Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Church in Crisis

A quote from The aXiom Network:

"The 'crisis at the heart of the church is that we give disciple making lip service, but do not practice it'. * Isn't sharing the Gospel implied in the definition of a (growing) disciple? It's time we provide our disciples with the tools they need, online and print, then get out of their way and let them do the job for which God has prepared them!"

* Bill Hull  Disciplemaking Pastor

Do you agree or disagree with this statement and why?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I accepted Christ as Savior in college after years of abusing my body, my relationships and the law (but enough about that!). I had been a “hippie, yippie, dippie” musician for many years playing guitar in noteworthy rock groups, traveling throughout the South during the peak years of Doobie Brothers, Allman Brothers and other Southern Rock Bands.

Soon after becoming a believer I went to a large university where I was approached by the campus director for Campus Crusade, and, after a few discussions about my faith, my maturity and such, Rich asked me if I would consider being “song leader” for Crusade’s large meetings. (To this day I have no idea how Rich knew who I was).

At the time I didn’t even know what a “spiritual song” aka chorus* was much less how to be a solo song leader of 100+ college students every Thursday night. Since for years I’d stood in front of a wall of amplifiers and behind guitars and microphones playing in public I felt I would be reasonably comfortable leading songs. Besides, I had traded my '57 Les Paul (electric guitar) for a Gibson Dove (acoustic guitar) and, until then, wasn't sure how I would use it. After a few weeks I began to figure out the pace, the chord changes, etc.

NOTE: Choruses at the time were still a new worship style and would NEVER have been sung in any "respectable" Church. How things change!

Because of my close work with Rich, I was eventually asked to join what was in those days called the “Central Action Group”. I still question his wisdom in that decision…but I thank God often that he saw me through, as it were, God's eyes and not merely his own.

With Rich’s investment in my life and “personal ministry” (I had never heard that term before) God began to develop in me a vision of what the Christian life was; namely, a pro-active, conscientious and faithful effort at winning those who remained without Christ and then discipling them. (My experience as a new Christian being discipled on campus would prove to be VERY different than anyone I met in local Churches for many years to come.)

As a CAG we read, discussed, trained with and prayed about some great materials that focused on Evangelism, Disciplemaking and the Christian life, including:

  • Four Spiritual Laws – Campus Crusade for Christ
  • My Heart, Christ’s Home
  • Tyranny of the Urgent (Intervarsity)
  • The Hand Illustration (Navigators)
  • The Wheel Illustration (Navigators)
  • Disciples Are Made, Not Born – Walt Henrichsen
  • Born to Reproduce – Dawson Trotman, founder of Navigators
  • Ten Steps to Christian Maturity – CCC
  • Dedication and Leadership – Douglas Hyde
  • So What’s the Difference – Fritz Ridenour
  • How To Be a Christian Without Being Religious – Fritz Ridenour
  • Knowledge of the Holy – A.W. Tozer
  • Evidence That Demands a Verdict – Josh McDowell
  • Training of the Twelve - A.B. Bruce
 And of course, and especially,

Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman.

(NOTE: As a pastor can you imagine expecting your leadership team to read these? As a new believer I thought every Christian had benefitted from these types of materials.)

There were many more but these are only the ones I could still find on my bookshelves. Yes, we read all of these and many more during our years of college.

Question: Are you familiar with this list of books/booklets and how/when did you learn about them? After all, these were life-changing resources for thousands, perhaps millions over the years.

Question: What do YOU use in your personal discipleship ministry?

Question: Suggest a topic around these titles, their use, what you've found to be helpful and I and others here will attempt to respond.
We all look forward to hearing your thoughts...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Visionaries, The Gospel and Technology

A quote from The aXiom Network:

"Visionaries have always pondered how they could use technology to help reach their generation for Christ. For the first time in history we have a means they could never have fathomed but surely would have put to use. Do we lack the vision, passion or compassion of those whose shoulders we stand on? Were it possible, would they not be leaning over the side of heaven urging us on?"

Would like to know your thoughts...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Purpose of this Blog

The intent of this blog is simply to promote evangelism online through Church, and other Christian websites. Well, occasionally we'll address other issues, too. That might include comments that sound alarming like whining and crying.

Overall, I want to interact with you and others about how this task can be accomplished more effectively and efficiently. I will attempt to make comments that reflect the importance of this subject and others but with a more "open collar" format. (See Website for the "closed collar" version)

I guess I feel like lots of others do about blogs. Why would anyone care what is said here. I am personally very cautious about whose opinions I listen to, or more specifically, how many opinions I listen to; not because I don't want a variety of views; rather, like you, I have only so much time during the day and giving that time over to useless, banal blogging isn't my idea of good stewardship: mine or yours.

Therefore, I will try to write about ideas and issues that you agree are important even if you disagree with the opinion(s) itself.

I've had the pleasure over much of the last year of being part of a rather obssesive team who is committed to helping the Church be more effective in her evangelistic efforts. I hope our efforts, our vision and this blog contributes, at least in part, some clarity and, okay, "guilt" about why this isn't already part of the evangelical landscape. I hope you will consider all of what we're about and join us. See The aXiom Network for more information.

Surveys: Each month I post a different Survey for readers to quickly share their opinions. Feel free to look ahead to future months to take the surveys even though nothing is actually posted yet. Again, I want to know what you think. I also believe Church (local and national) need to know as well. This is a good place to let your thoughts known.

Serving with you,

Rev. Don Walley, Director,
The aXiom Network

I Want To Hear Your Ideas:

Share your thoughts, opinions, general rantings about something I blogged. NOTE: Resectful, responsible and repeatable comments and opinions are welcome and will be posted.

Ground Rule #1: No respect, no response! (DISagreement is welcome, DISrespect for others or their views is not. NOTE: If you're not sure of the difference you probably should'nt write.)

Ground Rule #2: I decide! This is not a public bulletin board. It's about edification, education, encouragement and occasionally, whining about my blogs regarding evangelism particularly.

Ground Rule #3: Any questions? Read #1 & #2 again!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lost Opportunities?

I believe the Church today has the greatest opportunity, the best technology and fulfills its highest purpose by combining the eternal message of The Gospel, the world's access to the internet and every person's deepest hurt.

To that end...

The aXiom Network has launched an effort to mobilize 100,000 Churches, Organizations, Christian Businesses and Individuals to provide online access to the Gospel to this and future generations using the Three Keys; namely,
  1. The Gospel on every possible Church website
  2. Effective follow-up and integration
  3. Ability to refer new believers to like-minded (member) Churches
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this; good, bad, indifferent; believer or non-believer, churched or unchurched, pulpit or pew, etc.