Summary: This is our time to turn toward others and give it our all.
OUR TIME, OUR TURN, OUR ALL
S: External Focus
Th: Our Time, Our Turn, Our All
Pr: THIS IS OUR TIME TO TURN TOWARD OTHERS AND GIVE IT OUR ALL.
CV: “We will relentlessly reach out to people with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.”
I. Live wisely.
II. Seize opportunities.
III. Converse graciously.
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Realize that time is of essence and now is the time for us to move forward with good news.
• Deliberately turn outward.
• Give it all for people that need Christ.
RMBC 11 January 09 AM
When you hear the word “evangelism,” what do you feel?
Do you get shivers?
Do you get sweaty?
Do you get worried about what might be required of you?
If you are like that, you are not alone.
I have been on evangelism campaigns that go door-to-door, handed out tracts on Main St, and just plain walk up to strangers.
As time has gone on, I have come to the conclusion that those are not always very effective ways to talk about Jesus, at least not for me.
Ill Evangelism (S)
I was at the Bills game the other week with my boys, and as we headed back to the car after having to watch the Bills end their season unceremoniously, there was a street preacher there. He had a massive audience, but no listeners as far as I could tell. No one was stopping. They just raced by – to get out of the cold and into their cars – to go sit in line. It did not appear to be a very effective way to talk about Jesus.
ILL Christianity (S)
I have started reading a book titled: unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity by David Kinnaman based on research from the Barna Group.
The first chapter begins with this line, “Christians have an image problem!”
The book is the result of unpacking research regarding the ways outsiders are reacting to the Christian faith. These outsiders, “think Christians no longer represent what Jesus had in mind… that Christianity in our society is not what it was meant to be.” (p. 15)
The researchers discovered that outsiders expressed most opposition toward evangelicals. “There are twenty-four million outsiders in America who are ages sixteen to twenty-nine. Of these, nearly seven million have a negative impression of evangelicals; another seven million say they nave no opinion; and ten million have never heard the term evangelical… that leaves half a million young outsiders of the twenty-four million, who see us in a positive light.” (p. 25)
As President Bush prepares to leave office, he has a 35% approval rating.
Now if you think this is bad, consider what the statistics are saying about what our approval rating is among 16-29 year olds.
If only five-hundred thousand of twenty-four million approve of us, that means evangelical Christians have a 2% approval rating.
Now that is not good news.
But here is the catch…
What we’ve got is really good!
The word from where we get evangelism is the same one for gospel.
We have good news.
In fact, it is so good, we should be just bursting at the seams with wanting to tell people about it.
You see, that is what evangelism simply is – telling good news.
But more often than not, it seems that we are like the pastor in this cartoon…
Ill Evangelism (H)
Cartoon: How can we reach the world for Christ with a minimum of fuss and bother?
Now, I don’t think we can make much progress if we take an attitude like that.
Good news like we have cannot be done with a minimum of fuss and bother.
It takes a whole lot more than that.
It takes a broken heart that sees the world as God does.
It takes a heart that rejoices in God’s love and wants to respond to it with telling others.
Do you think we have an image problem?
Forgive me, but sometimes I just need to say it the way it is, because we do have image problems as a church in this community.
Through the years, we have been labeled as a stuffy, upper class church that is set in its ways.
Now, do you know who gets to change that?
We are no longer going to depend on a reputation to grow.
We are no longer going to ask people to come in and be like us.
It is time.
It is our time.
It is our time to proclaim and live the good news about Jesus.
That is our mission.
And we are going to do it so boldly that when people talk about us they are going to say they have a really big God over there at Randall.