Archive for July 2011
In a book published by The Faith Mission in 1936, J. B. McLean writes of Pioneering Days in the Lothians. Here, as a little bonus to our blog readers, is an extract not printed in our magazine.
There were quiet missions with just a few professing, but some of these were interesting enough. One tiny village with no church had quite good meetings gathered from the villages around. Three church elders got blessing and made no small stir in their different sessions and churches. The station-master was markedly changed.
A bedridden man got out of bed and was helped to the school. He insisted on getting down on his knees, and God graciously gave him the assurance of salvation at once. He went back to bed, and there witnessed to all who visited him.
Another elderly man was busy digging in his garden when he heard the open-air march singing Oh, say, will you go to the Eden above? He dropped his spade and said: “Yes, I’ll go.” He found his way to the school and got soundly converted.
We are constantly hearing of fruit remaining from the smaller missions.
Faith Mission Prayer Unions are dotted all over the Lothians still; not all flourished, it is true, for many reasons, but there is much to rejoice over. Whole villages were brought under conviction of sin.
A policeman told the Pilgrims (as FM workers were called in those days – Ed.) that the publican in one place was bemoaning the fact that not one man was in his bar on Saturday night, and that before they got saved the men were there constantly. The mighty power of God was manifest in the case of wild, drinking, swearing men. In some cases the craving for drink was destroyed straight away when they got saved, in others there was a struggle with the appetite. The same could be said of smoking.
An extreme case might be mentioned to the glory of God. One night, during a mission, a man, helplessly drunk, was almost carried in between two Christians. They brought him to the penitent form and God saved him. He walked out of the hall sober and erect.From Faith Triumphant by J. B. McLean Published by the Faith Mission, Edinburgh 1936.
In worship God gathers his people to himself as centre: “The Lord reigns” (Ps. 93:1).
Worship is a meeting at the centre so that our lives are centred in God and not lived eccentrically.
We worship so that we live in response to and from this centre, the living God.
Failure to worship consigns us to a life of spasms and jerks, at the mercy of every advertisement, every seduction, every siren. Without worship we live manipulated and manipulating lives.
We move in either frightened panic or deluded lethargy as we are, in turn, alarmed by spectres and soothed by placebos. If there is no centre, there is no circumference. People who do not worship are swept into a vast restlessness, epidemic in the world, with no steady direction and no sustaining purpose.
- Edmund Clowney
We have now reached part 4 of Evangelism for Introverts, by Mike Bechtle, whichwas published in the Mar/April and May/June 2010 issues of FIRST!
MIKE BECHTLE writes:
5. Evangelism is a team effort.
The Bible compares the church to a body with different parts. When we demand that everyone witness in the same way, it ignores the value God places on all the members. When Christians ask someone to receive Christ, they don’t do it alone. God has already brought a string of people (including introverts) into the person’s life to move him or her closer to faith. I Corinthians 3:6 reinforces the value of each person in that chain: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”
6. I have to hang out with non-Christians.
Introverts might be uncomfortable pursuing a lot of relationships. For them, quality is more valuable than quantity. But the relationships have to be formed through interaction with unbelievers. Introverts specialize in “going deep” in those life-on-life connections.
7. God uses us the way He made us.
If you try to be an extrovert, evangelism will get harder. If you try to be yourself, it will get easier. That’s why God designed you as you are. People aren’t attracted by our methods, they’re attracted by our lives. Don’t use your introvert temperament as an excuse to avoid tackling a task God is calling you to undertake. While he doesn’t want you to be someone you’re not, God may lead you out of your comfort zone in order to stretch and build your faith.
8. Communication doesn’t always involve talking.
Most evangelism methods emphasize verbal techniques. But introverts are often more effective in writing than speaking. If it’s demanded that introverts verbalize their faith in every situation, the value of their written communication is minimized. For example, writing through exchanged emails can be an effective way to evangelize.
A BIBLICAL APPROACH FOR INTROVERTS
Colossians 4:6 describes the most effective approach to evangelism for introverts: “Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”
God hasn’t designed introverts to be aggressive in evangelism. He made them sensitive, patient and thoughtful—characteristics that will be extremely effective in the lives of others. Our responsibility, according to this verse, is to prepare. When God brings opportunity, our responsibility is to genuinely care for that person. When that caring leads to a faith discussion, it won’t be forced. It will be a natural expression of that caring.
Matthew 28:19 instructs us to “make disciples.” Discipleship involves guiding people closer to God from whatever place they are. For unbelievers, it’s moving them one step closer to salvation. An introvert is called to be intentional in his efforts to engage in that process.
Introversion isn’t something to be cured; it’s something to be celebrated!
If you missed earlier posts in this series you can read
Part 1, Evangelism for Introverts here.
MIKE BECHTLE is the author of Evangelism for the Rest of Us: Sharing Christ Within Your Personality Style (Baker Books), on which this article is based and used by kind permission.
You can visit Mike’s website www.mikebechtle.com for more information and resources.