Skip to main content

3 Minimals of Missional Fruitfulness

I have been sharing the message of Jesus for over 20 years - which means that most of my readers think I'm old and decrepit. 

Perhaps I am. But during those eons of exisistence I’ve had the chance to have many conversations about who God is and by His grace even see a few lives changed through the gospel. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my attempts at missional living – I’ve certainly embarrassed myself on several occasions. Some teaching on how to ‘evangelise’ can be complicated or even weird. But I’ve found that though missionaries come in all varieties, they fruitful ones always share 3 minimals. Here are the 3 practices I’ve found that consistently aid me and other Christians in Christ’s call to be a witness.

Listen

It’s painfully cliché, but it’s true: God gives us two ears but only one mouth. When talking with people around you, learn to ask good questions so that you can… listen. God may have worked in their life in ways you know nothing about. Before you talk - you want to learn all you can about the person you will be speaking to. To not listen isn't just rude - it's unwise.

They have a history and may have certain reasons why they don’t follow Christ - even if those reasons are bad. People really do want to share their story. In order to talk they just need to feel safe – and know that you genuinely care. Be that person. After you’ve listened, politely ask permission if you can share your story. If they say yes, proceed to tell them of the impact Christ has had on you. Be gentle, courageous, and humble.

Good News

Once you’ve been invited to speak, get the message right. There are two parts to our message. The first part of our message is who Jesus is and what he’s done. This is called the ‘Gospel’ or ‘Good News’. We often mess this up, thinking that the Good News is good advice. We tell people what they should or shouldn’t be doing: don’t do drugs, don’t get an abortion, stop sleeping around, start recycling, start giving to the poor, etc. Don't do that - don't be religious twat. The Good News is simply that when we were helpless in our sins, Jesus came to save us by taking our place on the cross and by rising again to give us new life. We repent and find mercy in him. It’s not what we do, it’s what has been done for us that we are called to witness to.

The second part you share is your own story. It’s about what you used to be and how Jesus has changed you. It’s not about how you cleaned yourself up and no longer go the parties you used to go to. It’s not about how you used be selfish but now you’re really dedicated to helping your community. It’s not your self-improvement project. It’s about how you’ve experienced Jesus’ mercy in spite of your failures. For me that means saying how I was once afraid of death, but the resurrected Jesus has broken that fear in my life and given me deep peace. It’s telling how I often feel lonely – but how I’ve experienced God’s faithfulness in my darkest hours.

Persistent Prayer

Lastly, pray. I don’t mean to insult all you geniuses by mentioning this – but it’s the 101 basic that hell keeps getting us away from. When I persistently ask God for opportunities to be a witness, doors begin to open. We share the message, but it is the Holy Spirit who opens hearts and who guides our steps. A life of fruitful missional living begins with and is sustained by persistent, private prayer.

Cultivate these three minimals in your life, keep coming back to them when you get distracted, and let me know how God begins to use you.
____________

bkFor a look at healthy friendships between Men and Women check out Forbidden Friendships available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle in the USA and the UK

Popular posts from this blog

Where I Turn Down a Gay 'Wedding' Invitation

Dear Katie,
I hope this letter finds you well. You’ve been on my mind lately as it’s been a few weeks since we’ve met up. We’re overdue to grab a coffee – I hope we can soon. I also want to thank you for thinking of me as you sent out invitations for what I know will be a big day for you and Joanna. I’ve known you since before you met her (two years ago now, is it?) and I appreciate all you’ve shared with me about how meaningful that relationship is to you. It was especially kind of you given my Christian faith. You've never directly asked me my views on gender or sex in much detail. But I think our conversations must have touched on it enough times to at least make you a bit unsure of my reaction when you sent the invitation. I have to say 'no' to your kind invitation. You know that I care for you and that I value our friendship. You know I don't reject you because you are gay. So, would it be too much to ask of you if I explain why my faith would make attendance at your…

Dear Pro-Gay Christian Friend

[Response to the letter Dear Non-Affirming Christian]
Dear Pro-Gay Christian Friend,
Thank you for taking the time to write me. Sadly, it seems you misunderstand why I met with you for coffee. Please let me explain my motives by defining the words in my salutation above. Would this be too terrible a way to go about it?
Let’s start with ‘friend’ shall we? You rightly question this term as an accurate description of our relationship. For now, let's simply say I mean it as an expression of good will - but will return to it again at the end of the letter. Then there's this term, 'pro-gay'. By this, I don't mean your personal sexual urges. There have historically been – and are today – countless godly leaders in the church who have deep sexual and romantic attractions to people of the same gender. In spite of their desires, they remain celibate and teach orthodox views of gender and sexuality. In your letter, you repeatedly refer to me as a ‘non-affirming Christian’, but I …

Holy Halloween?

The big ugly debate is upon us.
No, not the Presidential one. This debate involves dwarves and banshees of quite another variety.
As heated as the political scene may now be, it will pale to fervor with which Christians will begin debating if and how they will celebrate what is now commonly called "Halloween". This battle of ideas will be waged from the beaches of church pews to the hills of Facebook. There will be shots fired and people unfriended.
But what cyber surfing culture warrior would be complete without some historical trivia and theological sanity? Here you go...

The Background Story
The devil would love to steal All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) away from Christians. He is making good progress at it too.
All Hallow’s Eve is neither American nor pagan in heritage. The name should be obvious enough. Hallow means ‘holy’ (‘Hallowed be thy name’) and it marks a three-day celebration of the victory of Jesus over the powers of darkness as experienced by departed saints and Christi…