Hi Friends. This blog is part-3 of a 5-part series on the Quest to be Missional. If you haven't done so already, I invite you to take a moment to review blogs 1-2 as we head into part-3. The Outsider/Insider terms come from my "church window story" in blog-1.
For outsiders to ever know and experience the love of God from inside a church facility...the Body of Christians must live-out the same love and hope they receive from the inside, to the outside. Otherwise, how will outsiders ever be able to trust that Christianity is anything more than an institutional insiders-club for religious types?
But the question I often hear is...HOW CAN WE BRING FAITH OUT? Especially for shy folks....
Practicing Prayer Evangelism is one of the most powerfully biblical means to change the world. It's foundation is to obey in faith what Jesus instructs us to do. After all, he and the Father are the creators of the world. Therefore, who would know more about what works best for all creation, than the original creators!? In my last post, I laid-out Luke 10:1-9 and the 4-steps of Prayer Evangelism. Step-1 from verse 5 is "Speak Peace." Step-2 from verse 7 is "remain in that house." But, what is Jesus saying to us in verse 7?
Too often Christians have been more interested in winning outsiders to Christ by simply having them "pray a salvation prayer," rather than also discipling them. This occurs when some Christians get confused to what it really means to be missional. They believe it's their job is save someone. It is not. That's Jesus' job. Our job description as believers is to disciple others. Jesus says so in Matthew 28. When we don't do as Jesus instructs, it often leads to discouragement in ourselves, and to someone else's disappointment in the Christian faith. It creates insiders vs. outsiders...and neither represent God's heart.
Step-2 of Prayer Evangelism, however, is Jesus' way of saying, "hang in there with people. Get to know them and vice versa. Don't just jump from house to house." In Jesus' day, "house" was more than a personal place to eat and sleep, but often a person's business headquarters, or school, usually centered in the marketplace.
Quality time with people is more apt to lead to quantity success. Churches may have great attendance in Sunday worship, but are the attendees also being discipled well enough to have a great faith impact on Monday? In the Great Commandment, Jesus calls us into God to worship. In the Great Commission, he sends us out to make disciples. Both are needed, but we can't automatically equate worship attendance with disciple making. Worship can be a great start, but discipling others requires personal patience, mentoring, prayer, accountability and loving training. Jesus knows that long-standing relationships through the thick-thin of daily life is what speaks volumes of a person's mature faith--- as well as how that mature faith can be contagious for the sake of others. That's missional! Think about how easy this really is. Step-1 says pray for the spiritual climate to usher-out darkness and escort-in light, giving you better access within other people's daily lives. This develops trust, and when you have someone's trust, you often have their ears for discipleship.
In my next blog, I will speak to the ear. That is, Step-3 of Prayer Evangelism that takes insider faith, out, in order to bring healing to many.