Thursday, April 18, 2013

An "engaging" challenge

Recently, I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit through my preparation of the sermons on Sunday morning. The early church had leaders like Paul and Barnabas who knew how to create opportunities to talk about Jesus rather than creating conflict. They were very good at engaging the culture of their day.
Many Christians like myself know that it is important to engage those in the culture around us with the message of the Cross, but we don't know to start. It seems a little intimidating to hang out with those who aren't followers of Jesus and it's just more comfortable to do things with our Christian friends - it feels safer just to stay in our "holy huddles".

The Apostle John wrote "greater is He who is in you, than he (Satan) who is in the world." We need to recognize that the power of God is greater than the power of the enemy. Let's all begin, if we haven't already, to overcome the commitment to do nothing and start engaging our culture. Below are eight things I am striving to do to accomplish this. Why not join me and fulfill our calling to be lights to our world?
  1. Start conversations - with your neighbors, the person you're in line with at the grocery store, your waitress, your barista - just start talking to people.
  2. Hang out with people who enjoy the same things you do - book clubs, sport leagues, PTA, service organization, etc.
  3. Volunteer somewhere - local school, sports team, Matt Talbot kitchen, Lincoln Pregnancy Crisis Center, Friendship Home, adoption agency, People City Mission, City Impact, etc.
  4. Tell stories - about your life, your faith, etc.
  5. Pray with others - if someone has an issue, stop and pray with them - even unbelievers will appreciate this.
  6. Invite others to join you - engage the culture with another Christian friend.
  7. Get to know your community by asking questions - What matters to people? What frustrates them? What do you love? What would you like to change? Listen and ask questions.
  8. Address the physical and spiritual needs around you - just meet needs.

Start small - do one thing this week. You just have to start somewhere.

P.S. You won't want to miss this Sunday, April 21st! The pop-rock band, Everfound, will be with us for Sunday morning worship and again at 6:30pm for a concert at the church. The band consists of 4 Russian brothers who credit their passion for music to their Christian faith. See you there!

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