Evangelism System, revisited

Greetings,

 

I want to revisit the Evangelism System this month so I begin with reminding you of why First United Methodist Church of Dixon exists and what we believe is God’s purpose for us.

FUMC where: Our mission is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ. FUMC is a place that wants to be known as the “Go-To” church in our community. A place where all are welcome regardless of the strength or commitment of their faith. In our people they will find a welcoming and generous group who are committed to Gathering, Growing and Going in their relationship with Jesus Christ. By Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ we are joining with God to make the biggest Kingdom impact possible. The purpose of the “Church” is to share the Good News of Jesus with one person at a time so that all people in our community have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

The Evangelism System is: How we attract people to our church and mobilize our church in the community. It is what we do to encourage people to come to worship so that they have the opportunity to hear the Good News and accept Jesus into their lives. I remind you again that the best and most effective strategy for evangelism is through extending a personal invitation to someone to come to church with you. Studies have shown that most people come to a new church for the first time because someone that they know and trust invited them to come. Many of you have confirmed this through the connect card. On the front of the card we ask, “How did you hear about the Church?” Many of you said that you attended for the first time because you came with a friend.

In my first installment of talking about the Evangelism System I introduced you to the concept of the Big Day. The Big Day is a day when we challenge those already attending FUMC to invite friends and family to attend worship with them. Our first Big Day this year was Easter. Easter is a natural Big Day. Most people who are even remotely connected to the church know about Easter and will attend church on that Sunday. We had our largest worship service of the year that day! 411 people attended worship that weekend! My prayer and I hope yours too is that we will fill our church with that many people worshipping God every weekend!

We have our next Big Day coming up Sunday, September 11th. It is our Backpack Blessing Sunday. Our Evangelism Team has been working and praying hard for the success of this event. As I write they are busy cutting apart and preparing to direct mail almost 3800 postcards inviting our community to come to worship on that Sunday. During August I have been asking you to pray and invite those people you know who could benefit from being with us for our Backpack Blessing. By mailing out the post cards we are adding a new strategy to our Big Day. With these two strategies of personal invitation and direct mail we are increasing our chances of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. By covering it all with prayer we are leaning on and trusting God for the blessing of being a blessing to the children and families of our community. So, don’t stop praying, don’t stop inviting and look for the postcard in your mail.

Finally, I want to remind our women of another great opportunity to share the love of Jesus with others. Make plans to attend and invite your friends to come to the Cry Out simulcast Friday, September 23rd from 6-9pm. It is a great opportunity for the women of our community to gather together for an evening of worship and prayer for our City, our Nation and our World.

Blessings, Pastor Tim

 

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The Eight Systems of the Church: The Ministry System

FUMC where: Our mission is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ. FUMC is a place that wants to be known as the “Go-To” church in our community. A place where all are welcome regardless of the strength or commitment of their faith. In our people they will find a welcoming and generous group who are committed to Gathering, Growing and Going in their relationship with Jesus Christ. By Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ we are joining with God to make the biggest Kingdom impact possible. The purpose of the “Church” is to share the Good News of Jesus with one person at a time so that all people in our community have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

This month we continue our exploration of the 8 systems that make up and move the church. If we want to be the “Go-To church” in Dixon and live fully into our mission statement of Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ then we need to have a clear understanding of each of these eight systems. Each one of these eight systems stands on its own and needs to be maximized in order for our church to reach the full redemptive potential that God has planned for us. But at the same time each one of these systems interrelates with the other systems to provide energy and support. This month we turn our attention to the Ministry System.

The Ministry System – How we mobilize people for significant ministry at our church. This system is how we provide opportunities for our people to serve. Some years ago I heard Rick Warren, Lead Pastor of Saddleback Church, say something that has stuck with me. He said that in order for a person to grow as a follower of Jesus that they needed to be active in a church and as a part of that church they needed a ministry within the church and a mission outside of the church to the community and world. When Pastor Heewon designed our G2 –Growth Groups he built them around the three areas of Gathering, Growing and Going. We Gather for fellowship: We Grow in our faith through our sermon based discussion and we Go into our church and community to serve other people.

If we want to make the biggest kingdom impact for God then we must become more like Jesus. Jesus taught us much about serving others. During the Last Supper he washed the dirty feet of all of the disciples telling them that they would be blessed if they did the same as he did, “for the master is not greater than the servant.” (John 13:1-17) Jesus set the example, we are called to serve. When we serve others we become more like Jesus. This is the goal of the ministry system to help the people of FUMC to become more like Jesus.

Just of the top of my head I came up with a list of 40 plus serving opportunities. Some happen every week and some like Vacation Bible School happen once a year. My prayer and hope is that each of you will take some time to pray and ask God where you should be serving. My clergy colleague, Margret Ann Williams always began every talk with, “The Joy of Serving.”  There truly should be joy in serving. When we have the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with others we are blessed.

So, I am challenging each of you to take the next step in your faith journey to become more like Jesus. Let Pastor Heewon or I know where you want to serve and we will get you plugged in. For those of you who are already serving thank you. You are a blessing from God and my you feel the Joy of the Lord as you continue to serve.

Blessings, Pastor Tim

The Systems of the Church: The Worship System

FUMC where: Our mission is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ. FUMC is a place that wants to be known as the “Go-To” church in our community. A place where all are welcome regardless of the strength or commitment of their faith. In our people they will find a welcoming and generous group who are committed to Gathering, Growing and Going in their relationship with Jesus Christ. By Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ we are joining with God to make the biggest Kingdom impact possible. The purpose of the “Church” is to share the Good News of Jesus with one person at a time so that all people in our community have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

We continue our exploration of the 8 Systems of our Church. This month we are going to discuss the Worship Planning System. The Worship Planning System is: How we plan, implement and evaluate the worship services at our church. When you pause to reflect on the life of the church you quickly realize that it is our worship services that send the loudest and biggest message about who we are as a church. In our worship services we had better be Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ!  It is the most common entry place for someone new to our church. Because it is the mostly likely entrance point into the life of our church it needs to reflect the best we have to offer. Someone said, “That the Sunday Service is like having the Super Bowl each week.” It’s that important to the witness of our church! So let us begin with understanding what Worship is and it isn’t.

What worship is: At its core worship is about praising and glorifying God. Worship is about thanking God for being with us in our daily living. It is about thanking God for the blessings we have in our life. We worship both corporately and privately. Our corporate worship is when we gather as a community to glorify and praise God. Our weekend services, our midweek prayer service and our special services throughout the year are times that we, the people of God, are called to gather together and lift up our hearts to God. Our private worship can be defined as any time we make a decision that affects how we live our lives. When we process our decisions through the lens of our relationship with God then how we live our lives is worship. Worship is having the attitude of gratitude that puts God first in our lives in every way and in everything we say and do.

What worship isn’t: As I have said, the primary reason we should come to worship each weekend is to thank God. Worship is not about what God does for us but what we do for God. This is where we so easily get confused. We come to worship carrying our joys and concerns from our daily living hoping that God will help us in our struggles and shout hallelujah with us in our joys. When that doesn’t happen we leave worship saying things like, “I wasn’t fed today.” “The message didn’t inspire me or the music did touch my heart.”

Why does this happen? Because a wonderful thing happens when we come to worship – GOD SPEAKS! And when we are in the correct frame of mind, we are transformed. God through the Holy Spirit fills us with a new understanding for our lives. God speaks to our heart! This is the amazing thing about worship. It is where we can empty ourselves in praising and worshipping God, trusting that God will fill us with God’s overflowing love to help us live a joy-filled and blessed life.

Worship planning is about creating encounters with God that are life transformational. It is finding that delicate balance between praising God and filling the worshippers up spiritually so that they can go home to live their lives for God. The process begins by planning our worship services. I don’t mean coming in on Monday morning, sitting down and saying to myself, “What do I preach this week?” If Pastor Heewon and I did that then it would be hit and miss at best if we would have a great worship service or not. No, what we do is first pray asking God what are the needs of the people of the church? What do they need to learn from you God? Our goal is to plan topics we will be teaching and worshipping on at least 3 months in advance. Why? I truly believe that as someone else said, “Preparation precedes blessing.” I believe that the Holy Spirit is very active in the planning of our worship services. Who better knows the hearts of our people? Who better knows what the future hold? Yes, God knows each of us intimately and know what the future holds.

By planning ahead it gives Pastor Heewon and myself time to search the scriptures, commentaries and read books on the subject so that we can craft meaningful and thought provoking messages. It allows Maureen the opportunity to find just the right hymns for our congregation to sing so that they support the message. It gives her time to search for the right choir anthems to help inspire and move our hearts closer to God. Every aspect of worship is a movement of the Holy Spirit. Each person who comes to worship meets God in different ways. They may find the hymns the most meaningful part of worship or maybe the message. Prayer is very important to some. So, each time when we build the worship service we must blend all the parts together so that the message of the day can touch each person.

I want to close with the principle of CANEI.  Constant And Never Ending Improvement. This principle is paramount to our 8 systems if we are to reach our full redemptive potential. We must have a process in place in each of our systems to evaluate the system so that we can continue to improve. In our worship planning system we are implementing a weekly evaluation process that will ask six questions. 1. What went particularly well? 2. What could be improved? 3. What language/wording assumes prior knowledge first-time guest would not have? 4. Where are there time gaps? 5. Are any things taking too much or too little time? 6. What other observations did you have?

Next month I will talk to about Ministry(volunteer) System.

I want to leave you with a joy. I am so glad that we have hired Kendra Wadsworth to be our Youth Ministry Director. Kendra brings to our church a passion for youth, experience with our current programs, a love for Jesus and exciting ideas for the future. Pastor Heewon and I look forward to welcoming Kendra to our staff.

Blessings Pastor Tim

The Big Day-evangelism

Greetings,

FUMC where: Our mission is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ. FUMC is a place that wants to be known as the “Go-To” church in our community. A place where all are welcome regardless of the strength or commitment of their faith. In our people they will find a welcoming and generous group who are committed to Gathering, Growing and Going in their relationship with Jesus Christ. By Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ we are joining with God to make the biggest Kingdom impact possible. The purpose of the “Church” is to share the Good News of Jesus with one person at a time so that all people in our community have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Some of you may have recognized the paragraph above. It is the same paragraph that started last month’s article. I do this and will continue to begin this way each month because what this paragraph says is very important. So, take a moment to reread the paragraph. Those words say who we are as a church and a people who follow Jesus Christ. I pray that you will allow them to become a part of your personal DNA. By letting them form and inform you as a Christ follower those words will a become part of FUMC’s DNA.

The reason those words need to become part of who we are personally and as a church is that I believe that God wants everybody in Dixon to know him. I believe that the words of the Bible charge us with the responsibility to share the Good News. Jesus says it this way in Acts 1:8, “And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Will we follow Jesus?

Each month, throughout this year I will be talking about one of the eight Systems of the church. Last month I told you I would be talking about the Worship Planning System. But, I felt that I should change things up a little and talk about the Evangelism System this month. The reason for this is on March 27th we will have our largest worship attendance of the year. That is right! It will be Easter Sunday. It will be the day we will have more guests in our church than any other time of the year. Are we ready to welcome them into our church? Will we have such an awesome atmosphere so the Holy Spirit will be free to work in the hearts of our guests?

The Evangelism System is: How we attract people to our church and mobilize our church in the community. It is what we do to encourage people to come to worship so that they have the opportunity to hear the Good News and accept Jesus into their lives. By the way, studies have shown that most people come to a new church for the first time because someone they know and trust invited them to come.

Because we have Easter coming up, let me talk about one of the parts of the Evangelism System called the Big Day. A Big Day is a day when we challenge those already attending FUMC to invite friends and family to attend worship with them. This is an opportunity to invite individuals and families who might not have a church they attend regularly. It is an opportunity to invite people who do not know Jesus Christ. Easter Sunday is one of the best Big Days of the year. It is one of the easier Big Days to get people to come to church with you.

You have already experience some of the tools of the Big Day. The first one that you have seen is our INVEST & INVITE card. I have put this little lime green or yellow card in your bulletin a couple of times in the past. You can find them at the tables in the narthex leading into the Sanctuary and Chapel. Throughout the bible there are verses of Scripture that encourage us to invite people who don’t know Jesus to come to a place where they can get to know Jesus. And, if we know that people will attend worship for the first time if someone they know and trust invites them, then we need a tool that will help us build relationships and trust with people who don’t know Jesus. That’s why we have the INVEST AND INVITE cards!

We want you to pick up and use this little lime green or yellow card. It has a place for you to write down the names of 3 people that you want to attend worship. Then start praying for them daily. Pray that God will give you the opportunity to share your faith story and the opportunity to invite them to church. Pray that God will make their heart receptive to your invitation. Don’t forget to invite them! Remember you are partnering with Jesus to help change someone’s eternal destiny!

The second tool that you have seen is the postcard announcing the beginning of a new worship series. We make these postcards available to you so that you can use them to encourage someone to come to church. Nothing beats a face to face invitation but the card is a great ice breaker or follow up to your personal invitation.

On our Big Days, we will start a new worship series so that people who are in worship for the first time might be compelled to come back and hear more. On Big Days, like every Sunday, we will challenge everyone to fill out their Connect Cards so that we can be in contact with those who are 1st-time guests and invite them back with hand-written cards and email.

The new worship series that we will launch on Easter is called, Sticks and Stones: The Power of our words. You may have heard the nursery rhyme: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but, your words will never hurt me.” How untrue is this statement! Words have the power to destroy lives! We teach this nursery rhyme to our children hoping that the mean things that their friends say to them won’t hurt them. The words we speak have the power to lift people up or tear people down. The resurrection of Jesus should impact the words we choose to speak into other people’s lives.

Finally, I ask you to start praying for God to double the size of our attendance on Easter this year. If everyone invites one person to worship with them on Easter then we will double our attendance. There are so many people that need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ! Pray! Pray! Pray!

 

Blessings, Pastortjm

 

The 8 Systems of the Church: Connection

FUMC where: Our mission is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ. FUMC is a place that wants to be known as the “Go-To” church in our community. A place where all are welcome regardless of the strength or commitment of their faith. In our people they will find a welcoming and generous group who are committed to Gathering, Growing and Going in their relationship with Jesus Christ. By Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ we are joining with God to make the biggest Kingdom impact possible. The purpose of the “Church” is to share the Good News of Jesus with one person at a time so that all people in our community have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

This month I want to share with you about the 8 systems that make up our church. I will begin by looking at our Connection System. When I described the 8 systems in the December Herald I called the Connection System the Assimilation System. This is what my coach, Nelson Searcy, calls it. But, I struggle with that word on many different levels. It brings to my mind images of the Borg from the Star Trek Series. They are a bad species of people who assimilation different groups into their way of life. The key line from the show that the Borg always say is, “You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.” Being a follower of Jesus is not about being assimilated into Jesus, losing all of your identity. That is not what God wants. Being a follower is about giving your life freely to God through a relationship with Jesus so that God can transform your life to become the “True You” God hopes and wants you to become.

The Connection System is about welcoming our first time guests. Remembering to treat them as gifts from God. Helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus. The goal of the Connection System is to move First Time Guests into fully committed followers of Jesus Christ who live out their faith as members of our church. We start this process by having the warmest and friendliest greeters. We first greet them at the outside door. Welcoming and thanking them for choosing to worship with us. Then we have greeters to welcome them into our worship space. Our goal is to make them feel special, because they are! This may help them want to come back for another visit. Remember we have 7 minutes from the time they pull into the parking lot to make a first impression. If it is a good one they may come back. If it is a bad one they will not come back.

Then as you know by now, every worship service we challenge you to fill out the Connect Card. I realize that many of you feel that they are a waste of time. Or after you have filled them out once there is no need to fill one out again. But, remember you are part of a team, the Church, the body of believers at FUMC. Remember our mission is to Faithfully Uplift the Message of Christ. If you fill out your Connect Card willingly and cheerfully you are encouraging our guests to fill out theirs too! The only way that we have to connect with our First Time Guest is if they fill out the Connect Card. When they fill out a Connect Card then we can send them a hand written thank you note and email. If they come back again then it is one more opportunity for them to hear the Good News of God’s love for them. It is another opportunity for them to understand their need to ask for forgiveness and salvation.

Hopefully, you are getting the idea why it is important to fill out the Connect Card each week. You could be helping someone take that first step toward salvation and a life with Jesus Christ. Filling out the Connect Card each week is an act of Radical Hospitality. You could be helping someone change the direction of their lives! Filling out the Connect Card each week is a small price to pay when you realize the eternal possibilities it has for the person next to you.

For the First Time Guest who fills out a Connect Card we send them a hand-written thank you note and email on Monday. For our Second Time Guests, we send a hand-written note, a small gift card to a local restaurant and email thanking them for coming and inviting them to take a break on us. A month after their first visit we will send them a CD of one of our sermon series to let them know that we are still thinking about them. This is a wonderful ministry opportunity for someone who would love to be a part of our First Responder Team.

The Connection System is a tool that we use to invite people to follow Jesus. It is an instrument for us to expose someone to the Good News of Jesus Christ with the hopes that they will accept the invitation to follow Jesus. What a great joy and privilege it is for us to be partners with God to help bring God’s Kingdom closer to reality.

The Systems are tools for us to use to partner with God through the Holy Spirit to help people Gather, Grow and Go in their relationship with Jesus Christ. They help us to fulfill our Church’s mission: FUMC where: Our mission is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ. Isn’t it great to be part of a winning team!

Next month when I will talk about our Worship Planning System.

See you in worship! Don’t forget to fill out your Connect Card!

Blessings, Pastor Tim

 

 

Creating the Go-To Church

FUMC where: Our mission is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ

The first part of our mission statement is the mission statement of the United Methodist Church. Whenever I read the UMC mission statement I always think of Ginghamsburg UMC in Tipp City, Ohio. Maybe you have heard of them. They are one of our most active churches in mission outreach. How they want to be known is: Ginghamsburg Church . . . changing the world one life at a time. What a way to be known! As they help one person come to know Jesus they believe that they are impacting the world! At one of our recent Leadership Council meetings, Dave Johnson, our chair, ask each member of the group to give me a short statement that would help me understand who we are and what we are about. One of our leaders said this that has stuck with me: “We want FUMC to be known as the Go-To Church in Dixon. What a way to Faithfully Uplift the Message of Christ!

What does Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ at FUMC look like as the Go-To church in Dixon? I think it begins with each person who says they are a part of our church. Each of us must have a willingness to show radical hospitality to our guests: Guests not visitors. You will very rarely hear me call our guests visitors. When I do it is a mistake. To me a visitor is someone who is just passing through to experience whatever is offered and then move on. You go and visit the museum. Our church is the living, breathing body of Jesus. It’s OUR HOUSE – OUR HOME! Since it is our home we want to treat people as Guests. You prepare for guests by cleaning the house. If they are coming over for dinner you spend the day getting the food, preparing the food, setting the table and making sure everything is just right so that when your guests arrive they feel welcome and at home. You anticipate their arrival. When the doorbell rings you meet them at the door with a warm and friendly greeting. You invite them in, take their coats and hang them up. You offer them your best! As the Go-To church in Dixon we want to make sure that we are treating our quests properly. We want to make sure we are offering our very best to our guests. We have to remember that our guests are gifts from God sent to us because we have something that God knows they need and we can provide.

To maximize our church as the Go-To church that is Faithfully Uplifting the Message of Christ we must have all our church systems working as correctly at possible. I love this definition of what a system is from my clergy coach, Nelson Searcy, “A system is anything that Saves You Time Energy or Money.” Since the church is a living organism it has systems that keep it alive. Just like our human body has systems that keeps it alive. We have a respiratory system, a circulatory system, a digestive system, a nervous system, etc. that all have to be working properly if our bodies are to be alive and healthy. The church is the same way. Whether we acknowledge it or not our church is made up systems that need to be working properly if our church is to be a living and vital organism. These eight systems are: 1. The Worship Planning System, 2. The Evangelism System, 3. The Assimilation System, 4. The Small Group System, 5. The Ministry System, 6. The Stewardship System, 7. The Leadership System and 8. The Strategy System.

Pastor Heewon, some of our various committees, ministry teams and I have been working on evaluating and implementing changes that will help vitalize our systems. Pastor Heewon has been working on our Small group ministry and has developed our Growth Groups and done leader training. Our first Growth Groups started in November and early December. I have gathered with the Worship Team and began the process of implementing our Worship Planning System. The connect cards that we use each weekend are part of the Assimilation System that helps us connect with our first and second time guests. So we don’t miss the opportunity to connect with our guests.

We must continually evaluate and make changes that will improve the vitality of our church. This isn’t something that will happen overnight. It will take time to Evaluate, Implement and Maximize each of these systems. Before we can do much more than what we have already accomplished I want to use my monthly Herald article to talk about each of the systems.

Finally, FUMC – Another way that we can Faithfully Uplift the Message of Christ happened during our first weekend Stewardship message of Growing in Grace: Ownership. We handed out Invest and Invite cards to everyone. As I lifted up in worship I am asking you to prayerfully consider investing in and inviting 3 people to our upcoming Advent series: Finding Christmas. How cool would it be if one of the people or even cooler if all three of the people you invite actually came and through experiencing worship with us they find out that knowing Jesus is way cool. And that if they become part of our church they become part of the Go-To Church in Dixon. I can’t think of a better feeling to have, a better gift to give than to help God transform the eternal destiny of a person’s life.

Blessings pastor Tim

Missionaries in our Own Communities

I recently finished teaching a class on missions for the DeKalb District Lay Academy. The book that we used for the class was, “A Mission Journey, A Handbook for Volunteers.” This is the new handbook from United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM). It is a wonderful resource that provides a good structure for preparing and taking people on a mission experience. One of the primary components to the team building process and mission experience is understanding culture. Both the culture of the Mission Team and the culture of the Mission Host.

The definition of culture that the book uses is, “The collection of fundamental beliefs people hold about how things should be and how one should behave. To put it more simply, culture is a set of beliefs, practices and expression that help define the community’s identity.”

We learned during the class that our Mission experiences challenge us to understand both our own culture and the cultures of others, testing our ability to be open to values, attitudes and behaviors that are different from our own. As mission volunteers we should recognize the fact that those we meet on our journeys share parallel experiences within their own cultures and will feel as strongly about their identities and perspectives as we do about our own. It is imperative that we learn to practice mutual respect.

I realized as I was preparing and teaching this class so much of what was being shared could be applied to the local church. As a church located in a specific community we think that the culture of our church is the same as the culture of our community. But when you take the time to compare the two you realize fairly quickly they aren’t the same. They are actually quite different. At its very core is the value that as Christians we follow Jesus and his teachings. The community we live in does not follow Jesus nor does it follow his teachings. The language of the church is much different than that of the community. The church is organized around worshipping God. Whereas the community’s life is organized around personal interests and needs.

I have always valued looking at the community outside the walls of the church from a mission mindset and to see God’s people as missionaries carrying the message to the mission field. So many times we get into the mindset that if we have the right program or the greatest preacher in town we will draw people to us. That might be the case sometimes but for the most part non-Christian or nominal Christians do seek out great preaching or great programs.  On the other hand when we call ourselves missionaries, then we are called to take the gospel to the people in their culture. Missionaries are sent into the mission field on a mission journey, not cooped up inside the walls of the church. A missionary mindset is that of a servant whereas sometimes the church mindset is that of membership with status and privilege attached to it.

When non-Christians and nominal Christians come through our doors they find a culture that is very different from their own. We have certain protocols, rules, traditions and patterns of living together that are different from theirs. We live in different cultures. Some of this difference is a good thing. Since we represent Jesus we want our quests to see Jesus in us. We want them to know we are Christians by our love. But on the other hand we are speaking a foreign language using foreign customs and practices that they don’t necessarily feel comfortable with.

So what are we to do? Glad you asked! If we have a missionary mindset then we learn their culture and learn our own culture. Next we remember not allow our culture to get in the way of sharing the gospel with them in their culture. We present the gospel in ways that they can understand, using their language. We do this through acts of services and words of encouragement. We show them radical hospitality that meets them where they live their life without judgement or criticism.

So, let me know what you think. Let’s have a conversation.

Blessings Pastor Tim