Missionaries...and sharing the Gospel...

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by calebreedgordon, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. calebreedgordon

    calebreedgordon
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    I have a small thought/ question and I wanted to get your thoughts....
    (hey Don I'm not posting my web site :tongue3: )

    We have "Missionary moments" on Sunday morning and we talk about the missionaries in the SBC (in the states and out) and almost every week they talk about the people groups, and how they "reach out" to them and so on...I never really hear about folks sitting down and sharing the gospel and praying with folks to receive Jesus into their hearts. We support 4 missionaries in our church that are all over the place, 2 in Mexico, 1 in Bangladesh, 1 in Arkansas and we get monthly reports about the work they are doing...but never a report about hey I sat down with 2 folks this last month, and shared the gospel (actually talked about it.) and they got saved.

    I made a personal goal to share the gospel with at least one person and see them get saved. I have got to be apart of watching 4 people give their hearts to Jesus.

    My question is do you think we're missing it when it comes to missions in the SBC, and Missionary is just another "job" that we go to everyday?

    Along with traveling and speaking when I'm not doing that I work for a I.T. firm and I work with 3 atheists, and 2 of them have been to church with me. They have both said to me "if Christians were more like you, I don't think I'd be as 'pissed off at them' ". Now I'm not 100% what that means...I stand firm for the Gospel with each of them, and they know where I stand on issues...but yet they have been to church with me on several occasions. In fact one of them told me 2 days ago that "I think I need to make a change in my life...this stuff about Jesus is starting to make since"

    Why is it that other folks in church are not as excited and passionate about sharing the gospel? Stats show that 11% of FOLLOWERS OF JESUS share the gospel. That means 89% are NOT! What's the deal?

    The thing that really causes me concern is that alot of missionaries think that feeding people and giving them water is good enough. Without the Gospel a cup of water is nice, but it's worthless.


    OK... i've talked long enough...thoughts?
     
  2. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    I think this all depends on the missionaries and their job. A church planter is probably talking to people about the Gospel, but putting it in a letter when the person did not come to Christ could backfire if that person read the letter.

    As for having a goal of sharing with a person and see them coming to Christ, I would caution you. Have a goal of sharing the Gospel in love, but leave the results to Christ. Jeremiah, for instance, preached 40 years but we do not have one recorded convert from his preaching.
     
  3. calebreedgordon

    calebreedgordon
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    I agree with you. I'm not trying to make it sound "simple" or just some type of decisionism (sp) I'm simply stating that we are called to share the Gospel, and a majority of people in the church are not. I'm simply saying do something.
     
  4. calebreedgordon

    calebreedgordon
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    I simply just think that if the Bible says we are to be out talking about Jesus, we should be doing it. I work Christ into almost every conversation I have. I'm always inviting people to church, and as a result of that our church attendance has gone up. Why? Not because I'm awesome...simply because I think Jesus is awesome, and I believe what i'm talking about. Most folks talk about Jesus in a apprehensive way and lost folks don't believe that we believe what we are talking about. What would happen if each person in our churches got as fired up about Jesus as they do about the yearly super bowl party...what would our churches look like?
     
  5. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    Let me also note, that in cross cultural settings, it takes time to get to know the language and culture to be able to share the Gospel effectively and clearly. Some missionaries it takes several years to get to that point.
     
  6. calebreedgordon

    calebreedgordon
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    Yes, I agree...but let me ask you a question...if someone's house was on fire would you walk up and knock on the door, and get to know them before you told them they're house was on fire?

    Yes you should get to know people, but if you're only seeing that person once share Jesus with them, if it is someone you talk to daily....yes building a relationship is good.

    But I would say it all depends on your circumstance.
     
  7. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    It is not about getting to know someone, it is getting to understand the culture and context.

    Let me illustrate. My wife served for a time in Papua New Guinea and was going to go back full time when I asked her to marry me. She tells a story of some missionaries who went into a tribe and preached the Gospel in a trade language, baptized many people, and left. WIthout going into details, the people thought the river saved their sins. Those missionaries never understood their error but thought, and probably wrote in their next missionary letter, on how they led a tribe to Christ. Yet, the didn't think it was Christ who forgave, but water that washed away the sins of their mother (a deep syncretistic idea). The river was the object of their worship. What often results without them knowing, is that the tribe often syncretizes their belief into portions of what they are told. It is not conversion, but syncretism.

    I would encourage you to watch this two part video starting with this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xix47kpWmQ

    The method used is a method my wife was trained to use with tribal people. While I want people to come to Christ, but if you preach the Gospel in a way that confuses, the results are often tragic in most contexts.
     
  8. calebreedgordon

    calebreedgordon
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    Yes I am in total agreement with you. The Gospel must be given, people need to know they are lost without Christ, and Christ is the only saving property. I would not even discuss water until they understood who Jesus is, what sin was, and what it meant to repent.

    I'll check that video out.

    thanks for your input!
     
  9. mandym

    mandym
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    Where do you get this from?
     
  10. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Christ came to not only save the soul, but the whole individual, culture, etc.. . Christ came to save the WORLD.. To bring his Kingdom to the world..

    To many times we look at the "Great Commission" in Matt. without realizing that for centuries, the church also used Luke 4 as part of the Great commission.. You know, Jesus' mission statement.. where he came to save the oppressed...

    Promoting Justice in areas like Rwanda, and destroying oppression, like what happened with the Apartheid is just as important as setting down and sharing Christ one on one. That is the Whole Gospel.. What good is saving souls if the world isn't going to be impacted?

    Saving souls leads to changed lives which leads to changed families, which lead to changed communities... etc.. .

    For too long.. (like the last 150 yrs) the church has seperated evangelism with social Justice. Christ calls us to do both.. so missionaries that are working in foreign fields really have a hard job...

    2 movies that are great and will help you understand...

    1) The Mission
    2) Of Gods and Men
     
  11. calebreedgordon

    calebreedgordon
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    Charity Water (is a "Christian" mission group to get water to people who need it.)
    No gospel.

    alot of non profit "christian" groups are out feeding people, but they are not giving them the Gospel. very sad.
     
  12. calebreedgordon

    calebreedgordon
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    The word Social Justice spooks me. Typically this is a liberal approach to redistribution of wealth.
     
  13. tinytim

    tinytim
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    fair enough, It used to me also.. Until I looked back at the history of the church..

    Go back before the Modernist/fundamentalist divorce in Christendom...

    It was as common to do good, and promote Justice in the world under the name of Christ.. think of William Wilberforce, who stood against Slavery under the name of Christ... Both Social Justice and proclamation of the Word went hand in hand...

    Then came the modernists.. and the stance against the modernists.. out of this came the fundamentalist stance against Social Gospel.. This spooked many fundamentalists from doing Social Justice because they didn't want to be seen as a liberal.. .

    But what it did was only split the Gospel into two parts.... Showing people Christ loves them.. (Matt 24) and telling people Christ loves them.. (Matt 28).. Liberals chose showing over telling, conservatives chose telling over showing.. (i.e. evangelism programs like Fishers of Men, or other forms of Roman's Road, 4 Laws, etc)

    Today there is a move to put both aspects back into Mission work.. Telling and Showing.. the whole Gospel.. what Christ himself said his mission was all about in Luke 4...

    We are part of the Kingdom of God, and while we wait for the Kingdom to be brought to us by Christ, we must be living out Kingdom principles here on earth (think of the kingdom principles in the Sermon on Mount) That means, drilling wells in the name of Christ; fighting oppression of the poor, disenfranchised, minorities, women; feeding the hungry; promoting redemptive justice instead of vengeful justice; standing against bigotry, recognizing that all humans are equal, no matter what country they were born in. This includes the immigration fight, as well as the rights for other religions to exist and practice worship without interference (a historical Baptist Principle I might add)

    This also means learning people's cultures so that we may be able to get the MESSAGE of Christ to them in a way that will be most effective. (i.e.... don't talk to a Muslim and start off by condemning their religion, but recognize that they see Jesus (Isa) as a prophet from God.. and in the Quran, Christians (People of the way) are seen to be special people from God.. USE this fact, and build on it.. ) Meet people were they are.. a person doesn't want to hear about Christ if they are concerned about where they are getting their next drink of clean water... give them the water then share Christ with them.. .

    This may take yrs ... I don't even think Judson had immediate results.. missionaries must earn respect.. then share..
     
  14. mandym

    mandym
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    That is quite a bed time story. You could squeeze it in between Cinderella and Jack and the Bean Stalk.
     
  15. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Sorry you can't look at history and see it that way, because that's what makes our seminary unique.. we believe in a holistic ministry both to the soul and the world.. Dispensationalism destroyed holistic ministry because when Darby and Scofield came out with their fairy tale, the evangelical community shifted focus into "saving as many souls as possible because the world is going down like the titanic".. so the fundies developed a salesman approach to the gospel.. propagated by Billy Graham types where you run people over on the Roman Road, pray a prayer and declare them saved.. without telling them that Salvation saves the whole person, not just the soul...

    WE have taken Plato, and incorporated it into American dispensationalism, and it has destroyed the Gospel in America where now we have churches teaching half the Gospel..

    What do you do with Luke 4 , or Matt 24.. where Jesus plainly tells us that his mission is to free the opppressed, and for us to minister to the socially needy?

    Here is Palmer's mission statement.. which I stand behind 100%.. (Palmer, formerly Eastern Theological Seminary, is where I am getting my M.Div)..

    The Gospel is not just "Wham, bam, thank you mam" and move on to the next "Sinner".. I had enough of that heresy in the fundy camp.. The Gospel is the good news to the lost.. and the good news is that Jesus not only came to save the soul, but to save the world... through ushering in his kingdom, which he will do when he arrives again.. but we as Kingdom people, must live out Kingdom principles today.. .

    BTW, IF what I said about the history of the whole Gospel is a fairy tale, I have many, many good baptists at Palmer that beleive and teach the same thing....
     
  16. mandym

    mandym
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    I feed the drunk and hungry every day. We put three men in rehab who are now serving the Lord Faithfully. We carried food to a needy elderly couple today who will never darken the doors of the church. But none of that is "Social Justice". If you think that is what that is then I would encourage you to be more careful.

    I do not hold to a five minute presentation of the gospel. Having said that it is not necessary to revise history to do the right thing.
     
  17. Dempster

    Dempster
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    This is EXACTLY what I was thinking of when reading this thread. I studied it in seminary and then we had to write 12 "lessons" concerning how we would do chronological biblical storying.

    Yes, it sounds good to say that missionaries should just drive into a village and start preaching the Gospel within 5 minutes of getting there but it just isn't that simple.....well, not if you want the villagers to take you serious. A balancing act, for sure, and you have to look for opportunities but for the most part, these things don't happen overnight.

    Willliam Carey was in India for 6 1/2 years before he finally won his first convert.
     

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