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The Whole Church ... Showing & Telling the Whole Gospel ... to the Whole Nation ... Community-by-Community
He shares thoughts on the makings of the church that is destined for outwardness that leads to health. It is an exciting perspective that will lift your heart and mind.
A Holistic Apologetic ...
We must address the issue of justice more directly if we would be faithful to the teaching of Jesus for our time.
An African-American student (in my class) noted that one of the major points of opposition to the gospel among African-American youth, shaped in the context of the hip hop culture, is injustice. In older apologetics this was seen as "the problem of evil," or the question: "How can God be good when evil is so apparent and opposed to everything that is truly good?" What kind of a good God allowed, or directed, evil in the world? For young African-Americans, in the hip hop context they have been influenced by gangs and gang violence. Many have friends who have been killed. The memory of slavery is also a powerful influence in this context. Such youth are repelled by injustice, thus many of these young African-Americans reject the whole idea of a good and gracious God. My student argued that his three L's-listening, locating and linking-can help the apologist work more effectively in such a setting.
This same three-point approach can be used in almost any context. If the issue is alternative religions and worldviews it works in the same way. Or of the person is bummed about the hypocrisy of Christians they've known it works in that context too.
The central opposition to the gospel in our time is not (obviously there are exceptions, so I am speaking broadly) about rational arguments, carefully formed and thought out expressions of real skepticism against the idea of a Savior or of faith in the gospel of Jesus. Yes, there are people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens who make a cottage industry of books and lectures by attacking the idea of a personal, loving, saving Creator. There always will be people like these men. And there is a proper place for intelligently answering them. (Too few do it well, I might add.)
But I am arguing that most people do not require this type of apologetics to have the real barriers to faith removed. D. T. Niles (1908-1970), an Indian evangelist and ecumenical theologian, spent most of his life engaging in preaching, pastoring and laboring to communicate the gospel, through profound expressions of Christian unity, in his native land. Having spent a considerable amount of time in India in the 1980s, I have long been an admirer of Niles. His witness is one I respect because he understood what I am saying long before I came to understand it at all. Niles' friend, Bishop Kulendran, once said of him: "He went to the Bible not to pick up a verse but to think with the biblical writers." This is precisely what I mean when I say we need to appeal to the gospel of the kingdom in order to do faithful apologetics.
Perhaps the most frequently quoted statement of St. Francis of Assisi sums up my point: "Preach the gospel at all times and where it is necessary use words." While this quote is subject to abuse it makes my case perfectly. D.T. Niles, who understood St. Francis in his own Indian context, concluded that "Evangelism was really one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread." I would add that in a missional context it is one community of beggars sharing their bread with other beggars who come to share in their life together.
My African-American student did St. Francis and Niles one better and added, "Defend the gospel at all times but never solely with words." Removing opposition to the gospel is real kingdom business. It is not the sole propriety of each Christian but the work of the community. Let us all, as one family and community, "give a reason for the hope" that we have in the Christ who brings us into his kingdom through grace alone.
The Mission America Coalition is soliciting funding to deploy the City Faith Survey in 5 pilot cities. The City Faith Survey is a 30 question telephone survey on personal Christian beliefs and behaviors that is designed to be given to 1000 random respondents in a city.
Today churches, pastors and ministry leaders are working together in cities as never before. Crossing denominational and cultural lines, they are forming partnerships to reach and serve their communities. As this kind of collaboration continues to grow, two questions loom above all others. “What is the spiritual condition of the city or region; and is it getting better or worse?”
To answer these and other questions, a team was commissioned by The Mission America Coalition to develop a tool to give Christian leaders unbiased data to provide a snapshot of a city’s current spiritual condition. This information can then be used to assess and communicate the collective progress of evangelism and discipleship efforts in the city.
Content and Design:
The City Faith Survey provides objective and measurable data on: Church attendance, Personal commitments to Christ, prayer, Bible study, evangelism, volunteerism, spiritual growth, and much more.
Mission America Coalition has engaged Gallup Faith to help develop and conduct this survey. For each participating city or region, one thousand telephone interviews are conducted using a random digit dial sampling design. Each telephone interview consists of a set of carefully crafted questions that provide answers that reveal critical indicators. The results of the survey are tabulated and organized into a comprehensive, objective, report that provides a snap shot of the spiritual condition of the Church in the city from which a baseline can be established.
In order to measure the trend, it is recommended that the same survey be conducted every 12 to 24 months. This recurring assessment will provide an objective illustration of the trends up or down that drive the spiritual condition of a city or region. It will address questions like: Is the Church in a city growing or shrinking? Are Christians in the city showing signs that they are maturing? Are they reaching out to the lost? Or are they becoming more complacent? This kind of information can help the spiritual leaders in a city evaluate current programs and make adjustments as indicated by the survey. In addition, the survey can help unify ministry leaders, business leaders, and congregations as they watch these indicators together, pray together, and explore opportunities to work together for community transformation.
$21,500 per city (A $1,500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold a place in the pilot. The remaining $20,000 must be paid before the local survey is started.)
For further information, please contact Phil Miglioratti at email@example.com.
Mission America Coalition City Faith Survey – List of Questions for Telephone Survey
Caller’s Script: Would you be willing to take a brief survey?
1. Are you a Christian? ¨yes ¨no ¨don’t know
---- If answer to question #1 is “other” or “don’t know” --- (END OF SURVEY)
We have just opened the on-line registration for our 2009 National Alpha Conference in Orlando. As one of our Partners we would love to have you and as many from your organization as possible join us for this exciting event.
There will be something for everyone at the conference. Here is a summary of the tracks we will be running:
ALPHA ESSENTIALS is for those who have never been on an Alpha course, are not familiar with what it is and how to run it, or who want to refresh their understanding of the basics. By attending this track, you should be able to start and run an Alpha course or improve your current and future courses with confidence.
ADVANCED ALPHA is intended for experienced practitioners who are familiar with Alpha and how it runs. This track is designed to build a deeper understanding of Alpha to enhance and improve your courses so that they can be as effective as possible.
THE MARRIAGE COURSE is for those who are interested in learning more about the Marriage course and how to run it.
MULTI–CULTURAL / ALPHA ESOL is geared for churches in many parts of the U.S. that have opportunities for outreach to people in and around their communities who are English Speakers of Other Languages. This track will focus on the presentation of the Alpha course in multi-cultural settings.
ALPHA IN A CHURCH PLANTING CONTEXT is produced as Alpha is a natural church planting tool. Learn from experienced church planters who give their perspective & practical guidance.
Special conference guest and big Alpha supporter will be Bear Grylls from the Adventure Channel’s “Man vs Wild” TV show.
Basic information about the conference is available at: www.alphausa.org/conference
Online Registration: http://alphausa.org/
PaymentGroup/Registration. aspx?payment_group_id= 1000001083
We are offering a 50% discount on the registration fee for our Partners. Our pricing scheme is as follows:
Super Early Bird Pricing
Early Bird Pricing
The voucher for them to receive this discount is: partnernac09
When communicating this voucher, please also communicate the following information to ensure that the discount goes through.
After entering your discount voucher, you must click ADD VOUCHER before clicking NEXT to receive the discount. The discounted price will appear after you enter your payment information on a confirmation page outlining your registration details. Your credit card will not be charged not be charged until you click confirm.
Let me know if you have any questions.
It would be great to welcome you and your team at our 2009 conference.
Central Support Team
Tel. : 224-588-8532
LC2C Prayer Alert!April 2009Phoenix, AZ, Linda Gross:May 7 National Day of Prayer Observances in Arizona The Arizona National Day of Prayer Task Force invites citizens around the state to come together in unity and strength to celebrate this year's observance.Visit www.aznationaldayofprayer.com for 2009 theme, prayer guides.Please cover the following events in prayer:Phoenix Events (Click here for an NDP Phoenix Events Flyer)
1. Noon Rally at Phoenix City Hall
2. State Capitol Prayerwalk3. Prayer Vigil at Prayer Pavilion of LightPlease pray for the plans being made for the Luis Palau Festival in about 2 years in the Phoenix area.>>>From Phoenix LC2C Leader Ben Sanders:
A big praise for a successful initial meeting at lunch today for a diverse group of faith, business, community, and government leaders (including representative from the governor) to address the human services and budget crisis in our state. Please pray for our follow through during the next days and weeks.
Also, please pray for the planning and engaging process for an Arizona Community Impact Roundtable (AzCIR) that will be held here in late August, September, or early October (depending on scheduling factors for venue and speakers). I received a solid consensus of support from my closest leadership network (which includes Linda) to move ahead. I will be working with John Quam and Glenn Barth on this CIR. Please pray for wisdom, favor, provision, and courage in hosting this event, which has never been done before in our state.
Charlotte NC....Karla Lowman:
Praise the Lord for the prayer time with Pat Allen and LC2C Prayer leaders and coaches! What encouragement came from the Lord and the prayers “The Lord is wanting to break out in REVIVAL all over Charlotte” we are to remain vigilant in prayer. He God is uprooting dead roots (this is not criticism) He is preparing the living lively roots to be established so firmly so that in the day of the storm THE CHURCH will hold strong, healthy strong……..
Praise the Lord for a great Charlotte Awake Conference call April 2,2009. Praise for Bob Sisk and his facilitating our call and God’s healing.
Praying specifically for blessing and healing for Dr. Bobby Ross and Jean Ross - Care at Asbury and Aldersgate Retirement Center; Janie Lowman – Bob Lowmans mother who has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. Dr. Barry Leventhal – healing and for Mary his wife who have has been a part of 2nd Fridays for Praying Women. Caroline Seibert – Craig Seiberts mother fell and broke her hip in rehab.
Praise for Workplace ministries moving forward in Charlotte. Craig S. reported - positive conversations yet still need prayer for a breakthrough and God’s guidance for the next step. Great connection with Nadia at BGEA and with Eric Welch with Mission America.
Praise from Brenda Jackson, Chief Administrator working together with the Executive Committee for February work day with CAN reviewing 2008, discussing 2009 program and funding.
Pray for National Day of Prayer and Global Day of Prayer city –wide observances!
Prayer from Bishop Larry Jackson, Executive Director - Let us continue to raise the 1000 worshipping intercessors for Charlotte – Making progress toward the tithe with around 70 women who are on board through CAN and 2nd Fridays, Praying for 100 churches who will have a Champion representative with ongoing Prayer, Care, Share Lifestyles. Need funding as we move forward - need someone who will give full focus to staffing the office.
Blessings and favor with Bishops connection and meeting with Dixie from Focus on the Family asking how they can come along side us and help in our city.
Pray for Mary Lance, Jill M, Barbara P as they meet on May 19th at St Giles with Developing Churches and Champions who will maintain the Prayer, Care, Share lifestyle at the grassroot level in the churches.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to give wisdom, vision, and unity and for our team to be sensitized in Ministering the Living Word of God – that Jesus will be lifted up and all men, women and children be drawn unto him. Soli Deo Gloria! (To the glory of God alone)
Submitted by Karla Lowman (Worshipping Intercessor – Chair of 2nd Fridays for Praying Women...Charlotte Awake)
Santa Rosa CA. Harry Skandara:
1) The leadership council here in Santa Rosa/Sonoma County is going through some heavy, but ultimately good shaking. The council is stronger than ever. We believe that God is answering our prayers of the last two 40 day seasons of fasting regarding coming into His presence. Many things have "come to the light". About one month ago the Lord led us to 2Sam. 6 and David moving the ark of the Lord to Jerusalem. God is getting a lot more specific with us.
2) Pray for the continued gathering and mobilization of commissioned intercessors.
May the Lord bless each city on the LC2C prayer conference call with faith and peace. This is our time to redeem our cities .
Prayer Points for LC2C...Pat Allen LC2C Prayer Coordinator:
1) Please pray for all the LC2C cities as they implement the plans and strategies for the 2nd qtr. 2009.
2) Please pray for a spirit of unity and cooperation among the churches and para-church ministries in the LC2C cities. That they continue to prefer one another and seek each other out to work together for the salvation of their citizens.
3) Please pray for intercessors and prayer teams to be identified in all the LC2C cities as they are continuing to develop this critical portion of the city teams.
4) Pray blessings on all the LC2C coaches. That they would have God's insights and directions as they assist the city leaders.
Prayer Points from LC2C Coordinator Phil Miglioratti
1) Praise the Lord for the reports of congregations and ministry\ies serving the practical and spiritual needs of their communities together.
2) Petition the Lord for pastors who will commit to lead their congregations in a Prayer~Care~Share Journey: Lifestyle for a Lifetime
3) Pleas pray for the Spirit's leading as we plan a retreat for the LC2C coaches in July (several have previous appointments ... maybe the Lord will choose to reschedule some so they can attend (:>)
I just finished shooting the video with my response to one of the top five outreach challenges people faced.
>>>Click arrow or headline to access video
With many experts expecting the economic situation to get worse before getting better, a national inner-city ministry is mobilizing Christians nationwide to help people struggling with poverty
With more and more Americans losing their jobs in an unstable economy, evictions are also on the rise.
In Los Angeles, the problem has grown to such proportions that the city council recently halted evictions and the city decided to buy empty buildings and designate them as affordable apartments.
“Many Americans are now losing or facing the prospect of losing their homes as both homeowners and renters feel the impact of the foreclosure crisis,” noted Deborah DeSantis, president and CEO of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, earlier this year.
“Millions more Americans are likely to fall into deep poverty in the coming months as a result of rising unemployment and declining state and local funding for safety net programs that assist people who are unable to find work,” she added.
With many experts expecting the economic situation to get worse before getting better, a national inner-city ministry is mobilizing Christians nationwide to help people struggling with poverty.
Here's Life Inner City, the urban ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International, has been promoting a resource that it has produced for churches to learn how to effectively reach out to the poor.
The faith-based educational program, called “Compassion by Command,” explores the issues of poverty and teaches biblical directives related to helping the poor. It offers an interactive Bible study for small groups that incorporates real-life video case studies and the film “God Bless the Child,” starring Academy Award nominee Mare Winningham.
"Our hope is that people will gain a broader understanding of Scripture and what God says about His heart for the poor," said Ted Gandy, national director of Here's Life Inner City. "The true stories about poor families provide gripping case studies about how people can impact the lives of the poor beyond just giving financially."
Since 2001, hundreds of U.S churches have reportedly used “Compassion by Command,” which International Christian Visual Media honored with a Silver Award winner for Best Curriculum.
Available in a 7-week format or a 14-week format, “Compassion by Command” offers practical steps to helping church make a difference in their community.
“We believe that people trapped in generational poverty must be viewed wholistically – body, soul and spirit,” states Here’s Life Inner City in its website.
“If we truly care, we will seek to empower people in as many of these areas as possible,” it adds.
Since 1983, Here's Life Inner City and more than 1,300 partner churches and organizations have been responded to the growing epidemic of poverty and despair in America's inner cities.
Their wide-ranging efforts have provided the poor with food and other basic necessities, life skills, career development and youth development programs.
“Scripture commands the church to have compassion for the poor - it is both a responsibility and a privilege,” the organization asserts.
Last month, the U.S. unemployment rate zoomed to 8.5 percent – the highest in a quarter-century – after employers axed 663,000 more workers. It was also the first time job losses topped 600,000 for a fourth month in a row in government record-keeping dating to 1939.
According to estimates, there are now over 13 million jobless in America.
Christian Post Reporter
YOU can help change the world from your computer.
Millions of seekers come from every nation on earth with a great desire for God.
They experience the gospel through our websites and want to know the next step.
“I really feel so blessed to have this tool every day. What could I do that's more important than this? And I do it while eating raspberries in the comfort of my kitchen while a load of laundry is drying. Amazing, so amazing.”
–Margaret, online volunteer
You can reach out to them – in your own time, anywhere, from your own computer. Here’s just one person who was seeking God on the Internet:
“I am a sinner and want to sin no more. I want Christ to come into my life. I want to be as white as snow to be able to see the kingdom of God.“ Ihuoma, Nigeria
Easy as 1-2-3
1. Begin by clicking the link to fill out the
2. We give you online training and a safe,
3. Answer emails with the help of response
templates, answers database, an online Bible
and your assigned community leader.
“One of the most exciting areas of ministry I’ve been involved with has been volunteering with Global Media Outreach. I’ve been amazed at the people I’ve been able to connect with from every corner of the world while sitting at my desk, in a coffee shop or my couch at home. I just love it!”
–Scott, online volunteer