Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

In my discussion with some church and denominational leaders, I am hearing the same question asked and discussed. “How Should the Church Respond Considering the Results of November 8th Presidential Election?”

Leading up to this year’s 2016 Presidential election, I developed the framework for a massive prayer rally in Atlanta. I had a team that helped in coordinating and planning to mobilize, promote, and lead prayer groups.  I personally prayed for God’s will to be done.

Many of my pastor friends and Christian brothers and sisters expressed they were burdened for a change of direction for our country. Across the United States, thousands prayed, fasted and cried out to God asking Him to intervene.

In my heart, I feel that God has heard our prayers, He heard our cries. He has given us at least four more years so the church can have the liberty to evangelize, to make Jesus known without additional limitations and barriers.

So how should the church respond in light of the results of the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump.

  1. We need to strategize to evangelize.
  2. We need to pray to God that He guide us as we go and intentionally share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  3. Begin prayerwalking the refugee communities asking God to open hearts and minds, and to tear down spiritual walls so Christians can share the gospel.
  4. Churches should begin teaching Arabic as a second language, buy Arabic language tracts and New Testaments and find out where the refuges are and go evangelize them.
  5. We need to continue to pray God direct us and give us favor with lost people.
  6. The church needs to plan to disciple the new believers.

I know that many Christians feel that within the refugee groups coming to the United States, are some who want to cause us harm. Some individuals have stated, while  discussing this topic, their feelings that “There terrorists want to come here and kill us.” One person commented, that “Ninety-Five percent of Muslims are good people. It is the five percent who want to kill us.”

We must be reminded that Saul of Tarsus was a terrorist. He was in the five percent who was actively looking to arrest and kill Christians (See Acts 7 and 22:20). He was hunting down Christians to kill them. But thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ, who encountered Saul when he was on the Damascus Road to arrest followers of Jesus Christ and eventually kill them. Look at what happened with Saul, who is known as the apostle Paul! He became the greatest Missionary Evangelist of the New Testament.

We do not know who God is going to save in our age, through the Churches evangelistic efforts from these Jesus haters. God might use you to win a refugee to Christ who possibly will become the next great missionary evangelist of our time. This is the time for the Church, followers of Jesus Christ to go an engage our culture with the gospel. Jesus is our only Hope.

The apostle Paul is credited with writing many the New Testament epistles, the Pauline letters. In the book of Romans, chapter 10:9:13 he wrote,

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Further in the letter of Chapter ten, the apostle Paul challenged the church in Rome, with a message, which he personally received from Jesus Christ and that is to go and evangelize the lost. Jesus also challenges every Christian with this same command.

14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who [i]bring good news of good things!”

The apostle Paul makes a profound statement, in Romans 10:17, “17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

Fellow Christian, fellow follower of Christ, this our time, this is a window of opportunity to go a make Jesus known. This election is much more than the appointment of a supreme court justice. It is more about making the King of kings, and Lord of lords, known to the world. And the world in knocking at our front door.

Your next mission trip to reach a foreign people group could be next door, or down the street or across the road. Jesus said, “Go win converts/disciples and teach to obey all things I have taught you.” (literal translation) Matthew 28:18-20. Today is the day of salvation 2 Corinthians 6:2.

 

 

 

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I am teaching a survey of the Old Testament and as I read the Scriptures and do research I am seeing a pattern how God gives provision and how we should respond to His provision.

God promised Israel He would give them the land known as Canaan. In Genesis 12, God called Abram to go west to a land He would give to Abram and his descendants.

God instructs Moses to lead Israel out of captivity in Egypt to Canaan. Then after forty years of wandering in the wilderness because the Israelites rejected God’s provision. They did not want to take possession of the promised land. They believed the 10 of the 12 spies, who lied and misled the Israelites. Because they rejected God’s provision, those people would not see the promised land, but their children would one day.

Once again, Joshua and a new generation Israelites find themselves at the edge of the Promised Land. Before instructing Joshua, God promised Joshua that every place he set his foot, God would give it to Israel (Joshua 1:1-5).  The caveat is they would have to act, take steps and take possession. They had to go out in faith and take possession of land (Joshua 3).

In our present time, God has instructed us that He has established the government (Romans 13). The purpose of government to protect the innocent and convict the guilty. Our response to government is to support it. We support it by exercising our right as a temporary citizen of this world, and country by voting. I say temporary because, for a Christian, our eternal citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20; John 14:2).

So, what if you choose not to vote? Then you are going against God’s plan for government. And like the nation of Israel, who repeatedly went against God’s instructions, His word, leadership, and rejected His word. Rejecting God’s word is a sin, and it always leads to suffering and consequences. The Israelites faced the consequences of their decisions for a generation to come.

So, obey God’s word, get involved in your community by engaging through evangelism, prayer, and exercising your rights as a citizen vote.

This week I had a meeting with the Regional Coordinator for the Southeast for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for My Hope, a Church evangelism strategy. We were discussing positions for a new structure for My Hope teams. The term “vital” was used referring to the new positions for the team Coordinators. Dr. Guth, said, “Do you know that the word “vital” means signs of life.”

Vital signs are those indicators which give evidence that an organism is alive. We went on to discuss how the new volunteer positions were vital for the success of our strategy to reach the fifty capital cities by partnering with the local churches to take the gospel into the communities.

As I pondered our conversation and the term “vital” I began to think of the church. The church is a living organism. And the church also has “vital” signs, indicators that it is alive, or sadly, in some cases, dying a slow death. I began to ask myself “what are some vital signs that a church is alive, thriving, and growing.

From a biblical perspective, here is a simple list, based on biblical principles, examples and historical models.

  1. The church is intentionally praying for lost people to be saved.
  • Prayer meetings are held to pray for the lost.
  • At group meetings, bible studies, the staff and directors pray for lost people to be saved
  • The church is prayerwalking the streets, tearing down strongholds in Jesus Name!
  1. The church is intentionally evangelistic.
  • The church staff is teaching its members how to evangelize.
  • The church creates avenues for members to go out and evangelize visitors,
  • Conduct evangelistic door to door surveys,
  • Provides gospel tracts for members to distribute when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Creates opportunities to draw people into venues so its members are able to evangelize.
  • Every sermon has an evangelistic component and offers an evangelistic appeal
  1. The church is intentionally making NEW disciples
  • Evangelistic events, and outings, will produce new believers, so they must be discipled
  • New believers are taught how to evangelize, mentored how to share the gospel
  • New bible groups are formed from new believers as they complete a New Believer’s class
  1. The church is baptizing new believers
  • New believers want to follow Jesus. They want will be baptized.
  • Offers a Baptism Class for new believers
  • There is excitement about baptism and the church celebrates with great joy.
  1. The church is alive with excitement
  • Members of all ages are enthusiastic about seeing lost family, friends, and acquaintances coming to faith in Jesus.
  • Members are continually inviting lost people to “’Come and See’ what God is doing at our church!”
  1. The church will have to expand
  • Salvations and baptisms equals growth. This can occur by
    • adding more Bible study groups
    • double your worship services
    • add another location
    • or build

I am certain there are other suggestions that can be added but these are the basics vital signs of life for a church. I hope your church has good vitals.

You have heard the sad stories of a pastor accepting the call to a new church and making the mistake of trying to do away with the old. Sometimes a new pastor will come in with the attitude of “there is a new sheriff in town.” They come in with guns blazing trying to stir up and implement radical new change only to bring division and many broken relationships.

They deny the history of the church. They try to bury the past and in the end they bring a tidal wave of bitter fighting against certain individuals, causing division between the people in the church and between yourself and the leadership.

Burying the past can be a deadly approach and a way to end your ministry in a short few months and experience many bad meetings and hurt feelings.

Instead, of trying to bury the past and the history of a church, why not learn about the successes of past pastors, and the good times, the growing times of the church. Instead, learn some key principles and build on those. The past can be a bridge to a bright future, to a successful ministry, to growth of the church and a happy tenure at the church.

Why not research past successes of the church and take the principles that worked and see how they would apply to the present context where you are in the community and where the church is located and see if you can repeat success.

You know the church members are already connected with the past historical bright moments of the church so why not connect with the people and talk about the successful times of the past. Celebrate the past and build on the past. At the same time you will find yourself connecting with the people and the past.

You win the esteem and confidence of the people. You connect with the people and you bring the past winning principles to the present to see growth in the near future. The past is not an evil time, it is a time to be celebrated, remembered and gleam from the past.  Don’t bury the past, build on the past.