How not to get flustered in evangelistic conversations

“My first job in Christian ministry was in the chaplaincy department of a private school in suburban Sydney. After the best part of a decade as an infantry officer in the Army my hope was that, in comparison, talking to teenagers about Jesus would be pretty easy.

It took me about 15 minutes to work out that, rather than this being a walk in the park, it was closer to a limp through the valley of the shadow of death. …”

— Encouragement from Dave Jensen – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Nationwide evangelistic collaboration: Meet Jesus and the power of prayer

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“The old saying is ‘A rising tide lifts all boats.’  But could the spark of story telling, and celebrating faith increase evangelism in churches and on university campuses everywhere?

National Director of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students Richard Chin is emphasising the importance of prayer, through what he calls a ‘two-for-two’ model, and asks churches to join him in consistent branding in a nationwide push to introduce people to Jesus.

We discuss practical steps to integrate evangelism into the church’s DNA, champion the role of head, heart, and hand in fostering a consistent culture of outreach.

Rory Shiner is senior pastor of Providence Church, Perth and Chair of the Gospel Coalition Australia.

Baden Stace leads the ministry team at St Stephens Normanhurst in Sydney’s north.

Elliot Temple is missions pastor at Christ Church St Ives also in Sydney’s north.”

Watch or listen here.

Evangelism for the terrified

“I don’t know about you, but I find evangelism utterly terrifying.

It didn’t start that way. After becoming a Christian in my late 20s, one of the things God did in my heart immediately was help me see that following Jesus and sharing the news of Jesus were two sides of the same coin.

“How hard could it be?” I thought. Very hard, as it turned out. …”

Dave Jensen begins a regular column in Southern Cross magazine.

The place to start with Catholics

“What can you say when a Catholic in your life talks about same-sex blessings?

‘It’s all OK now dear’. Those were the words of my fiercely Catholic mother when the Pope proclaimed that it was now acceptable for Catholic priests to bless same-sex intimate relationships. …”

– This new article at The Australian Church Record encourages us to love our Roman Catholic friends and family – and has a link to a new resource.

Reaching female university students for Christ

“Instant gratification is attractive. Especially to our Gen Z friends, with their supposed attention span of a mere 8 seconds.

Add to that the widely prevalent social anxiety – experienced by 90% of Gen Z according to one workplace study – and many of the ways that we come to Christ or grow in him are looking quite difficult. Anything that takes a long time, or involves other people. Concentrating for a 30min Bible talk. …

Each one, and the many not listed, presents some difficulty, and therefore invites both the evangelist and the evangelised to save their effort and just give up.

What are the implications of this for our evangelism, particularly to young people, and especially given the urgency of the task? Perhaps there are two broad approaches. …”

– At the Moore College website, Marlee Knight shares words of encouragement.

What to do about threats and weaknesses – with David Rietveld

From the Pastor’s Heart at the start of their fourth year –

“The massive drop in church attendance is a crisis facing churches across the Western World and there are external pressures and internal weaknesses that need to be addressed at every level of the church. …

Even allowing for a covid factor, even assuming some sort of bounce back, these are figures that we should talk about.”

An important topic. Watch or listen here.

See also:

After COVID: The Deepening Decline of the Church of EnglandThe Living Church.

Evangelism in a post-Christian world – Dave Jensen

“How do we see Australia won for Christ? …

Firstly, we need to see and then remind each other that the biggest problem facing the people we know is that they are spiritually lost.

What that means is that no matter how they may present themselves to us, we must treat them with the greatest compassion possible – by telling them the gospel.”

– At the Moore College website, Dave Jensen has some real encouragement for you. A great article to recalibrate our thinking as we come to a new year.

(Emphasis added. Image courtesy Evangelism and New Churches.)

Australia: Meet Jesus!

“In 2024 the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES) is prayerfully embarking on a national mission; the theme is ‘Meet Jesus’ and the focus is John’s Gospel.

The AFES will, of course, be focused on proclaiming Christ on university campuses. But they have invited churches, Christian organisations, and individuals to join them, where possible, by using the same Gospel (John), the same strategy (reading John with others) and the same branding (Meet Jesus). …”

– From The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Meet the late starter taking up Chappo’s flag

“In Christian terms, Dave Jensen could be considered a late starter. When the figures tell us that 78 per cent of Christians turn to faith in the years up to age 19, conversion in his late twenties has made him a determined spreader of the good news.  …”

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Russell Powell writes of Dave Jensen’s new role.

Related:

What is a Christian? — book by Dave Jensen.

Chappo?

Catechising – A short introduction

“Believe me, Sir, the Church of God will never preserve itself without a Catechism, for it is like the seed to keep good grain from dying out and causing it to multiply from age to age.”

“So wrote the Genevan reformer John Calvin to Lord Protector Somerset during the reign of King Edward VI in 1548. He wanted to stress the importance of instructing the youth so that gospel ministry would go from strength to strength during the English Reformation. In other words, it was about children’s and youth ministry. In particular, it was the importance of catechising.

But what exactly is catechising? In short, it is verbal instruction (institutio viva voce). In the context of Christian ministry, it is a way of teaching the gospel to the next generation of God’s people to know, love, and serve the Lord. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Mark Earngey reminds us why the Reformers thought catechesis was so important and challenges us to teach our children (and ourselves) well.

Can we redeem Halloween?

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“How should Christians respond to customs, traditions, and stories that have associations with false religions, demonic powers, and evil?

Could a church building be covered in cobwebs and used as an invitation to come inside?

Would you run a Halloween event for the kids of your church so they don’t feel like they are missing out? Or would you run something as an outreach to connect to the neighborhood?

Is it about the occult and to be avoided at all costs and denounced – or is it kids in funny outfits and junk food?

To talk Halloween, kids and churches our guests are:

Craig Roberts, CEO of Sydney’s Anglican Youthworks and former minister of Neutral Bay Anglican Church.

Kristen Young, Director of student and community care at Sydney Missionary and Bible College.”

Watch or listen here.

Richard Dawkins asks an important question and here is my answer

“I can imagine Richard Dawkins sitting in the back row at the Areopagus, stern-faced and shaking head, and leading a small chorus of sceptics.

Richard Dawkins is continuing his mission to evangelise people out of Christianity (and religion altogether) and to secure his message of a world without hope.

Today in a video message, he asks, ‘Do you want to be comforted by a falsehood?’

It’s a good question and an important one. Does anyone want to find consolation in a fabrication? Does anyone want to pour all their hopes into a dead end? For Professor Dawkins death is of course the dead end, with nothing beyond and no light to give hope to either the dead or those who are left behind. …”

– Murray Campbell shares his answer to Richard Dawkins.

The Christian Gospel – a new resource

On the latest Two Ways News podcast, Tony Payne and Phillip Jensen chat about Tony’s new book The Christian Gospel. They also speak about the difference between the gospel and the Gospels.

Listen here.

Read about (and order) the book from Matthias Media.

In their conversation, Phillip Jensen makes a great point:

“…one of the signs of a true fisherman is that they are optimistic and come prepared – they take something with them to carry the fish home in. Any fisherman who goes without some bag or net or bucket to carry home the fish is not a real fisherman.

And so to enter into conversations with people without something that you’re going to put in their hands afterwards is like being a pessimistic fisherman.”

Image of Tony and Phillip: The Pastor’s Heart.

Be encouraged – God is at work!

“I recently preached at a church from Luke 15 about the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son and the lost brother – a great chapter of the Bible for you to read and reread.

It’s one of the great joys of my role with Evangelism and New Churches (ENC) that I get to speak at many churches in this way.

I invited people to come back home to God, made possible through Jesus; to be found by our loving God, who has not given up on searching for them no matter how far away from him they may feel. …”

John Lavender has this wonderful encouragement for you at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Mission & parenting in a post Christian world – with David Rietveld

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“There have been massive social changes as the western world has shifted from a Christian world view to a post Christian world view. In his new book ‘Being Christian after Christendom’, the senior pastor of Dapto Anglican Church David Rietveld analyzes the changes that churches, pastors and parents face in this transition.

Six weeks ago on The Pastor’s Heart David gave his explanation of the problem.

David is back today to paint a positive way forward for evangelism and parenting amongst the post Christian world view.”

Watch or listen here.

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