Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

20Apr/110

Could the Church Reach All the Nations in Your Lifetime???

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, ​teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

Christian leaders in the United States have high hopes for the near future. Christian movements in India, China, South America, the Middle East, and elsewhere seem to have tipped the scales in our favor, opening the floodgates of the gospel and for more workers to spread the message. For once, reaching all the nations seems to be a goal that we can reach in a generation.

Isn’t that exciting?!

New Evangelism Tools are helping with the spread of information, as radio transmitters, internet evangelism sites, cell phones, and other devices transmit Christian programming 24/7 audibly, visually, and in the heart language of people all around the world. The Jesus film continues to be one of the most amazing evangelism tools in the world today, available in over 1,100 languages at present.

So what does that mean for me? What does that mean for missions?

Unfortunately, the people groups left in the world today are some of the hardest groups to reach…and the quickly expanding body of Christ means we need more people who are willing and equipped to deepen new believers’ faiths – pastors, teachers, and lay leaders. There’s no shortage of need for workers or funding at the present time. More than ever, we need people who are willing to sacrifice the comforts of a ‘normal’ American lifestyle in order to work among people who don’t have written languages, bilingual people, or running water. We need people who will risk their lives to reach people who remain God’s enemies, and our enemies.

If you’re not involved, please, get involved with missions in some capacity. Go, Pray, or Give via the International Mission Board or another agency. www.imb.org

Read more on reaching the world at Christian Post.

24Feb/110

A Life-Changing, Paradigm-Shifting Book

It is not often that I read a book that radically changes my perception of my future career, my concept of what a church is, and my perception of the education I am receiving now. But I find myself a changed man—and I find myself in possession of a book that I MUST READ AGAIN in order to understand its implications for my life.

The book is called Church Planting Movements by David Garrison.

David is a long-term missionary who has coordinated the efforts of fellow missionaries through the largest mission board in the U.S. – the International Mission Board.

He writes this book to share the information they have collected about the churches that are multiplying and reaching entire people groups with the gospel. This is NOT a book about planting a church: it is a book about planting churches that plant other churches, that plant other churches, and plant other churches…until they reach everyone in their culture…and that’s REALLY EXCITING to me. If I help plant a church in the future, I certainly want it to reach more and more and more people until it can say that everyone in its culture has heard the gospel.

Beyond that premise, this book has taught me a lot about the proper and improper way to do church. Theologians, missionaries and missions agencies are often the greatest hindrance to churches that multiply—and even if I don’t work to plant a church, I certainly don’t want to hinder the evangelistic growth of one with my work as part of it. Importantly in this respect, it reminds me that the leaders of the church are typically the people who are willing to accept the largest commitment to discipleship, not the seminary students I am in class with. They are not any more prepared to lead than small group leaders when they begin—they are simply willing to grow through mentorship with an existing pastor and grow into leadership. 

It has also taught me that the New Testament style church still exists today: casting out demons, healing people, seeing visions, meeting in homes, sharing all their possessions together, etc.

If you want to know what missions is really all about, please, please read this book. Nothing could better shape your perception of what needs to be done across the world today.

Buy it at the IMB website here.

19Mar/090

Online Social Networking Part 2: Meetups…

If you have a desire to meet and be used as a witness to non-Christians, then you MUST have a look at this powerful networking tool. It's one of the biggest evangelism fields I know of. Think about it: a listing of local groups that meet for the specific purpose of discussion. Search by interest, search by zipcode. Join a discussion of travelers or photographers or atheists.

A common statistic in evangelistic conversations today is the Christian's isolation from the non-believing world. I believe this is a technological blessing that helps earnest people to stretch their social network for the sake of the gospel How many secular social gatherings do you find yourselves in?

Have a look at the local networks in the top 20 results from my area, then think about surfing www.meetup.com for yourself and getting involved in a local discussion or two.

6Mar/090

Blogging Someone to Church

human3rror posted a great story on his blog a few weeks back about how a person's online presence often leads others to church. I for one am glad to have a concrete example of this process, because I believe that our social networking tools are doing this more often than we realize. Everything from our Facebook status to our in depth blog thoughts are windows into the life we live as salt and light for this world. My encouragement is to take advantage of the technologies that fit your life, and cast your heart for God to the world. Shine bright...and realized that there are opportunities to shine to the world that have never been more effective.

Your online life may be the most effective ad for Christ people ever see.

http://human3rror.com/2009/02/22/blogging-someone-to-church/

13Jan/090

I Am Second…

I Am Second Logo

I Am Second Logo

I don't wish to spoil this with words...all I have to say is: If you have not seen this campaign, you are missing out.

I believe that the most powerful thing about God's people are the testimonies they bear regarding what God has done in their lives. It's powerful to see it on video. It's even more powerful for those people to be givng their testimony to the church that they have come to be a part of.

I hope this concept is one that finds its way into all of our churches, and into the hearts of the unsaved.

www.iamsecond.com