Reframing Evangelism • Various Models of Evangelism • Confrontational (Flasher Evangelism) • Invitational (Traditional Lutheran) • Relational (New Approach)
Reframing Evangelism Old Vision New Vision Membership Partnership Goal Line:bucks and butts Know Christ, grow in grace Flasher Relationship Confrontation/Exclusion Embraced Come to Church Dance Doctrine Story
Reframing Evangelism Old Vision New Vision Agreement Shaping Experience Litmus Tests Journeying Together Discount Other’s Exp. Honor Other’s Exp. Teach Learn from Others Argue Acknowledge Demographics Networks Words All senses
Reframing Evangelism Discussion Break Questions regarding the new model for evangelism How might this new model better empower Lutherans to become more involved in evangelism?
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight • Jack and Jill on the Playground • The Story of Bosnia • The Story of 9/11 Stories still have power
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight • The Context of our Story • Post Christian Age • Cannot assume people know the biblical narrative • Cannot assume that certain times of the week are reserved for sacred activities • Cannot assume cultural complicity with Christian Agenda • Cannot assume there is a Christian agenda (there are many contenders)
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight • The Context of our Story • Post Modern Age • Relativism as given and accepted • The world is fragmented, eclectic at its core • Absolutism is rejected • Grand “truth” claims suspect or rejected out of hand • Grand narratives (the stories in which grand truth claims are couched) also suspect or rejected • Relationships more important than doctrine
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Though the origins of Lutheran identity are grounded in a premodern world view, our confessional identity may be just the right voice in a postmodern culture. We do not make grand, judgmental claims for all of Christianity. Rather, like our teacher and name sake, we stake a confessional claim for who we are, where we stand.
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Other Gospels
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Other Gospels Live life so the preacher won't have to lie at your funeral.
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Other Gospels • Church Signs • (Christmas) Jesus is coming! He's making a list and checking it twice. • Friends don't let friends go to hell. • The cross is the only ladder tall enough to reach heaven
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight • Discussion Break • In small groups, discuss the following questions • What is the basic message about God and salvation communicated by these bumper stickers and signs? • Do these signs and bumper stickers reflect a Lutheran understanding of salvation? Why or why not?
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Christian Century, September 6, 2005, “What Teens Believe: A survey on Youth and Religion,” Carol Lytch The author describes what she calls the de facto dominant religion among contemporary teens: “Moralistic Therapeutic Diesm” God as rule giver God as script for wellness and happiness God as “out there” somewhere, but not really involved in day to day affairs
What Does it Mean to be a Lutheran? Martin Luther
Confessional IdentityGetting our Story Straight Doctrinal Pillars of the Reformation • Grace Alone • Faith Alone • Word Alone
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Directionality • Gerhard Forde: Where God Meets Man • “The Christian faith is often likened to climbing a ladder .. as a symbol of the struggle the Christian must undertake to reach perfection. ... The difficulty with the idea of the ladder, however, is that it tends to send us off in the wrong direction. ... it involves us in the task of ascending to heaven when we should be seeking our Lord down to earth, to learn what it means to be a Christian here on earth.”
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Directionality • There are basically two Christian Stories: • To be in relationship with God, we must climb the ladder to heaven by: • Our faith • Our good works • Our confessions and prayers • Our desire to invite Jesus into our heart • Our initiative
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Directionality • “Grace is at the heart of the best sort of bottom line definition I have ever heard of what it means to a Lutheran” Pr. Kelly Fryer • “God always comes down. There is never anything that we can ever do to turn the arrow around and make it our way UP to God. God came down in Jesus. And God still comes down in the bread and in the wine, in the water and in the fellowship of believers (the body of Christ). God always comes down.”
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Directionality • To be in right relationship with God is to trust in the God who comes down • The God incarnate in Jesus Christ • The God who reaches out to us before we know to reach out to God • The God who invites us to “come and see,” “taste and see.”
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Relationality • Guiding Principles • I. Jesus is Lord • Not Just any Jesus • Ready for anything • Honest about everything
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Relationality • Guiding Principles • II. Everyone is Welcome • No Lines, ever. • Simultaneously Saint and Sinner
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Relationality • Guiding Principles • III. Everyone Has Something to Offer • As long as you are alive • Even after you are dead
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Relationality Guiding Principles IV. Love Changes People
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Relationality Guiding Principles V. The World Needs What We Have
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight Relationality Guiding Principles Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27) More than metaphor – Just as the Word became flesh and dwelt among us in Jesus Christ, we are the flesh and blood presence of Christ here and now. I do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ without a personal relations with you.
Missional IdentityTelling our story straight • Discussion Break • How well do Kelly Fryer’s five Guiding Principals work for you congregation? • What new or different Guiding Principles would you name? • Kelly Fryer describes God as “one who comes down.” She does so to contrast her understanding of God with those who envision God as “up” in heaven far away. Describe how you envision God in your life.
Sharing Our Faith Story • What do you gain from listening to other’s faith stories? • To whom is someone’s faith story most important, themselves or others? • How can sharing my faith story be helpful in evangelizing? • What keeps you from telling your faith story? • Fear of speaking in front of others • Afraid people will ask questions you cannot answer • Lack of self-confidence • Thinking “my faith story is not important to others”
Personal Evangelizing Strategy Martin Luther in “The Freedom of a Christian” talks about the glory and riches of the Christian life: “It can do all things and has all things and lacks nothing. It is lord over sin, death and hell, and at the same time it serves, ministers to and benefits all men(sic). But alas in our day this life is unknown throughout the world; it is neither preached about nor sought after; we are altogether ignorant of our own name and do not know why we are Christians or bear the name of Christians. Surely we are named after Christ, not because he is absent from us, but because he dwells in us, that is because we believe in him and are Christs one to another and do to our neighbors as Christ does to us.” Lull, Timothy, ed., Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings, 2nd ed.
Personal Evangelizing Strategy Evangelism is the work of the whole Christian community. If each person does what they are gifted to do, however insignificant and individual piece may seem, a rich tapestry of evangelism will result. There is no single evangelist mold that every Christian has to squeeze into. Indeed, it is because of the diversity of the community and its giftedness that evangelism can take as many forms as there are people to hear the good news. Bowen, John P., Evangelism for Normal People, P. 204