Reaching Millennials

Honesty forces me to admit that I am not an expert when it comes to understanding and ministering to millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996). But I will say that it is my desire to reach people of every age with the good news of Jesus Christ, and that certainly includes young adults (millennials).

Just the other day I was reading through “Our Secular Age:  Ten Years of Reading and Applying Charles Taylor” when I stumbled onto a chapter that discusses the ways that we can reach millennials. The chapter was written by Derek Rishmawy , and I want to take just a moment to summarize the argument that he is making.

So, how do we minister to millennials?

  • Shun despair and nostalgia
    • The church needs to be careful about acting as if we are a people without hope. This is a problem that I see frequently on social media. Anger, rage, hopelessness, and cynicism, are all too common. It is clear to many of us that our culture is changing and we are not quite sure what to do or how to respond. The problem is that we won’t make much difference in this world if we, as Russell Moore puts it, “are longing for Mayberry.” We need to know that when we give into cultural despair or continually pine for the good ole days, we are revealing that we have lost sight of the good news of Jesus Christ. There is nothing attractive to millennials, or anyone else for that matter, when the church acts as if God is off his throne and clueless about what to do with this lost world.
  • Preach apologetically
    • The argument that Rishmawy seems to be making is that we live in a day and time when people are actually open to having “spiritual” conversations. This means that there is a good opportunity to make a case for the legitimacy of Christianity! We need to do a better job of explaining how the gospel answers the deepest needs and longings of the human heart. This world and everyday life have meaning BECAUSE God is real, and he desires to be in relationship with his creation.

“Even if we can’t answer every question, we can begin to show them there is a robust, intellectual tradition of Christian reflection on these issues beyond the half-remembered lessons they received in Sunday School.” -Our Secular Age

  • Make space for Thomas
    • This might be the one that stands out to me the most. Millennials are at an age, a stage of life, where they have lots of questions about faith and the meaning of life. The mistake the church makes many times is failing to allow people to ask tough questions. Instead, we throw out cliches and pat answers that don’t ring true, or we make it seem like it is a bad thing to ask questions in the first questioning christianityplace. This is one reason that in September we are going to do a sermon series entitled, “Questioning Christianity: Dealing With Tough Questions About the Faith”  (Click the link and then scroll down just a bit and you will see it).

Love to hear your thoughts, ideas, or questions!

From Spectators to Disciple Makers

I have mentioned before that I, and our Youth Pastor, are a part of an EFCA Transformational Cohort that is all about discipleship. You can learn more about it HERE. The Cohort meets 3 times in one year with a number of coaching calls along the way. The Discipleship Cohort is basically helping us to develop a strategic plan for how we are to go about making disciples here at New Life Church.

The last words of Jesus Christ make it clear what the mission of the church is, make disciples!

Over the past few weeks I was kicking around the idea of teaching a spiritual gifts class. But I had this nagging thought in the back of my head, “what is the connection between spiritual gifts and our mission which is to make disciples who make disciples”?

One of the challenges we all face in leadership is graciously teaching our people that church is much more than attending a worship service on a Sunday morning. As a follower of Jesus Christ we are called out of our comfort zone and given the task of making disciples. Discipleship is the process whereby we go from being a spectator to becoming a disciple maker. Spiritual gifts are given to the church so that we can build up the church and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

So, at this point I have decided to go ahead and teach a class on spiritual gifts but to show specifically how our spiritual gifts help the church to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28).

Because I have failed to find anything that makes the connection between spiritual gifts and the Great Commission in a meaningful way I am creating my own curriculum. Here is a rough draft. Some of you may be thinking that there will need to be a lot more than a class if you want to develop a flourishing culture of discipleship in the church. I agree! Chime in and share your thoughts!

From Spectators to Disciple Makers

Using Our Spiritual Gifts to Fulfill the Great Commission

“But making disciples is far more than a program. It is the mission of our lives. It defines us. A disciple is a disciple maker.”  -Francis Chan, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples

Week 1-Jan 21

  • Are We Spectators or Disciple Makers?
    • The American church is in consumer mode
    • The remedy to consumerism in the church is the gospel (Matthew 10:37-39; Matthew 16:24-26)
    • What is the mission of New Life Church? (Matthew 28:16-20)
    • What is the connection between spiritual gifts and making disciples? (1 Corinthians 14:12/Ephesians 4:11-16)

Week 2-Jan 28

  • Exploring Spiritual Gifts
    • What are the spiritual gifts? (Romans 12/Ephesians 4/1 Corinthians 12)
    • What does the EFCA believe about “miraculous gifts”?
    • What is the best way to determine and develop your spiritual gifts?
    • Ten important truths about spiritual gifts

Week 3-Feb 4

  • Investing Your Spiritual Gifts and Steps to Take to Make Disciples
    • Being good stewards of the gifts God has given us (Matthew 25:14-30)
    • Different ways spiritual gifts can be used at New Life and in the world
    • Practical steps to take to begin making disciples
    • Pitfalls to be on guard against as we think about spiritual gifts

How to Read the Bible

As a pastor I work hard to stay focused on the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ. One of the most important ways for a person to become more like Christ is to read and study the Bible. I have noticed that many times in the church we provide sermons, classes, and small groups but we fail to actually teach people how to study the Bible for themselves. 

In our Adult Sunday School class we are about half way through a study called “Six Steps To Reading Your Bible” by Matthias Media. This study is very user friendly and I would recommend it to you.

Beginning with the third session the course introduces a very simple method for reading and studying the Bible.

The acronym they use to help you remember how to read the Bible is COMA.

CONTEXT

  • What sort of writing is this? (A letter, a narrative, a poem?)
  • What happened right before the passage you are now reading?
  • What do you know about the author, audience, and situation that prompted the writing of the book?

OBSERVATION

  • What do you learn about the main characters in this section? How does the author describe them? How do they describe themselves?
  • What is the main point or points?
  • What are the key words? What words or ideas are repeated?

MEANING

  • How does this text relate to other parts of the book?
  • How does this passage relate to Jesus?
  • What does this teach us about God?
  • How could we sum up the meaning of this passage in our own words?

APPLICATION

  • How does this passage challenge (or confirm) my understanding?
  • Is there some attitude I need to change?
  • How does this passage call on me to change the way I live?

Instead of randomly reading the Bible I believe this is a simple process that will help Christians dig into the Word of God and apply it to their lives with the result that they are being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

Discipleship Cohort Through The EFCA

Our mission at New Life Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus made the mission for the church pretty clear in Matthew 28 when he left these marching orders, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

I am excited that the denomination that our church is a part of, Evangelical Free Church of America, is working to develop a culture of discipleship within their churches.

This year I, and our Youth Pastor, are going to begin an EFCA Transformational Cohort that is all about discipleship.

Here are the details:

BUILDING A DISCIPLEMAKING CULTURE – LED BY DAVE RHODES AND SHANE STACEY

Clarify and design your church’s unique disciplemaking language, vision, practices and strategy in your local context. In this cohort, you will:

Assess and evaluate your current disciplemaking culture.

Gain access to 18 different training exercises to use with your leadership team that will move you beyond information to aligned implementation and intentional application.

Develop your own transferable tool kit for training others.

Create a 5-year disciplemaking vision and executable plan for your church.
The homework for this cohort involves leading your team through exercises to help you build out your discipline culture.

I am looking forward to what God is going to teach us and how we can have a greater impact here in South Dakota when it comes to making disciples of Jesus Christ!

If Jesus Were An American Preacher

One of the things I am currently working on is writing a curriculum to help people make disciples of Jesus Christ. I would like to have it available this fall for the wonderful people of New Life Church.

As I have been reading and studying this summer about discipleship I came across this convicting excerpt from “Growing Up: How To Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples” by Robbie Gallaty.

Greatest Show On Earth

Between 22 and 10 B.C., Herod constructed a mammoth amphitheater in the seacoast town of Caesarea, less than thirty miles from the birthplace from Christ. Supported by granite columns, this magnificent structure was the first of its kind, providing seating for 3,500 to 4,000 people. While we cannot be sure, most historians assume that Jesus visited this town. Archaeologists are certain that He at lest knew of Herod’s amphitheater.

If Jesus has been an American preacher, He would surely have seen a glowing opportunity presented by this colossal venue. The local media would have advertised the event as, “The Greatest Sermon on Earth. The lame will walk, the blind will see, the deaf will hear, and the dead will rise. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, kids of all ages, come and meet God in the flesh-Jesus Christ.” Jesus would have sent his disciples through the town with flyers in hand and instructions to place them on every chariot they could find. It would have been billed as the biggest revival the world had ever seen. If Jesus had carried out ministry like many of our pastors today, He would have packed the place with people every night for weeks. Cards would have been signed, hands would have been raised, and people would have walked the aisles.

But Jesus was not an American Pastor. Although He spoke to large crowds on occasion, ministering to the masses was not Jesus’ first priority. His foremost concern was twelve men. Yes, He spent his life training a dozen men to obey His commands. P. 100-101

I am convinced that there is a discipleship gap in many churches today. Can I speak plainly with you? We are OK with preaching and programs but we stink at messy, relational discipleship.

How can we grow as churches when it comes to intentional, relational discipleship?

Who has God placed in your life for you to build a relationship with and disciple?

Photo taken from wideopencountrydotcom

 

 

Becoming a Disciplemaker

Picture taken from Jrbriggs.com
Picture taken from Jrbriggs.com

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WHERE DO I BEGIN WHEN IT COMES TO BEING A DISCIPLE MAKER?

We have been talking quite a bit about being a disciple and making disciples here at New Life. Few of us would argue against the idea of making disciples because we know that Jesus commanded it in the Great Commission of Matthew 28. But you might have questions. You might wonder what it looks like to begin making disciples. Where do you begin? We can’t expect a train to run as it should unless the tracks have first been put in place. This brief paper is an attempt to put down a track on which discipleship travels throughout our church, the city of Watertown and around the world.

RECOGNIZE THAT THERE IS A DISCIPLESHIP PROBLEM

We have been busy doing church in America but in too many instances that does not mean that we have been good about making disciples.

“Why is it that we see so little disciple making taking place in the church today? Do we really believe that Jesus told His early followers to make disciples but wants the twenty-first-century church to do something different? None of us would claim to believe this, but somehow we have created a church culture where the paid ministers do the “ministry,” and the rest of us show up, put some money in the plate, and leave feeling inspired or “fed.” We have moved so far away from Jesus’s command that many Christians don’t have a frame of reference for what disciple making looks like.” –Francis Chan, “Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples”

RECOGNIZE THAT EACH ONE OF US HAS BEEN CALLED TO MAKE DISCIPLES

The phrase “make disciples” in Matthew 28 is in the imperative which means that Jesus is highlighting the importance of it. The short and sweet of it is this; every Christian is commanded by Jesus Christ to go and make disciples who make disciples. In fact, making disciples is a primary characteristic of someone who claims to know Christ.

BEGIN AT HOME

If you are a parent the place to begin making disciples is in your home. It is easy to think that if we get our kids in Children’s Ministry, Youth Group or a Christian School that we have done our job of developing our kids into disciples. The truth is that we, moms and dads, are the primary disciple makers of our kids.

Here is a great article that will encourage you when it comes to making disciples in your home: “Finding Christ in the Family Room” by Luna Simms.

IN THE CHURCH

The main mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. All of our programs, services, events need to function in such a way that people are becoming more like Christ. The American Evangelical church has become way too dependent on programs when it comes to making disciples. Discipleship (the way that Jesus did it) requires that relationships are developed. So if you don’t feel qualified to run a big ministry or lead a program, relax, you are still qualified to make disciples of Jesus Christ! Here is an excerpt from a wonderful book called “The Trellis and the Vine” that I hope challenges, encourages and inspires you when it comes to the Great Commission.

Imagine a reasonably solid Christian said to you after church one Sunday morning, “Look, I’d like to get more involved here and make a contribution, but I just feel like there’s nothing for me to do. I’m not on the ‘inside’; I don’t get asked to be on committees or lead Bible studies. What can I do?

What would you immediately think or say? Would you start thinking of some event or program about to start that they could help with? Some job that needed doing? Some ministry that they could join or support?

This is how we are accustomed to thinking about the involvement of church members in congregational life-in terms of jobs and roles: usher, Bible study leader, Sunday school teacher, treasurer, elder, musician, song leader, money counter, and so on. The implication of this way of thinking for congregation members is clear: if all the jobs and roles are taken, then there’s really nothing for me to do in this church. I’m reduced to being a passenger. I’ll just wait until I’m asked to ‘do something’. The implication for the pastoral staff is similar: getting people involved and active means finding a job for them to do. In fact, the church growth gurus say that giving someone a job to do within the first six months of their joining a church is vital for them to feel like they belong. However, if the real work of God is people work-the prayerful speaking of his word by one person to another-then the jobs are never all taken. The opportunities for Christians to minister personally to others are limitless.

So you could pause, and reply to your friend, “See that guy sitting over there on his own? That’s Julie’s husband. He’s on the fringe of things here; in fact, I’m not really sure whether he’s crossed the line yet and become a Christian. How about I introduce you to him, and you arrange to have breakfast with him once a fortnight and read the Bible together? Or see that couple over there? They are both fairly recently converted, and really in need of encouragement and mentoring. Why don’t you and your wife have them over, to get to know them, and read and pray together once a month? And if you still have time, and want to contribute some more, start praying for the people on your street, and then invite them all to a barbecue at your place. That’s the first step towards talking with them about the gospel, or inviting them along to something.

Of course, there’s every chance that the person will then say, “But I don’t know how to do those things! I’m not sure I’d know what to say or where to start.”

To which you reply, “Oh that’s okay. Let’s start meeting together and I can train you.”

DOES DISCIPLESHIP ALWAYS NEED TO BE SUPER FORMAL AND STRUCTURED?

Absolutely not. There will be times when God leads you to come alongside someone in the church and meet formally for an extended period of time to teach them the basics of the Christian faith. Yet we also need to see all of our interactions with people as a discipleship opportunity. If we remember that discipleship is helping someone to become more like Jesus Christ then we will recognize that there are discipling opportunities all around us in everyday life. Asking a Jr High student about school and how you can pray for them is discipleship. Encouraging a grieving friend about the loss of a loved one is discipleship. Inviting a new couple over to your house for a meal and getting to know them and their spiritual journey is discipleship. To think more about this read “Everyday Discipleship” by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis.

“The “show Business,” which is so incorporated into our Christian view of work today, has caused us to drift far from our Lord’s conception of discipleship. it is instilled in us to think we have to do exceptional things for God; we do not. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, surrounded by sordid sinners. That is not learned in 5 minutes.” -Oswald Chambers

ARE THERE SOME GOOD RESOURCES IF I WANT TO DISCIPLE SOMEONE FORMALLY?

  • Reading through a book of the Bible and praying is always a great place to help someone grow in their relationship with Christ. As you read Scripture together all kinds of practical questions will come up and give you the opportunity to share the truth of God’s Word in love.
  • Downlinebuilder.com. It is an online resource that allows you the freedom to pick and choose biblical topics to discuss. It also encourages you to do more than just study but to be intentional about building a solid relationship with the person you are discipling.

OUTSIDE THE CHURCH

When we look at the life of Jesus we recognize immediately that he did not start making disciples with people inside the church. In Matthew 4 Jesus calls his first disciples (Simon Peter and Andrew) as they were catching fish by the Sea of Galilee. These men were not Christians yet Jesus opened up his life and spent a great deal of time with them so that they could learn what it means to be his disciple. We need to be watching for those people that God strategically brings into our life so that we can love, encourage and build relationships with them.

The first step with a person we meet outside the church is not to ask them if they want to “do a Bible study.” The first step is to get to know them. Build a relationship with them. This person is not a project, they are the lost sons and daughters of God.

THE IMPORANCE OF LIFE GROUPS

Community is the greenhouse whereby discipleship flourishes. There are many important things we can do on our own when it comes to helping a person become a disciple of Jesus Christ. Yet, our discipleship of others will never be what God intended if we are not introducing them to the community of Jesus Christ. A Christian who is not in community is in fact an oxymoron (Ephesians 2:19). One of the things we must do is encourage those we are discipling is to get involved in a Life Group so that they can experience the full body of Jesus Christ.

IN CONCLUSON

If we want to see the gospel move beyond our church walls, into the city of Watertown and around the world each one of us must personally own the responsibility for the Great Commission. “The successful expansion of any movement is in direct proportion to its ability to mobilize and involve its total membership in constant propagation of its beliefs, its purposes, and its philosophy.” –R. Kenneth Strachan

ARE THERE OTHER RESOURCES THAT WILL HELP ME GROW AS A DISCIPLE?

The Bible

The Trellis and the Vine by Collin Marshall and Tony Payne

Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

Gospel Centered Discipleship Website (Jonathan Dodson)

Follow Me by David Platt

Real-Life Discipleship by Jim Putman

The Master Plan of Discipleship by Robert Coleman

Looking to do something big for God?

 

I was chatting on the phone this week with Marty Sweeney, Executive Director of Matthias Media Ministries, about working to develop a culture of discipleship within the local church. One of their resources for helping discipleship to flourish is called “The Course of Your Life.” During the conversation Marty asked me to look at page 126…

We are often tempted to think that the next big thing God wants us to do involves a grand plan of some sort; that if we’re going to contribute to the work of his kingdom it will mean signing up for something at the church, or putting on an impressive event that you invite lots of people to. And these things are all good.

But truthfully, the next step is a person-because that’s how it happens: one person at a time. That’s what we talked about during the intensive. The next step is for you to prayerfully consider who you could shepherd towards maturity in Christ by prayerfully speaking God’s Word to them in some way.

I do believe that many of us are missing what God wants to do in and through us because we are waiting for the next big thing to be involved with. What if the next big thing was a person that God has already brought into your life (home, church, neighborhood, workplace, school)?

Deep Before Wide: A Vision for Returning Discipleship to the Church-Randy Pope

Deep Before Wide: A Vision for Returning Discipleship to the Church from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

The Most Important Thing You Bring To Your Small Group/Missional Community

One of the convictions that unites the GCM Collective in South Jersey is the conviction that a person cannot become a fully-formed disciple of Jesus without being in a gospel-centered community on mission.

The key to this statement, as I understand it, is the phrase “fully-formed”. Sure, a person can experience some measure of spiritual growth as a disciple apart from a community devoted to Jesus’ mission of making disciples. But a fully-formed disciple is one who is learning to obey everything Jesus has commanded (Matthew 28:19).

Since so many of Jesus’ commands require community (such as, “Love one another,” or “forgive one another,” or, “Get the log out of your eye before you examine the speck in your brother’s eye”), then to be fully obedient to Jesus, we need community. And since He also commands that we go into all nations preaching the gospel, baptizing new believers and teaching them to obey all He has commanded, and living a life that commends Him to a hostile world, then a disciple who isn’t devoted to that mission surely cannot be considered “fully-formed.”

So I think it’s helpful to say that a disciple cannot be fully-formed apart from being in a gospel-centered community which is on mission together to make disciples of Jesus. In all the talk about the importance of community and mission, though, I wonder if something very important and seemingly-obvious gets neglected. So when I talk to others about the need for gospel-centered community on mission, one thing I like to stress is:

A gospel-centered community on mission will experience true discipleship only to the degree that the individual Christians who make up that community are personally experiencing vital, soul-enriching communion with God on their own.

As vital as deep community is to healthy discipleship, discipleship won’t happen just by “doing life” together, engaging in everyday rhythms. Throw some unbelievers in the mix, and it doesn’t automatically become mission. If the Christians in this community aren’t personally experiencing fellowship with God, there will be no Christ to bring into those everyday rhythms. And if there’s no Christ, then surely there is no discipleship. As disciples of Jesus, the life we now live is a life of faith in Christ (Galatians 2:20), and that faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).

We walk the path of discipleship in the same way that we initially get onto that path: through faith in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7). If we’re not hearing from Him, as He is revealed in the Word, then we won’t be growing, nor will we be able to help anyone else to grow, which is what discipleship is all about: growing up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ so that every single aspect of life is joyfully submitted to His rule and reign. And that happens as we speak the truth (i.e., biblical truth, especially gospel truth) in love to one another (see Ephesians 4:11-16).

So if there is no intake of truth, then there surely will be no speaking of truth to others, and thus no true mission will actually happen. But when we are experiencing vital, soul-enriching, communion with God, hearing from Him with faith, then discipleship is as simple as sharing with others what God is saying to us personally.

For instance, in re-reading Tim Chester’s wonderful book You Can Change, I was struck by a simple statement Chester made in ministering to a man who was dealing with panic attacks: “Not what if, but what is, and what is, is that God is in control.” I was struck by this, because the absence of peace in my life (a confidence and rest in the wisdom and control and goodness of God, rather than my own) was something the Spirit had been pressing on me in recent weeks.

I seized upon this statement, and tried to make it more specific by inserting particular biblical truths to convey, “what is”. Not “What if?”, but “What is?” And what is, is that:

• The LORD, who is my good shepherd, is pursuing me with goodness and mercy today, and all the days of my life (Psalm 23:1, 6)
• God rejoices to do me good with all of His heart and all of His soul (Jeremiah 32:40-41)
• Jesus, who loved me and gave Himself for me, is even now upholding the universe by the word of His power (Galatians 2:20, Hebrews 1:3)
• My present sufferings aren’t worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to me as an heir of God, and a co-heir with Jesus Christ Himself (Romans 8:17-18)

You get the idea. In the past few weeks since reading this, I am experiencing the transforming power of the Spirit, bringing me back to liberating truths of who God is and what He has promised me because of Jesus. And inevitably, as I do life with other believers, I am sharing with them what God has been showing me, telling them about the “What if/What is” lesson I am learning, and telling them the specific truths and promises that He is using to set me free from fear, anxiety, discouragement, etc. In doing that, I am taking my experience of growth and using it to engage in the discipleship of others. I am speaking truth in love to others, because I am hearing truth from my God, Savior, Shepherd, King and Redeemer.

That is, as I understand it, the mission I’m called to: seek the Lord with everything in me, marinate my soul in the rich truths of God’s Word, and then share with others (both believer and unbeliever) what God is showing to me as I commune with Him.

So, yes, you cannot faithfully obey everything Jesus has commanded (and thus, be a fully-formed disciple of Jesus) without involvement in a gospel-centered community on mission. Know this, and live this; don’t deceive yourself into thinking you’re a healthy disciple of Jesus just because you know a lot of truth about Him. But know this as well: you can’t contribute to the health of a gospel-centered community on mission if you’re not personally seeking fellowship and communion with God in your own life.

As you do that – as the Creator of heaven and earth meets you day after day and speaks to you from the pages of Scripture – share that experience with others who you’re doing life with, and you’ll be living out His mission of making disciples. The mission of disciple-making is more than this; but it’s surely not less.

This was a guest post by Larry Lazarus; pastor at Joy Community Fellowship in Pitman, New Jersey.

I want to get more involved with the church but it feels like there is nothing for me to do…

I love this excerpt from The Trellis and the Vine. It’s a great way to get people focused on what matters most; making disciples of Jesus Christ.

Imagine a reasonably solid Christian said to you after church one Sunday morning, “Look, I’d like to get more involved here and make a contribution, but I just feel like there’s nothing for me to do. I’m not on the ‘inside’; I don’t get asked to be on committees or lead Bible studies. What can I do?

What would you immediately think or say? Would you start thinking of some event or program about to start that they could help with? Some job that needed doing? Some ministry that they could join or support?

TrellisThis is how we are use to thinking about the involvement of church members in congregational life-in terms of jobs and roles: usher, Bible study leader, Sunday school teacher, treasurer, elder, musician, song leader, money counter, and so on. The implication of this way of thinking for congregation members is clear: if all the jobs and roles are taken, then there’s really nothing for me to do in this church. I’m reduced to being a passenger. I’ll just wait until I’m asked to ‘do something’. The implication for the pastoral staff is similar: getting people involved and active means finding a job for them to do. In fact, the church growth gurus say that giving someone a job to do within the first six months of their joining a church is vital for them to feel like they belong. However, if the real work of God is people work-the prayerful speaking of his word by one person to another-then the jobs are never all taken. The opportunities for Christians to minister personally to others are limitless.

So you could pause, and reply to your friend, “See that guy sitting over there on his own? That’s Julie’s husband. He’s on the fringe of things here; in fact, I’m not really sure whether he’s crossed the line yet and become a Christian. How about I introduce you to him, and you arrange to have breakfast with him once a fortnight and read the Bible together? Or see that couple over there? They are both fairly recently converted, and really in need of encouragement and mentoring. Why don’t you and your wife have them over, to get to know them, and read and pray together once a month? And if you still have time, and want to contribute some more, start praying for the people on your street, and then invite them all to a barbecue at your place. That’s the first step towards talking with them about the gospel, or inviting them along to something.

Of course, there’s every chance that the person will then say, “But I don’t know how to do those things! I’m not sure I’d know what to say or where to start.”

To which you reply, “Oh that’s okay. Let’s start meeting together and I can train you.”

*Page 26-27 “The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-Shift That Changes Everything” by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne.

Love to hear your thoughts concerning this quote!