Big Christian crusades or a Missional Lifestyle
I have been thinking I wanted to write a hub for a few days now and could not think what to do. So I thought I would write about strategies in mission. This is mainly due to the fact that I work in missions. Living in Scotland, there has been a focus of late in terms of sport and the Olympics about legacy.
This has got me thinking... What will my legacy be?
My next thought was What were the dreams and aspirations of those that have gone before? Have their dreams been fulfilled? Are their dreams unfulfilled? Am I unknowingly fulfilling them?
Now I know I may never get the answer to some of these questions but it gives me some food for thought.
Strategies in Mission
There are lots of ways to do share your Faith. In one sense there is no right or wrong way but there have been lots of theories on what works. If we think of the big crusades you tend to think of ministries like Billy Graham, Tony Campolo, and Benny Hinn. Other ministries like Impact World Tour follow the crusade type strategy.
Crusade type strategies have certainly drawn crowds over the decades but it is fair to say that at these big events there can be large alter calls where people go forward. For some at these events there are life changing experiences that last a lifetime. However there are large numbers who "make a profession of faith" then never really follow through.
Now here is a point where some reading this may have a theological debate as is the profession of faith enough, or should it be a living faith / walk with God that matters? It must be said that large crusades tend to be more common in American preachers. It may have its place but what happens to pastoral care of the individual?
It must be said that I am no fan of the big crusades. I am much more into missional Living than the Big Wow events. I am part of a small team working in Scotland and it must be said that at times we get requests for teams to swoop in an out with there Evangelistic events.
In truth I am always very wary of these events and if I accept the offer I like to do my homework first. I have spent years building relationships with churches and individuals and quite frankly the last thing I want is an unknown team to swoop in and set the long term work of the team back.
My aims is to see a move of God where I live.
For people to realise their identity in God, how God sees you.
And to see their lives transformed.
This is not to say that I have the answers and we bring "transformation".
Missional Living is about acting out your faith every day. Its about demonstrating God's love to people. Coming along side them in their needs.
Years ago when I was in youth group my youth leader described it like this:
Its like a mother bird feeding her young. If the mother bird feeds the young bird too fast it will choke and die. If you push faith on someone they will gag, resent you and possibly walk away.
I have never forgotten that statement and I think it is very true. I am not one that tends to debate with people of other faiths/beliefs unless it is done in a healthy way. If someone is really opinionated sometimes there is no point, as they are obviously not willing to "hear" and respect someone else's point of view. On the other hand if someone observes your faith and actions that can be a greater impact.
Each style of evangelism has its place if done in the right way. There is no place for arrogance in either style - just love, humility and a willingness to serve your neighbour.
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