Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Evangelism as a Lifestyle Not an Event

My notes from the Planting Seeds conference with keynote speaker Mike Breen.

There is a common path we follow in every life-skill we develop:
- unconsciously incompetent
- consciously incompetent
- consciously competent
- unconsciously competent

The level of change in this postmodern era is of seismic proportions. The only reason that this change is not catastrophic for us is because we are affluent. We (Christians) are the rescue team. How can we respond to this seismic change?

1. Respond with compassion:
- It would be inappropriate to behave any other way.
- One of the problems people have with Christians is that they don’t see compassion.
- There is nothing wrong with inviting people into the community of believers where they can feel comfortable before they believe.

2. Provide temporary and flexible shelter to support community:
- What’s being shaken are the institutions.
- Buildings (churches) in the earthquake zone are viewed as dangerous.
- You have to make the journey to them, don’t expect them to come to you.
- The world tells us that the normal structures of family and community are dangerous.
- Looking at the artifacts of postmodern culture (Internet & media) we can see that people are desperate to connect; that friendship has replace family as the cornerstone of society.
- Build church around community and friendship.
- Evangelize to Jesus and allow Jesus to change their culture.
- Give people many access points to reach shelter.
- Best way to build community is to have a meal together.
- Build groups/clusters of 20 to 50 – extended family-size group.

3. Listen to their story:
- When people go through a shocking experience they begin to lose their reference points. They feel disoriented. They wonder who they are.
- Identity comes from outside, not inside.
- People need a common story (meta-narrative) to feel like they have an identity.
- GenX loves going to the movies because they are looking for a story.

4. Give them a compass (Jesus):
- We think information is enough, but it’s got to be in relation.
- People are desperate for a sense of orientation
- The way they discover how to use the compass is by imitating the life of the person training them.
- Does anybody want your life? Do they want to imitate you?

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