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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Your story reveals the glory of God

by Jeff Hegstrom
One of the things I really enjoy about serving with Relevant Ministry is working with our interns.  As part of our leadership training, we spend 40 weeks with our interns going through a leadership curriculum to equip them to be the leaders God has called them to be and prepare them for life and future ministry opportunities God may lead them into.  

Although I enjoy teaching all of the sessions, I particularly enjoy leading our session on learning to tell your God Story.  Together, we spend a week writing and mapping out the key events in our lives and discovering the life lessons in them.  Then we look at how God has used every event and circumstance to shape and mold us into the people we are today. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An open door

by Brad Houchin
Last week, I was able to spend two days in Hattiesburg, MS serving families who have been greatly affected by the tornado that hit the city on February 10. The path of destruction left behind by this storm will forever change the lives of many families. It will take months and even years for parts of the city to be rebuilt. 

A storm like this creates a large physical need for response. At one point during the day, I stopped working to look down the road at all the volunteers serving in and out of so many yards and homes. Many were carrying food and water to families and other volunteers. The sounds of chainsaws cutting trees off of cars and homes, blue tarps being nailed to roofs to cover holes, raking and clearing debris from yards, and crews completely emptying some homes of all of the contents and hauling them to the side of the road for trash. I noticed church vans from all over Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida and Missouri. I was simply in awe of God’s Church as it was responding relevantly to the needs of this community.

A relevant response to a need opens the door for evangelism.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Friendship evangelism

by Nelson Roth
In the early years of my ministry, my evangelism experiences placed an emphasis on the “go” of “making disciples”.  Evangelism was winning souls, that meant handing out tracts, talking to strangers, and presenting what we called the Romans road.  The process usually started out with a question like - “If you were to die today, do you know where you would spend eternity?”

God in many cases blessed and used this method.  There were new converts that were baptized who then truly continued to follow Christ.  There were also many who prayed a prayer and as far as I know, that was it.  I never saw them again.  I’m sure that it was also possible that there were others who felt offended because of the approach, turned off, and as a result missed the love and grace that God wanted them to experience.

Then it happened, our evangelism world was rocked.  We started to hear about “friendship evangelism”.  It’s actually funny now that this approach seemed so radical then.  “What? Take the time to make friends?”  I thought.  I actually resisted with the justification that, “Jesus is coming back and making this important decision is urgent for people!”

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Commissioned to go

by Brad Houchin
What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear the word evangelism? Do you get excited and pumped up about the opportunity to share Christ with others? Maybe you get somewhat nervous or even a little frightful at the thought of having to share your faith with someone?

Why does it seem that evangelism comes so easy for some and they were made for it; and for others, it can be as nerve racking or frightening as going to the dentist, or standing on the edge of a steep cliff looking down? If you're like me, you instantly think of evangelism as standing on the street corner or going door to door in a neighborhood to knock on doors to tell people about Jesus. That thought, quite honestly, can cause me to freak out! Yet, I have come to learn over time, that I have completely missed the mark on what evangelism is and that God has not only called me; but, he has also equipped me for evangelism and it does not mean that I have to stand on a street corner or knock on peoples doors.