Sharing the Gospel

Sharing the Gospel: You CAN Do It

This week we have been focusing on the Great Commission. Glenae spoke of how our very lives should be a witness for Christ. And that is a very good place to start. But I wonder,

“When was the last time you led someone to Christ or even shared the gospel with a non-believer?”

When Was the Last Time You Led Someone to Christ? Click To Tweet
95%of all Christians have NEVER led someone to Christ.

This weekend, we watched some preaching from Greg Laurie. Wow! This guy is fast becoming one of my favorites. He’s such a wonderful Bible Teacher. And always leads people straight to the cross.

Not So Good News

Pastor Greg gave some very disturbing statistics about who is sharing the Gospel. He reported that only 95% of Christians have NEVER led someone to Christ and only 2% have ever shared the Gospel with a non-believer. This is very sad news since we have that only Good News that will fill the emptiness in a non-believers life.

We can give a lot of excuses for not sharing the Gospel. But will God accept your excuse when you stand before Him one day? Allow me to offer three ways to get around your excuses.

The sad truth. 95% of all Christians have never led someone to Christ. Click To Tweet

It’s Too Scary. I Don’t Talk so Good.

I understand. It’s a scary thought to share the gospel. But again, let me quote Pastor Greg. He said we recommend things all the time.

  • The best stores
  • My favorite restaurant
  • You’ve GOT to see this movie
  • Read this book!
  • The best vacation spot
Evangelism is a scary word but it is not that hard. Click To Tweet

So why can’t we recommend the best option for abundant life?

We have the answer folks. We need to be sharing it. 2 Kings 7:3-10 tells of four lepers that were starving and decided to go out to the enemy camp and see if they could find some food. To their amazement, the camp was deserted and food and clothing all left behind. They began to feast on the abundant foods but then realized they needed to share the wealth. They ran back to the city gates and told the people that the enemy camp was empty and the spoils were there for the taking.

Why are we keeping it all to ourselves when we have the best thing since sliced bread. Even better. ūüôā

Share the Good News? I Don’t Know Enough

Me Disciple? I Don't Know Enough. Click To Tweet

Simple solution. Learn more. There are many tracts and sources available to teach us how to evangelize. There’s the Roman Road and the A, B, C’s which I have right here on this blog. I have used the Wordless Book in my children’s ministry for a long time. This one uses colors to share the gospel. There is now a colorful soccer ball you can use to share the plan of salvation. One summer I taught our church children to tell the Gospel using the colors. They were all given their own soccer ball at the end of the summer. For all these avenues there are cards with all the pertinent information so that it can easily be shared, such as this one

If you would like more ideas, I recommend heading on over to The Navigators website. They have several ways to lead people to Christ, even one where you only need ONE BIBLE VERSE. You can learn one verse, can’t you? You probably already know it. (Romans 6:23)

Bridges International is another helpful resource for learning how to share the Gospel using the Four Spiritual Laws. This is the process that beings with “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

I Don’t Know What to Say

Again I say, learn. Start taking your quiet time seriously. Don’t just stop for 5 minutes and read a bible verse. Dig deep into God’s word and see what you learn. He will show you great and mighty things.

Sharing the Gospel? I don't know what to say. Click To Tweet

None of us know everything. If you get stuck when you are sharing the gospel, take them to someone smarter than you. Our son is like a complete Bible commentary. When I have a question, I got to him and he hasn’t failed me yet to give a good answer. Do you have someone in your life that has Bible knowledge? (your pastor, for one) Tap into them, give them a call or take your friend to meet him.

You Can DO it
Photo credit: free image at Canva.com Modified by Mandy

God promises in His word that He will give you the words to say. Just trust Him to do it. If you don’t have the words, He will bring someone along to help you out. He did it for Moses, he’ll do it for you.

I’ll tell you this. Leading someone to Christ is the most amazing thing that will ever happen to you. You will be blessed beyond blessed.

I would love to hear about a time you led someone to Christ. Share your story in the comments to encourage others.

Mandy Farmer
Gaither Vocal Band – Can’t Stop talking About it
make disciples

The Great Commission ~ Who Me? Make Disciples?

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:16-20


As I read The Great Commission passage again, two things that had never caught my attention popped out at me.

First, “they went to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.”

Second, “When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.” 

First, they obeyed. But second, some doubted.

When we consider The Great Commission, we are sometimes intimidated by the “meat” of the passage. By the “meat,” I mean the command to “go and make disciples of ALL nations…”   When reading that and truly considering what Jesus asks of us, our initial thought may be,

“What?! Go EVERYWHERE and make disciples?! I am NOT a preacher!”

Who Me? Make Disciples? That's what the Great Commission says.

Well, that is true. And, that is also false. Most of us are not preachers by profession, but our lives either preach the word, or they don’t. 
You see, Satan will plant doubt (as he did for a few of those disciples) in us to keep us from living for Christ, and to keep us from making disciples for Christ. Even in our obedience, the devil will try his best to create doubt and reluctance. We must not let that happen!


At the end of this passage, we find all the strength we need to fulfill that Great Commission. “And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” Jesus is right there with us, wherever we go, whoever we meet, whatever He gives us to say or do. We must claim that, and cling to Him if we are to fulfill this Great Commission that He gave to those disciples long ago, and to us today.

Do not delay.

Go. Make disciples.

Remember, Jesus is with us every step of the way!

Glenae

P.S. Discipling Teenage Girls

Mandy’s sister, Kandy Chimento created a discipleship program for her youth when her husband was a youth pastor. She wrote about it here.

Titus 2 Women

The Bible admonishes us to come alongside the women younger than us. Most of them are looking for someone to lead them. Why not you? Also, check out Mandy’s review of Nancy DeMoss Wolgmuth’s book, Adorned, Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together


or Sue McDonald’s book Table Mentoring, a Simple Guide for Coming Alongside. Mandy’s review is here.


keeping the faith

4 Building Blocks to Growing Our Faith


I Praise God for His Salvation

I thank Him daily for loving us (me) so much that He sent His Son to earth to live a perfect life, to suffer the cruel death on a crimnal’s cross, but then rise again just to save us all from our sins. Praise His beautiful name! [Read my testimony of faith on my memoirs blog.] But I want to know Him more. I want to grow closer and closer to Him.

Salvation Goes Beyond the Altar

But it doesn’t stop there. Our salvation goes beyond the day that you kneel at an altar and confess your sins to God.

Yes, I believe that we are saved by grace, it is not of works lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8). Yes, I believe that we are made into a new creation. The old is gone and the new is here! 2 Corinthians Praise the Lord!

We are saved by grace, not of works @ggmandy Click To Tweet

We are Called to Grow in Grace

But we are also called to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18). If we gave birth to a baby and that child remained a baby forever, we would be saddened. It would break our hearts if the child never learned to walk and talk and live a productive life. Yes, we would still love him but we would desire so much more for him.

The very next verse in Ephesians 2 says,
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Salvation Leads Us into Service

So our salvation should lead us into service for God .. living a life that glorifies Him and leads others to Him. ie. growing in grace

2 Peter 3 says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “

And the Apostle Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 4:1-6 (AMP),
So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior‚ÄĒa life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love. Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful]. There is one body [of believers] and one Spirit‚ÄĒjust as you were called to one hope when called [to salvation]‚ÄĒ one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who is [sovereign] over all and [working] through all and [living] in all.


Live a Life Worthy of the Call

So, I too, encourage you to live the life worthy of His calling. We need to work to live holy lives to the glory and honor of God and also, to be a light in the darkness so that others can find the way to Christ.

Photo credit: free at Canva.com; Modified by Mandy

In order to “leave a legacy” for our children and those around us we must first grow ourselves. And how to do we grow? First, we study the Bible. We fill our minds and saturate our lives with His Word.


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Growth through Bible Reading

Bible reading and study teach us how to live for Him. It corrects us when we are wrong, encourages our faith and keeps us on the narrow way. And because we need this encouragement in a moments notice, we should memorize the scriptures. King David said, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.”-Psalm 119:15. If David needed it, so do we.

If King David Needed it, so do we! Click To Tweet

Growth Thru Prayer

Secondly, we must communicate with God. Yes, pray to God and practice His presence every day. Communicating with God includes worship and adoration, repenting of sin, interceding for others, and yes even petition for our needs.

Growth Through Fellowship

Thirdly, we need fellowship with other believers. We are not an island. Without faith and encouragement of others, we would fall too easily. Solomon declared that “two are better than one because if one falls the other can help him up. Three are even better! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) God promises that whenever we gather together even in a group of 2 or 3, that He will be in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20) Realistically, we need each other so don’t neglect the meeting together of believers.

Growth Through Sharing

And finally, we need to share the Gospel. We are not blessed with salvation so that we can keep it to ourselves. We are commanded to “go and make disciples of all nations”. Even without this command from Jesus, sharing our faith helps us (Matthew 28:19) stronger in it. It confirms in us our belief in Christ.

Let’s do this, friends!

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more thoughts on these four growth factors. I have searched out some fellow bloggers who can so eloquently speak on these things and I have asked them to write encouragement to us to help us grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Join me here on the blog every Monday to be instructed and encouraged. Have you subscribed to receive our updates? You can do so just below in the blue bar. Just add your email address and click submit!

Growing in Grace;

Mandy Farmer

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true value

What Has True Value in this Life

VALUE

noun. –¬†the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

This post is inspired by the PROMPT: VALUE from Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday crew. The challenge is to write for five minutes. No editing. I encourage you to go to the link-up and read what others were inspired to write.

Value Re-defined.

Our world has re-defined what has value. Today, according to the world we have value because we have stuff, we have amazing talents, we know people. King Solomon said that life has no meaning or value.

But God values us as His children. Actually, He gives us our value.  We are His children.  And because of this, we have great value. We are nothing without him. We can do nothing without Him.

Continue reading

Search for a perfect pastor

In Search of the “Perfect” Pastor

Pastors are People, Too

Our church has just begun the adventure of searching¬†for a new pastor. It’s a daunting job when you look for the perfect pastor. Basically, because there are no perfect pastors because pastors are people, too.

Continue reading

Pastor appreciation

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

Having been in the ministry, I have conflicting feelings about Pastor Appreciation month. On the one hand,  it is a very good reminder to the people to take a moment and let their pastor know how much you love them. On the other hand, it can be a very depressing time when a pastor hears about all the things other churches did for their pastor and your church did nothing at all to show that they love & appreciate you!

Now that my husband has retired from full-time ministry, I’ve decided that it wouldn’t be self-serving to remind everyone to take some time and really show your pastor that you appreciate him. Church members, you don’t have to wait to be prompted by your board to do something, do it on your own or at least remind the board members so they don’t forget. Get some personal ideas here.

Maybe you don’t realize the sacrifices made by¬†pastors AND their families.

There are many.

  1. Pastoral families have left home and family to come and serve your church. They may be 100s or even 1000s of miles away from home. On top of that, they are seldom able to go home to see their families. They may even miss important events, like reunions and funerals, due to their service to you.
  2. In many cases, pastors are paid a minimal salary which barely meets their living expenses, even when a parsonage is provided.
  3. In order to get a degree and ordination in ministry, a minimum of 4-6 years is required at a private Christian College. Many times pastors are in serious debt before they even get started. They probably met their spouse at college, so they both have a lot of debt to pay on that minimal salary.
  4. Many pastors have a compassionate heart and they give much to the church financially and time-wise.
  5. Pastors are on call 24/7. They have missed many a family meal and their kid’s ballgames due to a need within the church. I have known many, ourselves included, who have canceled vacations, even after they left home, due to a need in the church.

These are just a few of the sacrifices made by your pastor and why you should show a little appreciation, personally and corporately, once in a while.

So …. maybe you are wondering,

pastor appreciation

photo credit: Canva modified by Mandy

I’m glad you asked!

I did a little survey of all my ministry friends. I asked them, “What is the best thing a church has ever done for you?” and here are their replies…

Top Ideas

  1. Cash is always good.  Cash helps pay a few bills that they might be coming short on. Also, since Christmas is just around the corner, it may help them provide a nice Christmas for their children.

Cash can be given in the form of a bonus check (one week’s pay?) from the church board, or a love offering from the members. Give it in a nice card or something creative, like a money tree.¬†You could tell your church in advance so they can all participate and bring their own handwritten notes with cash in them.

Cash offerings for special needs is great too. Our church raised over $1,000 when they heard I would be going to Mayo Clinic.

This is a good time to consider a salary raise. In our denomination, the suggestion is every time giving is increased by $1000 a month, you should consider a raise or  bonus for your pastor. Board members, how about bringing the issue up every time you get a raise yourself? At least consider a cost of living increase every year.

2. ¬†Laymen Sunday. ¬†Surprise him by taking over the service and have a special service all about him. Have members read poems, do skits, give/write words of encouragement, give awards or certificates, sing songs. Follow this up with a nice lunch in his honor. Don’t forget the spouse and children. They have sacrificed much as well. At least give the spouse some flowers.

Simple but Helpful

3. A Month of Meals. Have the parishioners sign up for a day in October. Each one can do whatever they like: a) invite the pastoral family to their home for dinner b) gift cards to restaurants  c) bring in a hot meal d) take him/he & his wife/the family out for lunch.  This is an excellent way for the pastor and his family to get to know all the people.

4. Food Pounding.¬† Now I’m not talking about the “clean out your pantry” type food pounding. One of our churches came to me and had me make a list of grocery items. The ¬†board had me write down all the normal food items that most of us probably purchase every week. They didn’t stop there; but,¬†instructed¬†me to write down those food items that we liked and would buy, “if money were no object.”¬†You know, those things that we like¬†to treat ourselves and our children to occasionally.¬† They told us to make a nice long list. Then the church members¬†selected items and purchased them for us. It was an amazing food pounding. We had a freezer and a pantry full of food. My grocery bill dropped significantly for several months. Now that was a blessing!

Don’t Foget Childcare

5. Dinner for Two and Childcare Provided. What couple wouldn’t love a romantic date night with no cost to them?¬†Find a 5 star restaurant and get a gift certificate. Then arrange for someone to take care of the children. (And take away his cell phone. Let the board members take care of any issue that arise during that time.)

Ways to Promote Getting to Know Pastor

6. Photo Album with pictures and handwritten notes from everyone. This sounds like a wonderful thing to do at the beginning of a pastorate. What an awesome way to start making face connections with the people.

Something Extra Special

7. ¬†All Expense Paid Getaway. Every pastor and wife can use a break now and again. They often don’t take the vacation time they are allocated. This could be a weekend getaway or a week or two long trip. Your pastor will return refreshed and ready to serve the church even better than before. There are many choices here … a) retreat centers for pastors. Many places give discounts for pastors. ¬†b) a Bed &¬†Breakfast c) a mountain cabin d) a beach/lake house e) cruise f) trip to Hawaii or Israel g) It could be that someone in your church has a vacation home somewhere they would share or offer at a discount.

Fringe Benefits

8. Pay Student Loans.  One couple reported that their church made their student loan payments for over 12 years while they served there. What a huge blessing.

9. ¬†A Car. You might have to have some connections with a local car dealer.¬†We knew a pastor who received a new car every year. Think about it … no church wants their pastor to break down in an old clunker trying to get to the hospital to be with a church member. This would be a way to keep that from happening. ¬†[Just as a benefit, even allowing him/her to drive the church van would be awesome. It keeps the van in good driving order. And it’s advertisement for the church while he drives it around town.]

Remember Special Occasions

10. His and Her Watches. I hadn’t heard this one before but this is a very nice thoughtful gift, especially for a special year such as 25 years in ministry or serving your church.

11. Special Gift Items. Listen closely and learn the interests of your pastor and wife. If you listen, you will get some great gift ideas. Items that they are really wanting but cannot afford. What are their hobbies? Even if you can’t provide the item, you may be able to give a gift certificate towards it. Do they like to golf? Give a membership to a country club. You get the idea. Giving them what they need to take breaks is a benefit that reaps rewards.

PASTORS ARE PEOPLE, Too!

Remember that just because you are giving a gift to a minister doesn’t mean it has to be religious in nature. He probably has all the Bibles he needs. A nice picture for the living room is nice, but it doesn’t have to be a picture of Jesus or a church. Pastors are regular people too! Of course, that doesn’t mean he might not enjoy a new notepad computer to preach from either.¬†

12. Please don’t ignore the pastor’s wife and his children.¬†They are part of the ministry whether she is working elsewhere or not. She has given many sacrifices and she has done more than you know for the church. Something small goes a ¬†long way…. maybe flowers or something for her hobby. A toy or game for the children or maybe a few dollars depending on the age. If you love the spouse and children, your pastor will be more than thrilled and the church¬†will reap the benefits.

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click above to print the list.

 

2 Things to remember:

  1. ¬†If at all possible, don’t wait until the last Sunday in October to plan your special day. Do it early and he will be more surprised. When you wait until the last week, it kinda feels like your forgot and pulled something together at the last moment.
  2. Remember your associate pastors too. They may be bi-vocational or not, but they put in a lot of unknown hours to work with your teens, create awesome worship, or whatever ministry they do.
  3. ¬†Don’t forget any retired pastors or widows of pastors. A small token gift will go a long way for those no longer in ministry. Sometimes, they feel completely forgotten even though they have served for many years.

Have fun with this. Remember that a little appreciation and encouragement goes a long way. Click here for another post on “Ways to Love Your Pastor all Year Long!

 

Mandy Farmer

Suggested reading, especially for church board members.

This is an affiliate link. IF you click thorugh and purchase this book, we willl receive a small portion of the sale price which helps us keeps this website running. Thanks.

 

 

Effective Discipleship for Teens

discipleship[p This is my sister, Kandy Chimento. Years ago, she developed a wonderful discipleship program for teen girls. It was an amazing program and I have asked her to share a little about it.


Kandy Chimento has been in ministry with her husband since before their marriage nearly 30 years ago.¬† They have been blessed to minister in states from Texas to Wisconsin to Missouri and back to Texas again. ¬†Though she served in children’s, youth, young adults, and lead pastors, her passion is discipleship!¬†¬† She loves being a¬†mom to their 2 grown-up children, Tyler and Christa.¬† Gardening, crafts, and quilting take up¬†most of her free time.¬† They have recently downsized¬†their empty nest¬†and moved to the country, and love enjoying the big Texas outdoors! You can follow her writing about Gettin’ Back to Her Roots

 

“Women of Virtue”

One of my favorite endeavors is discipleship.  In my own experience, I became convinced that effective discipleship can be more of a life-changer than a hundred sermons.  One of my prime times of spiritual growth came through a small discipleship group I belonged to in my 20’s, and by the on-going mentoring of an older godly woman. When we were youth pastors in Kansas City, I felt led to create a discipleship course for high school girls. Continue reading

PKs: How to Help Them Survive You and Your Ministry?

Parsonage Survival

We all wonder how we can help our PKs (Pastor Kids) survive growing up in the parsonage. 

In our ministry, we had one very special D.S. that had a heart for  PKs and did so many things to help them survive their parents ministry. I asked him to give us a few pointers today.

How Can You Survive Having A(Those) PK(s) Living In Your Home?

What Can You Do to Help Them Survive You and Your Ministry? Continue reading

A Year’s Worth of Church Bulletin Boards

One pet peeve of mine is seeing a bulletin board with old information on it.

It’s so simple to at least just take down the old information. I’ve entered church foyers and laid my eyes on bulletin boards that had not been changed in years.¬†Ripped borders and faded paper caught my attention the most. If you looked closely, you would find the out-dated information.

Wouldn’t it be great to have something beautiful AND informational to greet your people?

Wouldn’t it make a better first impression on the visitor that enters in on Sunday morning?

Check your membership list, you might have a creative soul sitting right in your pews that would love to take on this ministry.

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Preparedness Kit for the Storms in Ministry

preparedness kit

Everyone knows that you must be prepared for a hurricane. More than one¬†storm will inevitably come sometime¬†every fall, it’s just how it is.

Most assuredly, no matter where you live, there are natural storms or disasters that you need to be prepared for. There are certain things that you always have ready for when the storm hits. When I lived up north, we carried certain things in the trunk of our car in case of emergency in the deep cold winters.

 

It’s true for your ministry too.

You need to have a preparedness kit at hand for whenever the storms come. And they will come. I guarantee it. Continue reading