Journey to Authenticity with Sonny Misar

 

 

Journey to authenticity with Sonny Misar

Journey to authenticity with Sonny Misar

Journey to authenticity describes the hallmark of Sonny Misar’s ministry. This phrase, “Journey to Authenticity” is loaded with meaning. It points to the goal we all want–to be our real selves. Not fake in any way. The phrase shows the road to authenticity is a process, not a once-and-for-all campground. This phrase distills Misar’s lifetime of ministry experience into a key issue for Christians today.

After twenty-five years of pastoral service Sonny now travels with his wife, Becky, speaks and writes regarding the issue of spiritual authenticity. Click here to watch the video.

View the Gail Ross interview of Sonny Misar on YouTube. I found several highlights. At about nineteen  minutes Sonny addresses the question “How can we be our unique selves and deeply spiritual at the same time?” Many Christians, young and old alike, remain confused about concepts such as brokenness and surrender to Christ. Sonny clearly outlines the stages all Christians go through on the road to authenticity. He gently explains the need and value of brokenness and surrender.

At about 19 minutes comes a valuable gem, namely understanding brokenness as a part of the roadway to authenticity. Sonny shares from his experience that perhaps 50% of all Christians are in the brokenness stage yet have no clue as to how to understand it nor move beyond it.

Many preachers and teachers contribute valuable insights to the church. Each has a calling and contribution. There exists, however, one particular calling that can add the depth of understanding and perspective that is much needed in Christian circles. That is the voice of the apostle. Sonny Misar moves in apostolic vision and anointing. He is gifted in his ability to help churches and individual Christians make sense out of the sometimes bewildering aspects of life. Sonny is worth listening to.

His book Journey to Authenticity is available for purchase on Amazon.

 

Sudden Conversion–Is It Valid?

Sudden Conversion

Sudden Conversion

With the question of the validity of a  sudden conversion in mind let’s take a look at a recent article by Tim Challies published in the Christian Post.

“Seeking Allah, Finding God” by Tim Challies

My wife became a Christian the first time she heard the gospel. It didn’t take years, or even months or weeks of soul-searching. It didn’t take a great pilgrimage or a critical analysis of the Bible’s trustworthiness or inerrancy. A very practical person who had been raised without reference to religion, she heard the gospel at the age of eighteen, understood that it made sense of the world and her life, and responded in faith. Since that time she hasn’t seriously considered reconsidering.

But not everyone’s journey is quite so simple or straightforward. We are all different people with a very different make up. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is Nabeel Qureshi’s story of how he became a Christian, and his story could not be more different from my wife’s.

Qureshi was born the eldest son of Pakistani immigrants and he grew up in America and the U.K.—wherever the U.S. Navy assigned his father. His parents were devout Muslims and wherever they went, they attached themselves to a mosque and to the local Islamic community. Qureshi grew up studying, understanding and loving the Koran; he performed his prayers just like every other good Muslim. His father was an amateur apologist for Islam, so he, too, grew up with an interest in defending his faith. He loved his religion in both its theology and its practice. Read the full story . . .

God is infinitely larger than our human minds. In His greatness He boggles our minds. He never ceases to amaze us how He operates. The idea that He chooses to save some people the first time they hear the gospel stretches our thinking, to say the  least. But since I’ve been practicing Chicken Evangelism, things have changed for me. Experience has shown numbers of people are prepared to receive Christ as Savior in a sudden conversion experience. Or perhaps God has ptrepared them through other witnesses or events.

Nor is Sudden Conversion a Modern Phenomenon

John Calvin once described his life-changing moment as a sudden conversion. He went on to become one of the most influential theologians in the history of the church.

 At some point between 1528 and 1533 he experienced a “sudden conversion” and grasped Protestantism. “God subdued my soul to docility by a sudden conversion” was how Calvin described this experience. (http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/John_Calvin.htm)   

Tim Challies is a clear-minded pastor with a serious intellectual bent. I congratulate Tim for including the fact that his wife received salvation in what can be described as a sudden conversion. On the other hand, Nabeel Qureshi and many like him need to hear the gospel repeatedly before coming to a saving faith.

Ethan and I who write at BMarkAnderson.com have chosen to espouse all forms of Christian evangelism. It’s not that one form is better than another. There exist “different spokes for different folks.” The key is to get the evangelistic job done.

What Did Jesus Teach About Sudden Conversion?

Must the salvation process always be gradual? God is infinitely great in His variety of ways. We have found Chicken Evangelism an enjoyable and effective way to present the gospel to strangers. A surprising number of people are prepared for a “sudden conversion.” Jesus said it first.

For in this case [evangelism] the saying is true,”One sows, and another reaps.” I have sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor (John 4:37-38).

If you have had or you know of anyone who has had a sudden conversion experience, pass it on. I’d like to hear your story.

Chicken Evangelism Pros and Cons

The Pros and Cons of Chicken Eangelism

The Pros and Cons of Chicken Evangelism

Chicken Evangelism Pros and Cons

 

Let’s examine Chicken Evangelism pros and cons. At this website we espouse every legitimate form of Christian evangelism. Currently the church is searching for new concepts of witnessing. Chicken Evangelism is as old as the Bible but will strike some as “new and innovative.”

What is Chicken Evangelism?– It’s an effective way to overcome fear by bringing Christ into the conversation before you chicken out.

Before we get into Chicken Evangelism pros and cons please enjoy this short story.

Today I Talked with a Most Interesting Fellow

 

He has no credit cards and no debt.  He and his wife have four kids together.  Everything is paid for including his car.  The only exception is his house.

 

All this came out after I popped the question, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

 

It all began when the cable technician came to my office to hook up the internet connection.  I showed him where the exterior entry point should be and brought him to my office.  He ran his tests and I went out to shovel snow off the sidewalks.  When I returned he had a little down time, so we talked.  It turned out he works with one of the guys from the church, a guy who has a good reputation at work.  I knew if I was ever going to ask the question about Christ, I’d better do it before I chickened out.

 

I took a shallow breath and asked sincerely, “Have you given your life to Jesus Christ?”  N.’s answer was clear and unsurprising.  “No, I’m not into that,” he stated matter-of-factly.  His answer was no surprise since I’ve found that about 90% of everyone with whom I ask that question answers with either a yes or no. I commended him for giving an honest answer.  He responded that he was not ashamed and since he didn’t have a faith he might as well own up to it.

 

I agreed and gave him my testimony.

 

I was raised in a Christian home, but when I went to college I began doing a lot of thinking.  I had to know for sure about God and the Christian life.  I decided that if Jesus Christ really rose from the dead, I would give my life to Him.  If He didn’t rise from the dead, I would give the whole thing up. 

 

Since I was majoring in history, I knew some of the canons of historiography.  In other words, I knew how to evaluate historical data.  For example, was the writer an eye-witness of an event or was it just hearsay?  How long after an event was the manuscript written?  (A manuscript written shortly after an event has more veracity than one written much later.)  What were the sources of the manuscript in question?  How many manuscripts purport to describe this same event?  What was the character of the writer and how was he related to the event he described? 

 

What I found surprised me. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead was overwhelming!  No other event in ancient history was so well attested.  From a purely historical point of view, the evidence for the Resurrection of Christ is incontrovertible.  So I gave my life to Jesus Christ and never looked back.

 

N. listed to all this with obvious attention.  I offered to get him some research materials if he were willing.  “I know I’ll get into it someday; I’m just not there yet,” he replied.

 

I knew I couldn’t leave him without a gospel witness.  “I have good news for you,” I spoke enthusiastically.  Jesus Christ died for your sins, of which we all have plenty.”  N. nodded.  I told him how just yesterday I had offended someone and had to ask forgiveness.   He smiled.  “It’s not how good we are—no one is good enough to get to heaven.  Rather, it’s accepting the free gift of righteousness that Jesus gives.  Jesus rose from the dead to live inside us.  Christianity is not just a bunch of do’s and don’ts—it’s Jesus inspiring us from the inside.  Life with Christ is an adventure!  And to not receive Christ—well, the default position for not taking Jesus into our life is, well—not very good.”  I didn’t want to mention the hell word.

 

N. took it all in.  He started opening up with his own life.  That’s when He confided about his family, his finances, and his children.  We talked about music and how he plays guitar in a band.  I located a couple of “evidence books” about the Christian faith and offered him a choice.  He chose Josh McDowell’s More than a Carpenter when I related how the book had helped me personally.  When I offered to talk with him again someday, he replied affirmatively, “Yeah, or I could talk with that guy at work from your church!”

 

We enjoyed a great talk with mutual understanding and appreciation.  As I write this, I’m praying for N. and hope to see him again.  If the discipleship process wasn’t launched before, it is now!

Chicken Evangelism Pros and Cons

OK, let’s get into specifics.

Pros—when done with love and sensitivity

It is strongly biblical. Most of Christ’s outreach ministry took place on first encounters.

It overcomes fear, one of the greatest hindrances to witnessing for Christ.

It begins a conversation with a stranger that likely would not occur otherwise.

It’s a great conversation starter. Most Christians do well if they can get started.

It can lead to conversion: Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes and see the fields; they are ripe for harvest” (John 4:38).

It shows faith in Jesus and His word: Jesus said, “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor” (John 4:38).

It opens the door to proclaim the gospel.

It often leads to friendship.

It can begin the discipleship process, even with a stranger.

It reveals the heart of the Christian.

Most people respect someone who is straightforward and “up front.”

It causes a person to think about his or her eternal destiny.

Every encounter is a risk, an adventure for the person who witnesses. Consequently, Chicken Evangelism keeps a Christian out of spiritual lethargy.

It causes the witness to cry out to God in prayer.

It can be done going about our daily lives and schedules. Jesus said, “As you are going . . . make disciples” (Literal translation of Matt 28:19).

It’s simple; no special training or memory work is required.

It can be done quickly.

It allows a stranger to talk about his or her faith, something most people desire to do.

Cons–

Some Christians misunderstand, think it requires great boldness.

Some believers are afraid it will offend people.

Some believers are under the mis-impression you have to build a relationship before talking about faith.

Like any other witnessing, if it’s done without love and sensitivity, it can be offensive.

With Chicken Evangelism pros and cons, the pros clearly outweigh the cons. When you try it you will most likely overcome fear and find a wonderful release. Some people are ready to give their life to Christ. Go ahead, try it and see how God will honor you!

If you want to talk more about chicken evangelism pros and cons browse this website or contact Ethan or me.

God bless you!

 

US Marine Receives Christ

 

US Marine Receives Christ

US Marine Receives Christ

US Marine Receives Christ

This morning I have that wonderful, satisfied, well-rounded, fulfilled feeling. It’s like what we all feel after eating just the right amount of Thanksgiving dinner complete with a slice of pumpkin pie topped off with whipped cream. (Notice I said right amount.) But this morning’s fulfillment is better. What could be better–a US Marine receives Christ! Even the angels are partying!

You see, last night I led a United States Marine to faith in Jesus Christ! (I had been praying two specific prayers lately. One, “Lord, lead me to the hungry.” And two, since I knew we would be having overnight guests soon, I was asking God for an opportunity to speak with “David,” a US Marine who is our son’s military buddy. Our son’s girlfriend and her sister (David’s wife) would also stay with us.

Here’s how it went last night. We were sitting around our fire talking. As our daughter Sarah was spinning wool, we were enjoying the whirring sound of the spinning machine. “David” was helping me wire a fan blower motor and my son’s girl friend was sitting on the couch opposite. Our conversation turned to salesmen who exaggerate the truth. I sensed opportunity so jumped in with the fact that I am a “salesman”’ who has something to give away and certainly don’t need to exaggerate the truth. “I don’t need to make false claims about Jesus Christ,” I said with a smile.

Turning to David, I asked, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” (David and I had met only a few hours earlier. This was our first conversation beyond some mealtime bantering.)

“No.” David replied simply. “But you’ve heard about Him and know He lived, then died on a cross to save us from sin and guilt. You’ve heard that He rose again from the dead and was seen by hundreds of people?”  David nodded affirmatively. “Do you know that He offers a free gift of salvation to everyone who opens their heart and mind to Him? Again, David nodded. He was taking it all in. David was proving to be a humble and honest man.

“Since you know this and seem ready to receive Jesus Christ into your life, is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to receive Him right now?” This was a new thought to David. He glanced at his sister-in-law across the room and exchanged a nervous smile.

I could tell at that moment there was at least one reason he hesitated to receive Christ, so I invited his sister-in-law into the conversation. (I had met “Vanessa” twice before, but only to say “Hello” or “Good bye”.) “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” I queried the sister-in-law. Her response was warm and immediate. “Yes, I believe. But I don’t go to church or anything.” “The main thing is to believe in Jesus. The Bible never says we are saved by going to church!” Both her words and her facial expression conveyed openness and hunger for more of God.

US Marine Receives Christ–But Wait. . .

While conversing with her, David got up and went upstairs, apparently to take care of his baby. I felt a little let down and wondered if we had lost an opportunity. I wondered if he was really as hungry for God as I had thought.

After a few minutes I went upstairs to get ready to turn in for the evening. There at the top of the stairs was David. We were alone. We chatted briefly. It was a private moment, one of those times that author Squire Rushnell calls a time when “God winks at you.” I caught the signal and didn’t want to blow the chance to pray with David if he was ready to receive Christ as Savior. “David, since you are ready to receive Christ into your life, do you want to do it right now, tonight?”

He had had a little time to think it over, but seemed unsure or didn’t know what was involved. Like many hungry people, he was ready, but didn’t know how to receive Christ. I happened to be carrying a bucket in my hand so I explained, “We receive Christ in simple, childlike faith. Christ gives us a gift of salvation and we receive it like a child.” I held out the bucket to him. He reached out his hand and took the bucket. The simple act of taking the bucket from my hand seemed to illustrate how to receive the gift of salvation.

US Marine Receives Christ–The Great Exchange at the Top of the Stairway

There at the top of the stairway the great exchange took place. Christ gave David all His righteousness and David gave Christ all his sin and guilt. I had just asked David if he wanted to pray to receive Christ silently or out loud, but “if you pray silently let me know when you’re done.” He didn’t answer but immediately bowed his head and closed his eyes for just short of a minute, after which he raised his head, looked me right in the eye and said “OK!”

The great transaction of a lifetime was finalized.

Do you have a Bible,” I asked David. “Yes.” “Is it one you can easily read, or does it have a lot of old-fashioned words in it? “No, we can read it.” “Good, I encourage you to read a little everyday because God wants to speak with you through the Bible. One more thing. Many people think the Christian life is a bunch of does and don’ts like ‘You must go to church’ or ‘Don’t drink,’ ‘Don’t smoke,’ ‘Don’t do this or that.’ But the Christian life is really a connection, a relationship with God through Jesus. Just get to know him, listen to His voice and do what He says.”

David nodded affirmatively and headed down the stairs. I headed up to my room.  Sometimes it’s hard to ask the question, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”  But I’m so glad I didn’t chicken out with David. Whenever I woke in the night I had that same wonderful, satisfied feeling. The destiny for which every human was created was being fulfilled.

5 Signs of God’s Judgment by Peter Waldron

Peter Waldron 5 Signs of God's Judgment

Peter Waldron 5 Signs of God’s Judgment

 

5 Signs of God’s Judgment

The Bible tells us that there are at least five progressive stages of judgment in a humanistic nation. Each stage serves as a warning to the people to return to the sanity of righteous obe­dience to God’s Word.

First, there will be an increase in natural catastrophes (Isaiah 1:5-9).

Whenever judgment befalls a nation, dramatic shifts in weather patterns, geological instability, a decline in agricultural pro­ductivity, public health crisis and hygiene, and other “natural” phe­nomena inevitably occur. Rebellious nations invite plagues, famines, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, catastrophic storms, epidemics, drought, floods, typhoons, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Righteous nations, on the other hand, rebuff such judgment. A nation reaps what it sows.

Second, water will be added to the wine (Isaiah 1:22).

Whenever judgment befalls a nation, a noticeable decline in the quality of products inevitably occurs. Rebellious nations occa­sion shoddy workmanship, sloppy craftsmanship, and slovenly construction. They are rife with unprofessionalism, slothfulness, discourtesy, sluggardly conduct, extortion, profit­eering, false advertising, shams, cons, Ponzi schemes, scams and wanton waste. Hu­manistic nations are thus constantly forced to deal with such things as trade deficits, declining industry, plummeting market shares, massive recalls, import quotas, and massive unemployment. Righteous nations, on the other hand, rebuff such judgment. A nation reaps what it sows.

Third, the silver becomes dross (Isaiah 1:22).

Whenever judgment befalls a nation, chronic financial crises inevitably oc­cur. Rebellious nations engage in currency devaluation, infla­tion, deficit spending, and fiat leveraging. Humanistic nations are thus constantly forced to deal with accelerating bankruptcy rates, runaway cost of living increases, unstable exchange ratios, debased currencies, wage and price controls, exorbitant taxa­tion, and money that is not worth the paper it is printed on. Righteous nations, on the other hand, rebuff such judgment. A nation reaps what it sows.

Fourth, there is an exchange in leadership (Isaiah 3:1-5).

Whenever judgment befalls a nation good leaders give way to bad leaders who give way to even worse leaders. Rebellious nations are an easy target for conspiracy, collusion, corruption, covetous­ness, and contamination. They seem to breed demagogic, xeno­phobic, and messianic opportunists who rise to power and prominence. Humanistic nations are thus constantly forced to deal with government scandals, cover-ups, bribes, evasions, in­vestigations, revelations, and resignations. Righteous nations, on the other hand, rebuff such judgment. A nation reaps what it sows.

Fifth, the people are taken captive (Isaiah 5:13-15).

When judgment befalls a nation, and it fails to repent during the course of the first four warning stages, it will finally be dragged off into exile. Rebellious nations are weak and gullible in the face of in­toxicating philosophies, exotic delicacies, and titillating ideolo­gies. They are lured away from their citadels of strength by the beguiling angels of alien light. Humanistic nations are thus con­stantly forced to deal with the corrosive incursions of anarchism, totalitarianism, socialism, antinomianism, existentialism, nihilism, and hedonism. Righteous nations, on the other hand, rebuff such judgment. A nation reaps what it sows.

It doesn’t take an expert in sociology, theology, eschatology, or futurology to see that our nation is now undergoing very real and substantial judgment. All five stages of Biblical judgment are everywhere apparent. Bow down before God, ask Him to forgive you and repent from any sinful behavior. He said (2 Chronicles 7:14) that when we do this that “He will heal our land.”

You are loved.

His servant, your friend, Peter

(This article  “5 Signs of God’s Judgment” is not used by permission. I have contacted the author and have not yet received a reply.) You can contact Peter here.

The Law of First Encounter

The Law of First Encounter

The Law of First Encounter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Law of First Encounter

The Law of First Encounter states “the first meeting of any two people offers unprecedented opportunity for mutual benefit.”

Almost everyone intrinsically knows the power of the first encounter. Aphorisms abound about the first time people meet. Think of “Love at first sight” or “Your first impression is usually best.” Business and marketing gurus advise, “You only have one chance to make a first impression, so make it a good one.”

Did Jesus See the Importance of the Law of First Encounter?

Related to evangelism, the Law of First Encounter carries more significance than most people realize. Look in the Bible and examine Jesus’ own outreach ministry.

  • Jesus ministered to Philip the first time they met (John 1:38ff).
  • Jesus ministered to Peter (and even changed his name!) at their first meeting (John 1:42).
  • Jesus spoke to Nathaniel through a life-changing word of knowledge at their first encounter (John 1:47).
  • Jesus called James and John to follow him at their first encounter (Mark 1:19ff).
  • Jesus spoke to Matthew with a first encounter call to “Follow Me!” (Matthew 9:9).
  • Jesus initiated a conversation and healed the paralyzed man at the Sheep Gate (John 5:6ff) at their first encounter.
  • Jesus healed the blind man by making a clay spit ball and sending him to the Pool of Siloam the first time He saw him (John 9:1ff).
  • Jesus ministered to Zaccheus in such a way that the tax collector experienced a sudden conversion at their first encounter (Luke 18:9).

The list could go on. Jesus sent out the twelve and later the seventy. Their ministry would be nearly 100 percent with first timers.

Of course, Christ formed close relationships with some people. He spent much time with the twelve disciples. A number of women traveled with the group (Luke 8:1-3). The three siblings, Lazarus, Mary and Martha were close with Christ. Beyond these, it’s hard to think of any others. Can you name any?

Let’s focus on two significant facts. First, several men who experienced meaningful first encounters with Christ became disciples. Second, Christ’s evangelism focused on strangers. Can you think of any instance where Jesus formed an ongoing relationship with someone and eventually invited them into the kingdom? Did Jesus practice or model “relationship evangelism?”

Jesus reached the multitudes and discipled a few. Only a few did Jesus admit to His inner circle. Those few disciples had the privilege of hearing Him repeatedly. To them He gave special training and tasked them with the responsibility to further His Kingdom. These became His “church,” His social network, His friends.

The inner circle proved highly significant. The fact is often missed, however, that His outreach was almost universally with “one-offs,” random meetings, and strangers at the initial encounter.

What will it take to Implement the Law of First Encounter in Churches Today?

I contend apostles must rise up and reestablish this supremely powerful evangelistic concept in local churches. The expansion of spiritual or geographical territory is a sign of an apostle. How better to demonstrate the mark of modern day apostleship than to re-store personal evangelism—a burned over, barren, and largely ignored field—to modern day churches.

Do You See the Importance of the Law of First Encounter?

How does the Law of First Encounter affect your ideas of evangelism? Was your last witness opportunity with a friend or with a stranger?  I’m interested in your thoughts about this. I identified the Law of First Encounter by studying the Scripture. It fits perfectly with the concepts of “Chicken Evangelism.”

I sincerely hope this law will liberate us to become more Christ-like as we yearn to see souls saved.  It’s working for me and it’ll work for you.

If you wish, write your comment here.

Evangelistic Prayer: How to Pray for Unsaved People

The Real Secret to Praying for the Lost

The Real Secret to Praying for the Lost

Evangelistic Prayer: The Real Secret to Praying for Unsaved People

There are six (and only six) Scriptures in the New Testament that explicitly link prayer to evangelism. Examine these six and find the Bible secret to praying for the unsaved.

First Evangelistic Prayer Matthew 9: 37-38

Jesus notices so many needy people; compassion for them rises in Him. He then puts his finger squarely on the problem–many people are ready to receive salvation, but few workers. His solution: Pray for workers.

Second Evangelistic Prayer Luke 10:2

On a separate occasion from Matthew 9, Jesus offers the same command. “Beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Does He ever specifically ask people to pray for the lost? Strangely, no. His solution is invariably the same: Pray for believers to go to work in the “harvest.”

Third Evangelistic Prayer Ephesians 6:19-20

Paul asks prayer for himself for four specific areas:
• That he would open his mouth
• That utterance, words (Greek: logos, from lego, which means “to speak”) be given to him
• Boldness to make the gospel known (twice requested)
• That he would speak as he ought
Five times his request centers on speaking out.

Fourth Evangelistic Prayer  Colossians 4:3-4

Paul asks the church in Colossae to pray for Timothy and him so they
• Will have an open door for their message
• May speak out “the mystery of Christ”
• Will speak clearly as they ought

Fifth Evangelistic Prayer 2 Thessalonians 3:1

Again Paul feels the need and cries out for prayers for Silvanus, Timothy and himself. His request–that the word of God which they speak would spread rapidly. They also wanted prayer that the way they spoke and the words they said would be respected, honored and received.

Sixth Evangelistic Prayer Acts 4:29-31

This incident in Acts 4 rests in the context of evangelism and prayer for the salvation of people opposed to Christ Jesus. After threats and harassment, Peter and John (and apparently other disciples) prayed aloud. Sandwiched between “take note of their threats” and “extend Your hand to heal” is this gem, “Grant that Your bondservants may speak Your word with all confidence” (Greek—parousia=boldness). This example of the New Testament Church in action clearly reveals the key to effective prayer for the lost.

Is it wrong to pray for the unsaved by name? God forbid!–to pull a line from Paul. There are many general promises such as, “Ask and it will be given to you.” Also, I Timothy 2:1-4 edges toward prayer for the lost, but does not make a specific connection. (Note: Some translations, based on weak manuscript evidence or imagination, place Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20 in the future tense which makes it seem like He’s praying for the lost.)

Following these six Scriptures focuses a new and brighter light on evangelism.  Amazingly, the Bible way of prayer for the unsaved is largely unheralded and untried. Yet it is one of the keys that has made Chicken Evangelism so effective.

Summary and Conclusion

Each of the six Scriptures linking prayer and evangelism emphasize prayer for the church to speak boldly and work in the “harvest”. Not one calls for prayer for the unsaved. Could this be a weak or missing link in our evangelism efforts? Are your evangelistic prayers based on the Bible way of praying?

I’d be interested in your thoughts.  What’s your experience with evangelistic prayer? Have you tried the real secret for praying for the lost?  What results are you getting?

 

Disciple a Stranger through Chicken Evangelism

 

Disciple a Stranger Through Chicken Evangelism

Disciple a Stranger Through Chicken Evangelism

Disciple a Stranger? Is it Possible?

Yes, if we do what Jesus did! Here’s how I initiated some discipleship encouragement with a stranger today. (We all know this is merely one step along the way, not the complete job of bringing anyone to maturity in Christ. But it is a step in the process and something to be welcomed.)

I went to the hardware store to buy some heating ducts. I flagged down a store employee to help locate the proper connections. He turned out to be a great helper, fitting the pieces together for me. I commended him and then asked, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” Roger paused, then quietly stated, “Yes, and no. I did receive Him some years ago, but . . . .”

He hesitated. I have talked to so many men who are unsure of their relationship, if any, with Christ. He didn’t know what to say. So I said, “You just need some encouragement.”

That got him started, and I must say, once started, he didn’t want to stop. Roger began pouring out his heart, one event after another. He told of three traumas in his life, one of which was beating cancer. I listened. He kept talking. His wife died about ten years ago and she had been his spiritual leader. Now he was on his own and it wasn’t going all that well spiritually.

I Came to Buy Ducts

When I entered the store I had no idea that I would disciple a stranger. But here I was, listening, listening, listening. As everyone knows, listening is an integral part of the discipleship process. In front of me was a seventy-six year old man happily telling me, a complete stranger, about some of the deepest events of his life.

No other customers came around so I was thankful. (When I witness with employees I try to be very mindful of a workers time and respectful of his employer who’s paying him.)

We were experiencing warm fellowship, mutually enjoyable. I shared some of my life, how I was diagnosed with cancer. I asked “How did you beat cancer?” and he told me that part of his story.

In the end I asked, “Do you read your Bible?” Roger admitted, “No. . .but I pray every day.” That encouraged me. I suggested, “My name is Mark. Start with the gospel of Mark and read something every day.” “I will,” he promised. Then he began confessing Christ and his faith. Rather excitedly, Roger announced, “God brought me through three crises. I know He’s looking out for me.”

Did I enjoy this time to disciple a stranger? You bet! To disciple a stranger is satisfying. I was able to meet his need and encourage him on his way. And that’s how Jesus did it too. The Law of First Encounter is an eye-opener. Check it out.

My conversation with Roger ended when he stretched out his hand and stated, “I enjoyed talking with you.” Of course, the gesture was mutual.

How Does Anyone Disciple a Stranger?

This all started when I stuck my neck out and asked my favorite Chicken Evangelism question: Have you received Jesus Christ into your life? (Chicken Evangelism means we bring up God before we chicken out.)  Sometimes a man or woman is ready to receive the Savior on the spot. Sometimes other scenarios develop, but invariably, the Chicken Evangelism question opens up doors to build a friendship and lead a person deeper into relationship with Christ.

Apostles Come Forth!

 

Apostles Open Doors to New Territory

Apostles Open Doors to New Territory

Apostles come forth!

Here is an excerpt from my book Local Churches Global Apostles: How Churches and Apostles Related in the New Testament Era and Why It Matters Now. You can buy the book at Churches and Apostles.

Apostles come forth! “Unbind him and let him go” (John 11:44).

Just as Jesus raised the dead man Lazarus in the first century, God is calling apostles to rise up and come forward in the twenty-first century. The apostolic ministry has lain dead or dormant for so long that many devout Christians don’t believe apostles exist today.

This writer echoes Christ’s clarion call, “Apostles come forth!” Local Churches Global Apostles aims to underscore the Biblical basis for modern-day apostles and to “unbind them and let them go.” Too many churches–and too many men of apostolic calling–have been bound by unbiblical concepts which have hindered constructive church and apostle relationships and prohibited congenial working together.

In Section Two of the book, case studies of each church in the New Testament lay the groundwork  for understanding Biblical varieties and concepts of church and apostle relationships. The information in Section Three may “unbind” churches and apostles and offer greater freedom to work together in mutually beneficial ways.

Jerry Daley, gifted apostle and church planter, brings some current issues into focus.

The question, in my opinion, is how churches [and] pastors should take advantage of apostolic ministries. I’m not thinking of the authority side at all but rather the need for apostolic initiative, leadership, risk taking [and] faith to break out of boxes and move into new ways of reaching this generation. Most senior pastors are attempting to accomplish apostolic results and feel the pressure, [the] expectation, [to do so] without receiving the kind of help they need. Again, I’m not talking about authority.

These are my observations. Few senior pastors have mentors or coaches whereas [some men] have both who meet with [them] almost weekly.”

Apostles come forth!

The modern day apostolic movement began in the 1940’s . . .

B Mark Anderson Author PhotoThis eye-opening book may become a life-changer to some.

Marks of Apostleship

One of the marks of apostleship--open new territory for the Kingdom of God

One of the marks of apostleship–open new territory for the Kingdom of God

 

 

 

 

 

What are the Marks of Apostleship?

How can we tell a true apostle from the counterfeit? Good question. A conference recently convened to hash out these questions. No definitive answers emerged, so let’s go to the New Testament to find direction.

 Marks of Apostleship Summarized

Marks of apostleship are summarized  in this definition:  An apostle is a Godly Christian leader called and supernaturally gifted by God to open new spiritual and geographical territory for the gospel, lay foundations, equip believers, and serve as catalyst and coordinator for churches and ministries.

For another look at the marks of apostleship, click here.

The Bible teaches by both precept and example. I’m focusing on examples in this article–sometimes we concentrate on text alone and forget about examples.

Men Who Demonstrated Marks of Apostleship in the Bible

Check these examples of men who opened new territory, either spiritually or geographically. Pioneering a work in virgin territory characterized the Biblical men who bore the marks of apostleship. This aspect of true apostleship seems often overlooked by those trying to understand apostolic ministry today.

Andrew “found first his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ and ‘he brought him to Jesus.’” (John 1:41, 42) Andrew opened new gospel territory within his own family. Both of these guys eventually became disciples and apostles of Christ.

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45). Philip overcame Nathaniel’s original objection by inviting him to “Come and see” Jesus. Jesus’ words of revelation about Nathaniel’s nature sufficed to make a believer out of him. Both he and Philip later became apostles of Jesus.

When it comes to opening new territory, Barnabas shines as the example par excellence. Often overlooked as he traveled in the shadow of St. Paul, Barnabas actually recruited Paul and served as his mentor. Paul basically followed in the patterns Barnabas worked out.

Multiple examples of Barnabas’ leadership emerge as we investigate the pages of the New Testament. At Antioch he laid foundations into the first missionary church.  He established multiple leadership in the local church there(Acts 13:1). He set a pattern of churches helping churches as he carried relief money from Antioch to  Jerusalem.

Barnabas, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, took Paul with him. He led the tour and together they opened the island of Cyprus and portions of modern day Turkey to the gospel.

Barnabas set the pattern and example of ministers and missionaries being sent out and returning to the local church (Acts 13 and 14).

The best known example of any apostle who opened new territory is, of course, Paul. God used this man to evangelize much of the Middle East including modern day western Turkey, Greece, and Kosovo. Paul’s greatest legacy, however, lay in theology, even more than in the geographical expansion of Christianity. Paul did not originate the gospel of grace but he developed it more than any other New Testament writer. Without Paul and the letter to Romans and Galatians, our understanding of the gospel would be truncated and shallow.

Timothy and Silas worked with Paul to open up new gospel territory and expand the Kingdom of God.

Titus is not listed as an apostle, yet his work in Crete signifies he was doing the work of an apostle by laying foundations in the church there. He exhibited the marks of apostleship even though he is not named as an apostle anywhere in the pages of the New Testament.

The apostle James was the epitome of a New Testament pastor. He is the first and only example of a local church pastor in the Bible and is forever God’s stalwart pattern for what a pastor is and does.

Peter and John traveled on a mission to Samaria. There they ministered the baptism of the Holy Spirit to a group of believers who were lacking this experience. By imparting the Holy Spirit they became examples of apostles who solved major problems in a local church.

In all the examples of apostles where we have adequate information, the apostle opened up new spiritual or geographical areas for God.

Contemporary Men who Demonstrate the Marks of Apostleship by Opening New Territory

Some modern day examples of men who exhibit the marks of apostleship include Earl Kellum. This apostle pioneered over two hundred churches in Mexico. He also was either the first or one of the first to drop gospel portions from airplanes over remote villages in order to evangelize the people. I once flew with Air Mail from God Mission and dropped gospels of John over a village near Cuatla, Mexico. (I say once flew because the plane crashed after a few passes over the town. I survived, but  the plane was put out of commission.)

Paul Anderson, former Director of International Lutheran Renewal Services in St. Paul, Minnesota saw needs and met them. Among other enterprises he originated the Alliance of Renewal Churches (ARC) and began the Master’s Institute (MI), an innovative seminary for training ministers.

Just because a person pioneers a work or starts a program does not by itself indicate he or she is an apostle. All Christians need to open new territory and expand the kingdom of God in some way. Apostles are leaders of expansion. Wherever we find a true apostle we find a pioneer. There’s more to the apostolic calling than pioeering new works. To learn more about this God-appointed ministry, go to What is an apostle?