Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Churches Can Be More Effective In Reaching Post-Modern Youth

Though churches of any size and age should be seeking to reach young adults, often new churches can be more effective in this area than existing churches. 

The elders and deacons at Faith Community Church, Barre, VT, fondly recall one Sunday when the church was only about five years old. At that time, the young adults had just begun to lead worship once a month. They were still growing in their abilities and their music was much edgier than the congregation was used to, but the leadership team wanted them to be involved, so the youth were allowed to lead. On that particular Sunday, three rows of young adults were present in their customary section near the back. Halfway through the service, the youth praise team was singing a very upbeat song called, “I Am Free,” by Jon Egan, who is the leader of a group called Desperation Band. The song was supposed to be what the church refers to as special music. That basically means the praise team was supposed to sing it on their own while the congregation listened. During the chorus of the song, suddenly those three rows of young people spontaneously rose to their feet and joined in singing the song with an enthusiasm they had never shown in church before. A wave of the Spirit flowed across the room, and the whole nature of the worship experience changed. For the first time, the youth band was actually leading worship and not just going through the motions. That particular group of young people has never been the same since. On that day, the congregation realized that God could use young adults in a powerful way even though it was different than the way worship was done previously.

Many churches may think they need to allow young people to take part in religious ceremonies only so that they can build “the church of tomorrow.” While church leaders mean well when they say things like this, what they are actually communicating to the next generation is that young people have no current value to the church. Young adults hear that message and decide that if they are not valued at church, they will go somewhere that does value them. Churches that do not value young people as the church of today should not be surprised when young people are not around tomorrow. If churches want to attract younger generations, they have to begin to value them the way God does. Young adults need a real connection to Christ. They are often looking for a deeper spirituality than their parents have. When we help them prepare for religious ceremonies, they can discover the faith in Christ they need. Once they discover faith, we must let them lead. When we let them lead, they will set an exciting example for others to follow and draw their postmodern peers into the church as well. Churches must begin to recognize that young people are gifted by God and can be used by Him in powerful ways. Paul’s exhortation to Timothy readily applies to young adults today: “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12 NIV). Churches that can help the next generation live out that admonition will have no problem reaching people with a postmodern worldview.

The above blog is written by a guest blog writer, Terry Dorsett,  and is adapted from his book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, published by CrossBooks.

Terry is an insightful Man of God with a wealth of wisdom and understanding in reaching the world in which we live in.  You can find his work at:

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Recently I was talking with a Christian brother about his job and how his boss had told him that he would have to stop sharing about Jesus to the clients who were receiving their services.  It wasn't that the clients were complaining about it but it made some co-workers feel uncomfortable.  This is a trend that is becoming more prevalent in our modern day American society.  Some people become extremely uncomfortable when they hear Jesus being talked about.  Throughout the work place in North America Christians are being told they have to be silent and not talk about such things.  But it's not only in the work place.  Even in Alcoholic Anonymous Meetings, where it's encouraged to find a higher power, Christians are being told not to share about their sobriety through Jesus Christ.  I was even meeting with a guy for discipleship at a local coffee shop in Salinas, Ca when I guy got very agitated with me because he kept hearing me refer to Jesus.  The days of Christ being warmly received in our North American culture is over and the hostility that's replacing it is only going to get more intense.  However, let me admonish you:


During a study of God's word in the church that meets in my house God gave my church family  a glimpse into the the bold missional lifestyle that those early Christians had.  It was found in Acts 8:1-4. Listen to what it says,

"On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.  But Saul began to destroy the church.  Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.  Those who had been scattered preached the 
word wherever they went."  

The execution of Steven was found with such favor that it incited a vicious movement of persecution against the Christ's followers of such proportions that Christian men and women were being dragged out of their house, thrown into prison and even killed.  This persecution was so intense and extensive that it caused Christians to flee Jerusalem for their vary lives.  To remain in Jerusalem meant certain death but to flee offered the hope of life and freedom.

The scripture tells us that the apostles remained in Jerusalem and that it was only the ordinary Christians that actually fled.  The Bible also says that these Christians were scattered throughout all the towns and villages in Judea and Samaria.  From a general and quick observation a person might get the sense that these early Christians were a bunch of cowards.  I mean, if they really had faith in God wouldn't they just stay in Jerusalem and face the opposition trusting that Christ would deliver them from their oppressors?   That, however, would be a worldly perspective but not God's perspective.  In reality these early Christians were just being obedient to what Christ commanded.  Jesus himself instructed them to flee.  The Bible says in Matthew 10:21,22

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes." (NIV)

Just because they were fleeing doesn't mean they were cowards!   Actually the Bible depicts them to be extremely brave.  Notice what the last line of verse Acts 8:4. It says,

"Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went."  

DID YOU CATCH IT?  These ordinary Christians when they fled, fled still preaching the word and being a witness for Christ wherever they went!


These early Christians weren't scared to silence they just weren't stupid! They weren't going to stick around and get beat up but that didn't mean they were going shut up either!  Nope!  They just went and found a new audience to share the good news and if they got persecuted in that new town they would flee again to a different town and there again begin to share the good news Jesus.

Why didn't those early Christians just keep their trap shut?  Why didn't they just decide to let their faith be a personal faith between just them and God?  Isn't that what most of us would do?  Doesn't that make a lot of sense?  If we are told to stop talking about Jesus at work wouldn't most of us stop and just rationalize our silence with,

"I can't talk about Jesus because my boss told me I can't and if I do I'll lose my job and after all God wouldn't want me to lose my job. Would he?"

Or Would He?  Would God more prefer for you to lose your job instead of being silent about His Son?  To answer help answer that question let me ask two different questions that might shed some light on this topic and give us a more Godly perspective:

Is witnessing of Jesus a suggestion or a command that we've been given?  In Matthew 28;18-20 we read:

"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.”

These were Jesus' last words that were spoken and as such were probably the most important words He wanted His followers to remember.  When you know you are sharing your last words with someone you don't talk about the weather - you talk about what's heavy on your heart.  In addition the verb, "GO" is written in the imperative mood which means that Jesus isn't making a suggestion he's giving a command.

So when you take together the occasion for what Jesus is saying: HIS LAST WORDS and they way He said it: A COMMAND, we quickly realize that it's not an option for Christian to stop sharing about Jesus.  No where in the Bible does it say,

"Be my witness and share my Good News with everyone 
unless it gets to dangerous to do so."  

There's no place in the Bible where it say that!  Instead Jesus says that He has all authority and what he's about to command is not an option but a requirement.  WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT JESUS!

Here's the next question: Is being persecuted for our faith and testimony of Jesus a good or bad thing? Again lets see what the Bible says,

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 'Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."  Matthew 5:10,11 (NIV)

Now what Jesus says here is so counter intuitive to our modern Christian life and perspective.  Today's North American Christians say that its a horrible thing to be persecuted for our faith but Jesus says that we are blessed when we are.  Jesus says that those who are persecuted because they refuse to stop talking about Him have a reward waiting for them in heaven that is beyond imagination but I get the feeling that most Christians feel that they are some how being punished by God if they are persecuted.  

So with these thoughts in mind lets get back to the original question:


Are you ready?  Here's the answer so you better hold your hat!  


Our job as Followers Of Christ is to make him disciples!  It's to shine our light in our part of this dark world!  It'S to go and be a witness of Christ's power and presence that can change lives!    

So what if you lose your job?  Don't you believe and have faith in what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33,

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, 
and all these things (things you need) will be given to you as well."

Don't you trust that God can and will take care of your every need if you are being faithful and obedient to sharing Jesus with the people in this lost world?  Or maybe the words that Jesus had to say to his disciples on more than one occasion needs to be said to us, "Oh you of little faith".  

In truth it's really not a job issue but a faith issue.

So here on my final words that hopefully will admonish you and encourage you to be found faithful!


I Invite You To Join Me On My Facebook Page Called 
You can find it at:

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Hopefully by this time you have developed a comprehensive prayer strategy that will empower the work of starting a new church with the power and presence of God himself.  I cannot overstate the importance of step 4.  If you do not develop and implement a strategic prayer ministry, nothing from that point forward will be of any use.  Church planting is not a human endeavor. Jesus said, after Peter's great confession, that He (Jesus) would build his church and the gates of hell would not overpower it.  From that statement we see that church planting is Christ's work and he is the one who accomplishes it.  Therefore, it is vital that we understand that church planting is not something we do for God but it is something that God is going to do through us.  W,ith that being the truth then the dependence on God through prayer is essential and cannot be removed from the equation.  So if you have not started to implement a comprehensive prayer strategy STOP reading this post and go back to step 4 and do that first.

The task in step 5 is the development of a prospect list! This list will determine the ground for planting the gospel seed from which the harvest will come. In other words from this list will potentially come the people who will become the members of the new church.  The development of this list is a vital BEST PRACTICE for any church planting endeavor.  What do I mean by "BEST PRACTICE"?  Simply this:


You cannot start a new church unless you know who you are going to invite to be part of it.  Now please understand developing a prospect list doesn't mean that they all will come and be part of the new church. 


Developing a prospect list provides you with a starting point - not a finish line.  Developing a large prospect list provides you a tool to begin sorting through a large group of people whom Jesus is going to use to build His church.  At this point in the church planting process no one has an idea who God is going to use.  Right now your only job as the church planter is to beging sifting through the potential people and weed out those whom God is not going to use and begin to disciple those he does intend to use.


First, let me start off by saying who you should not consider!  Since you have already enlisted and formed your church planting team which consists of at least two Christians (you and one other Christian) your prospect list shouldn't include any other Christian that is growing in the Lord and active in a church.  Leave them alone!  Now I know that probably sounds very strange and counter intuitive but believe me this is important.  Why?  Because we are not trying to start a new church that robs  growing Christians from other churches! We are wanting to start a church that focuses on fulfilling the Great Commission of making new disciples.   In starting a church and especially a house church you don't need a lot of strong growing Christians to form a solid foundation.  In a house church two strong growing Christians is plenty.    When you place your focus on developing a prospect list and reaching Christians who are already growing in the Lord you run the risk of forming what I like to call

Spiritual navel-gazers are Christians who like to get into small groups and focus on themselves by encouraging each other and praying for one another.  While there is nothing wrong in and of itself in singing praises to God, praying with each other and and encouraging one another they should not be an end unto themselves.  Our mission and our goal is to fulfill the Great Commission by MAKING DISCIPLES.

But as Followers of Christ and as a church planter our call is to shine the LIGHT OF CHRIST in this spiritually dark world.

Second you need to know that there are two groups of people you want to use to form this prospect list:

  • The Totally Unsaved:  These are people who have never committed their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ and if they were to die today would surely go straight to hell.  
  • The Far Away Brethren:  These are people who are Christians, or at least profess a faith in Christ, but have for one reason or another fallen away from Christ and the church.  
Identify people from both of these groups and you will have a very productive prospect list from which to plant the gospel seed and see whom God raises up to form and grow his new church.


You find these people from within your own sphere of influence.  You find them from those people you already know and have a relationship with.  This is another BEST PRACTICE.  Finding prospects from within your own sphere of influence is not only a proven contemporary strategy but more importantly is also a profound Biblical strategy.

When Jesus talked to the woman at the well in Samaria and shared with her everything she had ever done and revealed to her that He was indeed the Messiah she immediately ran back into the town and told everyone what had happen and invited them to come and see for themselves.  When Jesus healed the Demoniac of a Legion of Demons the man asked Jesus if he could go with him when he left and Jesus told the man "No" and instructed him to go back to the towns in that region declaring the great things that God had done for him.  The man obeyed and later when Jesus came back to that area the people were completely ready to receive Jesus and his ministry.  Why? Because they had heard and believed the testimony of the man who had been healed.

So in developing a strong prospect list you need to think of all your family, friends, fellow workers, neighbors and people you may know from your social groups who are either not Christians or they are backslidden Christians and add make them part of your list.  In putting this list together let me give you a couple of suggestions:

  1. Pray Before You Start:  Prayer is always the best way to start any activity.  You can never go wrong by praying.  Ask God to reveal to you and bring to your memory all those people that He wants included on the list.  You might be surprised whom God brings to mind.  I know of people who have been in earnest prayer in developing their prospect list and have had people come to mind that they haven't seen or heard from in years. God knows who he's working with and you need God to reveal His list to you.  I guess in reality we are seeking to understand who is on God's list.  That's why prayer is so important.  
  2. Don't Prequalify Them:  What do I mean about that?  Simply this: Don't try to play God and decide if a person will or will not come to Christ or attend your church.  Only God knows the heart of a person and we can only guess.  Larry Munguia is now a very good friend of mine and fellow pastor but before Larry came to faith in Christ no one ever thought he would do it.  Everyone was concerned for his wife, Bobbi, and they prayed for her consistently. But interestingly enough Larry came came to faith in Christ before his wife and it was his changed life that convinced Bobbi that Christ was real.  Larry is now the Senior Pastor of a church he started called The Sober Project.  My point is this, we don't know whom God has chosen and prepared for this new life and new church.
  3. Include All Vital Information: As you form this list make sure that you have each person's name, address, phone number, email address and Facebook account.  Why? Because you will want to stay in consistent contact with them sharing about activities, ministries and any other offers the church may want to make.  A church planter should maintain a  prospect list twice as large as the average attendance of the church.  Building a robust prospect list at the very beginning of a new church will only enhance the work later and having all this information will insure the ability to stay in contact.
Between you and your church planting team you should easily be able to form a list between 50 - 100 people.  This is more than enough to form and establish a new house church.

Now that you have built your list you work your list the way you started it - through prayer!  That's right start praying for your prospects.  Ask God the Father to begin drawing them to Jesus.  Ask the Holy Spirit to begin convicting them of their sin and need for a Savior.  Pray that God will bring circumstances and situations in their lives that will make them hunger and thirst for Christ and his righteousness.  Pray that these people become dissatisfied with this life of sin and become desperate for the life that only Christ can give. Send the names of your prospect list to the PRAYER WARRIORS you have already enlisted and get them to start praying over them.  Pray as a church planting team over the prospects.


Home Work:  
You and your church planting team get together and begin develop a prospect list of 50 to 100 people.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: By A Guest Post Writer, Dr. Terry Dorsett

The phone call ended with a sense of frustration. I had just finished yet another conversation with the same pastor about some struggles he was having in his church. The struggles were very real, and sadly, quite common. Some leaders in his church had different opinions about how certain things should be done. This was creating tension between himself and those leaders. It was not really a theological issue, since both the pastor and the leadership group seemed right on target theologically and doctrinally. But they did not seem to be able to find unity on how to do certain things in the church. Regretfully, that tension had begun to build and, as often happens in the church, people were starting to use the "God told me" line. Once people start claiming that God told them something, it is almost impossible to compromise with them and the only solution they will accept is one that agrees 100% with their viewpoint. I did my best to offer helpful advice and spent time praying with the pastor, but deep in my heart, I feared that it would not end well.

Though I wish this phone call was rare, the reality is that this is a common experience, not only for pastors, but for anyone who aspires to be a leader in the context of Christian community. I have spent a lot of time thinking, reflecting and praying about why these things happen. Though I am still formulating my thoughts, it seems to me that one of the key reasons this happens is because we often have unrealistic expectations of others. We expect people to be perfect, forgetting that we are not perfect ourselves. We do not like it when people use a sharp tone of voice with us, but excuse ourselves when we are tired, or frustrated, and use a sharp tone with others. Just because a person is a Christian, even in a position of leadership, does not mean they are perfect. People have bad days and good days. People have weeks when they spend extra time in prayer, and weeks when they do not spend enough time in prayer. It is an unrealistic expectation to think that everyone in leadership will be perfect all the time.

Even when everyone involved has a good day at the same time, we may have different opinions based on our life experiences. I recall getting frustrated once with a group of church leaders about an insurance matter. I just could not see why they could not understand my perspective. After the meeting was over, one of the leaders spoke to me privately. He simply said, "Don't take this the wrong way, but how much do you really know about insurance?" I had to admit that I knew very little. He went on to explain that two of the five members of the group had extensive experience in that area and it just made sense to trust their judgment on the matter. I was humbled, and decided to heed his advice. It is unrealistic to think that we will understand every detail about every issue.

Many churches would have less tension if they let go of unrealistic expectations. We should accept that sometimes people say and do things they should not have said or done. Obviously, if a pattern of bad behavior exists, then the person may need to be removed from leadership. But if no such pattern exists, then we should accept that they were having a bad day and we should forgive easily and pray fervently for them. We should also accept that no one person is an expert on everything, including ourselves. We should offer our opinions on matters that we are knowledgeable about and remain quiet on issues that are outside o
ur scope of expertize. Just because a thought comes to our mind, does not mean it must escape our lips.

Being a leader in a Christian community can be a challenge, but if we let go of our unrealistic expectations, it is a challenge worth engaging in!

You can find this post in its original form at: Next Generation Evangelistic Network

Dr. Dorsett is an amazing church life and missional practitioner. He has lots of insights and understanding in the ways of God.  I encourage you to subscribe to his blog and be blessed.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

DO YOUR FINGERS STINK FOR JESUS? 3 Principles For Missional Living!

Many years ago I was attending a church growth conference and listening to one of the speakers talk about evangelism and the need for pastors to lead their churches to reach the unchurched of their communities.  During his session he made a statement that really caught my attention!  Actually he used two metaphors in one sentence that totally grabbed my imagination and intrigued me.  He said,

"God has not called us to be KEEPERS OF AN AQUARIUM but to be FISHERS OF MEN!"

The Bible verse that inspired this saying was taken from Matthew 4:18-21 where Jesus was calling Peter, Andrew, James and John to be his disciples.  Read what the Bible says:

"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him.  Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." (NIV)

Like I said the statement from that speaker really caught my attention and I couldn't stop thinking about it.    Truthfully I can't remember anything else he said that night but I really didn't need to because through that one statement God taught me three important principles and more about what it means to live a missional life.   When I compared those two metaphors a stark contrast began to form creating a North Star that would guide me and help keep me on track as I intentionally pursued living a missional lifestyle.  Here are some of the contrasts between those two metaphors:

Keepers Of Aquariums Like To Display Fish But Fishermen Love To Catch Fish:  The purpose and goal in having an aquarium is to create a beautiful underwater exhibit that can be enjoyed and shown to family and friends.  People who have aquariums go to great pains and expense to get just the right color of rocks, landscape, decorations and fish to create this underwater world.  They have to pump in air, provide and feed the fish daily and make sure the algae is cleaned off.  But it's not a natural environment for the fish!  Those fish were not originally created to live in an aquarium isolated from the natural design of God.  It is for our own pleasure and purpose that we create this alternative world and then place the fish in it to live.

Fishermen on the other hand don't care about making things look pretty or showing off pretty little fish.  The only goal of a fisherman is to catch fish!  I have seen guys out fishing who catch fish after fish and then just throw them right back in the water.  I asked a man once why he did that and he said, "I just like to catch them."  It's the thrill of the hunt and the joy that comes from being able to outwit another animal.

The Missional Living Principle:  The call to follow Jesus is not a call to create a religious bubble to isolate Christians away from the world but instead to enter into the world of those who are still lost in sin in this spiritually dark world.

For too long now the church in North America has created a church life that more resembles an aquarium where we've built beautiful buildings, with stained glass windows, cushioned seats, with fancy lighting and sound equipment.  These building are filled with members who appear to have their lives all together with their picture-perfect families and their successful jobs.

The church of North America has created a Christian alternative to just about everything that society has to offer.  From music festivals, dating services, radio programs; TV programs, schools.  Just about anything you can think of we have a Christian alternative.  It's almost as if we are intentionally trying to keep Christians away from those who are lost in the world.

But that's not what we are called to do!  Christ never commanded us to create an alternative Christian culture that appears perfect and uninfected by the world!  No!  His command and call to Peter and the other three were to come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.  Our call is to reach people for Jesus! Period!  I don't care what you're doing, whether it be singing in the choir, politically protesting for some Christian agenda, or serving on the building and grounds committee of your church, IF YOU'RE NOT REACHING PEOPLE FOR JESUS YOU'RE NOT DOING YOUR JOB! PERIOD!

Keepers Of Aquariums Don't Get Into The Aquarium With Their Fish However Fishermen Love To Get Into The Water With The Fish:  When it comes to the home variety of aquariums the most that any person will get into the aquarium is the putting of their hands into it and that's just for the purpose of cleaning the aquarium, readjusting the decorations or to catch one of the fish.   For the most part the only interaction with the fish is the admiration of how pretty they are.

Fishermen on the other hand will do whatever it takes to catch the fish which includes getting into the water where the fish are.  Once while I was in Texas I met a guy who loved going fishing for catfish.  However, his particular method was completely different from anything that I had ever heard of before.  This guy would actually squat down into the water and then reach his hands down deep into the mud where the catfish had burrowed themselves, grab them by the gills and pull them out.  He said there were times when the fish fought so hard that he would fall down into the water face first.  Now I've heard of guys who really get into fishing but this guy took it to a whole new level and literally got all of himself into the act of fishing.  NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL A FISHERMEN!

The Missional Living Principle:  In order to be an effective Fisher of Men you have to be willing to go where the lost people are and hang out with them.  You can't isolate yourself from them and expect to reach them for Jesus.  Some of the people that Christ is calling us to reach are not swimming near the shore where you can reach them with a rod and reel.  If we are to effectively reach many of these people we will have to get into their world, go where they hangout, and show them unconditional love and acceptance.

Isn't that what Jesus did for us?  Didn't he leave his home in Glory, humble himself taking on the form of a man, born to poor parents and live among us as one of us but yet without sin or condemnation to those who were in sin?  When Jesus called Matthew to follow him what did Matthew immediately do?  He left his job and followed Jesus.  The next thing he did was to throw a party for all of his friends to come over and meet Jesus. And guess what?  Jesus attended the party and everyone at the party, except the religious hypocrites, had a great time.  Jesus loved hanging out with sinners!  Why? Because that's why he came!  Jesus own words to Zacchaeus, another tax collecting sinner, verifies it.  Jesus said to Zacchaeus, "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost".  Why did Jesus come?  To seek and to save!  Jesus also said to his disciples at a different time, "As the Father has sent me so send I you."  It can't be any plainer than that! We have been sent to carry on the same mission that Jesus began of seeking and saving those are lost.  But in order to do that we have to be willing to get into the world where sinners live and not pass judgment on others who do.

Keepers Of Aquariums Like To Keep Things Nice And Clean But Fishermen Love To Get Dirty And Smelly:  People who own aquariums want to keep things looking nice and neat.  They don't want the algae to grow and overtake the aquarium, they don't want their decorations to be uprooted and they surely don't want dead fish floating around.  The goal of an aquarium is to create a perfect underwater world that everyone can marvel at.

Fishermen on the other hand could care less if everything was nice and clean.  As a matter of fact they would prefer it not to be that way.  They know that where fish live it is neither nice nor clean and that's the reason why fishermen like it.  Fishermen love to get dirty and smelly.  They know that if they are going to go where the fish live and catch them they will stink of fish.  They know that if they come home and don't stink of fish they haven't done their job.  The two go hand in hand.  If you are going to go catch fish you're going to get dirty and you're going to stink of fish.  You can't help it. It's part of fishing.

The Missional Living Principle:  If you're going to get into the water where fish live you are going to get a little smelly.  That doesn't mean you are backsliding or becoming worldly.  What it means is that your outlook and perspective of what it means to live as a Christian changes. You understand the need to be in the real world and not in an artificial environment. It means that your speech and vocabulary, though not cursing, sound more like the world than it does in the religious bubble we've created.  It means that the style of dress you have will  look more like those who live in the real world.

Personally I love it when unchurched people who meet me for the first time are completely surprised to find out that I am a Baptist preacher.  The looks on their faces are priceless.  Many of them say they would never have thought that they would be talking to a preacher like he was just an ordinary guy.  I also enjoy meeting Christians for the first time who hold to a certain stereotype of how Christians should dress or talk.  I often encounter confused looks and many times judgmental attitudes.

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore made a movie together a few years ago called 50 FIRST DATES. It was a movie about a girl who had been in an accident where she suffered a brain injury and no longer had short-term memory, as a matter of fact every morning she woke up she forgot everything that happened the day before.  As a result everyday Sandler's character would have to get the girl to fall in love with him again.  In one particular scene where the boy was trying to once again get the girl to fall in love with him she said that his hands smelled like fish. He quickly began to apologize and said that his job required him to handle fish.  The girl told him not to apologize because she liked the smell because it reminded her of her father who was a fishermen and that the fish smell always brought back fond memories.  At that point she grabbed his hands and brought them close to her nose and starting smelling.  I think Jesus is like that!  I think Jesus loves the smell of his disciple's hands that stink of the sinners whom they have rescued and caught for him!

Jesus loves the smell of his disciple's hands that stink of the sinners whom they have rescued and caught for him. 

So let me ask you: How stinky are your fingers?  When was the last time you actually got into the world to seek and lead others to salvation in Christ?  Do you thing the church should be a place to show off pretty little christians who live in a prefabricated spiritual bubble away from the rest of the world?



So I Say, 
"Let's Get Our Hands Stinky For Jesus!"

Here's A Free Gift To Help You In Missional Living: