reaching out...reaching in

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by bobbyd, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. bobbyd

    bobbyd
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    I'm not sure if i'm just looking for advice or if i'm venting here, so here i go.

    I have a couple of deacons here who have no problems saying, "knocking on doors just isn't my ministry". One of these men has also been saying for the last 2 months (at least) that we need to worry about our "own people", and then the evangelism will take place when lost people see how loving we are to one another.

    I have no idea how to get past or defeat this mindset. The big problem is that these 2 men speak for their holy huddle of the church...only expressing what the group says as a whole, or they are the ones that begin the thought process in them.

    Any clues?

    bobbyd
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    Hang in there brother, that attitude is in a lot of places. It will not be overcome in a couple days but will take endurance, patience and a lot of prayer. As I am sure you already know a Church should be doing both...reaching out and reaching in. If those 2 deacons don't feel they can be a part of reaching out, then put them in charge of reaching in, and get a group together who will reach out with you.
     
  3. USN2Pulpit

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    Lead them in evangelism...you win someone to Christ and disciple them within the church body. Then another and another. Sometimes, new converts are much better & more passionate workers than the "old guard."

    Patience though, it may take some time.
     
  4. gb93433

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    Mk. 2:22-27, "No one puts new wine into old wineskins ; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins." And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. The Pharisees were saying to Him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" And He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?" Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."
     
  5. gb93433

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    We are living in a very materialistic selfish world today. What you are experiencing is typical of the vast majority of churches.

    Jesus never led people to himself by just loving them. He spoke the gospel too.

    Stsistics show that pastors see their mission as evangelism while the congregation see the pastor as one who cares for them.

    I had three volunter state SBC workers in one church I pastored and they believed if they did FAITH and had a nice building people would come flying in the door. So I took a leap and put them in charge of recruiting people to do things their way. It was a big flop and they were humiliated. I continued to disciple people and the church grew around those "experts." Those experts had little to say after about one year.
     
  6. JohnB

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    I certainly believe in being evangelistic, and I go to an extremely evangelistic church. But that does not mean that everyone is wired to evangelize the same way. And not everyone is gifted as an evangelist. Maybe these deacons aren't. Identify those who are gifted and have them lead!

    Regarding methods, as an introvert, I wouldn't knock on doors if you paid me. A church can do Upward basketball, or VBS, or block parties, home groups, fall festivals, or bowling leagues etc etc etc. There are many other ways to get the message to unbelievers. We do an annual neighborhood canned food drive for the local shelter. And when we drop off the explanatory material to all the houses in the neighborhood, it included evangelistic material.

    And go ahead and knock on doors if you want. But don't judge another if they are not wired for that method.
     
  7. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    That's the biggest problem I see with many Christians; "If you don't witness/worship/sing/speak/give like I do, then you aren't being a good/productive/obedient/faithful follower of Christ."

    There is no allowance for different personality types if different from the majority.

    Like you, JohnB, I'm very much an introvert. I've made attempts at visiting (family deacon), cold calling for witnessing, and every one of these actions have been like pouring ice water over my body; in simple terms, I'm miserable.

    I used to feel guilty that I just was not doing what I should, but I finally realized that God made me the way I am for a reason, so now I just refuse to let the "super-spiritual" intimidate me anymore.

    If they aren't content to let me be me, then that's their problem.

    I do teach SS (adults 45-60), and I'm totally happy and confident in this role. Why God has gifted me thusly with no other "people" skills I don't know, but I'm totally at ease with this task; only place though!
     
  8. USN2Pulpit

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    ...but evangelism isn't just about "knocking on doors." There are many ways to spread the gospel. But regardless of our particular gifts, we all have a testimony of what God has done for us, and we bear the message of the gospel. How can we not bring ourselves to proclaim it?

    So whether we're introverted or loudmouthed, a "people person" or a loner, a visitation specialist or a Sunday school teacher, we must be prepared to testify as to the blessed hope we have through Christ Jesus.
     
  9. gb93433

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    If one looks at scripture there were many ways of evangelism even done by the same person. I believe we should be secure enough and equipped enough to share our raith at any time.

    Toooften think that evangelism is confrontational and attacking another. It is most often more listening than talking. The screamers and talkers seldom lead many to Christ. They just create a lot of noise and make people mad. It is most often a friend of another that leads one ot Christ.

    Knocking on doors can be done in such a way as to be sensitive to others. I learned from a man who was very goood at knocking on doors. Never once did I ever see him come with pretense and judgment. If he told people he was in the community trying to get to know people he did just that. Often if something came up then he would deal with it. Year after year people came to Christ because he showed them respect and was available to them. He is always busy doing funerals because of the people he meets in knocking on doors.

    When we listen people often open their hearts. But if we scream at them and judge them they will just want to get rid of you because of your lack of respect and you will be seen as a nut rather than as a genuine Christian.
     
  10. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Bobby

    What was your question?

    How do I make people go on visitation when they do not want to? How do I lead men to catch the vision? How do I lead the hurt and injured to follow Jesus while satan is attacking them?

    How do I get them to get what I get?

    A great leader leads even when the followers do not get it. He still leads through his people.

    Say, "Deacon Joe, let's meet for coffee and prayer time next tuesday at the diner. Would 6 am be ok, or would you rather I sleep in until 8 am?"

    Then ask, "Deacon Joe, 'Who can we pray for that is shut in and sick'?"

    Then ask, "Do you think we could go by and see them?"

    Would it be appropriate to ask the sick and shut in to tell you about their salvation experience? Who knows, you might be preaching their funeral in the future... Do you want to hear from their own words that they believed?

    I would reckon that once you thank some of the Deacons from the pulpit on a Sunday morning that it would be a lot easier to get them to go visiting ...

    Start with the 'ring-leaders' and the followers. Yes, that does sound like double duty and some work.
     
  11. JohnB

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    If visiting will be a requirement for all your deacons, make sure they are gifted with that personality.

    If knocking on strangers doors is a requirement for deacons, which it does not seem to be in the Bible, I would not agree to be a deacon. I am too introverted.

    Of course, visiting church members is reasonable to expect.

    A.W. Tozer loathed visiting people and made it a condition of taking his church in Chicago, that he would not have to. In fact, one time a parishioner was in the hospital and Tozer uncharacteristically dropped in to visit.
    When he saw Tozer, the man said to his wife "You didn't tell me I was that bad off!"
     
  12. PastorSBC1303

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    Tozer is the exception, not the rule. Being introverted is not an excuse. God still called us to go... I am living proof that God can take a young man who 10 years ago could not talk to anyone, and turn him into someone who will talk to anyone anytime.
     
  13. JohnB

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    That's cool PastorSBC1303 and I rejoice in what God did for you.
     
  14. Servent

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    PastorSBC1303,same here 6 years for me, someone from the church would come by to visit my wife when they get to the front door I would be out the back,now I go out every week.It's not a matter of wanting to or it being my thing, it's a matter of doing what the Lord told us to.
     
  15. Rookiepastor

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    Let me voice a couple of ideas here.

    I have no problem, knocking on doors, I have no problem talking with anyone. God has gifted me with that.

    For those who would not knock on a door to save a life, consider the following ideas for witnessing.

    I assume most of you know lost people, probably have em in your family.

    Spring is here and Summer is right around the corner, how about one or two Saturday afternoon or evenings a month, host a cook out at your home, invite your lost friends and nieghbors and a close to equal amount of church friends, let the lost see that church folks are ok, and this gives you an opportunity to share at the same time.

    Use common sense, no beer, wine, etc even from the lost folks, just explain your beliefs.

    Play contemporary christian music, praise songs are great, as the church folks usually start singing with them. I've seen doors open this way.

    I'm sure there are other methods that even shy people could use (ie: dropping off tracts)


    God Bless

    Bro. Fred
     
  16. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    PastorSBC1303

    Can we go one step further and say that Tozer's example was not one that we should follow?

    IMHO if the Gosple does not make us WANT to go out and witness ... then has the Gospel really changed us?
     
  17. SaggyWoman

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    Deacons are servants of the church and should be taking care of the needs of the people in the church. Such as with the widows.
     

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