Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday morning evangelistic smack-down, v.

1. "The typical pastor has his greatest ministry impact at a church in years five through 14 of his pastorate; unfortunately, the average pastor lasts only five years at a church." - H.B. London and Neil B. Wiseman, Pastors at Greater Risk (Regal, 2003)

2. The Brahman attended an evangelistic meeting where Christians glowingly described how Christ had saved them. "You people say you are saved," declared the Brahman. "So am I. As Christ has saved you, so Krishna has saved me." The missionary in charge of the meeting replied, "I am very glad to hear that you are saved - very glad indeed. Now we are going down to the outcaste quarters and are going to see what we can do for these poor people. We will sit on their beds and in their houses and will share their lives to help them. Will you join us?" The Brahman thought a moment and then said, "Well, sahib, I am saved, but I am not saved that far.” (E. Stanley Jones, Christ of the Round Table, 1928)

3. How saved are we? Enough to take the gospel out of our meeting houses and into the lives of people who desperately need our Savior? Enough to escape our own agendas and schedules to put the Great Commission (Mt. 28:16ff) into action. Kublai Khan, in 1266, requested the Roman pope to "Send me 100 men skilled in your religion...and so I shall be baptized, and then all my barons and great men, and then their subjects. And so there will be more Christians here than in your parts." Two Dominicans were sent, but turned back. Twelve years later, the pope sent five others. The Almanac of the Christian World calls this the "greatest missed opportunity in Christian history."

4. Couple of weeks ago we called church planting “the extreme sport of ministry.” I probably should have edited that to called it the “extreme sport of evangelistic ministry.” Because…I have decided to call sidewalk counseling at the abortion clinic (something I do weekly) the “extreme sport of compassionate ministry.” Not many takers, but saved lives every time we go out.

5. John Wesley: “What marvel the devil does not love field preaching! Neither do I; I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit. But where is my zeal, if I do not trample all these underfoot in order to save one more soul?” (Journal, 4:325)

Luke Tyerman has computed that of the approximately 500 sermons preached during a nine-month period in 1739, only eight were delivered in churches. (Robert E. Coleman, Nothing to do but to save souls, 33)


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