spirit and of Power.

Paul knows God won’t let him down. He knows he can play the loser, because he trusts in God’s Power at work through the Gospel. Are we praying that God will make us weak, humble us, to allow God’s Message to act out in Power? Are we willing to give up on celebrity-status, recognition and applause, and allow God to ge the final credit for the work of the Gospel, in the lives of people?

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Dan Phillips blogs on this interesting and challenging topic.

Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is, no longer have the categories to understand it, no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories in their non-moral universe — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty.

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While I’m not a fan Linkin Park, I’m going to give them kudos for the song “What I’ve done” (see video below). It’s truly impressive to see people publicly express the belief that they’re actually part of the problem. While the band doesn’t go so far as to actually say “sin”, the lyrics of this song are nevertheless very impressive.

If people are beginning to recognise (1) the Western-Modern Project has ultimately failed (2) that they (that is, we) are actually contributing to the problem (in other words, it isn’t the merely the system‘s fault), then maybe this is a great moment for Christians to speak up and bravely talk about sin and the need for redemption.

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Let me apologise beforehand: This is a more personal and self-referential post. This week, at my university, a small group of christians of which I am a part are going to begin conducting the ALPHA Course. Despite my theological problems with a few areas of the course, I think it’s a great evangelistic tool and can be (and certainly is, already) a powerful way of bringing people from all walks in life, to discuss life’s big questions, and the Christian response to them (summed up in Jesus, of course).

We WERE going to begin last wednesday. We set everything up and were ready. Suddenly, the lights went out, in all the Campus, 3 minutes before we were to begin. I studied there for 4 1/2 years, and I never remember the lights going out. Ever. After waiting for over an hour, we apologised to everyone and sheepishly asked them to come back next week.

A minute after the guests left, the lights came back on.

Now, all of us there beleive that God is sovereign over it all, and we agreed that the lesson to learn, was that we needed to start praying more, as a group. We had been working a lot for this day, which was great and good, but we hadn’t been humbly depending on God to work throughout all this. We had forgotten that all this is His work, and that we were called to depend on Him during the whole process. What a great lesson!

Anyways, if anyone out there is interested in praying for an Alpha course, taking place in a small Communications Campus, in Santiago Chile, during the next ten weeks, it’d be very much appreciated. Here’s a video of Nicky Gumble giving an Alpha talk.

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