I can smell that 'Old Gold'
I love Chocolate. There's something about Chocolate that just reeks of comfort. Life doesn't quite seem so hard and scary with a mouth stuffed full of Chocolate. Chocolate Evangelism is not so hard or scary either.
Psalm 37: 4 tells us to 'Delight in the Lord' and He will give us the 'Desires of our Hearts'. I love Harley Davidson Motorcycles. I love Science Fiction and Fantasy. It's not by accident I minister to Bikers, Lord of the Rings fanatics and Star Trekkers.
I don't cold doorknock. I don't give out pamphlets at shopping centres. I don't invite friends to high sell church activities. That's scary and often comes with great effort and little or no results. It's out of my comfort zone, nothing like Chocolate at all.
I spend time with friends who want to see me and visa versa. We have a common love. Relationships develop. True friendships happen that are great pathways for Jesus to cross. That I can do. I'm in my comfort zone. I'm not scared. Now that's Chocolate.
I invite you to have some of this 'Chocolate' too.
The First Slice. Chocolate has at its very heart three basic ingredients. These are Cacao, Butter and Sugar. Mixed together you get Chocolate…Yum.
…but the wrong mix can taste absolutely awful, or at least not what it could have been. Not only that all the ingredients can potentially be ruined. I believe effective Evangelism is similar with core elements of Plans, Vehicles and Tools
…in their correct mix or it can be awful and all our efforts wasted.
Let me go over these three essential 'ingredients' of effective Evangelism.
PLANS give us Clear Direction, consist of Desires and Goals and are derived from
our Church through Prayer and Obedience to God.
VEHICLES give our Plans a Means of Expression, a specific methodology for achievement of goals and are derived from Outside the Church relevant to our Target Group.
TOOLS give Needed Resources, enhancing our Vehicles success and come both from the Church and those outside.
Don't worry if you don't quite understand all of these concepts yet. I will be explaining them in much more detail with lots of specific examples as the three of us journey together.
For now think of it like this: “Through my Plan I am aware where I’m going, through my Vehicle I know how exactly to accomplish this Plan and through my enhancement Tools it will be a success.”
As I read God’s Word I see the masterful use of Plans, Vehicles and Tools that draw me closer to Jesus. Through God’s Holy Spirit, I want the same with others.
Hang on; did I just mention three of us in a previous paragraph??? You bet! This is a partnership with Jesus. He is at the helm. You and I are doing His work. It is NOT yours. It is NOT mine. It is GOD's WORK.
I will be referring to concepts as YOUR Ministry (and MY Ministry in examples). Why? It is because I believe we need to take ownership of what God has called us to do. In taking ownership we take responsibility for our part in God's plan for His Kingdom. This does not in any way take away from the fact you and I are doing God's work.
The upcoming material all focus on "explaining" and "refining" concepts that can be effectively applied to your ministry. This is so we can all give our 'best' to God. After all, doesn't God only give us His best? His only Son, no less!
I hope John 3: 16 is a familiar verse to you. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (New International Version)
Never, never, never forget the next verse (John 3:17). For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (New International Version) May it burn in your heart. May it DRIVE ALL that you do.
Our Evangelism will not be hastily done, but thought through. It will be arrived at through a logical, effective process tempered with much passion and emotion.
…and above all else come through much (here I go again): PRAYER and OBEDIENCE to God. You'll get sick of me saying this. I don't care! Keep praying and keep being
obedient to God, above all else. Everything I say will be said through this statement.
God mixed the perfect blend of Plans, Vehicles and Tools in the form of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God wrote His Plan down in John 3: 16 and I7. Yes, don’t forget verse 17. I've already mentioned this above. Acting on this Plan, God came into the world as one of us. What an ultimate Vehicle this is. Lastly He died for us and will come back to take us to be with Him.
An old Priest was observed always genuflecting (bowing) as he passed the Holy Table. When questioned by a young alter boy as to why he was doing this, he gave a profound answer. He said “When I think of God becoming man, I can do nothing else”.
The early Scrolls and, later on, our Bible are wonderful God-ordained Tools. As we read His Word, God speaks to us through His Holy Spirit. Of course God has many more Plans for you and me (all the Covenants being a prime example), but this has to be a major one!
Likewise, He has many more Vehicles and Tools as well. I only use this example to illustrate some specific differences between these three aspects.
I am so glad God’s only face was not that of Mount Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments. This same God wanted, more than we could
ever imagine, to be a part of our lives and communicate His great love for us. This all came together in Jesus Christ. All I can say are the same words Thomas said to the risen Lord in John 20: 28 “My Lord and my God”.
I now know God’s overall will for me (Jeremiah 29: 11) and rejoice. Now I can see God (John 14: 9) and everyday my knowledge of Him grows, especially as I read Scripture (2 Timothy 3: 16-17) through the power of the Holy Spirit. Now that’s an awesome combination of Plan, Vehicle and Tool.
Over the coming months, I'll not only be detailing and explaining the three fundamental ingredients, but also showing essential ways of enhancing their effectiveness.
Stay tuned for more
Captain Andrew D. CARTER
CEO Ask About Evangelism