The Paperless Gospel

I’m going to cheat a little today on my blog post because I think this story is awesome and it happened to one of the people I will be working with in Germany so I took this story from GEM’s story page. You should check out the stories they post there on a regular basis!

Here is the story:

One of our workers serving in Germany tells the story of an opportunity that he had to explain the Gospel to an Irishman in Amsterdam. It’s a great example of being ready and watchful for open doors!


I was sitting in a conference room in Amsterdam waiting for some specialized training on smartphone app development to begin when I heard a familiar accent. I’d been to Dublin several times and I recognized that familiar Irish lilt coming from a man nearby.  I quickly introduced myself to this other native English speaker amidst the Dutch, German, and French speakers surrounding us.

C2CDisobeyHis name was “Alan” [not his actual name]. Over the two days of the conference, we hung out together at breaks and lunches talking about all sorts of things. His fiancé and my wife. The iPhone 5 release. Irish tea. Guinness. What we do for a living, etc.

The subject came around to an app I am developing and I wanted to use the opportunity to steer the conversation toward spiritual things. The app is called “C2C Story” and it’s based on an evangelism tool that we use in our Discipleship Multiplication Training whereby we explain the story of God, from creation to the resurrection of Christ. The app provides a series of pictures that you can flip through on your device as you explain the story.

As I was describing the technical aspects of the app with Alan, it also gave me the opportunity to tell him the actual “Creation to Christ” story. Alan listened and had some questions about both the app and the story. He gave some solid suggestions for improving the app and told me that he would like to talk more about the story.

My hope and prayer for Alan is that his story might intersect with God’s story so that he will be forever transformed and then inspired to invite others into the redemptive story of God’s love.C2CMiracles

[Have a look at the app’s website by CLICKING HERE. It’s currently only available for Android devices, but the pictures can be used on Apple/iOS devices by using the web app version on the website or downloading the PDF images into iBook, Kindle, or other PDF applications.]

 

 

Theology book #5 – Speaking of Jesus by J Mack Stiles

I am still recovering from my trip to Alaska so I will keep today’s blog nice and short. Short in length, but hopefully not in content.

I’ve talked about evangelism before and my struggles with making this a regular part of my life and not waiting until I get to the mission field to start so Speaking of Jesus by J Mack Stiles was a natural fit for my current season in life. I liked the book, but often times found myself thinking that the book made it sound much easier than it really is. Even though Mack Stiles repeatedly said that it takes work to become comfortable with talking to people about Christ, I still kept thinking that he made it seem simple.

I guess it is simple though. When you get an amazing present from someone is it hard to share with anyone and everyone that will listen? I know it’s not for me, I even have a hard time keeping to myself a great gift that I am going to give to someone. Why are we, and i am definitely including myself in this one, so slow to share what Jesus has done for us? I mean, seriously, can you get better than the gift He has given us, life eternal? How does your new video game system, piece of jewelry, trip or other temporary gift stack up? Don’t get me wrong, I still love presents, giving and receiving, but do they compare? If they don’t compare to the gift God has given us then why aren’t we will to share it with others?

I want to highlight a few interesting things that Mack Stiles says in the book that I hope will pull on your heart as much as it has mine.

God asks the same of us in evangelism. God wants us available to people, not shouting instructions at them. (They often can’t understand what we’re talking about at first, anyway.) He wants us to get into others’ lives. He may not ask us to steal a boat, but he may ask us to cross some conventional boundaries. If we are willing to risk our comfort to get into other people’s worlds with the truth we bear, we’ll be a more powerful witness than all the instruction manuals in the world.

Availability-mental and physical is the first step of evangelism. Christians need to go physically and mentally into all the world: to Africa and non-Christian cubicles at work, to Congress and smoking sections of restaurants, even to Florida beaches.

When we come to know the love of God, we want to share our faith.

But here’s shocking news: our comfort has a very low biblical priority. Jesus doesn’t seem to care much about our comfort.

 

I know I have been plugging my indiegogo project a lot on this blog and that’s because I want to get to Germany as fast as possible, but that is only possible if I have your help. Please check out the project and share it with your friends. Even if you can’t donate money, maybe someone you know can. Any help I get is greatly appreciated!

Go, not come

I went to a training this past week near Chicago that was based on a Church planting movement that is doing amazing things all over the world. While there I was reintroduced to the Great Commission. Just as a quick reminder here is the Great Commission:

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

I have probably read this a bunch of times and yet the way it was presented to me at this conference smacked me right in the face. One of the presenters pointed out three parts to the Great Commission and he believes that these three things are at the core of what makes the commission so great. He said the three parts are:

1. Go – Jesus didn’t say make the people come and then make them disciples, he said go to them. Too often churches only invite people to them and don’t spend a lot of time going to the people. If we spend our time going then people will start coming to our churches more and more importantly their eternal lives will be forever changed.

2. Everyone – Jesus said go to all nations, not just the nations that were wealthy or strong or attractive. He said go to all nations and baptize them. Haven’t we all decided not to witness to someone for some reason or another?

3. Disciple – We aren’t supposed to witness to them and then leave them to fend for themselves, we are to disciple them and bring them closer to God through teaching. I remember going on a missions trip when I was younger and we claimed to have “saved” a specific number of people. I kept thinking to myself, that’s great, but what did we do for them now that we are gone? Did we set them up with a church? With other Christians? Did we do anything? We definitely could have done some of those things, but I knew at the age of 14 that we should be doing that. Why is it that people forget that once they are adults?

If we stay where we are, if we are selective about who we talk to and if we leave new Christians to fend for themselves then we have not fulfilled the commission that Jesus himself told us to fulfill. Let’s change the way we think about witnessing to people and really start changing this world.

Strangers on trains, planes and automobiles

On my recent trip to Maryland I had the pleasure of going to my sending church (well, that is once I leave they will be sending me), South Potomac Church. I love that church, but that is not the point of this blog.

Right before Pastor Dave Huffman talked about passing out invitation cards he showed a video from Worship House Media called “Strangers.” The idea behind the video was that you never know who you might be impacting when you share the gospel and that you could be sitting in a room with someone who was impacted by someone else who was impacted by someone you led to Christ. Let me explain it a little differently. In the video it shows a guy working at a coffee shop and a lady who is a customer of that coffee shop. The lady was the reason that guy accepted the Lord, but they had never met. It goes through the story of how the lady led her college roommate to Christ who led a coworker to Christ who became a public speaker and through a webcast caused a guy to come to Christ and then that guy witnessed to/mentored the guy in the coffee shop. I’m not going to lie, I cried a little. I didn’t sob, but a tear did squeek out of the corner of my eyes. Only one tear though. 🙂

Here is why my eyes watered. I don’t know how many people I have led to Christ, it is an unfortunate reality that I am not exactly proud of and I am working on changing. While watching the video I got a major urge to start a chain reaction of my own. The best part about it, is these chains do not glorify the person who started them because they may never know all of the people they impacted. Therefore the glory goes only to God and that got me even more excited.

After I watched the video I went to a training in the Chicago area and we talked about church planting movements and going beyond evangelism. That encouraged me even more to start with evangelizing right now, and not wait until I’m in Germany. There are lost people on trains, planes and automobiles who might just believe in Christ because of my story. So, I need to get that story told to as many people as possible and you know what? I think we all could share our story more than we do more and start some chains of our own.