Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gerry Stoltzfoos - Church Planting

The Great Commission is a picture of creating the body of Christ, not necessarily salvations.

New churches re-vitalize the area that surrounds it.

There is a great correlation to church attendance and morality/crime rate.

"You have to believe that God will bless you when you do His stuff"

"To reach America we have to plant churches"

We have to look at the 9% church attendance as a positive...that we can have a part of bringing America back to God.

The first opposition to church planting is other churches.

Family will either help the most or hurt the most; your ministry.

How do you sustain yourself when you first begin planting a church?

Church plants raise up new gifts in the Bible.

Steps For Church Planting/Church Growth
- call
- where?
- team: worship, admin, kids, youth, senior leader...later on: assimilation, hospitality,
- when? - time between call and when is usually around 3 years
- launch
- assimilation

I really enjoyed and gained a lot of information from what Gerry spoke on today. I believe that God has called me to church planting and I know I gained a lot; everything from the start-up process, 10 years later, the hardships and the rewards.

Just talking about this stuff gets me fired up for what I believe God has called me to.

Book Review 1

For my first book review I read, in its entirety, Robert Coleman's The Master Plan of Evangelism. One of the main reasons I chose to read this book was because I have struggled on how to reach people: like what is the best way, how often, how much, etc. I have found The Master Plan to be an indispensable tool for evangelism.

The best aspect of this book is that Coleman didn't promote a new 10-step process or secret ingredient for evangelism; he want back its roots and reason...Jesus Christ. The entire book is based on what Jesus did and how he did it with his time on this earth. Coleman urges that this is the only way to go. I would have agree; if we are called to be imitators of Christ, why not imitate the way he evangelized and reached people?

Coleman begins the book by showing Jesus' leadership style. My eyes were totally opened to Jesus' methods and realized just how effective they were. Jesus chose to focus on leading a few. But why not lead thousands on his time here? The simple answer: Jesus knew His time was limited and that leading thousands based on miracles would mean there wold be no one to left once He left this earth. Therefore, he chose the 12 disciples and specifically taught Peter, James, and John his ways of leadership so that they could lead the church effectively.

Coleman is clear and concise in his way of interpreting Jesus' ways of evangelizing. Like I had stated before, this book is not a promotion for the "next best thing" for evangelism; it's about getting back to the roots of it. Coleman simply writes how Jesus went about it and how we should mimic. As followers and imitators of Christ, this book is a an excellent tool and guide for evangelism.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rabbi Ed - Ministering to the Jewish

How do you witness to the Jews? - "Love them unconditionally." Eventually this raises the question, "Why are you so happy"?

"You can inject scripture into a person's veins and they still would not accept it, until it's their time to." - That is such an important concept to grasp...and to, in a way, be encouraged that as Jesus was rejected so will we.

"I never tell anybody to go to hell. That is not a way to bless people." - I think that will be engrained in my mind forever. We are to bless and love people. If Jesus came not condemn, but love...that is our job as well.

Love is the key to everything. Love saves....condemnation does not. "Agape love transcends everything." Scripture teachings means nothing without love.

"When you force people in witnessing, it doesn't work. Witnessing out of love goes right through people."

"There is no such thing as free will. There is God's will; you either accept it or forget it." Living in God's will is the only path of life...everything else leads a life of death.

"If you become a faithful servant; he will keep you busy."

Rabbi Ed keeps on coming back to love...and it is true. It is the one thing that breaks through to people.