The contemporised words of GSR (see previous blogs) have set my mind racing.
The other day I was prayerfully considering the plight of the unsaved and their obvious discomfort (at least until they’ve been converted) in ordinary Corps meetings.
Then I had this brilliant idea!
Why not have a special meeting dedicated to the unsaved, somewhere they would feel comfortable, somewhere where they could hear the gospel in a way they understood, maybe free coffee and doughnuts – who knows? Whatever works best!
Then I thought but how would I get the unsaved to come in? I’d have to go outside and find them, I’d have to round them up, chase them down, invite them to come back to the hall!
Brilliant – I could see the whole thing taking shape in my imagination.
Then a little voice inside my head (or maybe my heart) said – “So you’re going to have a salvation meeting preceded by an open-air?”
There truly is nothing new under the sun!
Love and prayers
PS The picture is an early SA open air meeting in Dartford! (about 1908)
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
More from 'Heathen England in modern English - remember this is a report from 130 years go yet it could be a contemporary report looking into the reason why evangelism fails!
Love and prayers
"Imagine what would happen if Christians really did care enough to get those outside their churches inside (not just for a week or two once a year but all the time), what would their chances of success be?
Look at the average church, the building, the way the people dress, the way people behave, the way things happen (should I stand or sit?), the language used, the songs sung – one might think the whole thing had been deliberately designed to keep ordinary people out. Even if you could get them to come along once the likelihood of a return visit would be slim indeed.
And then think about the service itself, — to those who have attended all their lives it might be described as beautiful, carefully designed to teach, refresh and encourage those who have developed an appetite for the acquired taste of such heavenly food, yet this same service is probably completely indigestible to non church goers. Outsiders might enjoy the music yet not have the confidence to join in, they might listen to the prayers, but again not join in — maybe not even realise the prayers were being prayed on their behalf. As for the sermon (assuming they could understand it) — because it had been written with believers in mind it would probably fall on deaf ears. The whole experience, despite the kindness shown by the genuine warm welcome and many handshakes, would suggest to the newcomer that this kind of thing was probably for others but not for them.
Let me put a question to those who have organised special evangelical services and outreach programmes where they have invited preachers to come along who are killed in preaching salvation – even if you have succeeded in bringing people in – how many have come back?
The truth is that most ordinary people cannot be encouraged to attend ordinary church services and ordinary places of worship, no matter how sincerely they are invited to do so. This fact is proven by the constant stream of conferences and seminars held throughout the church to address this very situation."
Love and prayers