Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Simple Evangelistic Tool

Neil Cole shared this simple evangelistic tool in his book Organic Leadership:

Based on words of John in his gospel, "therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life In his name" John 20:30-31 (From Blueprint by Jaeson Ma) 
Organic Leadership, p 264

The 7 signs can be applied to any size group

1. The turning of water to wine (2:1-12)

2. The healing of the royal official's son (4:46-54)
3. The healing of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda (5:1-17)
4. The feeding of the five thousand (6:1-14)
5. The walking on water (6:15-25)
6. The healing of the man born blind (9:1-41)
7. The raising of Lazarus (11:1-46)

The way it works is that each week the person(s) you are sharing with are encouraged to read one of the stories once every day. So in the first week, they read the story of Jesus turning water into wine every day. At the end of the week when you get together and read the passage, you ask 4 simple questions and have a discussion about the passage. The questions are:

1. What does this story say to you about human nature?
2. What does this story say to you about the person of Jesus?
3. In what ways does this story affect your way of thinking about your own life?
4. With whom should you share this story?

Neil writes, "every organic church I have ever started began going weekly through these stories and simply answering the questions. I have yet to through this process and not have someone commit to following Christ. I am not guaranteeing you the same results, but we can take the Holy Spirits word for it that these stories will help people believe in Jesus." p 265

I encourage you to try it!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Racism takes a Body-blow!

While I am not up on SBC priorities and agendas, this is definitely an encouraging step! Way to go SBC! The Body of Christ shows up big here. I don't think we can under-estimate how big this is. 

Conventional Wisdom Leads SBC to New Chief

Seven years ago, the idea of heading up the nation's largest Protestant denomination probably never crossed Dr. Fred Luter's mind. At the time, the New Orleans pastor was literally trying to keep his head above water after Hurricane Katrina flooded his 8,000-person mega church. Like so many in Louisiana, the popular African-American minister emerged from the disaster even stronger. Rev. Luter believes the same is true of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) he now leads.

Like Dr. Luter, the SBC has weathered its share of storms. For years, allegations of racism hung over the Convention, leading the SBC to apologize in 1995 for its 19th century roots. That proved to be a turning point for the denomination, opening the doors to real reconciliation with the black community--a reconciliation that culminated in yesterday's election of Rev. Luter, the first African-American President of the SBC. With tears streaming down his face, Rev. Luter accepted the position to prolonged cheering and applause. Darren Martin, a minister from Luter's church, couldn't contain his emotion, saying that this was "a true sign that... change from within has really come. Christ is at the center of the SBC."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Reagan: Tear Down This Wall

by Gary Bauer

"Twenty-five years ago today, President Ronald Reagan delivered one of the defining speeches of his presidency. He traveled to Berlin, Germany, which was at that time a city divided by one of Soviet Communism's most visibly oppressive symbols -- the Berlin Wall.

Rather than seeking accommodation with the Soviets or rationalizing away the evil that wall represented, Ronald Reagan took a stand for freedom and boldly declared, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

That was the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. Two years later, the Berlin Wall came down, and two years after that the Soviet Union collapsed as well.

Click here to watch that historic speech by one of America's historic leaders." or look below 
'via Blog this'


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Monday, June 04, 2012

Why I follow-back on Twitter

Editor: I just added in comments a link to a great counter to my post here. It's very helpful and shows the tension that exists using social media. I recommend you check out Shaun King's post. DG


When I first got into Twitter, I did whatever I could to get followers. After all, I want to influence people for good. The more the better was my thinking. In hindsight, I probably focused way too much on building a following. If I'm honest, it was more about my ego than I'd like to admit.

Since then I've focused more on being someone people want to follow. Here are some things I try to do/not do so that I'm seen as worthy of your follow...

* Tweet interesting and helpful content (I acknowledge that my focus tends to be in the area of my work (the Church) and Apple related technology).

* Tweet original content. Re-tweeting is good but something I've come up with is fresh and once in a while pretty decent.

* Re-tweet good tweets that not only benefit other followers but help the source out with a little more exposure. I especially like to help things go viral when they are helpful in impacting our world positively.

* Interact with those who tweet and retweet. It's called social media for a reason.

* Ask for very little from my followers.

At first, I didn't want to follow very many people - even if they followed me. I just wanted to follow who I wanted to follow. But what I've found is that I was missing out. Granted, I don't have 5,000 followers and I'm never inundated with direct messages or replies. But what I'm finding is that even folks I wouldn't have chosen to follow based on their bio or current tweets not only tweet interesting stuff--they often are the ones who retweet my stuff.

Here's the biggie for me: Those who don't follow back are saying that they either can't or don't want to connect with you beyond what you can do for them.

There are legitimate issues here like huge numbers of followers can really take up a lot of time if you take the time to respond to each one. And if you have a huge following, you probably are getting a lot of personal requests which gets bothersome. So I get that in theory, if not in practice.

But for those with fewer than 1,000 followers, it's different. I can relate to you a bit more. (I currently have 1,800+ followers and people I follow) Perhaps you are missing out like I was. I want to encourage you to try following more people who choose to follow you.

Now decide for yourself if you want to follow the "expert" in social media or the corporate twitter for coffeebeansRus. But remember: there is a person (paid or not) behind every twitter account who not only has the potential to retweet you...but who you have the opportunity to influence for good. You can still connect with them!

So I hope that you'll consider following more people. I believe you'll see one other result...more followers. I sure did!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Civil Disobedience over Religious Freedom?

I still remember the hours I spend writing a term paper on civil disobedience. It was a challenging piece that stirred my soul as I read about those who practiced it as part of the civil rights movement. People like Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I think this is extraordinary action on the part of the Catholic Church. I want to encourage us to consider how we might respond as well. We dare not take our current religious freedoms for granted. DG

This came from Gary Bauer's daily email (details below):

Bishops Prepare For Civil Disobedience

From June 21st to July 4th, Catholic churches across America will take part in the "Fortnight for Freedom," described as "special period of prayer, study … and public action [to] emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty." Church leaders are taking this extraordinary action in order to draw attention to "concerns over threats to religious freedom."

And the bishops are preparing to go beyond prayer and protests. Taking their inspiration from the civil rights movement, Catholic leaders are warning their congregations that civil disobedience may be next. In a bulletin prepared for nationwide distribution next month, church leaders write:

"Some unjust laws impose such injustices on individuals and organizations that disobeying the laws may be justified. Every effort must be made to repeal them. When fundamental human goods, such as the right of conscience, are at stake, we may need to witness to the truth by resisting the law and incurring its penalties. …This is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide [certain medical services] even when it violates our consciences."