Monday, January 31, 2011

How Christians Share Their Faith

Of evangelical Christians who are the ones most likely to share their faith? Where do they live? What is their race? and how old are they? Well interestingly enough those most likely to share their faith are hispanic "busters" (25 to 40 year olds) who live in the west.

That’s right, a recent survey by the George Barna research organization found that hispanics are more likely than blacks or whites in America to share their faith. The survey found that 76% of hispanics compared with 63% of blacks and 41% of evangelical white Christians have shared their faith at least once in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, 65% of westerner’s, compared to 59% of southerner’s and 58% of northeasterner’s shared that faith while only 41 percent of midwesterner’s shared their faith. And of those who shared their faith verbally, busters (25-40 year olds) shared their faith the most, 81%, compared with 64% of boomers (40-65 year olds) and 62% of builders (65+) sharing their faith in a discussion or dialogue.

Another insightful bit of information the survey uncovered is how do people share their faith. Of the 55% who shared their faith at least once over the last 12 months the most prevelant way people shared their faith was by promising to pray for someone (81%). Second was life-style (74%), discussion/dialogue (54%), Moral confrontation (50%), invite to church (49%), invite to event (45%).

However people share their faith Scripture makes it clear that God wants us to share our faith. Jesus told his disciples on the day that he went back to heaven that he wanted them to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the ends of the earth, Acts 1:8. That apostle Paul gives us a four fold pattern for being His witnesses. The pattern is speaking, opposition, perseverance and fruit-bearing. It’s repeated over and over throughout the book of Acts, but more important than Paul’s pattern is our pattern. Jesus wants us to be his witnesses and whether we are black, white or hispanic, a “buster” “boomer” or “builder” and live in the west, south, midwest or northeast God wants us to be His witnesses. Therefore if we want to carry out his purpose we need to do three things we can do.

1. Choose to speak up when given the opportunity.

2. Refuse to be disillusioned when opposed and

3. Commit to persevere.

If you want to know more feel free to check out last weeks message on the Journey Church website, The Pattern of Evangelism, and then join us this Sunday to find out Paul’s Pattern for Maturing Disciples.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pity the man who falls.

I fell this week. I fell walking across a snowy parking lot holding two pizzas in one hand and a bag with a salad and breadsticks in another. I don’t think I broke anything but I am little sore. Worse though I’m little embarrassed. I’m embarrassed because a friend of mine saw me fall. Fortunately he didn’t video tape it so there is no chance that it will be put on YouTube for the world to see, like the video of the women who walked into a fountain in while texting.

Fortunately my friend, rather than laugh at me, even though I know he wanted to, came over and gave me a hand up. It reminds me of the verse in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “ 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

I have a friend and he’s fallen recently. He didn’t fall walking in the snow, he fell while walking through life. The question is who will pick him up? Some people are trying but others seem to not want to be bothered by him at all. They seem to think he should get up by himself or worse they don’t care if he ever gets up. They would rather just see him go away.

The sad thing is this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this. The same thing happened to another friend of mine. Truth is he probably didn’t “deserve” to be helped up, but then which one of us does? Someday we are all going to “fall” and when we do who will pick us up? Maybe no one, unless we have been willing to humble ourselves enough to help others when they’ve fallen.