Saturday, October 08, 2011

Crusade

I'm blogging from the Starbucks in St. Joseph MO, today.

I'm in nearby Maysville for a weekend Crusade hosted by the First Baptist Church of Maysville.  Yesterday, I was at Osborn schools for two assemblies and Maysville High School for one.  The school assemblies were on self esteem and making good choices.  I had the opportunity to invite the students to the 'fifth quarter' event after the football game last night and to the Crusade events tonight and tomorrow.

The Crusade events are taking place at the high school instead of the church.  Even the Sunday morning service has been moved from the church to the high school.  It's been an interesting trip so far.  The church is very active in the small community.  I think that moving events to a location away from the church is a good move for two main reasons.  First it does make an event available to people that have just decided that they don't want to go to a church for any reason, and second, it reminds the believers that we are supposed to take the message of God's love to the community rather than trying to coerce the community into the walls of the church so that we can turn our pastors loose on them!

I realize that I am not a typical Southern Baptist Evangelist in many ways. As much as I recognize that the tradition revival services (or the modern day compromise of a Sun-Wed revival) still have a place in some areas, I believe very strongly that we have to adapt our methods of presenting the Gospel of Salvation to a lost world.  If we can't get believers into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night services, why would we expect unbelievers to reschedule their activities for a week in order to accommodate our stale tradition?  And why would we continue to use methods that are no longer effective?

I really am convinced that each believer must come to recognize that it is our individual responsibility to share the love of God.  Our pastors have no greater obligation than we have.  It's true that they have a different platform and different calling, but our responsibility is not diminished by the work of another.

At the end of the Gospel of John, Jesus is talking to Peter about the calling on his life (and death).  Jesus' last conversation with Peter is very much like his first conversation with Peter -- "Follow me."  At one point, Peter  notices John and asks Jesus, "What about him?"

In so many words, Jesus basically tells Peter that it doesn't matter what God has planned for John. Peter's obligation is to follow Jesus.

Are you being obedient to your calling?
Are you more concerned with what others are doing and how they are answering their calling?
When was the last time you shared your beliefs with somebody?
When was the last time you shared God's love with somebody through your actions as well as your words?
Does your behavior model the behavior of your Savior?
If others were to judge Jesus by the way you act (and they do), how would they perceive Him?
Would He be a loving, compassionate, merciful Savior?
Would He be the kind of Savior that would leave the glory of heaven to die a horrible death for them?
What picture do you present to a lost world?

If you are a follower of Jesus, I would invite you to join me in sharing the gospel...today!  Rather than an organized crusade with an evangelist and a big event, we will be an unorganized crusade of many dozens of individuals sharing the gospel with many dozens of individuals.

If you are not a follower of Jesus, I have good news for you.  He is following you.  He knows you.  He desires for you to know Him.  If Jesus was on Facebook, He would want to be your friend.

The Bible tells of a Great Book of Life -- Lifebook!  Jesus would love to include you as His friend.
Questions?
Write, call, message ... ask.
I'd be happy to respond.

John <><

1 comment:

bridger said...

Great to have you in Maysville, John. Loved you approach to ministry and your heart to share the gospel message. Stop back anytime you are close by. Looking forward to following your blog also. Mine is www.singing-intheshadow.blogspot.com

Hope to see you soon.
Kyle Bridgman