Archive for the 'Great Commission/Evangelism' Category
When it comes to missions, unfortunately, many churches practice without strategy. Even scarier than not having a strategy, is not having the right strategy. There are many possible strategies, some healthy and some not. Warren Wiersbe says, “Ministry is not done by imitation but by incarnation”. (Philippians 1:6) The best strategy would obviously be a Biblical strategy, and I love using Acts 1:8 as ours for Cross Church. It says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
As a pastor, when you are setting a missions strategy, you should ask yourself, “What is God doing in and through me as pastor, and our church, to fulfill Acts 1:8?”
Here are 4 things an Acts 1:8 missions strategy can do for your church.
1. Brings focus. Pastor, don’t just throw spiritual darts at a map to select where or what your church will do in missions. It is a key responsibility of the pastor to set missional focus for your church. Use Acts 1:8 to bring that focus. Acts 1:8 does not move on tracks like a train, with whistle stops along the way in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the world. It moves like the sweeping hands of a clock, never ending, and with continuous movement. I love the thought that I can connect Jerusalem (local) missions to the ends of the world! Focus on how your missions strategy can connect local missions to the far ends of unreached peoples around the world. Begin reaching the nations in your own back yard to learn about the culture and language etc. Then you will be equipped to travel to their nation more effectively and with great focus.
2. Prioritizes the focus. Start with local missions, then move to regional, national, and international. I have said for years, at Cross Church, we will not forsake Northwest Arkansas on the altar of the world when it comes to missions. I believe we earn the right to go abroad. Pastors, let’s make sure we are getting it done in our own communities equal to our efforts abroad. It is a tragic thought to think we have thousands of churches in America that aren’t reaching and baptizing people in their own churches, but will buy plane tickets to go overseas to share the gospel.
3. Empowers the people. Jesus said, “you will be”. When we have a biblical strategy, it actually empowers people to be involved personally in your church’s missional vision. I want to see as many people as possible empowered to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. When we communicate clear, biblical strategy, it is amazing how many people feel empowered to get personally involved. When our people are empowered missionally, they will begin to live and believe “I am Acts 1:8”.
4. Honors Jesus and the Holy Scripture. “My witnesses”. The emphasis (mine added) on MY. Wow, what a thought. I can be a witness to the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ beginning in my local community, and extending to the ends of the earth. Now, that honors Jesus and His Holy Word. There is nothing that brings more honor to Jesus and His Holy Scripture than when people are led to place their faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. When we, as believers, practice being a witness for Jesus Christ, we can almost hear a proud Father say, ”they are MY WITNESSES and wow, I am honored!”
Pastor, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I bring focus in my church’s missional strategy?
- Do I prioritize our church’s missional strategy?
- Do I empower my church members to fulfill the church’s missional strategy?
- How much honor is being brought to Jesus and the Holy Scripture through my church’s missional strategy?
I would love to help you or your church in any way I can. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 479-751-4523.
Minister of Global Missions, Cross Church
As the United States of America nears celebrating her 241st birthday this July 4, it should serve as a spiritual wake up call to every follower of Jesus Christ. Now is the time for the entire church of Jesus Christ in this nation to unite in prevailing prayer for spiritual awakening. There is no greater need in America.
There is no great movement of God that has ever occurred that does not begin with the extraordinary prayer of God’s people. The time is now for us to come together before God in clear agreement, visible union, and in extraordinary prayer for the next Great Awakening and for the world to be reached for Christ. This must be the united, prevailing prayer.
We Cannot Ignore Our History
Jonathan Edwards was a man who believed in the absolute sovereignty of God. As a catalyst for America’s first and second Great Awakenings, Edwards called upon God’s people to act. He believed God would listen to the promptings of His people. Edwards called for prayer and fasting, both in secret and with one another.
George Whitfield was used by God to shake America. His powerful preaching of the need to be born again was used by the Lord to bring thousands to Christ. God used both Whitfield and Edwards in a supernatural way in the mid-1700s. In the early 1800s, the second Great Awakening occurred, and God used men like Charles Grandison Finney, Timothy Dwight, and others who became instrumental preachers of the gospel.
Then in 1857-1858, Jeremiah Lanphier was a layman who had a burden to pray. Eventually, thousands were praying daily for a mighty move of God in the land, and our God shook America. In a two-year period, 1 million Americans came to Christ and another 1 million converted to Christ in Great Britain and Ireland. The church was revived and the fires of evangelism were burning brightly. Missions exploded with the Student Volunteer Movement, where 20,000 young people surrendered their lives to missions.
God used these great movements of God to further impact leaders like Charles Haddon Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, and William Booth. These men and others were shaking the world for Christ.
Sadly, it has been since the Jesus Movement of the 1960s and early 1970s since we have seen such a movement of God upon our land. Thousands were being saved as churches were exploding, and many were called into gospel ministry.
Interestingly, in each of these great movements of God, united, prevailing prayer was occurring.
We Must Prevail In United Prayer
It is time for churches to unite as the Church of Jesus Christ. If we cannot unite to pray in an ongoing way for God to bring spiritual awakening, we have far greater issues. It is time we stop ignoring our history, but learn from it; then, take action to pray for awakening in a compelling, united way.
James 5:16 (CSB) says, “The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” This is prevailing prayer. This is what the Church must learn to do together. Regardless of what we see with our human eyes, we must be faithful to cry out to God in our desperation, appealing to Him with all we have: God, we cry out to You with all we have and are: Give America a mighty spiritual awakening. Yes Lord, may You give us the third Great Spiritual Awakening in our nation’s history.
Let’s take these three actions beginning today:
- Pray Extraordinarily: This means praying more now than you have been for spiritual awakening. Create ways to unite with other people, leaders, and churches in prevailing prayer for spiritual awakening in America.
- Awakening Brings Evangelization: Billy Graham asked the question, Can Revival Come? He believed firmly that “An awakening can bring about evangelization of the world in our generation.”1 While denominations and churches try to fix their lack of genuine evangelism, they need to realize that a true spiritual awakening is the ultimate answer to this problem. While we must equip others and practice evangelism personally, we need to believe that God can do more in a moment than we can do in a lifetime. This is why we must prevail in united prayer for spiritual awakening.
- Maximize Prayer and Minimize the Rest: As we maximize the need to unite in prevailing prayer for the next Great Awakening, we need to minimize the rest. This is not a call to dumb down politics or stop speaking to the issues in our world today; nor is it a call to make simple our uniting in prayer. It is a call to understand that only God is the One who can change the hearts of Americans from the inside out.
A Final Appeal
The church of America needs to unite humbly in prevailing prayer for spiritual awakening in America. As we come together in clear agreement, visible union, and extraordinary prayer for the next Great Awakening and for the world to be reached for Christ, we need to believe our God is able to do it!
I believe God can do it. I am trusting God to do it.
Keep your perspective: Our greatest need is the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, Immediate Past President of the Southern Baptist Convention, founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry, and host of the Ronnie Floyd on Life and Leadership Today podcast.
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Graham, Billy. “Can Revival Come?” Sermon, Inauguration of Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Louisville, KY, October 14, 1993. http://equip.sbts.edu/article/can-revival-come/