What prompted you to write Becoming a Welcoming Church?
It was one of the key topics that kept being discussed at my podcast, my blog, and ChurchAnswers.com. Several times in the book you mention the relationship between evangelism and being a welcoming church. How does intentional focus on becoming a welcoming church help us lead people to Jesus?
A welcoming church is an outwardly-focused church. An outwardly-focused church is more likely to have opportunities for gospel con
…we see that orthodoxy and evangelism are the inseparable foci of a healthy church. Both must be kept in dynamic balance. Evangelism without orthodoxy becomes a tolerant pluralism and results in a community formed around diffuse human values and criteria. Orthodoxy without evangelism becomes a cold, harsh legalism and results in a community formed around debilitating “do’s and don’ts.” Sound orthodoxy and fervent evangelism result in a community of faith whose growing wholene
Why must we do evangelism? What is the goal? A great many answers to these questions have been put forward. We do it to see people converted, to see them become disciples of Jesus increasingly conformed to his image. We evangelize out of obedience to Christ, love for the lost, and for the glory of God. All of these reasons are good and right. But there’s another word that comes to mind, one that we don’t always hear associated with evangelism. What is that word? It’s worship.
Read the rest of this post offering four brief reflections on faith at Seedbed.
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As an apostle of Christ, (Paul) was more than a teacher of truth; he was a shepherd of souls, sent into the world, not to lecture sinners, but to love them. For he was an apostle second, and a Christian first; and, as a Christian, he was a man called to love his neighbor. This meant simply that in every situation, and by every means in his power, it was his business to seek other people’s good. From this standpoint, the significance of his apostolic commission to evangelize a
First, the shepherds didn’t mess with the message. They are said to have made known that which was said to them. They are courriers for the message, not the authors of the message. Likewise, when we engage in the ministry of evangelism, we are courriers of the message. We are not responsible for altering the gospel; we must simply share what we have heard. Indeed, if we were to alter the good news, it would no longer be the good news; it would be some other news. Like those s
It can be very difficult to talk to other people about our faith in Jesus. There are a variety of reasons for this. We know something happened to us when we came to believe in him, but we’re not quite sure how to describe it. We may really want to share our faith, but the thought of it scares us to death. Life is so busy. We work; we have family; we have things that must be done. And, after all, how often do we run into people that don’t have some church or religious affiliat
The new issue of Preaching is out and contains my article “Evangelizing the Church”. Here’s the intro: If you are like me, there may have been a time in your preaching ministry when you thought the gospel was really only for evangelizing unbelievers and did not need to be a part of every sermon on a weekly basis. After all, aren’t we to be moving on from the milk of elementary teachings to mature spiritual meat? If we address the basic gospel on a weekly basis, are we not hin
Late last month, Scot McKnight raised these questions: Do you think ecology and the environment are part of the concerns of the gospel? Or, do they belong somewhere else? Does preaching the gospel involve eco-care? The questions were raised as McKnight pointed to a new collection of essays on the subject, Keeping God’s Earth: The Global Environment in Biblical Perspective (eds. Noah J. Toly & Daniel I. Block). It’s the first I’ve heard of the book, which means I’ve not read
The recent move by Claremont School of Theology to be part of an effort to train leaders of other religions alongside Christian pastors has sparked a great deal of conversation and debate on the nature of inter-religious dialogue and theological education. This debate was further stimulated by Claremont President, Dr. Jerry Campbell, when he was reported as saying that “Christians who feel they need to evangelize persons of other faiths have ‘an incorrect perception of what
The record of Paul’s visit to Athens in Acts 17 provides an informative glimpse into the religious culture of the first century Greco-Roman world. Paul’s time in Athens was marked by deep distress at the extensive idolatry which he observed there. The city, Luke indicates, was full of idols (16). Beyond all the temples for devotees of the various false gods, there were the philosophers of the Areopagus, who worshipped reason and exalted it as authoritative. Make no mistak
Evangelism is a central part of faithful Christian living. We are commanded to make disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt 28:18-20). This necessarily includes clear communication of the gospel which is God’s power for salvation to all who believe (Rom 1:16-17). When faced with the opportunity to talk with someone about Jesus, we often shy away. There might be any number of reasons for this, but I think one of the central reasons is fear. We don’t share the gospel with peop