FORUM 2 EVAN 525 Spring 2015 @ Liberty University

In McRaney, Chapter 2, the author states, “dealing with lost people will cause us to get our hands dirty and sweaty just like tending to yard work. Part of evangelism is to clear up misconceptions and misperceptions people have about the gospel. Dealing with people and evangelism is often messy.”

Consider your own conversion experience. Explain how it demonstrated “the dirty work of evangelism”? What does the discipline of servanthood evangelism teach you about the “necessity of/dirty work of” evangelism? Make sure that you address how your emerging biblical theology of evangelism and practical experience of faith can assist people in addressing their misconceptions/misperceptions regarding the gospel.

My conversion story demonstrated “Dealing with lost people will cause us to get our hands dirty and sweaty just like tending to yard work” because I was a mixed up teenager who did some despicable things to escape from her parents after being lied to by her father and step-mother. [1]  I was twelve years old when the truth about my parentage was revealed. Nothing is worse for a child than to know that; (1) she was born out of wedlock and, 2)she had been abandoned by her birth mother on the front door steps of her grandmother’s front porch when she only two weeks old.  The psychological and emotional damage of this revelation led to me develop a distrust for my father and step-mother that never waned.  Father figures were not to be trusted.  That was my final dictum. Why did it demonstrate “the dirty word of evangelism?”  A trust broken at such a young age shattered this individual’s trust for all adults.  I was determined that no adult would be able to reach me.

That was no adult except my grandmother.  I ran away to the family home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (UK). My grandmother was dying of cancer.  My life was a mess.  I was a mess, and my grandmother was dying.  My hopes of a normal life were dashed to pieces.  My grandmother was my evangelist.  She was not at all concerned about her eternal rest. She knew where she was going.  On her death bed, she was a “servant evangelist” to her granddaughter, she sowed the seeds, watered them like a master gardener and dug around the dirt of my life.[2] She waded into the murky and messy water of my life and utilized the discipline of servant evangelism to clear up the mess that I called my life.

She epitomized the supreme power of evangelism; discussed the work of the Holy Spirit; clarified my misconceptions God as my Father and a father of love.[3]  My grandmother’s example of servant evangelism taught me that servitude is a noble thing.  Reaching out to someone and sharing the gospel with them is all that is required of me.  Her act of servant evangelism was a “single encounter” that utilized the “interpersonal approach”.[4]  She had no way of knowing if her conversation would lead me to accept Christ as my personal Savior, but she had the conversation anyway.

Evangelism brings with it many misconceptions. The biggest misperception is the role of believers as it pertains to evangelism.  Although the Bible states that God does the calling, he uses believers to tell the story in a personal, relational, and intentional manner.  Believers are not responsible for “saving” people.[5] Understanding that this scripture is as alive today as it was when it was first penned, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6 New International Version) will eliminate many of the misconceptions/misperceptions regarding the gospel.  I am a gardener so I relate to this scripture.  Planting seeds requires work, and it is messy work.  However, when they germinate and bloom into sunflowers, zinnias, hollyhocks etc., there is nothing more beautiful thant a bed of flowers.  Gardening is my theological reminder of the work of evangelism.  God created people to have a personal relationship with him. God’s word will never return to him void.  We must believe that when sharing the gospel with others.  McRaney declared, “We mistakenly think that we save people. God alone does this. Additionally, the Scriptures teach us that when people do not respond, they are rejecting the Holy Spirit, not us (1 Thess. 4:8).”[6] When a person rejects the gospel believers take it personally.

When one approaches an individual, with the intent of sharing the gospel, they must remove themselves from the equation and rely on the Holy Spirit to speak through them. There is no win or lose scenario.  Understanding that one’s faith in The Lord to give us the right words for the specific person with whom we are sharing the gospel is crucial to the process of personal evangelism.   It is as simple as sharing a meal with a person who is starving.  The worse thing they can do is throw it in your face.  The best thing they can do is eat it and nourish their bodies.  The gospel nourishes their soul.

Notes

 


[1] William McRaney, The Art of Personal Evangelism: Sharing Jesus in a Changing Culture (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2003), 34-35, Kindle Edition.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.,  48-49.

[4] Ibid., 54.

[5] Ibid., 60.

[6] Ibid.

Bibliography

 

McRaney, William. The Art of Personal Evangelism: Sharing Jesus in a Changing Culture. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2003.

Link

Discussion Board Forum 4 1 LEAD 510- Spring 2015 – Liberty University by Joyce Gerald

On the first page of the introduction to Practicing Greatness, McNeal recounts hearing Elton Trueblood say, “Deliberate mediocrity is a sin.” Which of the first three disciplines (self-awareness, self-management, or self-development) do you find most difficult to incorporate into your life at this time? Which of the three would you say you have had the most success incorporating in your life? What strategies have helped you?

Which of the first three disciplines have you had the most success incorporating in your life?

Self-awareness is the discipline that I had the most success incorporating into my life.  It is the most successful one because I had incredible mentors when I entered the School of Education at Brooklyn College as a graduate assistant.  My professors right away saw this person in me, “Sheri worked herself into exhaustion, but still didn’t let up. She took on any assignment, just so she could gain a word of approval. She even took affirmations from others’ noticing how overworked she was.” [1] They explained to me that, because of my background [the only child of the only son of a well to do family who was born out of wedlock], I was still trying to gain acceptance from my step-mother.  I immediately related to that.  I have always been an over-achiever in anything that I have attempted.  However, when reminded of this character trait, I remembered the words of my grandmother.  My grandmother told me that I was “a blessing to her.”  My grandmother called me a blessed child.  She instilled in me the value of being thankful for who I am and what I have.  But she also instilled in me the value of others and how important it is to be aware of the fact that my abilities could be threatening to others.  The other thing that she instilled in me was the capacity to be aware of pride.  She always said, “Pride comes before the fall!”  That has stuck with me my entire life. I have lived my life in education as a servant.  I believe that it is because of this willingness to serve that I moved rapidly from one level in the district all the way to the district level.

The life of Joseph and Solomon were the two cornerstone characters that I read and practically memorized to ensure that I did not fall into the same character style challenges.  I always ask myself why am I doing what I am doing before I begin a task.  I want to ensure that I am doing it because it glorifies God and not myself.[2]  Self-development is a close second.  I am always reading. I consider myself a life-long learner.  But self-awareness probably prevented me from working myself to death and making everyone around me miserable.

Which of the first three disciplines do you find most difficult to incorporate into your life at this time?

Self-management

According to Reggie McNeal, “They [great leaders] know that internal self-management of their own mental, emotional, and spiritual health is the key.”[3]  It may just be that I do not feel that I study enough or pray enough.  Even though I find myself praying on and off all day long as suggested by Jerry Falwell, I find that my quiet time is still not enough.[4]  Because my ministry is a prayer, discipleship, and evangelism ministry I pray a lot, but I still feel that it is not enough.  The other area of self-management that I have a terrible time with is physical health.  McNeal declared, “Great leaders take as much care of themselves physically as they do other emotional and spiritual aspects. “[5] I have a significant health problem, namely fibromyalgia, and because I did not limit my stress level in my non-Christian profession  I ended up in the hospital.  Now I have nerve damage in both legs and both arms.  Now I am on a water aerobic therapy program.  I still need to monitor my carb intake and ensure that I do no expose myself to allergens that trigger asthma attacks.  For instance on Sunday, the stage was covered with Easter Lilies – the one flower that will send me into an asthma attack.  Instead of not standing near them I took the position on the stage that everyone takes when they sing.  I was very sick Sunday night. I knew better, but I didn’t want to stand out like a sore thumb.  I did notify the decorating committee about my allergies, but that was after the fact.  I should have mentioned it to the Pastor when he asked me to sing. I am a classic introvert who lives in a world of extroverts.

I need to make my health challenges known to ensure that I stay healthy.  I am of no use to the work of the Lord flat on by back in the hospital like I was last September.  Or incapable of driving or ministering to anyone as I was from September 2013 until September 2014 I need to take better care of myself.  I am looking for an acupuncturist to help me to handle the intense pain.  It has taken me twenty-two years to get to this point.  It took hospitalization stress that almost killed me before I started to take better care of my health. McNeal proposed, “Leaders need to understand that followers are not drawn toward leaders who do not take care of themselves. In an age of increased awareness of health issues, followers do not respect leaders who fail to practice physical self-management.”[6]  This was a hard lesson for me to learn, but a critical one.  I am still working on getting enough sleep at night, and not stressing out over my class work.

Notes


[1] Reggie McNeal, Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2006), Loc. 442-443, Kindle.

[2] Ibid., Loc. 566.

[3] Ibid., Loc. 716.

[4] Jerry Falwell, Building Dynamic Faith (Nashville, TN: World Publishing, 2005), Loc. 1088-89.

[5] Reggie McNeal, Practicing Greatness: Loc. 927.

[6] Ibid., Loc. 939.

Bibliography

Falwell, Jerry. Building Dynamic Faith. Nashville, TN: World Publishing, 2005. Kindle.

McNeal, Reggie. Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2006. Kindle.

 

 

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