and we have got to wake up to this reality if we haven't."
Dan Kimball, They Like Jesus but Not the Church
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The Whole Church ... Showing & Telling the Whole Gospel ... to the Whole Nation ... Community-by-Community
Luke 15:4:10"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ORejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ORejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
In business terms ...
Christians can be hindered by traditional ideas of what evangelism looks like. The average Christian thinks, It means getting out and knocking on doors. I don't know if I can do that. We would like to reach lost people, but doing so doesn't feel like us. In the New Testament, Peter was confrontational, while Paul took an intellectual approach. The blind man in John 9 took a testimonial approach, and the woman at the well, an invitational approach. So let's free ourselves up. Let's not lay guilt trips on people by acting as though if they really loved Jesus, they would do it just like us. Let's find approaches that fit the personalities God gave each of us. Evangelism naturally tends to slip more than any other biblical value. It is what I call the law of evangelistic entropy. I've been negatively surprised by how rapidly this value slips, even in people who are fired up to share their faith. A year passes, and they've slipped into comfortable Christianity.
Denominations that started with evangelism as a priority can quickly become institutionalized. Evangelism is too often relegated to a statement on the front of a bulletin instead of a value by which we live. - Mark Mittelberg
Something to Think About ...The gospel must be preached afresh and told in new ways to every generation, since every generation has its own unique questions. The gospel must constantly be forwarded to a new address, because the recipient is repeatedly changing his place of residence. - Helmut Thielicke
Who is the book for and why should they read it?
[Dave and Scott] The book is for all persons interested in the megachurch phenomena. Megachurch leaders will profit from reading it because it helps them understand their own churches in a larger context. Leaders of smaller churches will enjoy reading it because it shows megachurch practices that are different from their own. Consultants, reporters and academic readers will see the important statistics and observations as critical to building their own frameworks and understandings of larger churches in the context of the entire American religious scene.
What's one thing you've learned from your experience with megachurches?
[Scott] One of the most basic and yet profoundly significant lessons from the
Download a sample chapter or order the book online:
How to Help the Poor Without Hurting Them...and Ourselves by Dr. Brian Fikkert, Chalmers Center Executive Director
We’ve all been in this situation: A poorly dressed person approaches our church asking for help with buying groceries. We want to help out, but how? If we give them money, perhaps they will waste it. And if we take the time to go to the grocery store with them, what will prevent them from needing help again in about a week or two? Many of us have a sense that our efforts to help the poor often fail to bring any lasting improvement. But the situation is often worse than we may imagine: Our efforts to help... Read More >>
The Five Top Asking Mistakes Coaches Make
(And How to Correct Them)
From the forthcoming book, "Coaching Questions: A Coaches Guide to Powerful Asking Skills"
By Tony Stoltzfus
From long experience as a coach trainer, here's my personal list of the top five asking mistakes coaches make.
1. Closed Questions
Our #1 offender is—closed questions! Open questions have two important benefits: they let the coachee direct the conversation (you can answer in many different ways) and they make the coachee think by eliciting more than one-word answers. While most people will answer the occasional closed question as if it were open, too many will shut people down.
To convert closed questions to open ones, first become aware of what you are asking. If you catch yourself before you've finished asking, you can simply restate the question. You'll know its a closed question if it can be answered with a simply "yes" or "no", like these examples:
If you catch yourself in the act of asking a closed question, here's a quick technique for readjusting: just start again with the word "what" or "how". Here are the closed questions above, made open:
The focus of Justice in the Burbs [Baker Books, 2007] by Will and Lisa Samson is on action—being the hands of Jesus wherever you live, as the subtitle says. This book, written by an award-winning Christian novelist and her husband, who’s working on his PhD in sociology, is half fiction and half non-fiction. The fictional part of the book describes a story of a husband and wife who live in the suburbs and start feeling the need to be more connected to issues of justice. The non-fictional component follows this storyline with Biblical facts and examples as to how and why the Christian couple were Biblically sound in their endeavors—and how they (and others reading the book) could do more to promote justice where they live.
This book was incredibly easy to read, with tons of great information and inspiration. And the fictional story is compelling—I cried several times at the heartache and joys the family encountered. I could see my friends and family in the faces Lisa described.
The only thing I didn’t love about the book was the last chapter. In the “Benediction”, Lisa ends the story of the husband and wife with a story of a happy family living simply. It’s a beautiful picture of love and grace, but it didn’t seem like enough to me. After ruminating on their words about justice, I wanted a vision of a world free from poverty and injustice.
But everything else about the book was beautiful, and the aspect I liked best was that Will and Lisa were providing guidance to all Christians about how to “bloom where you are planted”. This is important to me in my life and ministry because I thought at an early age that I was supposed to be a missionary. I’ve spent several summers in foreign countries evangelizing and working with churches and children’s ministries. But it never felt quite right. I kept feeling called to be at home, living in community and addressing the needs of my neighbors.
So this book is perfect for people like me who feel called into the mission field at their front door—it provides great examples, ideas, meditations, and tools that can be used in our ministries. But it’s also perfect for anyone who desires to learn more about Jesus’ heart for the poor and “least of these”.
Ministry: I’m currently working on my PhD in health policy, serve with a refugee ministry at our new church (Revolution) in Kansas City and an elder ministry, and run a couple of blogs (www.heartlandinnovators.org and www.revolutioninjesusland.org) with my husband.