Do You Make These Mistakes in Evangelizing Your Community?
Finding what God is blessing and doing it, is more effective than praying, “God bless what I’m doing.” To do meaningful things in the harvest of the Lord ask:
What’s the current crop . . .
growing here in this field . . .
at our specific season?
Be wrong about your response to any of the next three questions and you are making a mistake in evangelizing your city.
- What is the current crop? The current crop in a retirement village in Florida is different than the current crop in Toronto.
- What is the available harvest in this specific town, city, village or community? The available harvest is unique to every locale.
- What is ripe right now? Is is backsliders, an influx of African immigrants or an arriving group of college students. Harvest does not all come ripe at the same time.
Think about this: across North America two interesting phenomena are taking place.
· Our skins are getting darker as a result of Hispanic, Asian and African immigrant.
· America is getting older. Many churches have youth ministry but few have an intentional ministry to elders in the church or outside the church.
In ignoring current reality, we can be like the disciples who visited the Samaritan village of Sychar (John 4). Jesus most intimate followers did not see the residents of the village before them as an evangelistic opportunity. James, John, Simon Peter and the others bought groceries but impacted no person with what they knew about Jesus. Eventually Jesus encouraged them to lift their eyes in order to see the harvest.
Responses to your moment:
1. Ask questions. Expand your vision to include people who are not like you. It was what Jesus did with the woman at the Samaritan well. Immigrants love to talk about their home. We all do. When I’m asked about my home state of Louisiana I’m almost always ready to talk.
2. Launch a Spanish speaking service. Bill Harden in Little Rock, Arkansas could not speak Spanish but he could hire a translator. He did! Today, a thriving Spanish speaking congregation is in Little Rock resulting from a non-Spanish speaking man’s vision.
3. Reach out to elders. Churches with an eye for effective ministry are launching outreaches for those near retirement age. The Tennessee district of the UPCI has a “Senior Camp Meeting.” For several years, Pastor Rudy Thiessen in Hillsboro, Missouri has had a Wednesday morning service oriented to elders.
Keep your focus on your field – this field . . . now . . . this crop . . . at this moment in time!