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Presentation on theme: " Fishing A neighbor noticed an old farmer fishing in a tub of water in his back yard. Out of curiosity he came over and asked the farmer,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Fishing A neighbor noticed an old farmer fishing in a tub of water in his back yard. Out of curiosity he came over and asked the farmer, “Man, there aren't any fish in that tub, why are you wasting your time like that?" "Yeah," the farmer replied, “I know there ain't no fish in there, but it’s just so powerful convenient to fish this way." -– Source unknown

3 The DNA of Evangelism in Emerging Culture

4 1. An Inconvenient Culture

5 Tom Morello [Guitarist, Rage Against the Machine in, Rock Stars on God] "When I first went to Harvard, there was a guy who was always attempting to convert me. He was always stuck on the point, 'If you do not accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are just going to go to hell.' That is just so unfair, because what about the kid who has never heard those two words put together - Jesus Christ? The kid grew up a Buddhist. My friend responded by telling me some story about a guy who knew nothing about God and was converted through divine intervention. You and I both know that in Bangladesh there are not like a billion angels descending right now, and that all these people who may be good, bad, or indifferent, just like you or me, are all going to spend eternal life in misery merely because they were born in the wrong continent."

6 Tom Morello (cont.) [Guitarist, Rage Against the Machine in, Rock Stars on God] "… Maybe I would have a more positive view of religion if I was impressed by the behavior of those who preach it, not meaning preachers, but anyone from the heads of government to the people I know in the school who confessed to be Christians. Some of those Christians were the biggest (expletive) who mistreated their fellow man in the worst ways. Religion is so tied up with political manipulation that it is hard to see if there could be a nugget of spirituality in there that can genuinely influence your life. It is hard to find."

7 "Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.“ --Bill Gates

8 "I'm just a person who is honestly trying to live my life and asking, 'How do you be spiritual and live in the world without going to a monastery?'“ --Jewel

9 “The born-again, one- hand-in-the-air prayer stance…resembles a Nazi salute…” /Christianity involves/ “naivete, insecure leader-lust, psychotic self-righteousness, and medieval imbecility.” --Michael Atkinson, film review, The Village Voice, in a review of Saved. CT 48 no. 8 (August 2004): 23.

10 “Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.” --Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller

11 “I believe in God…I believe in Jesus and Buddha and Mohammed and all those that were enlightened. I wouldn’t say necessarily that I’m a strict Christian. I’m not sure I believe in heaven.” -- Sheryl Crow

12 “There couldn’t possibly be only one way…Does God care about your heart or whether you called His Son Jesus?” --Oprah Winfrey

13 "Morals and Ethics change depending on what corner you're standing on, and to me, don't answer the bigger questions…" "I don't think all religious people are decent." … "I think they hide behind the cloak of being religious– they don't have compassion for their fellow men, they're judgmental of people who are not their religion, and I don't subscribe to any of that." --Madonna

14 “I’m sickened by all religions. Religion has divided people. I don’t think there’s any difference between the pope wearing a large hat and parading around with a smoking purse and an African painting his face white and praying to a rock.” --Howard Stern

15 How often do you wonder: [March 2006 Zogby telephone survey for NAMB]

16 What is “emerging” in culture? Negative resistance (materialism-Howard Stern) Positive resistance (pluralism-Sheryl Crow) Missional opportunity Indigenous opportunity Crossroads of two key issues: truth (is Jesus the only way) & righteousness (does faith make people good or bad?)

17 2. Best Practices

18 A) being the real deal “We know you have tried to get us to church. That’s part of the problem. Many of your appeals have been carefully calculated for success, and that turns our collective stomach. Take worship, for instance: you think that fashionably cutting-edge liturgies relate to us on our level, but the fact is, we can find better entertainment elsewhere. The same goes for anything you term ‘contemporary.’ We see right through it. It is up to date for the sake of being up to date, and we are not impressed by the results.” --Sarah, writing about being stereotyped as a GenX’er

19 B) Being Sure [Greg Easterbrook, “Religion in America: The New Ecumenicalism,” Brookings Review, 20, no. 1 (Winter 2002).] “In their classic sociological study of Middle American viewpoints, the authors of the 1924 book Middletown America (Muncie, Indiana) fond that 94% of high school students agreed that ‘Christianity is the one true religion and all peoples should be converted to it.’ Revisiting Muncie in 1999, sociologist Theodore Caplow found that only 42% agreed with that statement. Almost all respondents were Christian, as before, but far fewer felt theirs was the ‘one true’ faith to which others much conform.”

20 C) Missional Culture "Culture is the most important social reality in your church. Though invisible to the untrained eye, its power is undeniable. Culture gives color and flavor to everything your church is and does. Like a powerful current running through your church, it can move you inland or take you farther out to sea. It can prevent your church's potential from ever being realized, or-- if used by the Holy Spirit-- it can draw others in and reproduce healthy spiritual life all along the way. Robert Lewis & Wayne Cordeiro, Culture Shift: Transforming Your Church from the Inside Out

21 “The crisis of our time is that at least eight out of ten churches have not yet decided whether they intend to compete for the minds and hearts of human beings.” --George Hunter, 2005

22 D) High pain threshold

23 “’Sold-out disciples’ are folks who have looked into the abyss of their own man-made hell and returned to life in the Spirit. Their lives are lived in radical obedience to a God- given mission. Everything they do revolves around this mission. They feel in their hearts that they would die for this mission.” --Bill Easum, Net Results, April 2003, 24]

24 E) reform distorted theology “Traditionalist church people have invented a lengthy list of alleged reasons why most pre- Christian people cannot become Christians. So, in many traditionalist churches that say they want to grow, I have been told that unchurched people are not nice people, or they just want to be entertained, or they are slackers, or they are probably living in sin, or they wouldn’t be interested or they wouldn’t fit in, or they are not like us, or they are not of the elect, or they would only come as consumers, etc. All of these reasons, however, are steeped in one underlining dynamic: We have decided that they are not appropriate candidates for Christianization.” --George Hunter, 2005.

25 F) transforming relationships

26 “Vision is often determined by who you spend most of your time with. Consider Paul's call to the Gentiles in Asia Minor. Paul was in Antioch working among Gentiles when he had the vision of the man asking him to come over to Macedonia. So the question might be for some of us, with whom are we spending most of our time? If it is among church people, then our vision is focused on them. If it is among the unwashed, non- Christian, pagan gentile, it most likely for them. God works out of the context of our lives. The same was true with Jesus. He spent most of his time with people who were not part of the system. True, most of them were Jews, but most of them were discarded or rejected Jews. With whom are you spending your time?” --Bill Easum

27 G) like + love [Matt Smith & Vox Dei]

28 H) common wall holiness

29 I) honesty

30 J) Simplicity

31 K) Benchmarks WWJD: Why Would Jesus Die? [George Barna, State of the Church 2005, p. 52-53] “Churches measure attendance, donations, numbers of staff, numbers of programs and square footage as their primary indicators of spiritual health and growth. Jesus did not die on the cross for such incidental outcomes. Individual believers, taking their cues from their church, measure their spiritual vitality on the basis of the frequency of their church attendance, whether they donate money to ministry, and their general sense of personal ‘goodness’ on a day-to-day basis. Again, such measures insult Christ. The axiom ‘you get what you measure’ is certainly true for the Christian body in the US. Until we start to think about, pursue, and measure genuine spiritual transformation in individual lives, we will continue to get what we’ve been getting, as unsatisfying as that is, for years to come.”


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