5 Take-Aways from Missions Sunday
June 29, 2015
Yesterday was a historic day at Brentwood Baptist Church and all of her campuses. It was the first time all local, national, and international missionaries associated with Brentwood were at the same place at the same time. It was incredible!
The Church at West Franklin was priviliged to host 4 different missionary "units," representing South Africa, Sweden, and Malaysia.
There were numerous Take-Aways for me from yesterday's conversations. I want to include several here - all related to how we do evangelism here in the U.S. The missionaries from Sweden brought a unique perspective. They are doing evangelism and discipleship in a land that very similar to where our nation is headed. . . fast. How we did evangelism in the 80's and 90's will NOT be how we effectively reach people in the days ahead. We can learn a lot from those on the "front lines" who are finding ministry "success" in a land much like secular North America.
Here are some helpful "Take-Aways" from yesterday:
#1. There is POWER in Questions
A key way to start evangelistic conversations with people today is to be "naturally curious" with people. In other words, ask them questions. Get them talking. Find out things about them. . . then come in a week and follow up with their answers. For instance, "How is your son liking his new school?" Or, "Were you able to move into your home?" Or, "Is your mom feeling better?" People don't care how much we know until they know how much we care. Make sense?
#2. Embedded in Answers is an Opportunity to Point to Christ
Over time, there will be an opportunity to insert a phrase like, "That reminds me of a story in the Bible." As you are personally reading your Bible and learning the stories, there will be numerous opportunities for you to listen to what people are saying to you and injecting, "Let me tell you about a time something like this happened to Jesus." It will NOT be a time (probably) to open your Bible. Many will not care about chapter and verse. They will want to hear from YOU as YOU tell the story.
#3. Keep a Relationship Journal
Keep a notebook handy so when you walk away from a conversation, you can write down their name, where you were, the time and date, and what you learned about the person. This way, not only can you pray specifically, but you can have something handy to remind yourself of what you learned about them as you go back. As I have heard it said, "The dullest pencil is more effective than the sharpest memory."
#4. Change Your Routine/Give Yourself TIME
If you don't know any lost people, you cannot be obedient to Jesus. He said to "Go and make disciples." Go to a different hair person. Go to the same check out line at a different grocery store. Go to a different restaurant at the same time every week, asking for the same waiter/waitress. Invite your neighbors over for dinner. If you keep doing the same old thing, you will keep getting the same old results. The same is true with evangelism and discipleship.
#5. BE INTENTIONAL
Conversations about Jesus don't just "happen." It requires the serious follower of Jesus to be "on the look out" and "intentional" constantly. It's not an accident that you have the waiter you have. It's not "by chance" that you live where you do. It's not just "neat" that the person who serves you coffee is Muslim. It's not random that your hairdresser is a lesbian. She might just be the next Lottie Moon. But she won't hear the Gospel unless and until you are intentional in your conversations.