Tag Archives: Evangelism

Joy and Money

Illustration of someone gathering art at a big city museum – they don’t think about the fact that they can’t take them out.  “Sure, they’re mine.  I’ve got them under my arm.  People in the halls look at me as an important dealer.  And I don’t bother myself with thoughts about leaving.  Don’t be a killjoy.” (page 188).  Such is the folly of the accumulation of wealth.

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The Bible – Kenny Borthwick

 

Kenny also said at one point (not sure when) “As an evangelical I can’t prove it, as a charismatic I know it.”

 

In Isaiah 42 , not break a bruised reed – we need to be careful of the tone. So that our congregations are a safe place.

 

Isaiah 50. – you hear the word, morning by morning.

 

Second song, discouragement not a sin, Isaiah 49:6, sees how few are brought. I have spent my strength in vain. This shows us that despair is not a sin (Isaiah 49:4). Son, I am giving you an even bigger vision. I am giving you as a light to the Gentiles. When we go for the bigger vision, the smaller ones take care of themselves.

 

Bartimaeus- makes me afraid. What I worry about?  How long was the window of opportunity open for him? As long as it took for Jesus to walk by. There is an John 7 opportunity for us now – can there be a sufficient evangelical unity we repent if our divisions and say there are so many facing a lost eternity. If this would make evangelicals come together over mission , to repent.

 

We need to rediscover our tic. We don’t just need to be evangelicals.  We need to be evangelistic. I am glad we had 2b lose because that means we are here. Not just evangelicals in a dying Church  – surrounded by good friends when we die.  But rather that we can get our tick back, energised and revisioned, evangelistic for the mission of God.

Red Moon Rising

 

Augustine once said that God puts salt on our tongues that we may thirst for him.  Sometimes perhaps it is our own tears that carry the salt.

 

Finding answers during periods of turmoil takes time.  First we must find and formulate the questions.  And before even that we must simply face the pain.  The godless philosopher Nietzsche once wrote: “The essential thing in heaven and earth is … that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and have always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.” (page 48)

 

God thinks much ore of your desires than of the words in which they are expressed.  It may be natural for a scholar to consider the accuracy of your terms, but God especially notes the sincerity of your soul.  There is no other place where the heart should be so free as before the mercy seat.  There, you can talk out your very soul, for that is the best prayer that you can present.  Do not ask for what some tell you, that you should ask for, but for that which you feel the need of, that which the Holy Spiirit has made you to hunger and to thirst for, you ask for that. (from C.H.Spurgeon in a sermon entitled, “Pray, always pray”) (page 53)

 

Perhaps the atheists are right and God is a figment of our evolving imaginations.  If this is the case, then in the words of Paul we are to be ‘pitied more than all men’ (1 Corinthians 15:19).  If there is no God, then the fact that we have now mobilised may tens of thousands of people to sacrifice sleep and talk to a wall in the middle of the night is the sum total of stupidity.

 

But if – just if – there is a God, we can be sure that we are connecting with the greatest power of the universe.  And so through these years of persevering, sacrificial prayer ‘We do not lose heart’ (1 Corinthians 4:16-18) (page 58)

 

May there still be thousands of them who, in the plan and way assigned to them, and in the orders into which you have called them, without leaving their way of worship and forming a new church for themselves, prove their identity as inward men of God, as members of your invisible and true body before all people, for your own sake, Amen. – Von Zinzendorf, page 62

 

They are tests, moments of divine crisis, which the Chinese call ‘dangerous opportunities’ (page 70)

 

Prayer itself is an art only the Holy Spirit can teach us.  Pray for prayer.  Pray until you can really pray. – Spurgeon (page 88)


A prayer room is not some giant spiritual slot machine – just put in enough money and you’re guaranteed a can of coke.  A prayer room is first and foremost a living room – a place where the Father waits for his children to come and climb into his loving arms. – page 94

 

The Greek word for rest is hesychia and so Nouwen writes: ‘ Hesychia, the rest which flows from unceasing prayer, needs to be sought at all costs, even when the flesh is itchy, the world alluring and the demons noisy (page 95)

 

24/7 values

  1. Obedient to the Holy Spirit
  2. Relational
  3. Indigenous
  4. Inclusive
  5. Like Jesus
  6. Deeply rooted
  7. Creative and innovative
  8. Just
  9. Good stewards
  10. Sacrificial
  11. Celebratory
  12. Raw/Simple

 

Living in Skin

  1. Scent – a pleasing aroma
  2. Touch – just one touch
  3. Sight – glimpses of glory
  4. Taste – O taste and see
  5. Hearing – hearing from God, talking to God

 

Orders of evangelism

Author and speaker Ed Silovoso, reminds us in Prayer Evangelism, that we often start our contact with the non-Christians with a verbal declaration of the gospel, then healing, then the normality of a meal together and then praying for peace.  Note that the order in Luke 10 :5-9 is completely the other way around. (page 335)

The seven aspect of the Moravian ‘Brotherly Agreement’

–          the need for personal conversion

–          a commitment to simplicity and integrity as marks of the true Church

–          a refusal to be hostile to other believers – even when you believed they were not understanding the Scripture as you might

–          the belief that the sin of some believers was their fault, not the of the Church.  Zinznedorf believed in discipline, no coercion

–          A wariness of labels and names that might divide rather than unite

–          An active quest for spiritual growth. There was to be no reliance on the blessings of the past.  The people of God were to be intentional

–          A readiness to lay aside one’es personal desires and be ready to make sacrifices for the sake of others.  (page 341)

 

There is a great review of John Wesley on the ship on page 343.

 

Young people and the purposes of God (page 345) – Samuel, Daniel, Joseph, Josiah, David, Jeremiah, Mary, Jesus, Timothy.  Also looks at people like Anna Nitchsman, the four men of Kells in the Ulster revival, the Welsh revival of 1904 where 100,000 young people made a commitment. (page 348)

Risky Mission

By the mid-eighteenth century the Dutch were baffled and furious to find that there were more Catholics than members of the Dutch Reformed Church in Ceylon, despite all its official favour, and when Dutch rule ended, the Reformed Church there collapsed unlike Catholicism.  The initiative by an insider to the subcontinent showed how an indigenous foundation might survive when Christian missions begun and run by Europeans might rise and fall in step with the ability of Europeans to sustain them.

 

(page 704)

 

The boldest experiment in India was made  by an Italian Jesuit, Robert de Nobili (1577-1656).  He took the unprecedented step of living in southern India as if he were a high0caste Indian, adopting dress appropriate to Indian holy man.  Becoming fluent in the appropriate languages, he also took particular care to point out to those to whom he preached that he was not a Parangi (a Portugese).  Higher-caste Hindus still tended to ignore him, but his strategy did produce results in establishing his guru status among lower-caste people.  The Portuguese authorities fiercely opposed de Nobili, but finally lost their case against him in Rome in 1623l his reports back to Europe in the course of these disputes are among the earliest careful western European accounts of Hinduism and Buddhism.  Whatever success the Church had in the Tamil country of south India was entirely thanks to Nobili and his Italian successors, but their work suffered during the eighteenth century both from sever Muslim persecution and, as in South America, from the general suppression of the Society of Jesus.

(page 705)

An Open Door

Address of the Archbishop of Canterbury
to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
General Assembly Hall, Edinburgh, 23 May 2012

Moderator,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ:

I feel greatly privileged to be invited to address this great gathering and to bring the greetings and prayers of the Church of England to you. And may I express my thanks for the invitation, for your welcome, and for the hospitality of His Grace The Lord High Commissioner.  This Assembly is, I know, one of the great historic councils of the British Isles, which has for centuries been the forum for a whole nation’s reflection on the most serious ethical and public questions facing Scotland. If there is now another such forum, in the shape of the Scottish Parliament, that does not take away the solemnity of this meeting, seeking, as it does, to bring the light of Christ to bear not only on its own business but on the concerns of this society.

Because the Church exists as a result of the call of God, the main purpose of any Christian assembly is simply to ask, again and again, ‘What is the Church called to here and now?’  And a ‘national’ church—this is true for the Church of Scotland and the Church of England in equal measure—is one that believes that the call of God can be heard not only in Scripture and the prayerful discernment of believers gathered together but in history and society. God calls us through the medium of where we are and what we have inherited. But the crucial thing is to remember that it is still God’s call we are listening for, not that of history or society themselves. For God calls us to take responsibility for the welfare of the city where we are sent, working to unveil the signs of his Kingdom and to open up what can seem to be a closed, atomised world to the transfigured relationships of God’s own commonwealth. History and society may convey to us the call and the judgement of God, but this does not mean we must simply follow their lead and reproduce their assumptions. They offeran agenda, but not a resolution, so to speak – let alone (if I may borrow the wonderful phraseology of the Assembly) a Proposed Deliverance!

We who share the experience of a church life deeply bound up with national identity and national vision might well reflect together on one particular scriptural phrase, which for many of us has an immense resonance. In St John’s Revelation, the ascended Lord says to the Church in ancient Philadelphia, ‘I have set before you an open door that no-one can shut’ (Rev 3.8): he, theAlpha and Omega, the firstborn from the dead, is the one who, in any and every human situation, is able to transcend what we think are the limits and possibilities before us, to open doors. It is one of the great affirmations of why we are able to continue to trust in the Church’s future, even when so much of what we see is troubling, chaotic or weak. That is very much its context in the address to the believers in Philadelphia; it still sounds a painfully true note in our own context, whether north or south of the Border – and indeed west of another border, as the disestablished Welsh Church which I had the joy of serving for many years still has many of the same features. Faced as we are with the signs of division, irresoluble conflict, preoccupation with internal problems, it is sometimes tempting to focus on the weakness or the chaos; yet we are called to confidence in the Church because of our confidence in the Church’s Lord.

But there are two interlocking ways of reading this vision of an open door in the Risen Christ; and our specific experience as ‘national’ churches may help us see this clearly. On the one hand: wherever we are, it is our responsibility to hold the door open for those who need the life of the new creation. The Church is there to hold open the possibility of encountering the reality of God’s commonwealth, the reality of mutual communion, intimacy with God, joy in one another and in God’s works in creation and redemption. On the other hand: before us stands an open door into the life of the community around us. We have been gifted with the possibility of entering into the deepest places in people’s lives, precisely because we have so long been a part of the cultural furniture of our society. We can be complacent or passive about that – or we can see it as an extraordinary privilege that allows us to be alongside so many in their vulnerability and their celebrations. That openness to the local reality of the Church that comes with the history of a national role for the Christian community must mean, if it means anything truly Gospel-shaped, that God, by opening the culture to us, has given us a way of opening the culture to himand to his Kingdom and his future. We are here to be custodians of an open door in both directions, holding the door open to our neighbours, holding the door open for our Lord.

But how do we translate this into the language of practical priorities for the Church? Well, God forbid that I should try and tell another Christian family its business. But perhaps you’ll allow me to think out loud about this in relation to my own Church, in the hope that you may hear echoes and recognise at least some of the same challenges.

And the first reflection I want to offer has to do with the language we so often use about maintaining a Christian presence in every community in the land – an ideal that we usually acknowledge as part of the inheritance and vocation of a ‘national’ church. I believe that this is every bit as crucial as people say. But what do we mean exactly by a ‘Christian presence’? A particular kind of building? A regular congregation of the familiar sort? Well and good, if that is possible; but it isn’t always, and we need to be thinking harder about what else it might mean, without for a moment letting go of the core vision of universal presence.

Perhaps we can re-cast the question. What is it to hold the door open in every community in the sense we have been exploring? This becomes a question about how we seek as a Church to guarantee that every community is able to see signs of God’s commonwealth somewhere in their neighbourhood – a question that is not answered only by thinking about the traditional building or congregation. So if a traditional parish is faced with problems about sustaining the inherited pattern of worship because of the shortage of ordained ministers, I suspect that the answer lies neither in simply closing a building nor in seeking to maintain a shadow of the traditional style. It may lie rather in two other kinds of response. First, there is the question of how to keep worship visible, even if it is less regular – and that needs collaboration with neighbouring parishes and other denominations, and it may involve less frequent but larger scale events. Second is the challenge of looking locally to find which groups and bodies are most likely to be in tune with the vision of an open door into a radically fresh kind of community life or service and explore how the Church’s local resources can assist their visibility.

I think here of the extraordinary experiment of the Revd John Morgans of the United Reformed Church on the Penrhys estate in South Wales. Deliberately moving into a community with no established church life of any kind, remote from the traditional buildings and habits, John and his wife Norah built up a regular pattern of worship in the heart of the estate, converting two middle-sized council houses into a church centre with a café and a second-hand clothes shop. The practical usefulness of this to the community meant that people sensed an ‘open door’ – and when they came to drink coffee or to shop, they often dropped in to the prayer space. Increasingly there was collaboration with community services, including the development of a clinic. The Church’s visibility worked in support of the visibility of other community resources. This was a community where an open door could be seen.

How this translates to, say, a rural setting is a challenging question; but we have seen, for example, rural church buildings being reimagined as post-offices, citizens’ advice centres or occasional farmers’ markets, while worship is regularly conducted on a rota in people’s homes, with the historic church building being reserved for big events. The point is how we work to make different futures imaginable, how openness to a different kind of society becomes tangible in a locality. There are no quick and magical solutions; but at least it may be helpful to see if a new way of putting the question will take us forward.

Openness to a different society: this leads me on to my second reflection. You have been discussing the excellent report of your Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity; and this document rightly stresses the need for new models of economic activity, based on the co-operative vision, as well as a renewal of the ethical commitments of business. Keeping the door open will mean, in this connection, modelling different possibilities – through investment policies, the encouraging of co-operative ventures among church people (a group in the Church of England is currently developing a credit union for its clergy and employees), programmes for ecological responsibility in local churches and so on. It will mean nurturing such possibilities in a local community – through volunteering, making premises and services available, helping to recruit and publicise. And it will mean risking – pushing the boat out in advocacy for justice abroad as well as at home, a calling to which the Church of Scotland has historically responded with impressive consistency and energy. Modelling, nurturing and risking – all these are to do with keeping the door open, in the Church and for the Gospel.

But the third and last reflection I want to offer is obviously the most fundamental. When the Church is at worship, does it look as though it is listening to and for a call from elsewhere? Does it look as though it is itself looking through an open door, the ‘open door in heaven’ of Revelation 4? When the Church gathers to open itself corporately to God, it is no longer a ‘national church’; it is the Church Catholic, the Body of Christ praying his prayer, in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and in patient, repentant listening to God’s Word. Gathered in this way, it shows to the world around the context in which that world exists – the global context of the universal Church of all places and ages, the cosmic context of the activity of the eternal Word, holding all things in being and presenting them to the Father in the Spirit, with the realities of the cross, the resurrection and the ascension at the centre of this priestly act. If we cannot make this level of ‘openness’ a reality, the rest fails. Our search for local presence, for effective modelling of the Kingdom, all this depends on our own awareness, acted out time after time in our liturgy, that we have been brought into a new world of intimacy with God and joy in his abundant life. George Macleod loved to quote when he began his public prayers the hymn beginning, ‘We are coming to a King, / Large petitions let us bring’; and my own memory of hearing him utter those words forty years ago is a memory of revelation, a sudden sense of what it meant to enter the heavenly sanctuary with the ascended Christ.

So if our task as Church is to hear the call of God, and if that call is to witness to the open door set before us by Jesus, there are some of the challenges it might entail –

  • to rethink what it is to be present in every community;
  • to embody the possibilities of transformation and joy that our society, deliberately or not, tries to extinguish;
  • and to show that society that it lives in the midst of glory, judgement, mystery, beauty – the new world on the other side of the door.

No one Church can be adequate for these tasks, here in Scotland or anywhere else. My prayer is that we shall learn with and from one another as we seek to hold that door open – rejoicing together that we are ourselves invited in to be at home with Christ: ‘I will come in and eat with them and they will eat with me’ (Rev 3.20).

© Rowan Williams 2012

On Preaching

 

‎’Every Sunday morning when it comes ought to find you awed and thrilled by the reflection – “God is to be in action today, through me, for these people; this day may be crucial, this service decisive, for someone now ripe for the vision of Jesus’ . . . Realise that, although your congregation may be small, every soul is infinitely precious. Never forget, that Christ himself, according to his promise, is in the midst, making the plainest and most ordinary church building into the house of God and the gate of heaven . . . Then preaching, which might otherwise be a dead formality and a barren routine . . . will become a power and a passion; and the note of strong, decisive reality, like a trumpet will awaken the souls of men.’   James S. Stewart.

 

 

Some words of encouragement for tomorrow from Dr John Erskine (1721-1803): ‘Know, then, that preaching and hearing the Word are the chief means of extending the Redeemer’s Empire, and of advancing His honour. Faithful ministers are the glory of Christ.’

 

Here’s a thought for tomorrow – and I realise that someone else has probably placed it in my head.  When Jesus preached the Kingdom he was preaching about something that was happening. When we take up His Word to preach we are part of that Messianic surge that is moving towards that Day when tears will be wiped away and death will be no more; and there will there be no more mourning or crying or pain anymore for the former things will have passed away.  Pray that we and our people will be caught up in this great hope.

 

 

‎’God, for years I have been preaching to men. I had almost forgotten that there is an invisible audience in church, too; that the angels are listening as we expound your Word’.  Richard Wurmbrand, ‘Sermons In solitary Confinement’.  I’ve sometimes wondered if the angels are holding their breath during a preaching, wondering what the outcome will be for those who are listening.

 

‎’Wherever a human being, Bible in hand, stands up before a group of other human beings, invites the gathered assembly into a particular text of the Bible and as faithfully as possible tries to say again what the living God is saying in the text, something always happens. Something transformative, empowering, life-giving happens’. Darryl W. Johnson.  Let’s ponder this as we prepare for tomorrow’s work, guys and gals.

14 Surprises from a History of Christianity

6. Historic reputation is enhanced by intellectual breadth (Hunayn Ibn ‘Ishaq, the Great Translator of Baghdad), kindness towards opponents (Martin of Tours’ protestations against the burning of Priscillian) yet not destroyed by personal arrogance (Jerome)

7. Christians have an uncomfortable predeliction for making things up (the Turin shroud, the donation of Constantine, the Acts of Thomas)

8. The quest for purity can in the long term destroy the integrity of the Church (the Donatists)

9. The quest for unity can be highly divisive (Chalcedon)

10. The history of Christianity is very often a history of decline, failure (Augustine and the City of God) and martyred blood which was not (yet) the seed of the Church (Japan).

11. Historians find it hard to say why people become Christians (the assuaging of personal guilt and the acquisition of power are the most often cited, but also deficient)

12. There are no easy patterns, much that suggests the blessing of God, and much that makes you pray “My God, My God, why did you forsake them?”

13. Innovation comes from the extremes, sustenance comes from holding them together.

14. So much historic Christianity looks very different from my own brand

Billy Graham – Part 8 – Scotland

 

A thruway line gives a reminder of the amount of time that Graham and his team spent in prayer, a reminder of the constancy of prayer that comes across in Paul’s letters.

“On the two hundred mile trip by car to London, somewhere between Plymouth and Bournemouth we had a coffee break at an inn on the coast; the town parson greeted us warmly there.  We spent a lot of our driving time in prayer, with a renewed burden for Great Britain.” (page 247)

 

The Crusade in Glasgow was part of the Tell Scotland campaign so strongly associated with Tom Allan.  Part of this was “Operation Andrew” where individuals “were encouraged to make a deliberate effort to pray for those they knew who were unchurched or uncommitted and to bring them personally to the meetings.” (page 251).  The process for training new counsellors was also refined.

 

D.P. Thomson help to organise rallies in thirty-seven locations, over 1,000 people later attended follow-up classes from these meetings.

 

One feature of this time was Graham’s desperation to be with his wife (who eventually came over for the last two weeks of the crusade) and the attacks he endured from some fundamentalists (page 251)

“I smarted under grievous criticisms from fundamentalists and I minced no words in telling her [Ruth] how I felt: ‘Some of the things they say are pure fabrications… I do not intend to get down to their mud-slinging and get into endless arguments and discussions with them… We are too busy winning souls to Christ and helping build the church to go down and argue with these … publicity seekers.  If a man accepts the deity of Christ and is living for Christ to the best of his knowledge, I intend to have fellowship with him in Christ.  If this extreme type of fundamentalism was of God, it would have brought revival long ago.  Instead it has brought dissension, division, strife and has produced dead and lifeless churches.”

 

Billy had been advised when he gave his first address that the Scots would not come forward for the invitation.

 

I felt a strong closeness (page 249) with the audience that Could explain only as the power of the Holy Spirit.  But when I gave the Invitation at the end of the sermon, not a soul moved.  My advisers, I admitted had been right.  I bowed my head in prayer and moments later, when I looked up, people were streaming down the aisles, some with tears in their eyes.

 

In London, 2 million people had been reached in 12 weeks.

 

In Scotland 2.5 million had been reached in 6 weeks in Glasgow and in single rallies in Aberdeen and Inverness.  In London there had been 38,000, in Scotland it had been 52,000.

 

Behind that there were individual stories.  The woman who owed her new perm to Billy Graham.  Her husband after being converted at the Crusade brought home all of his paycheque instead of holding out much of it for drinking and gambling.

 

John R Rice, editor of the Sword of the Lord newspaper who described his time in Scotland has “7 miracle days”

 

Or the devout Churchgoing husband and wife in a small Irish town listening over the radio to the Crusade broadcast from the Kelving Hall, who decided on the spot to trust the Man on the Cross, and who held to their faith in the face of strong local criticism and opposition.

 

Or the moment when Billy Graham, many years later live in a satellite link up with Scotland addressed our school of evangelism in 1993 and who was introduced by the Moderator that year, Hugh Wyllie, who said that in 1955 he had been unable to listen in person, but he had listened on an landline in Elgin and through this his parents had deepened in faith, and he in turn had come to make is own commitment to Christ.

 

Billy Graham – Part 5

 

(page 155)

“The mightiest force in world” on prayer from Frank Laubach.

 

On support from Catholics (page 161)

Heartening to us also was the response of the Roman Catholic Church [during the Boston mission of 1950], remarkable especially in the light of the fact that the landmark decisions on ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council were still years away.  “BRAVO BILLY!” read the editorial headline in the Pilot the official newspaper of the Boston Archdiocese.  “We are ‘not amused’ by his critics, some unfortunately among the Protestant cloth…  If, as some people seem to think, the non-Catholic Christian congregations of New England are disintegrating, we are not such bigots as to rejoice therein.”

 

On speaking in Universities (page 165)

My appetite for many opportunities to speak in university settings had been sharpened.  I always felt the power of the Holy Spirit in these student meetings.  I didn’t claim to be an intellectual, nor did I have the academic training to answer every philosophical question that might be raised.  But I had come to realise that there was absolutely no need to apologise for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in academic settings.  The Gospel could more than hold its own.  It alone dealt with the deepest questions of the human mind.  It alone met the deepest yearnings of the human heart.  As someone once commented to me, the Gospel wasn’t so much examined and rejected on most university campuses as it was ignored.

 

On keeping going (page 166)

Then there was the question of my own stamina.  The Lord tells us to be anxious for nothing (see Philippians 4:6) but that’s always been a hard lesson for me to learn.

 

In MIT (page 168)

This has been an age in which we have humanised God and deified man, and we have worshipped at the throne of science.  We thought that science could bring about Utopia.  We must have a spiritual awakening similar to that which we had under Wesley and Whitefield.

 

Preparing for the London Crusade of 1954 (page 212)

Early 1954 gave me very little time at home in Montreat.  Ruth maintained in her counsel and advice to me that my studies should consist primarily of filling up spiritually; she believed, as I did, that God would give me the message and bring to remembrance in my preaching the things I had studied.  This was always the most effective preaching, we had discovered: preaching that came from the overflow of the heart and mind filled not only with the Spirit but with much reading.  Hence I picked each sermon topic carefully, read myself full, wrote myself empty, and read myself full again on the subject.

Billy Graham – Part 4

 

Page 58

And I preached.  And practiced.  Every Saturday I went into the empty sanctuary and rehearsed aloud the sermon I would preach the next day.  Sometimes I had an audience of one, the janitor, who seemed to feel quite free to make suggestions.

 

Page 111

I returned home from our European tour at the beginning of April 1947, having been gone for six months, knowing that Ruth and I had weathered the slight tension in our relationships.  Those months had also been a time of spiritual challenge and growth.  My contact with British evangelical leaders during this and subsequent trips, especially with Stephen Olford, deepened my personal spiritual life.  I was beginning to understand the at Jesus himself was our victory, through the Holy Spirit’s power.  I developed an even deeper hunger for Bible study and new biblical insights for my messages.  I quoted the BIble more frequently than ever before.

 

Page 124:

The time in a hotel he marched into a late night party wearing his bath robe:

 

I had intended just to tell my neighbours to stilfe the noise, but I guess the preacher in me took over.  I yelled for silence into the crowd of thirty or forty carousing men and women behind him.  Startled, they quieted down.

 

“I’m a minister of the Gospel” I began

 

Pin-drop silence.  This was a bunch of South Carolina auto dealers who knew a Bible Belt evangelist when they saw one, even in his bathrobe.

 

“I’m holding a revival Campaign in this town.  Some of you may have read about it in the paper.”

 

Not a reasonable assumption.

 

“I daresay most of this crowd are church members.  Some of you are deacons and elders.  Maybe even Sunday School teachers.  I know your pastors would be ashamed of you, because you’re certainly not acting like Christians.”

 

I got bolder: “I know God is ashamed of you.”

 

“That’s right preacher”, one of them piped up, “I’m a deacon”

 

“And I’m a Sunday School teacher” a woman confessed.

 

Well I stood there and preached an evangelist’s sermon to that crowd.  I don’t know what happened to the party after I left, but there was no more noise for the rest of the night.

 

Page 125

Principles that were established for evangelism:

  1. Work for as broad a Church involvement as possible
  2. Prayer was an indispensable element of preparation
  3. Care was taken to avoid problems with finances.  Money had to be raised, but it had to be done in such a way as to avoid suspicion
  4. Publicity was important and the need to be honest about our efforts

 

Also to avoid the problems that sometimes beset mass evangelism (page 128)

  1. Getting money sorted out in advance
  2. Avoid sexual scandal – never to be with another woman except his wife
  3. Not to criticise local Churches and to work with them
  4. Publicity – be honest about numbers attending