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COME TO THE EDGE: III. Sailing Beyond the Map © Bishop Mike Lowry June 2, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "COME TO THE EDGE: III. Sailing Beyond the Map © Bishop Mike Lowry June 2, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 COME TO THE EDGE: III. Sailing Beyond the Map © Bishop Mike Lowry June 2, 2011

2 Daring the Sea: Evangelism and Witness Desperate hunger and searching going on Recovering our Purpose … Answering the Why question Critical Need to Rediscover how to engage in evangelistic witness Clergy are trained for Christendom Attractional Model is waning

3 Daring the Sea continued What difference does it make in your own life that you are a Christian? Where have you experienced the presence of God in your life recently? Share a God-sighting. What difference does Christ make in your life?

4 On the Sea: Rediscovering the Incarnation Nobody comes to church to join an institution People come to meet the living God, to encounter Christ, to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in their life. Offer them Christ Community comes into being through incarnational sharing

5 Climbing the Wave: The Weakness of the Attractional Model Fails to really understand the end of Christendom The attraction model is limited in value in a post- Christendom age Beyond Institutional Survival: a) External Focus, b) People Development, c) Kingdom-based leadership (Reggie McNeal, Missional Renaissance) Don’t abandon attraction model. It is still needed. But don’t rely upon it as the single model of evangelistic outreach.

6 Gaining Your Sea Legs – Rethinking the Path to Faith Old Path: Belief – Belong – Behave New Path: Belong – Behave – Believe Behave – Belong -- Believe (often nonlinear but an interweaving of all three)

7 Gaining Your Sea Legs: You have something to share! I.You have something to share. write down 3 core Christian beliefs you hold. Discard two Share one II.You have a truth to offer. write down your 3 favorite Bible verses Discard two Share one

8 Riding the Waves: Witness in a Post Christian Culture Tell the gospel stories Share the stories of your past to transform to the present Tell the biographies of grace Help the congregation reclaim the stories of God in action today! Reclaim your Christian identity

9 Riding the Waves: The Trinity as Pilot Prayer & Discernment Sailing with Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a part of a disciplined life Understanding who’s Captain Growing in love and grace To know Him more clearly; to love Him more dearly; to follow Him more nearly. -Aelred of Rievaulx circa A. D.

10 Riding the Wave Witness in a Post Christian Culture EVANGELISM is witness. It is one beggar telling another beggar where to get food. The Christian does not offer out of his bounty. He has no bounty. He is simply guest at his Master’s table and, as evangelist, he calls others too. The evangelistic relation is to be “alongside of” not “over-against.” The Christian stands alongside the non-Christian and points to the Gospel, the holy action of God. It is not his knowledge of God that he shares, it is to God Himself that he points. The Christian Gospel is the Word become flesh. This is more than and other than the Word become speech. The religious quest for self-realization is henceforth pulled up with this demand, that the self is not realized by a flight from the finite and the temporal, but by taking its stand at the point where the finite and the infinite, the temporal and the eternal meet. -Daniel T. Niles, That They May Have Life, p. 96

11 Riding the Wave: Into the Unknown Outward focused Missionary not just missional! Fruit producing Offer them Christ

12 Riding the Wave: Into the Unknown What is your sending capacity? hands on mission & ministry involvement Professions of Faith missionaries (in the true biblical sense recovering accountability for faithfulness & fruitfulness “We must never judge Christianity by the people it reaches, but by the people it produces.” (Bishop J. Waskom Pickett author of Christian Mass Movements in India )

13 On the High Seas: On the High Seas: Navigating the Adaptive Challenge “I have seen the moment of my greatest flicker And I have seen the eternal footman hold my coat and snicker And in short, I was afraid.” -T.S. Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock We have a risk averse culture and live in a time that needs great courage. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

14 On the High Seas: On the High Seas: Sailing Beyond the Map A great deal more failure is the result of an excess of caution than of bold experimentation with new ideas. The frontiers of the kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution. -J. Oswald Sanders, from The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch pg. 27

15 On the High Seas: On the High Seas: Facing Storms Strictly speaking one ought to say that the Church is always in a state of crisis and that its greatest shortcoming is that it is only occasionally aware of it …. The ought to be the case because of the abiding tension between the church’s essential nature and its empirical condition …. That there were so many centuries of crisis-free existence for the Church was therefore an abnormality …. And if the atmosphere of crisislessness still lingers on in many parts of the West, this is simply the result of a dangerous delusion. Let us also know that to encounter crisis is to encounter the possibility of truly being the Church. -David Bosch, Transforming Mission taken from The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch pg. 49

16 On the High Seas: On the High Seas: Leadership … leaders atop companies in the late stages of decline need to get back to a calm, clear-headed, and focused approach. If you want to reverse decline, be rigorous about what not to do. In the early 1990s, I invited a former Marine turned entrepreneur to guest- lecture in my course on creativity at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He’d done multiple tours of jungle combat in the Vietnam War. When asked what lessons, if any, carried over to his civilian life as an entrepreneur, he thought about it for a moment and then responded, “When you have just a few people, and there is enemy all around you, the best thing is to say, ‘You take this section from here to here, and you take this section from here to here, and do not fire on automatic. Take one shot at a time.’” Breathe. Calm yourself. Think. Focus. Aim. Take one shot at a time. -from How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins, pg. 97

17 On the High Seas: On the High Seas: Sailing Beyond the Map “History favors the brave.” What are you doing now that would not or could not do without the power of the Holy Spirit?

18 SET SAIL! There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures. -Julius Caesar, Act IV, scene 3,

19 Moving Beyond the Map “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. ….He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” -Acts 1:8 and 28:30-31

20 The End And the Beginning


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