Displaying items by tag: Evangelism
Incredibly, many believe Afghanistan has the second-fastest growing church in the world, next to Iran. There are reports of Afghan Christians choosing to stay and share the gospel, saying, ‘we don’t care, we’re here because we love this nation, we love our people, and we’re going to share the gospel regardless, even if it means losing our lives.’ In one village that was taken over a few weeks ago, the Christians started sharing Bible stories with the Taliban, some of whom have been studying the Bible and praying. They haven’t made a confession of faith yet but seem very interested. The fearless nature of these believers reminds us of those in the Book of Revelation: ‘They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. They did not love their lives unto death.’ We are seeing this in real time.
The past twenty years in Afghanistan’s history have seen the birth of a Spirit-filled Church. God has been anointing Christians to grow in maturity and numbers. In twenty years thousands of Muslims have converted to Christianity. Linguists have translated the Bible into various languages, and missionaries have taken God’s Word to unreached people groups. Many believe that this mission work and evangelism have been preparing and strengthening the nation for the years ahead in what looks to be a new season. In 2021 the world has become aware, like never before, of the number of Christians in Afghanistan and now, sadly, the danger they are in. This has led to mighty waves of much-needed prayer and financial support being released for our Afghan brothers and sisters, at a time when they desperately need it. See also the praise article ‘Bold Afghan Christians share gospel with Taliban’.
Sayan’s story: ‘I am ten years old and come from a very poor family. My father was an alcoholic, and my mother worked as a maid to support our family. My father abused my mother and used the money she earned to buy alcohol. Life was very difficult for us. Thankfully, after a Christian lady met my mother and shared the Gospel with her, she repented and became a disciple of Jesus. I too have become a disciple. When she learnt of the power of prayer as a follower of Jesus, my mother began praying for my father. Soon he gave up drinking and has turned to Jesus as well. Today, I am very blessed and thankful to Jesus for bringing peace and joy into our lives. Please pray for others in our village and surrounding area who need Jesus also.‘
Over the next ten years CfaN will train, equip, and launch 20,000 evangelists for mass evangelism all over the world. This August, instead of recruiting thousands, they want just a limited number of students. Instead of training for two years, it will be an intensive three-month programme. Those accepted as one of these pioneer evangelists will be trained by Daniel Kolenda personally, along with the whole CfaN team and other world-renowned evangelists at its headquarters in Orlando, Florida.The bootcamp will not be for the faint of heart; this three-month intensive training includes rigorous components of study and service and is a fast track to the field. It culminates with a three-week initiation in Africa that will put everything learned in the classroom to test. Students who graduate will have access to preach the gospel in Africa alongside a Gospel Crusade team.
Society has been shaken over the past year, revealing that we need wise leaders in the church and in the public arena more than ever before. The Evangelical Alliance is inviting Christians working in the arts, media, academia, business, education, civil society, politics, healthcare and all other sectors to enrol in their Public Leaders Course. A public leader is a Christian who is intentional about bringing their faith to their leadership wherever God has placed them. The ‘public’ element means they are open about their Christianity and their leadership role is not internal to the church. The ‘leadership’ refers to where they have influence: workplace, local community, online, a social group. We can pray for filmmakers, writers, entrepreneurs, educators, health workers, civil servants, lawyers and all in the secular workplace to hear God’s call on their lives to live out their faith and draw others into God’s kingdom.
‘Hussein comes from Baghdad. A while ago he communicated with us for the first time and accepted Jesus as his Saviour. We put him in communication with a partner on ground for face-to-face discipleship in Jordan. He wanted his family to encounter Jesus and arranged for them to meet his mentor, resulting in all his household becoming believers. Recently, he contacted us again. His son was to travel to Egypt for school, and he wanted us to disciple him. To everyone's surprise, Mo, Hussein’s son did not only want to be discipled, but also wanted the same for his friends whom he evangelised. His father, who is now in Iraq, wanted another family he was preaching to be discipled. Therefore our ministry decided to let them both, father and son, to be group discipleship leaders, though they are not yet baptised - which is being arranged now.’
When Covid hit last year, our nation quickly turned to science - epidemiologists seeking to contain the virus and researchers creating vaccines. But how much did the church use the opportunity to point to our hope beyond death? On 30 June, a Church Unlocked livestream will feature Canon J.John and other evangelists talking about how the pandemic and lockdowns have changed evangelism. Has the widespread use of streaming technology transformed how the Church will reach out? What are the felt needs of those around us, post-Covid, and how can we help people see that Jesus is the answer to those needs?
James Merritt, pastor of Crosspoint Church in Duluth, met two men, Bartolo and Osmani. Neither of them spoke English - and he didn’t speak Spanish. But, thanks to the Google Translate app, what was supposed to be nothing more than an ad hoc purchase ended up as ‘one of the greatest witnessing experiences I’ve ever had in my life,’ the pastor said. Merritt said he and his wife always keep tracts in our home in both English and Spanish, but he really wanted to engage with the two men in a more meaningful way. That’s when he decided to try the translation app. As they spoke, Osmani learned Merritt was a pastor and decided to call his wife, who is already a Christian, to tell her. His wife then, using the app, asked Merritt to share the Gospel with her husband and Bartolo. That’s exactly what Merritt did, and the two men became Christians.
The Ceesa people have a unique desert culture and their own distinct language. There is evidence that they were Christians once, but they are now Sunni Muslims. As far as anyone knows, there has not been a single Ceesa Jesus follower in seven hundred years. Mohammed, a Ceesa farmer, saw a man picking and eating olives from a tree near his house. Rather than chase the stranger away, he introduced himself and welcomed him into his home for some delicious dates. The man, Ali, was a Christian who had come to Ceesa to share the good news. As he ate he began telling his host about Isa. When Mohammed heard the name, his eyes got big. He said, ‘I have seen Isa in my dreams! I want to know more about him!’ Ali continued to explain the good news, soon Mohammed gave his life to Jesus, and a church was planted.
London City Mission (LCM) is helping churches to reach out to people who belong to socially-excluded groups - prisoners, those who are homeless, trafficked into the UK, or with addictions. For many who experience rejection and hostility, a crippling sense of shame and unworthiness is a far greater obstacle to coming to church. Imagine that you’d like to go to church but have not been able to access a shower and clean clothes for the past ten days. How might people react to you? Gently edge you to one side, outright reject you, or offer awkward sympathy? To overcome this fear of rejection, LCM is helping churches to look outward, stepping beyond their comfort zone and seeking ways to connect with people far beyond the church community. They also want to help the church to consider how it can improve their welcome to people who have experienced social exclusion and help them feel comfortable amongst Christians.