How would Jesus use His Money?

Photo Credit: tehusagent via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: tehusagent via Compfight cc

Of all the stories that Jesus told, the Parable of the Shrewd Manager in Luke 16 is probably the most difficult one to understand. Most of the others are somewhat straight forward. This one, however, is tough because Jesus seems to be siding with the bad guy. He picks the guy who does wrong and is dismissed by his employer. The point of the story, however, isn’t that the manager was bad, it was how he used his master’s money to make sure he still had friends after he was let go. Jesus says that the lesson in the story is to, “Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.” [1] Continue reading

Asking the Right Question about Evangelism

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” [1]

Recently I’ve been writing about asking the right questions, and there’s one more thing I want to ask about: Evangelism. Are we asking the right questions about Evangelism? Continue reading

Can I get a Witness?

The next step in living a Life on Mission is sharing. This step may be the most intimidating step of a life on mission. This step requires us to evangelize, to tell people the good news about Jesus. On one level, I’m not sure why this step is so hard. Telling people about Jesus should be the most wonderful thing ever. When you find something amazing, you tell people about it. Whether it really is amazing or just a funny cat video on YouTube, you tell people about it, so why not Jesus.

Don't evangelize like this...  Photo Credit: Sherlock77 (James) via Compfight cc
Don’t evangelize like this…
Photo Credit: Sherlock77 (James) via Compfight cc

On the other hand, I get it. It’s scary and intimidating. Whether we’re afraid of what people might think or we don’t know what to say, many people find it hard to share the Gospel. We have so many ideas of what sharing the gospel looks like that it’s hard to know whether we should stand on a street corner or start up a debate club. Continue reading

Overcoming the Obstacle of Self

Healing of the Lame Man, Raphael, public domain
Healing of the Lame Man, Raphael, public domain

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 1

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 2

One of the biggest obstacles that gets in the way of myself living missionally is myself. By that I mean, I try to do it myself. I may enlist the help of friends, family, and followers of Jesus, but I am trying to act under my own power. Continue reading

People of Peace

I’ve been writing a lot about speaking about Jesus and being an ambassador for Christ. This is something that can be extremely intimidating. What I’ve been learning recently is that it doesn’t have to be.

When most of us think of evangelism we probably think about walking up to strangers and saying, “Hey, do you know about Jesus?” or “Do you know what would happen to you if you die tonight?” While this is challenging to people and can produce results in the right environment, I know from experience that more often then not this doesn’t result in very much. Sharing the gospel is more effective when done in relationships and done over time. Again this sounds intimidating. It involves going out and developing a relationship with someone new. While we think that this may be difficult, you probably actually already know someone and have a relationship with someone that would be willing to listen. continue reading

Stop telling people about Christianity

speaking-cover-lgWhat do we share with people when we share our faith with them? In his book Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism, Carl Medearis argues that more often than not we are telling people about Christianity and not Jesus. At first it sounds a bit crazy that you could do this.  How can someone tell about Christianity and not tell people about Jesus? Donald Miller proved that this is possible in his book Searching For God Knows What when he shared the Gospel with a group of Christian college students and left one thing out. He asked them what he left out, and they didn’t know. He left out Jesus. It’s possible to talk about our faith and forget the most important person. So often, we tell people about sin, the origin of the world, we present logical arguments for the existence of God and the supernatural, we may even tell them that Christianity offers freedom from sin and eternal life, but we can fail to introduce them to the person of Jesus Christ.
continue reading

Learning to Share the Gospel from an Atheist

41iXSIbKj8LWhen I was in college, I read Jim & Casper Go to Church. If you’re not familiar with the book, Jim Henderson hires an atheist, Matt Casper, to travel the country with him to evaluate various churches. Jim did this because he was interested in the unfiltered opinion of someone who is not a Christian. What would the atheist think about Church? One Casper’s frequent questions was, “Is this really what Jesus told you to do?”

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After reading this book, most people wanted to know if  Casper ever got saved. From that question, Jim and Casper wrote a sequel called Saving Casper: A Christian and an Atheist Talk about Why We Need to Change the Conversion Conversation. While the two did their book tour, Matt, as you can imagine, received his fair share of people telling him that he was going to go to hell. On top of that, many treated him as if he were an enemy to the faith. Meanwhile, he’s not anti-religion or antagonistic toward Christians, even though some atheists are. He is an open-minded guy who likes to engage with people of different faith systems and doesn’t rule out the possibility of some day becoming a person of faith. continue reading…