PREPARING FOR THE MINISTRY OF into the 21st... EVANGELISM INTO THE 21ST CENTURY. EVANGELISM INTO

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  • EVANGELISM

    INTO THE 21ST CENTURY

    FACILITATORS GUIDE

    EVANGELISM INTO THE 21ST CENTURY

  • EVANGELISM INTO THE 21ST CENTURY FACILITATORS GUIDE

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    O U T L I N E

    1. LOOK BACK

    Secular WorldChurch EmphasesChurch Growth in 20th CenturyChallenges facing the ChurchCondition of Church

    2. FOUR TRENDS THAT POSE A CHALLENGE TOCHRISTIAN EVANGELISM

    Uncontrolled urbanization Unrelenting aggressive secularism Expanding non-Christian religions Shifting Frontiers and Emerging Fields

    3. UNCHANGEABLE FACTS

    Our Message Our Mandate

    a) A re-discovery of the Full Biblical Messageb) Mobilization of the Whole Churchc) Explore new methods and new fields

    Evaluationd) Total and Unconditional Dependence Upon

    God

    EVANGELISM INTO THE 21ST CENTURY

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    1. LOOK BACK

    SECULAR WORLD1960s - Promiscuous Society1970s - Humanistic Society1980s - Selfish Society1990s - Multinational and Pagan Society

    CHURCH EMPHASES1950s - Evangelism1960s - Social Compassion1970s - Prayer Movements1980s - Renewal Prophetic Ministries1990s - Spiritual Warfare

    CHURCH GROWTH in 20th CENTURYPer day - 78 000 new Christians

    Growth PointsLatin America - AD1900 500 million 200%

    - AD2000 2 billionAfrica - 1 new denomination per week

    - 1600 convertsAsia - China - 1980s-20 000

    - 1990s-50 millionKorea - 30% of population Christians

    1975Church membership equally divided between westernand non-western Churches 75 million1995Non-western Churches - 480 millionWestern Churches remain 75 million

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    Challenges facing the ChurchPolitical; Social; Demographic; Economic;Philosophical

    Condition of ChurchParalyzed and confused, torn by division anduncertainty; withdrawn into ecclesiastical ghettos; pre-occupied with its own internal affairs and unconcernedand irrelevant to deepest needs of those around us.However, the 21st century could be the greatestmoment of the Church.

    2. FOUR TRENDS THAT POSE A CHALLENGE TOCHRISTIAN EVANGELISM

    A. UNCONTROLLED URBANIZATION

    By 2000AD: 6 billion people (about three times the number of

    people living at the dawn of the 20th century. Half the world in cities - uprooted & disillusioned. 50% of worlds population under 25 years old. 22 cities with a population of over 10 million.

    B. UNRELENTING AGGRESSIVE SECULARISM

    Secularism Excludes God from the world and human life Live for the present, without any reference to God

    or divine, moral or spiritual values, e.g. educationresponsible decision making - teachers do not tellkids what is right or wrong any more, they onlyteach them a process for making their own decisions.

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    C. EXPANDING NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS

    Due to failure of secularism, there isa religious awakening taking place butit is not historic Christianity.

    Islam - 16% growth per yearHinduism - 12% growth per yearBuddhism - 10% growth per yearChristianity - 9% growth per year

    D. SHIFTING FRONTIERS & EMERGINGFIELDS

    The last decade of the 20th century rememberedby historians as one of the watershed periods ofthe modern era. The collapse of Marxism inEastern Europe and the Soviet Union has openedthe door for the Gospel to reach millions.

    The 21st century presents the possibility of majorchanges e.g. New(New South Africa; New Age;New World Order)

    Will new doors be opening? viz., Turkey,Middle East & China

    A period of religious Polarisation? Liberal &Conservative; Social & Evangelical; Inter-faith &Independents; Reformed & Charismatic

    Will Christian Nations abandon Christianroots for the sake of trade purposes andconformity and political correctness?

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    So called Christian nations are now becomingnew targets of aggressive cults for proselytizing.

    3. UNCHANGEABLE FACTS(Campaign in UK Starving peopleBand AidLost Momentum Compassion FatigueCompassion Overlaod)

    (a) Our Message God loves and communicates Mankind has rebelled and is alienated from

    God God has taken the initiative to bridge the gap Hope for the future - Christ is risen; He will

    reign; God has not changed, nor the Gospel,nor has the heart of man

    The 7 recorded messages in Acts all called for averdict

    (b) Our Mandate (Mark 16:15) The disciplesobeyed this command and their ministry shookthe Roman Empire. The evangelistic imperativeremains unchanged.

    Relevant Revolutionary Prophetic

    (i) A re-discovery of Full Biblical Message

    (ii) Mobilization of the Whole Church

    Professor Michael Green

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    Whenever Christianity has been at its mosthealthy, evangelism has stemmed from thelocal church and has had a noticeable impacton the surrounding area. I do not believe thatthe re-Christianization of the West can takeplace without the renewal of the localchurches in this whole area of evangelism.

    I Thessalonions 1:8 Your faith in God hasbecome known everywhere.

    Professor George HunterWestern Christianity needs a multitude ofinternational missionary congregations churches that will abandon the old decrepitChristian models of ministry and whose primemission will be to reach and disciple peoplewho do not yet believe"

    Encourage gift of Evangelism

    (iii) Evaluate New Methods and explore NewFieldsBe creative. Paul was all things to all men.Methods are only a means to an end.

    (iv) Depend Totally & Unconditionally uponGodArchbishop George Carey at hisenthronement in April 1991 stated, It willbe more woe to us if we preach religioninstead of the Gospel woe to us if wepreach a message that looks only towardsinner piety and does not relate our faith to theworld around. Woe to us if we fail to hand onto future generations and the unsearchable

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    rules of Christ, which are the very heartbeatof the Church and its mission.

    Charles Colson in the chapter on HealthyBelieving in his book Dangerous Grace, statesthat when film director Martin Scorsese updatedthe 1992 thriller CAPE FEAR, he made onesignificant change: He turned the crazed villaininto a Bible quoting Pentecostal Christian, with across tattooed across his back. In a scene wherehe tries to rape a woman, he shouts: Are youready to be born again?

    The message is clear: People who believe theBible are deranged and even dangerous. Thebelief that religion is harmful to mental health iscommon in secular media and academia today:The idea goes back to Sigmund Freud, whoregarded belief in God as neurosis.

    But, in Christianity Today, Christian PsychiatristDavid Larson exposes that assumption as meremyth. When he examined the imperial data,Larson says he found exactly the opposite.Religious people are actually healthier than thegeneral population, both mentally and physically.

    For example, in a literature review, Larsondiscovered that 19 out of 20 studies showedreligion plays a positive role in preventingalcoholism. 16 out of 17 studies showed a positiverole in reducing suicide. Religious commitmentwas associated with lower rates of mentaldisorder, drug use and pre-marital sex. Peoplewho attended church regularly even show muchlower blood pressure levels.

    People whobelieve theBible are

    deranged and even

    dangerous.

    " peoplewho

    believe inChristianity

    but dontpractice

    it, doexperience

    greaterstress"

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    The standard view that associates religion withpsychological problems does have one kernel oftruth, however. Larson found that people whobelieve in Christianity but dont practice it, doexperience greater stress. People who believe inGod, but who neglect church attendance andBible reading, those who are divorced, or abusealcohol, show higher rates of anxiety than thegeneral population. In short, the inconsistentChristian suffers greater stress than theconsistent atheist.

    The committed Christian is happier and suffersless mental illness than the general population.

    The most miserable person of all is the one whoknows the truth and yet does not obey it.