Bullhorn magbahagi ng Ebanghelyo… Ay May isang Better Way? sa pamamagitan ng Steve Sjogren

Nakarating na ba kayo ay masigasig sa pamamagitan ng isang tao na ay nasasabik tungkol sa kanilang pananampalataya? Ako ay nasa lugar ng New York City sa isang habang pabalik kapag ang nakuha ko off ang isang subway overpass sa Queens sa tunog ng ilang mga Espanyol Pentecostals pangangaral sino ay pagkuha ng mga liko pangangaral (sumisigaw malakas mas tumpak) sa isang bullhorn. As one finished his turn he turned the mic over to the next with a high five and a chuckle. Those guys were having a good time at what they were doing, but clearly they were not connecting with the crowd. My ears were nearly bleeding! The crowd was trying to ignore them and everyone wished they would unplug themselves and go home. They were overly aggressive and not connecting with the passing crowds. I believe God will use any approach to sharing the Gospel we make available to him, but some approaches are awfully difficult for him to use!

Just below there another church was doing an outreach based on serving. They were washing cars, trucks – even a huge metro garbage truck pulled up to test the sincerity of the team’s faith! (Oo, they passed the test and made it spick and span!) This was a study in contrasts. The group below the overpass was attracting a crowd, bit by bit, little by little, and making an impact one person at a time with no sound reinforcement other than to say, “We are showing Jesus’ love in a practical way…” (There were plenty of conversations that followed those introductory words.)

Before I became a Believer I met an occasional person who was downright excited about Christ – not many of them, but a few along the way. Those people got me thinking about the possibility of following Jesus. It began to occur to me that there was something out there that was worth giving my life for. Positive zeal is powerful and beautiful. Our zeal needs to be a lot like the oath doctors take upon graduation before they treat their first patient: “First, do no harm…!"

Ay Osama Bin Laden Nai-save na?

Osama Bin LadenThe cover of Time magazine recently featured Pastor Rob Bell and his controversial new book that hones in on the weighty issue of eternity. Sa kabila ng Bell ng panayam sidestepping dahil ang libro ay dumating out, the book flatly endorses Universalism – the notion that all will get a chance to come to Christ after death no matter what beliefs they held to in this life. I find that position impossible to hold in light of a multitude of scriptures.

I see the heart of God broken for the Lost, but they are still the Lost as the Bible addresses them.

The Lord is…not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9, NKJV) Clearly the heart of God is that all come to know Christ and spend eternity in the presence of God. Will that choosing of God be violated? Clearly yes.

For many are called, but few chosen. (Matt. 20:16, NKJV) Based on the context of Jesus’ words we could easily restate that concluding statement to this: “Many are called but few choose.” Most want to choose their own way forward and violate God’s choosing of them for relationship with God. It is particularly true that religious people choose their own way versus the way of humility into relationship with God. Few choose the way of humility. Few (something less than 50%) find authentic relationship with God through Jesus’ atoning death for them.

Bottom line, was Bin Laden a follower of Jesus? Of course he wasn’t. I don’t mean to be a party pooper but here’s what I think. Though millions of Americans are celebrating the shooting of this notorious criminal, there is a sense in which God is not celebrating. Oo, evil has been judged. For that we are grateful. On the other hand, this man has gone into a christless eternity. For those who understand the heart of God, this is nothing to get overly excited about, regardless of the evil he stood for.

 

A Biblical Commitment Demands Cultural Relevance by Paul Alexander

Much has been said and written in recent years, offering up all kinds of criticism of modern day Churches for trading off adherence to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for contemporary methods of communicating it. Interestingly enough the overwhelming majority of this criticism comes by way of other Churches. Typically it comes from Churches that are not growing criticizing Churches that are growing. Sa wakas, if a Church is growing, they’ve got to be doing something wrong don’t they?

I have a tendency to go the other way on this one. Sa katunayan, I’d go so far as to say if a Church isn’t working hard to be culturally relevant, it isn’t working hard to remain true to the Scriptures! You can’t be radically committed to the Scriptures without being radically committed to communicating the Scriptures in a culturally relevant manner.

It’s an easy statement to make because God has always communicated his message to people in a culturally relevant manner. Language, the time, place, ethnicity, gender, community, governance, and more has always been taken into consideration as the message of God was communicated to a particular audience.

The Apostle Paul, a master missionary, knew this about the heart of God and understood that the Gospel must be contextualized to each specific culture:

#1 Take time to understand the culture of your audience.

"…for as I was walking along I saw your many altars…” Acts 17:23

#2 Be positive, not negative, about the culture of your audience.

“So Paul, standing before the Council, addressed them as follows: ’Men of Athens, I noticed that you are very religious…” Acts 17:22

#3 Use the culture of your audience to connect with the heart of your audience.

“His purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As one of your own poets says, ‘We are his offspring.’” Acts 17:27-28

#4 Relationally speak truth to your audience.

“For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:31


About The Author

Paul Alexander is a Pastor, Leader, and Church Strategist. He has spent the last ten years of ministry serving in three mega-church settings as a Youth Pastor, Executive Pastor, and Lead Pastor. He has been married to his wife Lisa for 14 taon. Together they have three children Kennedy, Mia, and Lincoln. You can follow Paul on Nerbiyos or at his blog.

Anim na panalangin Upang Taasan ang Iyong Outreach IQ ni Steve Sjogren

prayer in outreachKaraniwan ito ay naisip na ng IQ ay isang medyo static na numero, na hindi ito maaaring tumaas, ngunit hindi sa kaso ng Outreach IQ. Pagdating sa outreach maaari mong taasan ang iyong antas ng katalinuhan. Ito ay isang bagay ng paggawa ng ilang mga praktikal na mga bagay-bagay paladasal.

Ang panalangin ay ang lifeblood ng lahat ng mahahalagang outreach. Maaari mong manalangin nang hindi ginagawa outreach, ngunit hindi mo maaaring gawin ang outreach nang walang panalangin.

Maaari mong manalangin nang hindi ginagawa outreach, ngunit hindi mo maaaring gawin ang outreach nang walang panalangin.

Ito ay madaling mahulog sa bitag ng pagiging abala sa outreach gawain nang hindi naglalakad sa isang espiritu ng panalangin. Tulad na gawain ay lamang gumalaw ng maraming aktibidad ngunit kaunting pangmatagalang prutas. Operating sa mode na ito ay hindi magbunga ng mga resulta naghahangad kaming.

Diyos nakikipanayam sa amin sa lahat ng oras. Ang tanging hawakan ay sa aming mga end-ang pagtanggap ng dulo ng mga bagay. Bilang namin manalangin namin na marinig ang kanyang tinig malinaw. May mga tiyak na panalangin na magkakaroon ng mas maraming bunga kaysa sa iba. Ang ilang mga panalangin ay madaling upang sagutin. Sila ay ang mga uri na ipahayag ang kanyang puso na walang pag-aatubili.

Kung umaasa kami na magiging epektibo sa outreach kailangan namin mag-alok ng panalangin sa pananampalataya, sa walang reserbasyon.

Kung ang anumang mo walang karunungan, hayaan siya humingi ng Diyos, na nagbibigay sa lahat ng liberally at walang pagsisi, at ito ay ibinigay sa kanya. Ngunit ipaalam sa kanya magtanong sa pananampalataya, sa walang nag-aalinlangan. James 1:5,6 NKJV  

Namin matalino kung pinili namin ang aming mga panalangin na rin. Kung inaasahan namin upang magdasal enthusiastically aming mga panalangin na kailangan upang ipahayag ang puso ng Diyos bilang nagsiwalat sa kanyang salita. Isaalang-alang ang mga sumusunod na bilang bahagi ng iyong panalangin arsenal.

Panalangin 1. “Magdala Tao sa ang O Panginoon”
Manalangin ang Nawala.

Diyos hugis ating mga puso sa pamamagitan ng mga bagay na manalangin namin.

Ang simula point ng panalangin para sa outreach ay mag-focus sa ANG punto ng lahat ng Nawala. Manalangin para sa ang Lost paligid mo. Magpadamdam ng Diyos ay sa kanilang kalagayan, ang kanilang mga sakit, kanilang pakikibaka bilang mo iangat ang mga ito hanggang sa Diyos. Hanggang namin manalangin para sa Nawala namin malamang lamang galitin ang mga ito. Kami ay malamang na mawalan ng pasensya hanggang sa aming enthusiastically malugod ang mga ito sa-sa salita at aksyon.

Panalangin 2. “Pagbihag Aking puso”
Magtanong ng Diyos Ilipat Iyong puso.

Diyos ay isang peligroso panalangin tulad na seryoso at ilipat sa iyong buhay. Ito ay maaaring maging isang mapanganib na panalangin sa tubos ng hindi bababa sa mapanganib kung hindi mo nais na lumahok sa pagkilos ng kaharian. Kapag ang Diyos ay nakuha hold na ng iyong buhay siya ay magdadala sa iyo, gamitin mo at magpapadala sa iyo upang gawin ang kanyang trabaho.

Panalangin 3. “Dagdagan ang Aking Anointing
Magtanong ng Diyos para sa karagdagang kapangyarihan.

Dasal na ito panalangin ay Bahagi A. Pagiging magagamit sumunod ay Bahagi B.
Pagsasanay paggawa ng kalooban ng Diyos. Pagsasanay ng maraming. Makakuha kami ng mas mahusay sa anumang kakayahan bilang namin ito madalas. Magbahagi ng Ebanghelyo gumagana sa parehong paraan. Kumuha ng bukod sa iba pa sa pagsasanay ang iyong mga chops outreach madalas. Diyos ay bumuo ng kanyang momentum sa iyo bilang kang maglakad sa labas ng kanyang kapangyarihan.

Panalangin 4. “Gumalaw Up Aking Regalo
Magtanong ng Diyos para sa mas kakayahan.

Ang Biblia ay nagsasabing ang mga regalo at ang pagtawag ng Diyos ay walang pagsisisi. Ang Diyos ay malinaw na likas na matalino ka kung maaari mong makita ang lawak ng kanyang gifting sa iyo o hindi. Buhay ay tungkol sa nakakakita ng higit pa ng gifting na siya ay nagbigay sa amin at kami galugarin ang aming paraan pasulong. Daloy sa iyong gifting. Payagan ang sa kanya upang galugarin ang iyong gifting. Payagan ang sa kanya upang ibuhos ang mas gifting sa ka. Huwag demand na maging perpekto. Kung gagawin mo ay mawalan ka sa karamihan ng kung ano siya ay may para sa iyo. Diyos ay ginagamit mo sa mga bagong paraan bilang manalangin sa iyo sa bahaging iyon.

Panalangin 5. “Bigyan Akin Pabor
Magtanong ng Diyos para sa mas bisa.

Bilang gumagalaw ng Diyos sa iyong buhay, siya ay nagbibigay sa iyo ng kanyang pabor at ikaw ay upang sumulong sa momentum. Isa sa mga unang bagay na kakailanganin mo ay isang cadre ng mga tao upang suportahan ka sa iyong misyon. Kakailanganin mo ang isang koponan upang makatulong sa isagawa ang misyon ng Diyos ay tinatawag mong. Ang kanyang pabor kailangang magpahinga sa iyo kung umaasa ka para lakarin out sa paningin niya ay nagbigay.

Isang panalangin na napupunta ang kamay sa kamay na may isang ito ay na ito:

Panalangin 6. “Magdala Nakakahawa Mga tao sa akin”
Jesus prayed na ito na may bahagyang iba't-ibang paraan ng pagsasalita.
Pagkatapos ng mga bagay na ito sa Panginoon hinirang setenta iba, at ipinadala ang mga ito ng dalawang ng dalawang bago ang Kanyang mukha sa bawat lungsod at lugar kung saan siya ay tungkol sa kanyang sarili upang pumunta. 2 Pagkatapos ay sinabi niya sa kanila, "Ani Ang tunay ay mahusay na, ngunit ang mga laborers mga ilang; samakatuwid ay manalangin sa Panginoon ng ani na magpadala ng mga laborers sa kanyang ani. 3 Pumunta sa iyong paraan; tumingin, Ko magpadala sa iyo ng bilang lambs sa wolves. Lucas 10:1-3, NKJV 

Ang key taludtod ay Lucas 10:2, "Magdasal ang Panginoon ng ang ani upang magpadala ng mga laborers sa kanyang ani." Ang isang kaibigan ng minahan ay naghihikayat sa mga tao upang itakda ang kanilang mga relo at cell phone alarma tunog sa 10:02 araw-araw upang ipaalala sa kanila upang magdasal sa kasunduan na ang Panginoon ay magpadala ng mga laborers sa ang ani. Kaya dalawang beses sa isang araw (AM at PM) mga tao sa buong mundo ay dasal sa kasunduan na ang Diyos ay magpadala ng mga manggagawa sa larangan ng pag-aani. Ang isang mahusay na paalala!

Gumugol ng panahon sa mga taong may outreach virus. Mahuli namin ito mula sa iba higit pa kaysa sa kami ay itinuro ito sa isang ulo-sa-ulo fashion. Ito ay tungkol sa nakahahalina outreach. Hindi mo kaya magkano malaman ang tungkol dito sa isang silid-aralan na setting. Ito ay mahalaga na lakad namin sa mga na ay matatas sa outreach. Mahuli sa bilang mong abutin ito mula sa mga taong mayroon nito. Mas mahusay pa, sabihin manalangin ang aming paraan pasulong.

Living with people leaving…

One of the most discouraging aspects of planting churches is the fact that most people who start with you leave early on. There are several reasons why this happens:

  • Unmet expectations.
  • Physical fatigue.

Some people just aren’t called to be with you for the long term. God might be using you to develop them for the next church they attend.

Sometimes people have their own agendas that just don’t fit with what you are doing. They can’t stay if they can’t get you to plant “their” church. You’d be crazy to try and get these people to stay.

So what do you do? Brace yourself. Many churches will see an annual turnover rate of 25%. That isn’t uncommon, so don’t be surprised if it happens to you. Try to walk securely in God’s will by developing mentors and leaders around you as well as outside of the church. This will help you maintain perspective. Most of all, maintain perspective by focusing on the fact that God has many people who will be joining you who aren’t there yet!

I have often asked myself if it’s just me or does everyone else lose good friends in the process of planting a church? And when you are planting do you get closer than usual to your people? This is painful stuff. I have been leading for more than thirty-five years and have been in on planting at one level of leadership or another approximately 150 churches. It still catches me off guard when major supporters bail out. And it hurts.

Every once in a while you stumble upon a miracle. In my most “successful” church plant I had a dozen of the original fourteen people “founders” of the church with me after eighteen years. It is possible to be surprised! Maybe these people stayed with me because I didn’t really “need” them to stay. Wouldn’t that be amazing!

Doug Murren
Doug Murren

Doug Murren is the senior pastor of New Heights Church in Boise, Idaho. He is the author of a number of books. Visit his web site at DougMurren.com.

Hayaan ang Pag-ibig ng Daloy! sa pamamagitan ng Steve Sjogren

Love for Valentine's Day
Love for Valentine's Day

Bilang namin maabot ang out kasama ang pag-ibig ni Jesus hindi ito tumagal ng napakatagal upang malaman ito out: aparador ang minsan ay walang kalaman-laman.

Bilang nilalayon naming ating sarili na lampas tila may mga regular shortages. Sa ibang mga pagkakataon doon ay masyadong ilang mga supplies. Pagkatapos ay mayroong mga isyu ng masyadong ilang mga tao na tuparin ang misyon. Sometimes we come up short on vision. As my grandma used to say, “It’s all too little too late!"

No matter what your apparent limitations there is great good news. Be encouraged: God’s favor rests upon those who reach out to those He loves with acts of mercy. God anoints us when we reach out to love the not-yet included. Love is our only asset. Love has ALWAYS been our only asset.

When we act as though we have other tools and strategies going for us to accomplish God’s mission we make it clear we don’t understand the basic strategy of Jesus. I recently read a book that bemoaned the loss of the so-called Emergent generation in the Church today (those between ages 18 at 40). The author of this bestselling book examined the situation and then offered a number of responses to this dilemma the Church is facing. It struck me that the most obvious solution to connecting with this generation was not touched upon. What about plain old love?

It may sound cliché but as I understand the theory, it’s love that causes people to respond to the life of Christ. When love is present among God’s people, and through God’s people, those on the outside are drawn to Jesus in magnetic ways.

Oo, we need to learn to listen to those outside the Church far better. Oo, we need to stop judging non-Christians as they make their way into relationship with Jesus. Those are vital skills to develop. There is a need to repent for shabby attitudes in the Church these days. But those skill sets aren’t going to patch the leak in the bucket that is causing Emergent people to leave the Church.

First Century Believers lived at a time similar to ours, but the concern wasn’t just for a single age group. They were concerned for all the age groups of all the world. There was enormous concern. No one outside the Church was listening at the time. There was a real possibility that Christianity might be a one-generation thing. Peter addressed that concern the best.

“Love one another deeply for love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8). That love is not limited to just those who think like us, who believe like us. Loving those outside the Church will happen spontaneously as we walk in the Spirit, as we walk in the example and power of Jesus. He exported his practical love and mercy to all who were open hearted who crossed his path.

There are open-hearted Believers and Not-Yet Believers right around you now. Let love flow!

Gumawa ng Isang Deal sa pamamagitan ng Randy Bohlender Hayaan

Let's Make A DealIsa sa aking mga unang bahagi ng pagkabata mga alaala ay ng laro TV show, Gumawa ng isang Deal "Hayaan,"Naka-host sa pamamagitan ng Monty Hall. Ang pangkalahatang ideya ay na ang mga tao, bihis up sa outlandish costume, would try and attract attention to be chosen to play some sort of game that involved trading things and making a blind choice of what was between door number one, door number two, or door number three.

Sa madaling salita, make yourself look goofy, roll the dice and take your chances on the outcome.

Psalm 45 offers another deal…one that seems costly but pays out at a crazy rate. Verse 10 says “Hear, oh daughter, and consider, and incline your year, forget your people and your fathers’ house, and the king will desire your beauty.”

In a patriarchal society like the Old Testament, the cost of this is clear. Forget your people. Forget your father’s house. Walk away from all that spells security to you. Take a chance on the unknown when the known is where you draw your sustenance…where you glean your identity. An unmarried woman may grow old and lonely, but she’d always be taken care of…at least as long as her father was alive.

father and son on a beachIn our world, where fatherlessness is rampant, many people walk away from their father’s house prematurely. Those with a healthy father/child relationship to point to are far and few in between, and even in those cases, the child does not look to the father for security and identity once they reach adulthood. In many ways, our own culture has taken place of the patriarchal leader. We are not told what to do or believe or manage our lives by an earthly father – we learn those things from a television, a movie screen, or the latest music group. We take our value cues from actors and musicians. They preach a fatherly message of self worth and self inflation that is the support structure of all sorts of our social mores, including the second house, the third car, and the fourth wife. We believe in these things more than we believe in ourselves, and we’ll pay any price to get them. We’re made to believe that these things make us who we are.

To walk away from your fathers house in 2010 certainly means to walk away from all that makes us comfortable and feels normal – to live abnormally, even uncomfortably. I’m wrestling this one out myself right now. What do I do, how do I spend my money, where does my time go based on what the culture tells me is important, is a must-have gadget or a must-see tv show.

If we can learn to escape that house, there is a promise – a better deal. It’s called an audience with the King – but that’s not all.

Verse 16 promises us “In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth.” In other words, it may cost us our comfort, but the payoff comes in the form of sons. One translation of the word used there for ’sons’ is ‘children of unrighteous men’.

Which of course, leads me to adoption. Adoption in not cheap, not easy, and not without risks (although we’re working on all three of those…). Gayunman, even at it’s most expensive, it’s most difficult, it’s most risky moments, if we step beyond the ‘take care of ourselves, feed the machine mentality’, we get an amazing payback.

In adopting, we collect the sons of unrighteous men and place them in the house of prayer. We make princes in the kingdom of God out of paupers. Beyond changing destiny, we change their current reality. Everything becomes different for them – and everything becomes different for us.

The Blind SideMy favorite line from the recent movie, “The Blind Side” came during one of the lunch scenes. The adoptive mother is having lunch with her friends, who remark “You’re changing that boys’ life!” Quietly, Sandra Bullock responds “No. He’s changing mine.”

It’s true. And all it costs is everything.

Let’s make a deal.

Challenge:

What expense, gadget or indulgence do you have in your life that you could do without. Maybe it’s a purchase you were about to make or a Christmas gift you were going to return for exchange. As a first step, pray about doing without it – for a while, or maybe forever. Is it really a must-have, or did you just buy what you were sold by your father’s house?

If you can find it within yourself, do without it and seed it adoption by giving to an adoptive family or setting it aside as the beginning of your own adoption fund – then retweet a link to this or post it on your own blog. It gets easier to leave your fathers’ house when there are others going with you.


Randy BohlenderWho is Randy Bohlender?

I’m a Christian. I know the vogue phrase is Christ-follower and Christian has a lot of baggage, but so do I. I’m doing the best I can (most days) to reflect Jesus to the world. Some days I get close. Some days, He’s unrecognizable by my reflection, but I’m trying.

I’m a husband. Hulyo 2009, Kelsey and I will mark our 20th anniversary. She is an amazing friend who challenges me to new heights every day. I married up. Most men do. Sa 20 more years, she and I will still be laughing. Maybe at you. Definitely at ourselves and our expanding tribe.

I’m a dad. We have three sons and three daughters with a baby on the way. Oo, I know. We look too young. It’s the internet – it takes ten years off of everyone (ask anyone who met someone through eHarmony). Having a family of this size gives a blogger a lot of material. If you read here long, you’ll learn a lot about my kids. Perhaps more than you’d ask. I make no apologies. I’m learning a ton about life and love from them.

I’m an Early Adopter. And I mean this on several levels…words, gadgets, and children. Kelsey and I launched The Zoe Foundation for reasons cited dito. You cannot know much about me without understanding my heart for this.

I’m an intercessory missionary. I work with the International House of Prayer and TheCall, laboring in a 24/7 prayer room as well as organizing day long solemn assemblies across the nation.