Spiritual State of the U.S. andEffective EvangelismGary Moreau, June 1, 2010The first part of this presentation is based on talks by John Randles at the BGCT Dallas Evangelism Conference, April 2010 • Stress • Tribalism vs. Individualism • State of U.S. Now • Effective Evangelism Now • A Solution – Organic Church • Street Feet – doing the organic church thing, here where we live
Stress People make major decisions when stressed – both positive and negative stress. God is author of stress. People turn to God in times of stress. A person will not get spiritually saved until they are spiritually broken. “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for they shall see God”. Times of stress for adults: first job, marriage, first child, children start school, job loss, sickness/death, marriage problems/divorce, etc. Evangelism of adults is most effective at these times. Times of stress for children: K-1st grade, middle school, freshman in HS, freshman in college – have separate ministries in your church for children at these ages and do intentional evangelism.
Tribalism vs. Individualism money + safety + free time = atheism 1920s: Stress: none Produced: Individualism, money, safety, free time, relativism, chaos, atheism 1930 – 1970s: (1946-1960: Baby Boomers, ages about 47-65) Stress: Stock market crash, wars, civil rights, women’s rights, inner city violence Produced: Tribalism, absolutes, order, respect for authority, turn to God, respect between religions because they agreed on problems, ministries flourished such as CCC/FCA/Billy Graham, people came to churches (build it and they will come), many traditional churches today still operate with these assumptions
Tribalism vs. Individualism 1980s-2010s: (post-modern, Gen-X, about age 30-47) Stress: none Produced: Individualism, money, safety, free time, extreme relativism, chaos, atheism, political-correctness, few salvations, holy huddles, little interest by Christians in evangelism 2010+ (Now and in near future)(post-post-modern, trans-modern, Gen-Y, age 16-30): Stress: Unemployment, foreclosures, financial failures, terrorism/wars, natural and supernatural disasters, violence on Mexican border/ illegal immigration Producing: Moving back to tribalism but with some changes, distrust of authority/institutions/traditional churches, online community, free to choose any world religion, hungry for moral absolutes (ages 16-30), reasoning, dislike of large groups, desire for small groups – super-relational/ authenticity/trust/roles (personal uniqueness), will not come to traditional churches
Effective Evangelism Now This primarily describes post-post-moderns (ages 16-30), but our whole society is eventually affected. Go out to them since they will not come to our churches (we must be in their worlds); this is tougher than it used to be Evangelism starts with being super-relational and authentic; people must trust you first Build relationships before they are stressed then they will come to you when stressed Facilitate teams in your church that will adopt groups of people, and ultimately start new organic churches probably outside of your church building.
Effective Evangelism Now Relationship first, then small group, then evangelism; then maybe a large group (of multiple small groups) Be nice to everyone, but only evangelize people whom the Holy Spirit is already working on. Pray that God makes people needy, and pray for laborers People will get saved if we offer; get bold again. But people are watching what you do; speak boldly if you have good character. This is not a bad time to live – this is a gift. But it is temporary; now is the time to act.
What is an organic church? Meeting in a home, apartment complex, park, coffee house, parking lot, etc. - any place that people gather regularly Informal, relational, low-budget, gathering of like-minded people, doing church together Environment is designed by the people, it is safe and non-threatening, authentic, and teaching is relevant Organic churches have fast start up, and they are outreach-oriented and multiplying Activities: basic simple evangelism, discipleship, teaching, prayer and care, worship music, baptism, offering for needs of small group and others, etc. – sounds like a church!
Are organic churches popular? Barna 2008: In last 1 month: 4% of people attended a house church or simple church; 9% involved in a marketplace ministry, and 12% engaged in spiritual activity on the Internet BGCT Organic Church Planting group says there are 30 traditional churches in DFW that have satellite lay-led organic churches as an extension of their normal church FBC Huntsville has started hundreds of organic churches on college campus and among ex-offenders in the community Primera Iglesia Bautista, Piedras Negras, Mexico - at least 200 lay-led satellite organic churches meeting in homes; lay-leaders trained by pastor weekly
Dallas, TX Lake Ray Hubbard Community Getting outside our church walls and into the streets to bring Jesus and the church to the lost and dying souls in our community to those who are called by our God but will not come to us Street Evangelism and Organic Church Planting multi-church and multi-denominational Prayerful Relational Servant-based Purposeful Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger bringing good news, breaking the news that all's well, proclaiming good times, announcing salvation
What does Street Feet involve? 1. Go out where the people are and where the harvest is ripe (where God is working) 2. Pray constantly and speak only as the Holy Spirit leads 3. Keep doing casual visits at least weekly and keep detailed records of each person 4. Befriend people and pray for and serve people 5. Present the life-saving gospel of Christ to them 6. Plant a new Organic Church: Plan another weekly time at that same location for church 7. Identify new leaders among the people, do outreach in this community, multiply, maybe hand off ministry to others
Dallas, TX Lake Ray Hubbard Community Message to Pastors and Church Leaders Do you view organic churches as authentic churches? Do you view your lay people as missionaries? Empower your lay leaders to be missionaries in their own community, and organic church planters; be their spiritual authority and leader Involve entire church by bringing back prayer/need requests and praises Formalize the plan and have different roles defined: prayer walkers, servant evangelism teams, counselors, evangelists, teachers, record-keepers, etc. Expand your view of church to a larger church connected to multiple smaller lay-led organic churches; maybe move your small group ministry into homes and make them outreach-oriented; maybe expect each small group to adopt a neighborhood or area and plant an organic church
Dallas, TX Lake Ray Hubbard Community Now what? Sign up for me to do a presentation in your church – to staff and primarily lay mission leaders Sign up to get weekly Street Feet email – motivation, training, and prayer and need requests Sign up requesting more information Gary Moreau phone 214-738-4485 email firstname.lastname@example.org web www.streetfeet.org