Friday, February 01, 2008

Evangelism Conference - Lesson #1

Morning friends. Well, I've had some time to process last Monday's conference. Oddly enough, I think I received the most insight from arguably, the least engaging speaker of the lot. In his defense. Dr. Roy Fish is now in his eighties. However, in Dr. Fish's case, age has obviously brought great wisdom. To be completely honest, he really just hit me where I am right now in my journey to Christ-likeness. 

He began by quoting 1 Corinthians 9:19-27. Click on the scripture to read it at For me, I knew I was in trouble, with the very beginning of that passage:

"Though I am free and belong to no man, 
I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible."

God has really been teaching me a lot through the birth of our new recovery ministry, "The Well". You know how I know that "The Well" is absolutely a God thing? Because it couldn't be more out of my comfort zone. Don't get me wrong, I have my own issues, but for the most part, I thank God daily that he has kept me from falling too hard. Lately, God has really been opening me up to a new outlook on life & even more, his children. ALL OF THEM, not just those who look...well...good. By the way, in many cases, it is just that, a look. Just because someone looks like they have it all together on the outside, they may very well be falling apart on the inside. 

Along this same line, Dr. Fish smacked me with this statement:

"you have to do away with prejudice. 

Everyone should be welcome into the kingdom of God."

Prejudice! I'm not prejudice! Actually...I am. We all are. How many times do you catch yourself judging someone simply because they're not like you? I'm not talking about extreme examples such as racism. It could be as simple as looking down on someone because they wear jeans & a t-shirt, instead of a suit & tie. Be careful. Prejudice is very sneaky. We have to constantly be aware of it & head it off before it takes root in our minds & hearts. For those of you that know me, I've always been a bit strange. Isn't that a prerequisite for being a musician? Even as odd as I am, I still find myself judging those stranger than me. IT HAS TO STOP! I am so thankful that, through "The Well", I have made new friends that I can honestly say, I love being around. Never forget that God is healing all of us from something.

Another stiff statement from Dr. Fish was this. As evangelizing Christians (which we should all be):

"We want the good guys to come to Christ...not the Lee Harvey Oswalds of this world."

What can be said about that? It's incredibly convicting to me. I'll let you process it on your own. No need to flesh out the obvious. 

Lastly, Dr. Fish basically made the cry that we have to strive to be students of our culture. "Cultural relevance is a fact in building God's great church". I don't think this means that you have to change who God made you to be. For that matter, I don't think that's what Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians. We just have to allow God to help us relate to those that may not be where you are in your journey, but nonetheless, we are all on the same journey. Being prejudice towards someone is absolutely not going to bring them to the cross. Sitting with them & listening (even though you don't have a clue about what they're going through), could very well move them one step closer.

For me, Dr. Fish's message simply cemented that I am headed in the right direction. God help me to stay on that path. I hope some of this was able to help you along. I'll be back next with lessons from the fiery preacher Robert Smith.


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Blogger Spring said...

Good stuff, all of it! I am partial to that particular scripture in Corinthians, makes me think of really getting in the trenches to share the gospel, which I should do WAY MORE.

Thinking about that Lee Harvey Oswald comment.

Convicting, but, hmmmmm, well...yeah, hmmmmmmmm....

6:09 PM  
Blogger KathyH said...

I was so surprised when God gave YOU (of all people!) the vision for the recovery ministry, because you have the most squeaky-clean past and the purest heart of anyone I've ever known! IT HAD TO BE A GOD-THING! But I knew your heart was right for the job when we started having our planning meetings, because another church leader always referred to the potential members as "them," but you always said "us." That was very humble and hugely important to The Well's success, I believe.

Hey, I bet the reason that particular speaker had so much wisdom to give you was because he was so OLD. It's very important to hang around old people, especially people 58 and over. :)

6:48 PM  
Blogger laurajo said...

My prejudice has always been toward those who do seem to have it all together. I always felt that they had no right to judge people the way that they do so openly. Yet I was doing the same in thinking the way I did about them. I still struggle with that one. I actually let some of our very own youth get to me.

8:47 PM  

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