Dear friend of LDM,
I can’t believe it’s 2011. I just got used to dating everything 2010. Time flies by fast so let’s be sure we are redeeming it! I want to start off 2011 with a fresh challenge to everyone, myself included. Let’s remember what's always been most important to God's heart … people coming into relationship with Him!
I will go so far as to say that if we’ve made New Years Resolutions, and the next Resolution isn’t on our list we should put it at the very top! "To share God's love with the Lost."
I know for many of us, sharing the Gospel with a stranger or a non-believing friend can be intimidating. Where do we start? But I think it's a little like learning to play the piano. At first it can feel kind of awkward, and some practice is needed. Many take lessons from someone who can already play. A good teacher. But as time goes by, IF you keep at it, you’ll be able to play more smoothly, making music that feels much more effortless, even in your earliest attempts.
The “big trick” in playing piano is just putting your fingers on the keys and trying. Even without a teacher you can find pretty sounds as you pick different keys and find that some keys sound well together. You’ll be surprised by the music that flows out naturally if you just start playing.
It’s the same with sharing the love of God. Just open your mouth and start. What’s in your heart will flow out – and be sweet music to someone who lives in a world lacking harmony and full of spiritual discord.
Danny Lehman's message below is birthed from living it out for decades. Danny is a great teacher with much practical wisdom to impart because he practices what he preaches. So, let's all commit this year is to reach outside of our comfort zone, share God’s love naturally, and let Him do the perfecting! Only God can truly touch the heart of a person... as Keith used to say, "we're just a pencil in His hand."
It’s not that hard if we just decide that what is important to God is important to us too.
Together, let's run the race for Jesus,
in a Diverse World
by Danny Lehman
"When anyone hears the message about the Kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart...but the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understand it. He produces a crop yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." (Matt 13:19-23 condensed)
Know Your Audience
Once, I was talking to a young guy in India about Jesus. I explained to him his need to be saved, showing him where Jesus said, "You must be born again..." (John 3:3). However, I noticed that although my friend Ramesh was sincerely trying to comprehend what I was talking about, his facial expression was saying loud and clear, "I don't get it."
It was then the Holy Spirit seemed to tap me on the shoulder and to give me some insight, "Danny, he is a Hindu. He already believes he's been born again a couple of hundred times! Use a different word picture." I then proceeded to get on my hands and knees in the dirt and draw a picture of two roads - one that led to eternal life and the other that led to destruction (Matt. 7:13-14). A spiritual light bulb seemed to go on in his head and shortly thereafter proceeded to give his life to Jesus.
The problem with using the "born again" pathway into Ramesh's heart was that it didn't communicate the good news of the gospel because of his belief in reincarnation. To him, to be born again meant more suffering and a need to work off more "karma". When I changed my approach, the truth of the gospel was able to penetrate his heart. Jesus promised in the above parable when someone hears the Word and understands it, it will produce fruit. When Ramesh "got it", the crop began to grow.
My friend evangelist Greg Laurie says, "Our job is not to win people to Christ. Our job is simply to make the gospel clear and let the gospel, which is the power of God (Rom 1:16), do its mighty work."
The key issue in evangelism is communication. Are we effectively communicating the gospel? Are we doing it in a way that helps remove the blinders off the non-Christian's mind so that they can see the light of the gospel (2 Cor 4:4)? The gospel is the power of God. We just need to find ways to clearly communicate it.
Back to the Future of Evangelism
Eventually all evangelism has to come down to the proclamation of the simple gospel. In other words, we need to preach, but we first must find out if our explanation of the Gospel is being understood.. We must allow the truth to set us free from caricatures of Gospel preaching that bring to mind beady-eyed Bible bangers on street corners that seem to be in a bad mood and take it out on the poor sinners that are passing by!
The Bible tells us that he who wins souls is wise (Prov. 11:30). What will wise evangelism look like in the next 50 years? As I gaze into the future I would suggest the following characteristics. It will be:
That is, a combination of the old with the new. Jesus indicated that people who wisely point others to the Kingdom pull out of their storehouse both new and old treasures (Matt. 13:52). This old school/new school approach takes into account that "the faith was delivered once for all to the saints" (Jude 1:3), but realizes that new wine must be put in new wineskins (Matt. 9:17). We must know what we believe, why we believe it and why it matters but also encourage young creative minds to discover exciting and innovative ways to make the gospel relevant to emerging generations.
Personal evangelism is effective in every generation because we serve a personal God who wants us to offer the world the good news about a relationship with Him. Our high-tech age has produced a generation hungry for relationships as they drift in a sea of information.
Research indicates that while future generations will continue to text, Facebook and Twitter away their time they will be desperate for "chill time" to dial down and hang with friends much like their tribal forefathers did when "talking story" around the campfire. Tomorrow's witnesses will offer them this companionship as they embody ad proclaim the Good News (think low-tech, high-touch).
Keeping in mind the human touch of being personal, we certainly want to use all means we can at our disposal to reach the world. History shows that Christians have always made use of new technologies. Martin Luther used the printing press to help launch the Protestant Reformation. Billy Graham used television to spread the Gospel, while today Ipods can download evangelistic films that can be viewed anywhere on earth. Tomorrow's outreach will need to keep pace with technological advances.
The apostle Peter's interpretation of Joel's prophesy of the outpouring in the end times included "...your sons and your daughters will prophesy..." (Acts 2:17). As the fires of fervent, believing, intercessory prayer are stoked up in spiritual furnaces around the world God will come through on what He has promised. This includes an emphasis on youth (sons - young men, daughters - young women, servants - young men and women) who will not be afraid to speak prophetic truth to the Pharaohs and Herods of their generation. Many will be called upon to give their lives as the ultimate sacrifice.
21st Century evangelism will not only answer the age old question that Pilate asked, "What is truth?" Finish article
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Two Outreaches to Choose From.
1. REYNOSA, MEXICO
(just south of McAllen, Texas)
- Easter Outreach - JOSIAH BETHANY ORPHANAGE
April 19 - 23, 2011
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"Last night I was led to the LDM website. I devoured much of it, learning more about your ministry, and listening to Keith's messages reading bio's of Keith and Melody....
Reading about the Josiah and Bethany Orphanage I was brought to tears from little Josiah's prayer many years ago.
Your website has been an answer to my prayers. I have been sharing my experience with family and friends... I registered on the website and I will give as the Lord leads and I just want to say Thank You for your continued diligence in the Lord's work through your lives." –Leonard
Danny Lehman serves on the Youth With A Mission Global Leadership Team and directs YWAM Honolulu and YWAM Hawaii. He leads numerous outreach teams to the South Pacific and Asia when not teaching and writing. Danny and his wife Linda reside in Hawaii. They have two grown sons and two grandchildren.
While surfing in California, Danny was challenged with the gospel on the beach and soon became a Christian. After a few months of discipleship, he began to share his faith on the beaches and streets and in 1980 he joined Youth With A Mission.
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