Archives For evangelism

ReachStudents’ 2015 Missional Milestone

Shane Stacey – January 14, 2015 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

Do you want your joy to increase in 2015?

Seeing teenagers come to trust and treasure Jesus Christ no doubt awakens joy. But, I believe there is something that stirs up even greater joy. It’s seeing those same students share the gospel – who Jesus is and what He’s done – and its implication with their peers. This is not merely a hunch about increasing our joy. It is the very thing the Scriptures tell us increased Jesus’ joy.

17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

21 At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, (emphasis mine) and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.

22 “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

23 Then when they were alone, he turned to the disciples and said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you have seen.  (Luke 10:17-23)

Being a disciple, one who is increasingly worshiping Jesus, changed by Jesus and obedient to Jesus in all of life, will cause joy to bubble up in your heart. Being a disciple who makes disciples will increase that joy. But, as we see here in this passage, what causes the joy of the Holy Spirit to erupt in our hearts is making disciples who make disciples.

Yet, although this is true, somehow our desire for joy is too weak, for all too quickly we move from mission to managing, from equipping to entertaining, and from empowering to enabling. As Kendra Creasy Dean states in her book, Practicing Passion, “young people are wired for passion. They are looking for something worth dying for, knowing that there in they’ll find something worth living for – and all too often we give them pizza.”

Or…another sermon or a game.  Continue Reading…

ReachStudents blog

B.U.M.P. bridged a neighborhood man to Payne Avenue Evangelical Free Church in St. Paul, Minn., where he found Christ, family and reconciliation.

When Othalee McDonald moved from his Mississippi childhood home in 1977, he never imagined a journey that would lead him to B.U.M.P. at Payne Avenue EFC in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Payne Avenue EFC’s vision of “Loved. Set Free. Changed.” perfectly describes McDonald’s path after growing up in the days of Martin Luther King Jr., “making a lot of people unhappy,” as McDonald put it. He and his brothers worked all day, frequently absorbing racial epithets, and so hatred became a natural outflow of the times.

The pay his mother received for their labor would be whatever the employers felt like; anything but fair wages. He never wanted to work picking cotton, or whatever crop was in season, knowing how he would be treated. “I can’t talk about it. It makes me sad,” McDonald said at the emotional memories.  Continue Reading…

The Gospel From 30,000 Feet

Dan Jester – November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

What does the gospel look like from the ground and from the air? Sounds confusing right?

It was to me until I read, The Explicit Gospel, by Matt Chandler and Jared Wilson. I hope to give you a new perspective on sharing the gospel, in light of the thoughts of these two pastors!

First of all, Chandler and Wilson describe the gospel in two ways. The “Gospel on the Ground” pertains to “the biblical narrative of God, Man, Christ, Response.” The “Gospel in the Air” refers to how, “Paul connects human salvation to cosmic restoration in Romans 8:22-23.”

I love the picture Chandler uses to describe the specific view of New York City from the middle of the city and then from a plane at 30,000 feet. Both perspectives, from two different people, would claim and be right that it is New York City, but each would have a vastly different perspective on the city. This causes me to rethink the way I teach evangelism to others and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Continue Reading…

Do Unto Others

Dan Jester – September 17, 2014 Leave a comment

do unto others.001

As I write these words I am moved to share the wisdom of someone else. First, I am an evangelist currently serving the Lord as a youth pastor. Second, what my friend has to say will explain the heart of Jesus and what he and I, and all who are believers in Jesus Christ, are called to model. You see, Dan Owens is approaching his final days due to terminal cancer. He is now home in California from Stanford University Hospital and with his family. I asked if I could share his heart when it comes to caring and loving others and how to share our faith in Christ as well. As I have recently performed two funerals this summer, and I am walking through another friend’s incurable cancer locally, I feel the urgency to encourage those around me with the profound words of a dying man. What you will read from here on comes from Dan Owens, a husband, a father, an author and an evangelist.

“I am honored to bring you just a word of encouragement with regards to evangelism and these are the same words I give my teenage son. In a society that has become so incredibly self-absorbed, mean spirited and fearful, living out of the words of Jesus’ simple command creates the most light. ‘In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you…’ Matthew 7:12. Treat people as you would want to be treated. How do we do this? I give you three points to remember. Continue Reading…