28
May
08

How to reach people with the Gospel

I’m on a roll today as far as blog entries go, but I have a lot on my mind that I want to express on these pages. Hope you enjoy reading it. It’s the beauty of blogging. I have no clue what people think when they read these entries. Some days 10 people pass through, some days 45 people come and read what I write. All of them are looking for something – do they find it? I don’t know. But I enjoy blogging and expressing what I think, feel and what God has revealed to me.

In Denmark I was visiting three different small groups from my home church. I was sharing a lot about identity in Christ and how to allow Christ to live out his life through us as believers. What a privilege to be allowed to share a little bit about this wonderful and life-changing truth that Christ lives in us and gives us life. It was also very humbling, because I am by no means an expert. I have only scratched the surface of this mystery. And I look forward to learning and experiencing more. But all we can do is to share about what has been revealed to us so far, realizing that we still see all things in a poor reflection compared to what we will see someday when we were with Christ and see him face to face (1. Corinthians 13:12).

I got a question from one of the small groups that went something like this: “How can we reach more people here in Copenhagen?“. A great question, and a question that I believe all sincere Christians ask themselves and each other (exchanging Copenhagen with their own city).

Many try to answer this question with new campaigns, new events, new ideas, new leaflets, new evangelism styles, new focus, new pastors, new churches, new worship songs, new creativity, new ministries, new types of preaching, new translations of the Bible, new hair styles……you name it, it’s being tried! And does it work? Does it attract people to Jesus Christ? Some of it does, if it’s Christ’s idea! Some of it doesn’t. It may attract people to Christian sub-cultures, but it doesn’t attract people to Christ, because it’s not his doing. We as believers can do many things in Christ’s name that he doesn’t have anything to do with…..! Unless it’s his idea, done his way through his people – and will give all the glory to him, it’s not something Christ is in, behind or blesses in his abundant ways! 

The truth is that the only thing that will ever attract anybody to your church or to your Savior and where it will make a lasting impact that goes beyond the two weeks-two years excitement of a new church/a new initiative is……..LIFE!! Real life. Authentic life. Life that makes a difference. 

If there is real life in your church it doesn’t matter if it’s super conservative, strangely Orthodox or top-emergent, super-relevant church. People will be attracted to it! All people are seeking something that’s true, something that’s genuine, something that’s larger than life and gives their lives meaning. Sure, most people seem to settle for the easy accessible sedatives of the world or of religion, but the longing remains. We were all born with a longing for something real! We long to encounter truth, because we by instinct know that truth will give us freedom!

And this is where you as a believer come in. And this is what I answer the small group: “you need to get to know God better“. You need to fall in love with Jesus Christ. You need to experience Christ as life. You need to experience him living his life through you, and you need to experience that it makes a radical difference. Ideas, events, plans won’t make a difference if knowing Jesus Christ doesn’t make a difference in your own life. If knowing Christ doesn’t make a difference in the areas that mean most to most people: family, other relationships, marriage, single hood, hopes and dreams for the future, how you raise your children, how you relate to people you don’t like, etc. people simply won’t care what you have to share with them!

Does your relationship with Christ make a difference in your everyday life? Can people see and eat the fruit that grow on you when you remain in Christ and allow him to live his life through you (John 15)? Or do people just hear a lot of words from  you, but both they and you know that you don’t really believe what you say……..?

Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17-19 this wonderful prayer that has become my own and was the one I prayed with the small group last week. It’s not about pulling ourselves together and somehow start to believe more. We need God’s revelation. We need to seek God in the Bible, in our fellowship with other believers, in nature, in books, movies, etc. and ask God to reveal himself to us. If he doesn’t reveal himself, all we have to offer is head knowledge about God and who he, and that won’t help you or other people.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:17-19)

I joined Youth With A Mission and became a missionary and a discipleship trainer because of a girl’s testimony. She was just sharing with me about her relationship with God, and the Holy Spirit turned on all the lights of heaven and all of a sudden I could see that I didn’t have that relationship with God, and that’s all I really wanted! She was just sharing, and Christ, who is life, spoke through her and called me to more life in him. It wasn’t about her or her words, but what she was sharing was real to her, and I was attracted to it, and Christ used her to spoke to me and called me to life with him! What wonder it is when we experience life in Christ – it will always be contagious for other people! Whether they want to be infected or not 🙂

I realize that it’s easier and more convenient to just make new plans and try, try, try to make people interested in Christ. But the truth is that it is only when Christ shines through his people that non-believers get attracted to Christ. It’s as simple as that. And for us all we can do is to ask God to reveal himself more and more. Nobody needs more information, we need more life, and Christ is the only life! How do we do that? We give up….we give up and ask God to reveal himself! We surrender the right we feel we have to make life with God happen through our efforts, and we ask for his revelation. There is nothing wrong with exercising Christian disciplines such as solitude, silence, reading the Bible, prayer, etc. but if that’s where you find your identity as a Christian instead of in Christ himself, it’s a problem. If, on the other hand, you do these things because this is who you are as a believer: you are a new creation (2. Corinthians 5:17) and you want to know God better and you ask him to reveal himself through it, I am convinced he will! It’s all about God and his revelation of who he is – so that’s what I prayed for myself and for Copenhagen as a I was cycling through it – “God, we need more of your revelation!”

Torben

Advertisements

1 Response to “How to reach people with the Gospel”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Blog Stats

  • 148,948 hits
May 2008
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Top Clicks

  • None

RSS Unknown Feed

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

%d bloggers like this: