All posts tagged: Evangelism

Staying on Mission: A Lesson From the Pentecostal Charismatic Movement

By Dr. Michael Brown

How do we explain the unprecedented, massive, worldwide growth of the Pentecostal-Charismatic Church? And what can all Christians learn from this spiritual phenomenon?

The waiting harvest. Photo: Coloneljohnbritt/Flickr/Creative Commons

The silent crisis: Mormons, Muslims, and the rest of us

I have been to church many times, and I know one topic we don’t want to talk about. I can’t ever remember a sermon on the people who are dropping out. And they do drop out, including some people who are very close to me. The old people called it “not living for the Lord.” People are dropping out of most religions, including Mormonism, Islam and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christian churches. This is becoming the one big issue, the silent crisis among Mormons. Some people drop out and make dramatic statements, but most claim to belong and don’t bother to practice. Passive and agnostic dropouts number in the millions, and they don’t get persecuted. In any religion, people who convert to something else stand out and can pay a high price. A recent video recording shows teenage Muslims in Germany saying nasty things about German people. They are offensive little brats, but in their defense, when I was in high school we said lots of dumb things, and I’m so glad no one recorded …

Make your fields white for harvest. Photo: Cristian Malevic/Flckr

Is John 4:35 the most misunderstood verse in the Bible?

It seems every year, pastors preach the obligatory message on evangelism. It is an annual event in most churches. Invariably they will turn to the Gospel of John and quote Jesus’s words: “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” (John 4:35 NASV) The message is we need to share our faith, because the fields are white for harvest. The grain is ready to fall off the stem and we just need to be there to gather it in. Of course, everyone knows it isn’t true. Sure a few people are getting saved now and then, but for the most part our communities are a hard place. Maybe the fields are white somewhere else, but they are not white where we live. So was Jesus wrong? No. But the point we miss is that Jesus made the fields white for a harvest and it is something we can do as well. Jesus said these words after He encountered a woman at a well …

Bad Elephant

[By Earl Blacklock] Out of all the animals in the three-ring circus, none are as beloved as the circus elephant. The sight of the awesome beast, tenderly carrying a flower of a girl on its back, is usually the highlight of a circus performance. Bozo was a master of the circus ring, beloved by families and performers alike. Then its behaviour changed. It became enraged at the slightest provocation, and even went after its keeper with murderous intent. It was clear Bozo was dangerous, and the decision was made to kill it. But this was the circus, in a time different from our own. The manager decided that if the animal had to be killed, it might as well make the circus some additional revenue, so he sold tickets to the execution.

When he died in 1938, this missionary thought he was a failure, 72 years later this was discovered

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24 NASV) Dr. William Leslie was a pharmacist in Ontario, Canada. In 1888, after his conversion to Christ, he worked for 35 years as a medical missionary with the American Baptist Missionary Union. During the last 17 years of his ministry, William worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo among tribal people in that remote area of the world. He returned from the mission field n 1929 and until his death in 1938, William believed his ministry in the Congo was largely a failure.