Chuck Wood on making Great Commission disciples

Merely praying the sinner’s prayer does not make a disciple.

In this video Chuck Wood models how he uses the Great Commission to help someone understand what it means to repent and believe.

Resource: Chuck’s notes.

 

The movements.net glass is now half full

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The appeal to redesign and rebuild the movements website and podcast has crossed the half-way point of $5,000 AUD.
 
I’m confident that we’ll get there by the end of this week.

You can give through MOVE by following this link. Write “Addison” for the worker/project name.

If you’re in the UK you give here and we’ll claim any gift aid.

Let me know if you’re having trouble with either option.

 

Why praying the sinner’s prayer is not enough

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A few years ago I led a young man to Christ. At least I thought I did.

We met up again to work through basic discipleship. Lesson 2 was Jesus’ command to Be Baptised. We did a discovery bible study on Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. Then came the surprise.

I asked Gary how he would obey what he’d learnt in the story. Here’s how the conversation went:

Steve there’s no way I can get baptised.

Why?

If I got baptised I’d have to be a real Christian.

What does that mean?

I’d have to stop sleeping around. I’m not willing to do that.

I assured Gary we could work on this together. That God would give him the strength to do what was right. Even when he stumbled, God would forgive and restore him. But he had to be willing to let Jesus rule in every area of his life.

Gary said no.

Gary had prayed the sinner’s prayer, but he wasn’t willing to let Jesus rule in his life. That’s not saving faith.

When I’m training people to do Discovery Bible Study, I often tell the story of the woman who wept at Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50). What amazes me is that nobody notices that Jesus announced to a room of Pharisees that this woman’s sins were “many”.

Most people think the woman was rescued from religious bigotry by Jesus’ unconditional acceptance. Yet Jesus says her faith in him brought forgiveness and freedom from sin.

Throughout the New Testament we don’t find any examples of someone being asked to pray the sinners prayer. In the NT conversion is one experience with five key elements: repentance, faith, forgiveness, baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit. These are five ways of looking at the one conversion experience. You can’t separate them. (Robert Stein has done the homework on this.)

At Pentecost Peter challenged the crowd to:

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38

Peter doesn’t mention faith, but it’s assumed. Sometimes other elements aren’t mentioned, but they’re assumed.

Back to my friend Gary. What could I have done differently?

I like Chuck Wood’s approach. When someone says they what to turn and put their faith Christ, he takes them Matthew 28:18-20.
He has them read it out loud. Then he explains:

  1. All authority in heaven and on earth is given to Jesus. Are you willing to make him the ruler of your life?
  2. Jesus commands us to follow his example and be baptised. Are you willing to be baptised?
  3. Jesus wants us to learn how to obey everything he has commanded. Are you willing to meet with other disciples and learn how to obey what Jesus taught?
  4. Jesus commands us to go and make disciples. Are you willing to share the good news with others?
  5. Jesus promises that as we do these things he will always be with us.

Then he asks, Are you ready to turn and believe?

If the answer is Yes, you lead them to Christ, baptise them, and begin meeting for discipleship (7Commands).

If the answer is No. Offer to keep meeting for Discover Bible Study (7Stories of Hope).

The Great Commission has nothing to say about praying a prayer, it’s all about making disciples of the nations by going, baptising, and teaching them to obey everything that Jesus has commanded.

Related: 7 Ways to narrow the conversion-discipleship gap

Movements appeal approaching $4,000

Appeal $4000

 

I’m waiting for official confirmation from the office, but it looks like we’re getting near to $4,000 Aussie for the website and podcast appeal.

Thanks to all of you who have given, or would like to but can’t!

We’ll keep it open until Friday 25, August.

You can give through MOVE by following this link. Write “Addison” for the worker/project name.

If you’re in the UK you give here and we’ll claim any gift aid.

Let me know if you’re having trouble with either option.

Stetzer on the declining American church

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There’s a shift underway:

The polls are in and the news is bad for the Church in America. Christianity is on the decline, Americans have given up on God, and the “Nones”—those who have no religious ties—are on the rise. It is indeed true that parts of the Christian Church in America are struggling, while a growing number of Americans are far from God.

Ed Stetzer

Some of the detail:

  • A growing number of Americans have given up on God—or at least on organized religion.
  • Pew’s 2007 Religious Landscape study, which surveyed 35,000 respondents, found that about 16% of Americans claimed no religious affiliation. By 2015, that number had grown to 23%, almost one in four Americans.
  • In 1967, Gallup found that about 2% of Americans—or 1 out of every 50—claimed no religious preference. By 2014, that number had grown to 16%, or about 1 in 7.
  • In 2007, Pew found that about 8 in 10 Americans identified as Christians. That number dropped to 7 in 10 in 2014. Pew also found that less than half of Americans (46.5%) now identify as Protestants for the first time in American history.
  • The Pew data demonstrates a consistent and noteworthy increase among Americans who are disconnected from faith.
  • These studies show that American religion is in a period of slow decline.
  • Pew’s findings have led some to forecast the complete collapse of Christianity in the United States. The data, however, implies a more complex reality. Frankly, there is no credible research showing that Christianity is dying in America despite the flashy headlines we often see.
  • Instead, American religion is simultaneously growing and in decline. Fewer people claim to be Christians, but churchgoers—those who regularly attend services—are holding steady in some segments, and thriving in others.

Read on…

Regardless of the figures, keep in mind that if you wander out for an hour with a friend, praying for needs and sharing the gospel, you just might find a God-prepared person.

Communio Sanctorum – History of the Christian Church

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Communion Sanctorum is my favourite podcast on the history of the Christian movement.

Here come the Africans

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The Africans are coming. No they’re already here.

There are six African church plants in our home city of Leicester, England from just one movement of Nigerians. A few weeks ago we began training them in how to reach the city. They want us back again next week.

Philip Jenkins is writing a new book on demographic trends and religious faith. Here are some highlights of he’s written so far on the impact of fertility and faith in Africa:

By 2100 Africans will make up 40% of the world’s population.

In 1900, there were three Europeans for every African. By 2050, there should be three Africans for every European. That figure, incidentally, is misleading in one way, as many of the “Europeans” in 2050 will in fact be of African descent. By some projections, the African share of global population by 2100 could be 40 percent.

By 2050, six of the world’s 20 most populous nations will be on the African continent — Ethiopia, Nigeria, Congo, Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, and Niger.

In 1950, the combined population of these nine nations was around 100 million, rising to almost 400 million by 2000. By 2050, they will have a combined population of 1.2 billion. That would represent a twelvefold increase in raw numbers in just a century.

Africa is now home to some of the world’s largest Christian and Muslim communities.

In 1900, Africa had substantial Muslim and Christian populations, with Muslims strongly in the majority. During the 20th century, both groups grew substantially, partly by demographic expansion, but also through evangelism and conversion. About half of black Africans joined one of the great monotheistic faiths, and they favored Christianity over Islam by a rate of 4-to-1.

 According to Jenkins, what happens in Africa is very unlikely to stay in Africa.

The appeal passes $2,000

 Appeal 2 425We just made is past $2,000 for the website and podcast appeal. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.

Some people has asked why it costs so much to rebuild the site and podcast.The reason is the complexity and volume of traffic. It will be a complete redesign as after ten years we need a fresh look. 

There will be improved integration between the blog, the podcast, social media, RSS and mail chimp for newsletters. As well as security and backup system. All this will be done professionally. The current set up has lasted 10 years with improvements along the way. But now it’s time for a complete redesign and overhaul.

You can give through MOVE by following this link. Write “Addison” for the worker/project name.

If you’re in the UK you give here and we’ll claim any gift aid.

Let me know if you’re having trouble with either option.

121-Steve gets personal

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In this episode Steve Addison gets up close and personal in an interview with managing editor Richard Clark of Christianity Today.

Play

Help get the message out

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An important thing I do is spread the stories and the lessons of Movements that multiply disciples and churches around the world.

Ten years ago when no-one would publish my first book on Movements I set up this blog and began to get the ideas out any way I could.

Today this blog attracts 10,000 visits each month from 100 different countries. The Movements podcast has just published its 120th episode and reached 100,000 downloads.

We never dreamt of such a global impact. Here’s part of an email I received from Cameron,

I live in a closed country in Asia. I’ve been learning the language for nine months and I’ve started doing the things you talk about.

What your work does for us in the field is unique. It’s new, fresh and comes from practitioners. It keeps me thinking, helps me stay sharp as I work things out here. I always look forward to reading the next blog and listening to the next podcast. I even look forward to long bike-ride commutes so I can re-listen to them!

To continue to serve pioneers like Cameron we need your help.

After ten years the blog and podcast need a major overhaul and rebuild. It will cost $10,000 Aussie dollars.

You can give through MOVE by following this link. If you’re in the UK you give here and we’ll claim any gift aid.

UPDATE: On the MOVE site you can write “Addison” as the worker or project name.