Archives For Evangelism

In Early April, while one of our leaders from India was here in Keystone, SD for our Spring month-long training, his daughter was in a bike accident. The ankle and heel of his daughter’s right foot was severely injured in the biking accident. When he went back to India at the end of April, after the month-long training, he and his wife took their daughter to the hospital to have her injury checked out, as it did not appear to be getting better.

A situation like this is scary, stressful, and exhausting. When we are in these situations, how often do we believe that God is using them for His glory? How often do we give praises to God in the depths of our most difficult situations?

Our Indian leader and his wife had faith that the Lord was using this situation to glorify Himself, and in the midst of their faith, God came and did incredible things!

He and a disciple he is working with, are in the middle of an incredible opportunity that the Lord has given them. They are evangelizing to the nursing students in the hospital where his daughter was admitted. They found a few believers there and they have began to disciple them. They held two Gospel meetings for all the students and they have now formed a redemptive community in the hospital. The redemptive community, which meets regularly on Thursdays, includes the doctor at the hospital, the principal of the nursing school, the new believers they found, and the disciple our leader was initially working with. After each redemptive community meeting, they continue to meet with other nursing and medical students to share the Gospel with them.

How amazing is it that in the center of a situation that seems scary and hopeless, God can do mighty things to further His kingdom?

This story is one of the many that prove that God can display His splendor and desire for the Great Commission in any situation, regardless of place, time, and circumstances!

To God be the glory!

Below is a report that was sent to us from some of our disciples in Nepal. They are traveling to unreached areas in the mountains of Nepal to make and baptize disciples!

The area of Manang in Nepal is severely unreached. 19 out of the 20 people groups in Manang are unreached. The largest religion present in Manang is Buddhism, with 53.5% Out of the total population of 6,500 individuals professing to be Buddhist. Within this population, only 1.5% is professing Christian.

 

 

Greetings from Nepal.

It is great privilege to inform you about the Manang visit. Thank you very much, for you have kindly prayed for the mission work of God the father.

We have had some disturbance in the work of God, but because of your prayers, we came out from the problems. One of village leaders was trying to stop us sharing Gospel. He was challenging me, he was trying to stop our ministry to that village and did not want us to come to that place again.  However, God is so gracious with us, and therefore we had fellowship in Manang.

Praise the Lord! Our friend Pasang Lama took the water baptism.

Once again thank you deeply for your prayers for the Manang visit.

Please pray for these points:

The Magar brothers are waiting for water baptism in Manang, pray that they will really grow spiritually.

Pray that God will prepare hearts to receive water baptism in Chitawan and Dolakha too.

We are praying for a combined meeting in Kathmandu where we can encourage everyone for further ministry in the local area. We called for the gathering in Kathmandu to those who are leading the local church.

Please pray for the managing of the meeting and travel expenses. The Gathering in Kathmandu will be three days and we will provide for their travel, food, and lodging.

Best wishes to you all.

In His service,
Mukhiya Rai and
GoldenGate Church family
Kathmandu, Nepal

Check out this video from the advanced training we held this past month from October 5th – 28th!

If you’re interested in attending one of our upcoming trainings, please click the date below to find out more.

We have a month-long training coming up in  October 2016 for international students.

We also have a week-long training in January 2017 for United States Citizens.

 

—From The Keystone Project Training Manual by Richard Greene

God has used attractional evangelism in its many forms throughout the history of the church. Every Sunday God blesses the preaching of his Word and the saints are encouraged and non-believers are invited to put their faith in Jesus. In crusades and revival meetings from George Whitfield to Billy Graham, attractional evangelism has been the final catalysts to bring many into the kingdom of God. Yet alongside all of this good, there are some very real dangers to the over-reliance on attractional forms of evangelism that are seen in many churches today.

The Problem: Most modern churches have come to rely primarily on an attractional evangelistic method to reach their communities.

In this method the church attempts to evangelize the community by attracting people to its buildings, services, events, or programs. The idea behind this approach is that you offer people what they want or enjoy and they “come to your church.” It is assumed that as they attend the church’s programs they will find Christ and become disciples.

There are (at least) five major weaknesses of the attractional evangelistic method:

1. It does not make disciples; it attracts consumers.

The attractional method typically appeals to the needs or desires of those it is targeting to reach, and must deliver those needs and desires at a “price” the target group is willing to pay. This is religious consumerism. At some point the church must call the attendee to a deeper level of commitment and sacrifice without which it is impossible for them to be a disciple. When that call comes later rather than earlier, the attendee has already “bought into” a form of Christianity which has allowed him to be a Christian without being a disciple. Too often this results in what Dallas Willard calls the “cost of non-discipleship”, undiscipled disciples! Additionally, it violates the basic principles of discipleship because you do not attract disciples, you call them (Matthew 8:18-22).

2. It tends to be very expensive and resource intensive.

Bringing unchurched people into a church using the attractional method often requires a steady menu of consumer-oriented approaches, programs, and events involving facilities, resources, staff, and media.

The focus too easily becomes the development of these attractional features rather than intentionally and organically discipling those who attend.

3. It is not easily reproducible.

See number 2 above! Those who have sufficient resources to support the attractional method can do it well. Those who do not have sufficient resources will struggle to reproduce the attractional model.

Because it is dependent on resources for its success, this method is inherently artificial rather than organic. At best it cannot lead to addition growth but never multiplication growth.

4. What you win them by is what you win them to.

What is the effect on the church when it attracts people by giving them what they want or need? The church becomes the object of its own ministry. The community becomes a means by which the church grows, instead of the church being a means by which the community is reached. How will such an attractional approach affect the call of Christ on those who respond to it? Having responded to our offers and provision of what they want or need, they must now obey Christ’s command to deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow Him! It also unintentionally puts churches in competition with one another. The reality is that those who would respond to the attractional method will typically be those who would consider attending a church. Statistics indicate that in the future that will be a smaller percentage of the general population. Churches will have to compete for this group.

5. It creates a weak “point of connection” between the target group and the church.

When you rely on the attractional approach for evangelism, you will connect people to your church by appealing to what they like, want, or feel they need. This creates a very weak point of connection to the church.

It is a very weak connection because:

  • It requires too little commitment from new attendees. They are connected to the church by the things which attracted them to the church rather than by a commitment to Christ.
  • It requires too little commitment from your members, especially in the area of evangelism. Evangelism becomes a matter of inviting someone to church rather than sharing one’s faith.
  • It requires you (the church pastor/leader) to focus your attention, time, and resources on providing what people want and enjoy rather than leading them into what God is doing.

In the attractional approach we measure church growth in terms of the success of our programs (i.e. the youth ministry is successful if it attracts more youth). If we are using our worship services to attract new people, then our worship services will be (rightfully) measured by how many people they attract. However, if we are using our worship services to worship God, one must seriously question how prominent a role increasing numbers should play in measuring the success of those services and in determining what we do in them. Perhaps there are other more subjective assessments we would want to focus on such as the spiritual qualities of worship, transformation, God’s manifest presence, obedience, Biblical teaching and preaching, etc.

The way we define and qualify church growth determines how we measure it. The way we measure it will affect how we pursue it.

If we measure church growth in terms of attendance, then we will pursue it in terms of attendance. If we measure it in terms of spiritual transformation and community impact, then we will pursue it in terms of spiritual transformation and community impact. Of what value is a full service when the local schools and neighborhoods are left unchanged?

While increasing numbers can indicate an increase in spiritual growth, it is questionable whether or not it is enough of an indication to warrant the current level of attention it receives in modern institutional church growth strategies.

In the end, we must question whether or not the numerical growth of services, programs, or meetings should be the consuming focus of visionary church leadership and whether or not increasing numbers “in church” means increasing numbers in the Church. What do you think?

As the Keystone Project Program Director, I serve as a resource person to our various trainers and movement leaders. I am hoping to begin sharing short stories on a more regular basis from the reports that I get from leaders around the world.

Below is a excerpt from a recent prayer letter of one of our leaders. It is a clear example of the strategic power of prayer and finding a “person of peace” who can unlock an entire people group to the gospel. Can you guess what country and city this missionary team is serving in? It is probably not where you think.

“Last month we asked you to pray for [non-Christian] leaders by name; that the Holy Spirit would convict their hearts of the truth of the cross and they would be broken for the Kingdom. Specifically we asked you to pray for Kopa a leader of the Nepali people here in [our city].

Two of the members of our team felt that God was leading them to go and lay hands on Kopa, praying for him and asking for healing. Over the next week he was healed of his lung issues and attributed it to the power of Jesus Christ. As the two returned to follow up with Kopa, he and his wife both were willing to renounce their Hindu god and give their lives to follow Jesus alone.

Maybe even more important than that is that Kopa is the patriarch of his family. His family has more than 45 people in it, 7 of them are his sons. Several of his daughter-in-laws were already led to Christ by our team and were praying for his conversion. His last interaction with our mission team was that both he and his wife felt that the Spirit had convinced them that because of their position, they needed to be responsible for taking the message of Christ to their family. Praise God for working in their hearts. Please pray that God would use him to change the lives of many. Please pray also that as they are baptized it would be a moment of change in the lives of others.

Please continue to pray for Abdul Sattar*, the leader of the Burmese Muslims. One of the members of our team has had the Holy Spirit open the door for friendship with him. Now two of our disciples are working together to reach this man. If he comes to Christ, the entire mosque will follow.”

Have you figured out what country this report is from? Click here to find out and to watch a short video on the work of this missionary team.

*Name changed for privacy