Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday morning evangelistic smack-down, ivxx

Quotables from H.C. Morrison (founder of Asbury Seminary): “The truest and best servants of the [human] race have had a profound knowledge of the saving power of the Lord Jesus; the love of Christ has constrained them to serve men. John Wesley, David Livingstone, General Booth, Dwight L. Moody and an army of saints who are now in glory, who uplifted and blessed the race, whose labors resulted in education, feeding, clothing, drainage, fresh air, hospitals, schools, health and every good thing, put Jesus Christ first; his death, his resurrection, his gospel, a genuine Christian experience first of all, then serve.”

“There are two ways of preserving fruit; one with vinegar, the other with sugar. There is a vast difference between pickles and preserves. In a long life and wide experience, some people claiming the blessing of entire sanctification seem to have gotten into the vinegar barrel and others in the sugar hogshead.”

Bullfrog or gecko? “Many current pastors and church leaders have invested a great deal of time and resources into a model of theological education that has trained them to serve as bull frogs rather than as gecko lizards in terms of how they engage the world.

“What is the dominant image of a bull frog? It is of a plump frog sitting on a lily pad in the middle of a pond waiting for its food to come to it. This is a fitting image for too many of our communities of faith. We are content simply to wait and hope for persons to visit our worship services. It must be acknowledged that this approach can still deliver attendance numbers if a church facility is located in a high growth region. The telling number however is the issue of how many in attendance are simply the result of transfer growth. I believe that our generation is the last one in North America that will be propped up by transfer growth. Ultimately, transfer growth does not translate into new growth for the Kingdom of God. Yet most seminaries still train pastors to serve as bull frogs. Most mainline denominations assume the bull frog paradigm in their long term strategic planning.

“Enter the gecko. A gecko does not hunt by waiting for its prey to come to it. No, the gecko goes hunting. It puts itself into position to encounter as many potential meals as possible. To thrive in the future our communities of faith must focus on going and sending rather than on waiting and hoping. The focus of ministry must be on reaching lost persons rather than on organizing a neighborhood club to serve the needs of saved people. Ultimately, the gecko reflects more closely the earthly ministry of Jesus and the missional focus of the early church as it engaged and flourished across Asia, Europe, and Africa in the earliest centuries of the Christ-following movement. Seminaries and denominational leaders struggle precisely at the point of how to reshape and retrain pastors and entire congregations to recapture this model.” (Said to be original to Steve Seamands, found on realmealministries.org)

The Jesus film.
A total of 201,646,813 decisions for Christ have been made at viewings of the JESUS film since its release in 1979. - Source: the JESUS film Web site (as of 7/1/06)

. Others tell. Leaders sell.
Others impress. Leaders influence.
Others try to be heard. Leaders strive to be understood.
Others explain. Leaders energize.
Others inform. Leaders inspire.
Others relay only facts. Leaders tell stories. - Mark Sanborn, You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader (WaterBrook, 2006)

Another from Morrison – wow!
“Why, Doctor," said I, “the power of God is all over this hill.” Throwing up my hands, I said, “the power of God is in this room; I feel it now.” Instantly, the Spirit fell on me and I feel backward on a divan, as helpless as a dead man. I was conscious of the mighty hand of God dealing with me. Dr. Young leaped up, caught me in his arms, and called me again and again, but I was powerless to answer.

Just as I came to myself and recovered the use of my limbs, a round ball of liquid fire seemed to strike me in the face, dissolve, and enter into me. I leaped up and shouted aloud, “Glory to God!” Dr. Young, who still had me in his arms, threw me back on the divan and said, “Morrison, what do you mean? You frighten me. I thought you were dying. Why did you act that way?” “I did not do anything, Doctor,” said I, “the Lord did it.” I arose and walked the floor, feeling as light as a feather. (All Morrison quotes taken from Dr. Ron Smith’s dissertation, “Old Path Methodism” In a Modern World, 2006.)



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