Archives For Missions

The news stories and pictures of the border crisis in Texas all became personalized for me on Tuesday. The children and young people we saw are real children and real young people. We saw children from seven to seventeen years of age, from the countries of Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico.

Ronnie Floyd at the BorderOn Friday, July 11, I issued a Call to Prayer: Responding to the Crisis on the Texas Border, and addressed the border crisis as President of the Southern Baptist Convention. When I was called upon to accompany Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and Dr. Jim Richards, Executive Director of the Southern Baptists of Texas to the border of Texas, I cleared my calendar and joined them. Dr. Moore and I were together in McAllen, and Dr. Richards joined us in San Antonio. We were accompanied and escorted into these places by Mr. Ali Noorani, the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum.

What Did We Do?

We began yesterday morning by touring a Texas Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas. Within twenty hours of entering our country, children are brought to facilities like…

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Downtown

I talk with a lot of pastors and leaders. Pastors and leaders from different places and different sized places.

Specifically, as I talk to pastors and leaders in rural places, in small towns, across the country, I hear desperation in their voices about their community. You see, I’ve come to realize that pastor and leaders are wired for their community and context. The best leaders, are leading where they are because of a great call from God… because they’ve heard God tell them to lead where they are.

The small town pastor and leader is no different. These leaders aren’t leading in small towns because they can’t cut it in the big city. They’re leading in a small town because that is exactly the place God has called them.

These leaders are desperate for their town. They’re desperate to win people to Jesus.

The biggest concern these pastors often have? How they can grow their church. I hear so many “We don’t have the money to do that” and “I don’t want 9,000, I’d settle for 90″ comments.

What’s the key?

The same key that Jesus understood when he spoke in parables… you gotta know your culture…

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PhoneEvangelism is the responsibility of every believer. There is no such thing as the “gift of evangelism,” rather, all Christians have the obligation to share the gospel. It is, and should be, on the heart of every believer to look for opportunities to share. That’s why we call people to lives of incarnational mission, showing and sharing the love of Jesus—personally—to a broken and lost world.

It does not mean, however, that you should not create special times within the body of your church for evangelism with some strategy. Churches can and should partner with Christians to create evangelistic opportunities.

This might include preaching through a special series intended for evangelism outreach.

Evangelistically Intended Sermon Series

Established churches can use special times to reinforce evangelism and outreach. AtGrace Church, we preach about two-thirds of the time at our church through books of the Bible. We are strategic about the other third. For example, every year between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we do a family series to draw attention to an overwhelming need in our community—the need for strong families. It’s a time when people bring their friends and is often a time when their…

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Sent

Matthew and Luke 10 are deeply meaningful passages of Scripture for how we reach out to the world around us. As Jesus gives instructions for the disciples to go out into the world on mission, he obviously knows that we will be reading these instructions for generation after generation to get our marching orders as well.

These verses can be seen through the lens of specific steps to take as we go on mission – first we pray, then we select the right workers, then we send them out, then look for a receptive person, etc. Looked at through a different lens, they also give us our values for missions; we value prayer, we value teamwork, etc. In this study, I’d like to look at these words of Jesus through a third lens, that of the missions principles that we see in these words of Jesus. One of the reasons that we have frustration and failure in our personal and organizational mission efforts is that we follow our own principles instead of these principles of Jesus. Understanding and implementing these mission principles of Jesus is the key to getting out to everyone…

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Out of Commission by Paul ChappellYou’d be hard pressed to meet a dedicated Christian who doesn’t say the greatest work on Earth is evangelization. But, while all of us give lip service to evangelizing and discipling, the effect of our labor seems woefully behind. Somewhere there is a disconnect between the priorities we claim and the actions we practice. Something is broken—or maybe just out of commission.

This book is an invitation to “look under the hood”—to examine why we don’t witness for Christ as we should, why our local churches are neglecting soulwinning and discipleship, and how we can get back to making Christ’s last command our first priority.

Written for every Christian who desires to obey the Great Commission of Christ, this comprehensive volume is motivational and practical, diagnostic and corrective. Whether you are new to evangelism or an experienced soulwinner, Out of Commission will challenge and equip you to share your faith and more effectively reach your community for Christ.

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Great Awakening

Everything in American life today points to our greatest need: the next great spiritual awakening in America. I believe there is a growing desperation rising up within the people of God and a continual expectation that God is going to do something great in our generation. I believe it is time.

It is time to cry out to God

I have now been part of leading prayer gatherings with over 1,500 pastors. In three of those four gatherings, my friend, Bill Elliff, talked about the importance of crying out to God. He uses an illustration that has captivated me each time he has used it. Let me tell it in my own words.

Imagine that you are called upon to pray for your daughter. As you pray, you would pray as any parent would, for all of God’s blessings to be upon her life. While passionate, the urgency is non-existent. Let’s suppose time passes and this same daughter is captured by a terrorist and no one knows where she is located. Your mind goes in one thousand directions at ninety miles an hour with all of the things that she could be going…

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People WalkingI am concerned.

We live in a time when church planting continues to capture more of our attention, mission volunteerism continues to be on the rise, and yet evangelism seems to be on the decline. Now, I think I have the background and practice to say that church planting matters to me—deeply. And, mission volunteerism has been a part of my life for decades. However, I think evangelism is on the wane.

We see that in research. Over the past few years LifeWay Research has studied North American Christians and our research has turned up a glaring lack of concern for evangelism. The research indicates that Christians know they should share their faith, they just don’t. This is where denominations and networks can step in and help.

The redeemed people of God have been raised from spiritual death to eternal life and perfect fellowship with God.

In 2010, I wrote an article for Christianity Today in which I suggested that denominations are a good and helpful thing, when they are focused on helping churches and Christians more effectively engage on mission. This is where partnership among…

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Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains have been helping in areas hit by a string of tornadoes across the U.S. These are two of many lives that have been changed as a result.

More Information About the Rapid Response Team

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EvangelismWe are in a time when it appears evangelism is on the decline. In my most recent episode of The Exchange I hosted Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg. We discussed the decline in evangelism and how to address it.

I’ve talked about this on many occasions because it is a concern we should all share. Sharing the gospel today may be met with difficulty, but sharing the gospel is nonetheless important.

What is the state of evangelism in the West, particularly in the United States? Are people sharing the gospel on a regular basis or at all? What do the numbers say?

LifeWay Research has conducted some research on evangelism frequency among Protestant churchgoers and believers alike. Additionally, the Barna Group released some research at the end of 2013 on the state of evangelism among born-again evangelicals that may be helpful, particularly when it comes to evangelism frequencies across age groups.

I thought I’d take a look at both—since they come to some different conclusions. (That does not mean that they are both inaccurate, but more on that in a moment.)

Evangelism and the Millennial: Surging, Sinking, or Staying the…

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Saddleback Greeting

One of the most important factors for the growth of your church, of any church, of the kingdom for that matter, is how loving we are as Christians. It’s absolutely essential that we lead our churches to be love-filled communities. It’s love that reaches people. You don’t argue people into the kingdom of heaven. You love them into the kingdom of heaven.

How do you have a loving church? Three steps:

1. Accept everybody.

Have you ever been in a church of spiritual snobs? We get it and you don’t. Do you know why people have a hard time accepting others? They confuse acceptance with approval. There’s a big difference between acceptance and approval. You can accept somebody without approving of his lifestyle. He may be doing something totally contrary to the word of God, but you can accept him as a person without approving of the sin he’s involved in.

Romans 15:7 says, “Accept one another just as Christ accepted you.” That’s a start — acceptance. At Saddleback we are trying to cultivate an attitude of acceptance. At Saddleback, we communicate that the church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for…

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