Why we don’t evangelise – and the simplest way to start

I admit it – starting an article on evangelism with the reasons we Christians don’t evangelise might be a strange tactic.* Why focus on the negative? Shouldn’t we dive in and fire our imaginations with the positive biblical reasons we should evangelise? Wouldn’t you prefer some inspiring stories, or Five Easy Steps To Make You A Better Evangelist Before Tea Time, or maybe just the searing kiss of red-hot guilt to push you back out there on the evangelistic trail?

There are lots of good things (not to mention some really bad things) that motivate Christians to share the gospel of Jesus with their neighbours. Yet I’m convinced that for most of us normal people, acknowledging the obvious challenges is a helpful place to begin. Here, in no particular order, are 12 reasons (you might prefer to call them ‘excuses’) that Christians find it really hard to share the good news of Jesus with the people around us.

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Creating a Culture of Evangelism – Mack Stiles Podcast

Mack Stiles PortraitMack Stiles, author of Evangelism: How the whole church speaks of Jesus and Marks of the Messenger, on promoting the gospel and creating an effective, Christ-centred culture of evangelism in your ministry.

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Mack may be the most passionate and naturally gifted evangelist I’ve ever met. He’s the author of five books, including Marks of the Messenger and Speaking of Jesus. This week, at the Together For The Gospel (T4G) Conference in Kentucky, Mack will launch his latest book – Evangelism: How the whole church speaks of Jesus. Born and bred in America, he now lives with his wife Leeann in Dubai, UAE, where he is CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions and General Secretary for the Fellowship of Christian UAE students. Continue reading

Is your church really welcoming?

The startling adventures of ‘Jack Pagan’ and his post-earthquake ‘church crawl’

Welcome MatThree years ago, when the February 22 earthquake hit Christchurch, the church I worked for at the time (St Stephen’s Anglican in Shirley) lost the use of its building. In the scramble to find an alternative venue, we decided that our three congregations (which had met at 8.30am, 10am and 7pm) would have to combine into one. On top of that, we couldn’t find a large enough venue that was available on Sunday mornings or evenings, so we spent the better part of a year meeting at 2.30pm on a Sunday afternoon. Continue reading

The Top Ten of 2013

Top TenIt’s that time when, apparently, bloggers post ‘best-of’ lists from the year that’s past. So here we go. These are the top ten most viewed posts from Every Thought Captive in 2013.

10. A Breaking Bad Idea: I took some heat (some of it justified) for this rumination on whether or not Christians should watch shows like Breaking Bad. I’m glad it raised questions for people.

9. Depression and the Christian: A collection of resources for people dealing with (or helping those dealing with) this massive issue. Continue reading

Persevering in Evangelism: Reflections on a godly stranger

Don’t give up sharing your faith in Jesus, even when it seems like a waste of time

Beautiful FeetOver the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about Russell. Not Russell from Up! (probably my favourite Russell); not ‘evil Russell’ from Survivor (probably my least favourite Russell); and not the short, freckly kid who thought it would be funny to climb the tallest tree at school and tie my bag up there when I was in Year 9 (probably somewhere in between the other two Russells).

The Russell I’ve been thinking about is a man who changed my life. But I don’t even know his last name, and I met him just once, more than 15 years ago. Continue reading

Archbishop-elect Peter Jensen’s first media conference (2001)

A ‘blast from the past’: In 2001, I was working for Anglican Media Sydney, and transcribed Peter Jensen’s first media conference as Archbishop-elect of Sydney. I’m re-posting it here partly because it’s once again become a topic of interest for many people in Sydney – but also because it will encourage, challenge and even inspire you as a model of thoughtful Christian interaction with the world. Enjoy!

Peter JensenOPENING STATEMENT

I want to make this brief statement to begin.

First, I want to stake my life on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That’s the agenda; that’s the news as far as I’m concerned. Continue reading