I love my iPad. It’s a powerful tool for both my ministry and personal life. I can return e-mails from it, watch videos on it and show fundraising presentations with it.
I’ve even gotten used to preaching from it. At our Dare 2 Share conferences I used to preach from a giant notebook. I’ll never forget the days that Propaganda and Zane would come out with their sleek iPads to preach from and I’d come out with a full-sized notebook that looked like it was on steroids. In this super-sized notebook were all the notes for the entire weekend, youth leader training, student manual and dramas. It had everything and then some.
This year I made the switch from using my fat notebook to a skinny iPad Air. I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to make the switch, but I did. It has worked out really well. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to preaching from paper.
But, although I’ve made the switch to an iPad for preaching, I’m switching back to a hard copy of the Bible for my morning devotional times. For the last few years I’ve used my iPad during my quiet times with God. It’s been easier to read from (because it’s backlit and I can make the font size bigger for my getting-older eyes) during my early morning devos.
But, in spite of its many benefits, I’m giving up having my devotionals on an electronic device. Here are four reasons why:
1. I can underline, take notes and mark up my Bible in a way that honors the past lessons God has taught me.
Sure I can highlight verses and jot notes on my iPad. But there’s something about the scribble of your own handwriting that marks the pages of your Bible with a customized imprint that begins to build a treasure trove of truth God has taught you. Over the last twenty five years of ministry I’ve used two primary Bibles to study from on a regular basis. There are countless times I’ve referred back to my own personal notes in the margins of these two Bibles to reflect on spiritual insights I’ve received from God along the way. Every Bible I’ve ever owned is it’s own scrapbook in a way, full of snapshots of what God was teaching me during that particular time of my life.
2. Although an iPad is easier to read from it’s harder to study from.
One of the great things about Bible reading is being able to cross reference easily. If I’m reading in Romans and want to check out a passage in Psalms that Paul quoted (like he did in Romans 4) it’s just a matter of turning some pages. I can quickly get there and get back and read as many cross references as I like in the amount of time it takes to turn the pages. This process really enables me to get to know the Bible in a fuller, deeper way than just reading.
3. Bible mastery comes quicker from a hard copy of the Scriptures.
Because of all the underlining, note-jotting and cross-referencing the Bible is easier to master. After studying the same Bible for years I can tell you which side of the page many verses are on and what the context is. One of the reasons for this is that I’ve learned to master these verses by turning to them time and time again during my personal devotionals. Unlike an iPad Bible app or online version of Scripture every page of my personal Bible can look unique, almost like it’s own little work of underlined, highlighted, note-scribbled art. It’s this visual, visceral portion of reading from an actual Bible that, so far, can’t be duplicated on an iPad…for me anyway.
4. My evangelism is stronger when my mastery of Scripture (and it’s mastery of me) is strongest!
I’ve had countless evangelistic conversations with Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, atheists and agnostics over the years. Because I’ve been able to get to know the Bible more and more in my personal study time it’s been easier and easier to engage others evangelistically by knowing and quoting Scriptures. It’s hard to imagine this level of mastery coming from just reading the Bible on an iPad or iPhone.
Having said all this I’d much rather have somebody reading the Bible from an electronic device than not reading the Bible at all. Technology is a huge blessing and we should use it. But, as for me, I’m going back to the old way of studying the Bible because I think its benefits outweigh its liabilities.
What do you think and why? Hard copy or electronic when it comes to personal Bible study?
“He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.” The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?’ Jesus replied, ‘If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.’” John 4:4-10
Though most of our personal evangelism probably happens in the context of some kind of relationship (friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor, classmate, teammate, etc) there are countless opportunities we have throughout our lives to engage complete strangers with the good news, just like Jesus did with the Samaritan woman in John 4.
To miss those opportunities is to miss the hand of God in our everyday lives. I believe that he is constantly orchestrating “accidental” moments where intentional Gospel conversations can take place.
After the woman at the well went back to town to proclaim her newfound faith in Christ he told his astounded disciples (a rabbi would never talk to a woman in this culture, let alone a Samaritan woman like Jesus did), “You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest” John 4:35. In the same way we must wake up and look around to see the ripe harvest field around us everyday…at the coffee shop we frequent, in the grocery store we shop at, at the baseball game we’re watching, etc.
I decided to get even more intentional about it last weekend. I took a small group of teenagers and a few other adults to a large shopping mall in the area last Sunday afternoon. We went there praying that God would open up Gospel conversions with complete strangers in the time we were there. And boy did he ever! Between the eight of us we engaged in at least thirty conversations! Many of these were deep and meaningful and, I believe, truly made an impact.
One of the teenagers I took was my own 14 year old son Jeremy. He goes to a Christian school and has already engaged all of his neighborhood friends with the message of Jesus. So I thought I’d take him and some buddies out to do some good old fashioned direct contact evangelism. The whole process reminded me of the hidden blessings of sharing the good news with complete strangers.
One of the biggest blessings is that it reminds us of the power of the Gospel. Romans 1:16 tells us, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes….”
The Gospel is like a grenade. It doesn’t matter who pulls the pin, it’s gonna blow up! There’s something inherently powerful about the message of Jesus, so much so that most of the evangelism you read about in the New Testament centers around Jesus and the disciples reaching complete strangers with the good news. They were fisherman, tax collectors, everyday Joes and Jolenes who needed the message of hope.
Those kinds of people are all around us today. In this high stress, low hope culture people need the Gospel message now more than ever.
Before I proceed I’d like to make a quick caveat because I understand that we’re called to make disciples (not just converts) and I’m convinced that disciples can best be made in the context of a relationship. So I believe that a huge part of our evangelistic efforts should center around people we know and are getting to know. Because once they come to Christ we can help them grow in Christ so they can make more disciples. That’s hard to do if we don’t have a pre-existing relationship. I actually wrote an entire post on this called “Does street evangelism really work” a few years back for my good friend Jonathan McKee.
Having said that I’ve seen God do some unbelievable miracles in the context of “stranger danger” evangelism. Almost twenty years ago I gave a drunk guy named Kevin a brand new More than a Carpenter book after fruitlessly trying to share Jesus with him and his drinking buddies. Between the F-bombs he promised to read it. Ten years later he walked into my office and threw that now marked up edition of Josh McDowell’s classic book on my desk. He said, “I read it. I trusted in Jesus. And now I carry forty of those in the trunk of my car to hand out to the young people I meet.”
I would have totally missed that opportunity if I could only share the Gospel with him in the context of a relationship. The only reason I shared the message is because God put him and his two drunk friends on my heart as I walked past them at a shopping mall. I saw them there, obviously drunk, and God just moved in me to tell these complete strangers about Jesus.
It seemed like a complete bomb at the time. I remember thinking to myself that I just wasted that perfectly good book on a guy who will never read it. Boy was I wrong!
Who knows how many will be in heaven as a result of us scattering seeds of hope wherever we go? God knows! And someday, on the other side of eternity, we will meet them and be shocked at the difference all those conversations made!
Another blessing, especially of taking teenagers out to share the good news with strangers, is that they are forced to rely on God. I watched as my son and a friend circle the food court two full times, trying to get up the courage to engage someone about Jesus. He eventually had the opportunity to talk to some teenagers. In those moments leading up to this Jeremy was relying on God to give him courage and opportunity. Not only did he help bring someone else into the kingdom but he himself was transformed a little more into the King’s likeness. He was owning the Gospel that he was proclaiming. He was growing in his faith at an accelerated pace.
One of the things I realized while taking these teenagers out was that they needed coaching. My son needed coaching. His friends needed coaching.
I’d usually kick off the conversation for them and then say something like, “I’ll let _____________ explain more to you.” Then I’d let them share the Gospel. Some of them used the Life in 6 Words app (which works great by the way!) Others just started asking questions and engaged a Gospel conversation. They did great! I’d jump in if they need it but, for the most part, I tried to let them navigate the conversation on their own. It’s hard to do this level of coaching in a role playing situation within the safety of a youth room full of Christians. But in a shopping mall or skate park it’s powerful and practical!
I’ll never forget the last group of teenagers my son and I talked to on Sunday. One of the young ladies had tears in her eyes as she listened to the Gospel message. You could sense the pain in her soul as Jeremy began explaining the Gospel. By the end she put her faith in Jesus along with her friends and Jeremy invited her to youth group so that she could begin growing in her faith.
Will they come? I don’t know. What I do know is that seeds were planted and lives were impacted.
Maybe in ten years she’ll walk up to Jeremy and said, “Ten years ago you told me a message that changed everything for me!”
Let’s share Jesus with those we know. Let’s invest in them and introduce them to the Lord. But let’s lift up our eyes and look around at the harvest all around us all the time.
Recently, an article came out talking about The Art of Evangelism in relation to the business world. Using the Greek noun euangelion, which means “to proclaim good news”, the author dove into three effective skills to have and use when evangelizing for a company/business. As Christians, rather than evangelizing for a product or a service, we are called to proclaim the good news to others and to make disciples (Matthew 28:19), and, we too can make it an art form. Here are three simple skills you can develop and get creative with as you continue to share the Gospel with the people around you:
1. Become Best Buds with the Gospel message. Even the most matured Christian needs to revisit the basics of the gospel message. As humans, we are likely to forget details of the message, use phrases that are considered “christianese”, and speed up the sharing portion because “we know it so well”. The Good News should never be insignificant in our lives. Allow the message of the Gospel to fall fresh on your ears whenever you read or hear it.
For help in getting reacquainted with this power message download the free Dare 2 Share app. The short videos on this great little app will give you a fun and fast crash course on the Gospel so that you can, not only appreciate it afresh and anew, but explain it to others clearly.
Ask – ask them questions about what they believe in order to understand them and break down any relational barriers that are keeping them from considering Jesus.
Admire – admire everything you can about what they believe in order to help people open up. Don’t affirm their heresy, just their honesty. Find areas of common ground you can compliment them on.
Admit – admit that the reason you are a Christian is because you know you’ve fallen short and need someone to rescue you. (That someone is Jesus!)
Notice how the first two steps have you pay attention mostly to the other person and what they are saying. Listening is crucial to relational evangelism.
3. Be willing to go outside of your comfort bubble. One of the scariest things about sharing your faith is getting started. As Christians, we need to get comfortable being uncomfortable, because truthfully, it’s going to happen…a lot. And when you are willing to be uncomfortable, you will begin to see unimaginable ways of God using you for His kingdom work.
How will you take a step closer to becoming an “Evangelism Artist” today?
It was three years ago I had “the talk” with my son Jeremy, who was eleven years old at the time. It happened to be while we were in Alaska on a fishing trip with six other ministry leaders and their sons (who all happened to be around Jeremy’s age.)
I figured that there was no better place to have this potentially awkward conversation than in the wilderness of Alaska. And wilderness it was, we didn’t see another soul for days as we canoed down a river in the heart of Alaska. It would never get any “manlier” than this, sharing the birds and the bees talk while eating a bear heart over a bonfire in Alaska. Okay, there was no bear heart but we did have a ton of Costco pre-cooked bacon and a ton of fish that we had caught along the way.
Before I left I had purchased one of those Focus on the Family sex talk books to walk through with Jeremy. I snuck it away in my backpack and broke it out when it was time to have the talk. I sat him down and explained God’s gift of sex to humanity. I explained the biology of it, the morals of it (between a man and a woman in the context of marriage) and the reasons for it. This was no cold biological function designed just for reproduction. This was a gift from God for married couples to enjoy.
When I was done I asked Jeremy what he thought of it. He simply said, “Cool and gross.”
When the other dads caught wind of my chat with Jeremy they asked to borrow the book and, one by one, these dads had the talk with their sons. We jokingly refer back to that trip as “the boys to men” tour.
Since then Jeremy and I had several chats about sex. I want him to have a Biblical view of this subject and not to shy away from it with shame. I told him he could ask me anything about anything and he has on several occasions.
That’s why I’m so thrilled with Jonathan McKee‘s new book Sex Matters. With chapter titles like “Why Wait?”, “How Far?”, “Fleeing” and “The Lure of Port and Masturbation” it became a powerful conversation starter between my son and I.
What I love about Jonathan is that he deals with the tough questions in a balanced, Biblical way. He doesn’t shy away from the hard stuff. He takes it on with a powerful dose of love, truth, realism and practical action steps.
This is a book every Christian teenager needs to read. I’d encourage parents and youth leaders to read the adult accompaniment to this book called More than Just the Talk. In a world that has twisted this great gift from God into 50 shades of perversion, Sex Matters reminds us that sex does matter. It matters to God and should matter to us.
Yet another study shows that millennials are leaving the church in droves. The question that haunts me is “Why?”
I have a theory and it’s this…millennials (those born between the early 80s and early 2000s) are yearning for purpose, community and authenticity. Unfortunately, they aren’t finding it in the typical church. It’s interesting that this is exactly what the early church provided.
“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”Acts 4:31-35
Millennials are yearning for three things:
1. A purpose to live for.
The church has a purpose to accomplish and that is “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10) according to the words of Jesus himself. This search and rescue mission was carried out by the early believers who prayed with passion for the lost and proclaimed with boldness the name of Jesus. They “spoke the Word of God boldly” and our millennials must be challenged to do the same.
Too often the church tries to keep their young with good causes (stopping human trafficking, eradicating poverty, etc) but they leave the very cause of Christ off the table. We should “both/and” it with these causes and equip the next generation to love their neighbor and reach their neighbor with the hope of Jesus. The church needs to provide these young people with a Gospel Advancing mission across the street, across the tracks and across the world!
When the church can cross this chasm we will have a purpose that is unique from the world’s do-good-ism. Only the church can rescue the lost from the hell they are headed to and the hell they are going through.
We must give the next generation the purpose they are longing for and that purpose is found in the very mission of Christ (Matthew 28:19.)
2. A community to live with.
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” Acts 4:32
Talk about community! The early church was the opposite of the consumeristic, give-to-get version of Christianity present in many churches today.
These early believers were one in heart and absolutely selfless. They were joined at the heart with other believers by a common Savior, a common creed and a common cause.
Why are their gang problems in many of our cities? Because teenagers are longing for a tribe! If this tribe cannot be found in the church it will be (and sadly often is) found elsewhere.
Right after Paul gives us the power passage of Ephesians 2:8-10, where we discover we are saved “by grace…through faith”, he puts an explanation point on the Gospel be reminding us of our new community:
“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” Ephesians 2:11-18
This is the unity that millennials (and everyone else for that matter) long for deep in their hearts. They long for a community that is free of racism, prejudice and pride. Which leads us to the third thing…
3. An authenticity that’s lived out.
In the early church believers were giving big time. Some even sold pieces of property and gave the money to the apostles to help provide for the needy believers in Jerusalem. But then hypocrisy crept in a side door and almost brought the story to a stop:
“Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.’ When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.”Acts 5:1-5
Ananias and his wife tried to pull one over on the apostles. They wanted the applause of the congregation but tried to deceive the disciples by pretending they gave the full price of the field they sold to the disciples.
Peter would have none of it. His apostolic authority caused them both to drop dead on the spot as a lesson to the church. What was the lesson? Hypocrisy would not be tolerated.
What if there were a drop dead policy for hypocrisy in the church today? How many of us would keel over?
Young people have a “bologna barometer” that is on at all times. They can smell hypocrisy like my dog can smell the bacon from the other side of the house.
We don’t need perfect churches. We need honest churches. We need churches that, in the words of Dr. Chuck Swindoll, are who they are “warts and all.” But they are failing forward together in the Name and power of Jesus.
If we want to reach this next generation we must give them a cause to live for, a community to live with and an authenticity that’s lived out. Then, instead of leaving the church in droves, they will be flooding it.
This is the 11th Mother’s Day I’ve celebrated without my mom. She went to be with the Lord after a painful battle against cancer. My mom was a tough and tender lady. She was so tough that many people couldn’t see past it. But those who knew her best saw her heart of gold. She would give her stuff away to anyone who genuinely needed it and did so many times.
My mom in many ways was like the woman at the well…but with a baseball bat. She had been married at least four times and I was born out of wedlock. But, more than just a partier, she was fighter. She carried a bat and used it from time to time. She had five body-building brothers who were tough as nails so she knew how to fight…and often did.
I’ll never forget when she took the Louisville Slugger we kept behind our front door, ran out to the street and waylaid a new car driven by a husband who had left her. She shattered windows and mirrors and dented the body badly. When he tried to stop her she dented him pretty good too. That was one of my most vivid childhood memories.
From that moment on when my mom said to make my bed I did.
She threw fists with her brothers, went dancing with a member of the mafia (at the Shangri-la) and worked hard at whatever job she was working at the time…all the while trying to raise two boys in a broken, high crime area of our city.
At times mom would just burst into tears and start bellowing to me and my brother, “I don’t want you to turn out to be a bum like me!”
She had a deep guilt that ate at her soul and conscience. Guilt for all the partying. Guilt for all the marriages. Guilt for almost aborting me. She didn’t know that I knew but my grandma had told me everything.
For years my brother and I tried to lead her to Christ but she would always say, “You don’t know the things I’ve done wrong.” We did know but we never acknowledged it to mom. We just kept offering her the message of grace that we both had received.
I’ll never forget the day she trusted in Jesus. She was smoking at the kitchen table when I plopped my 15 year old self down in front of her and explained the Gospel once again to her. She asked, “You mean to tell me that all I have to do is to put my faith in Jesus and I’m forgiven for all my sins?” I quoted Jesus’ own words from John 6:47 and assured her that that was the case. She put her faith in Jesus right there. Then I asked her the question, “So where are you going when you die ma?” She answered, “I’m going to heaven cigarettes and all!” After cracking up I reminded her that heaven was non-smoking.
I’m not saying that, from that moment on, it was all sunshine and roses. But something shifted in her soul that day. She was on a trajectory of transformation because she finally received the forgiveness she so desperately craved.
Mom was proud of me and my brother. She cheered us on every step of the way. But she had no problem calling us out when we were jerks. I’ll never forget when my wife and I were first married and were in a pretty intense time of arguing, mom called me up on the phone and bluntly told me, “I know you and Debbie are fighting a lot and I love you. But, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I like her more. So work it out.”
Then there was the time I was preaching in church and asked the question, “How many of you struggle with bitterness?” Mom yelled out, “I do everyday!” I responded, “Ma! That’s a rhetorical question!” She yelled, “Don’t ask the stinkin’ question if you don’t want the stinkin’ answer!” Then she looked at the stunned audience and loudly asked “RIGHT???” to which they erupted in applause.
Believe me I could go on and on telling stories about my mom. They seem unbelievable but it was her that was unbelievable. I’ve never met anybody like my mom before. She was a tour de force.
Yesterday was a big day for me. I was privileged to deliver the commencement speech to my Alma Mater, Colorado Christian University. I was privileged to be given an honorary doctorate from CCU by President Bill Armstrong, one of my heroes in life and ministry. I was truly humbled by this amazing honor (but, unfortunately, did not get any smarter after receiving it!)
As I think about what happened yesterday I can’t help but wonder if mom could see the festivities from heaven. I can’t help but imagine my mom scaling the pearly gates and peering down to the earth yelling out to all the angels and saints around her, “That’s my son!”
I miss you mom. I miss you especially today. I’m so grateful for a wife who is an amazing mom to our kids. I’m thankful for a mother-in-law who has been a great mom as well! But, on this Mother’s Day I am especially grateful for you mom. In spite of all the challenges you faced and struggles you had, you loved me and Doug with all of your heart.
And, although you are not with us anymore, you’re basking in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Life in 6 Words app is designed for Christians to walk yet-to-be-reached people through in a simple, fun and interactive way. You just have them choose which 6 words that describes their lives and then push “Next” on the screen. You can then ask them why they chose these words (which I have seen open up a flood of conversations and, in some cases, tears!) Then you can ask them if they would like to know who the Best selling book of all time (aka “The Bible”) might describe life in 6 words. After that you can scroll them through. Take a look at the example below and download the free app either on the app store or here.
In my previous post I talked about three of the lessons I learned on my trip to Israel last week with 200 other ministry leaders from around the world. We literally walked where Jesus walked and got a crash course in his life and ministry from Dr. Dann Spader and his world class crew from the Global Youth Initiative.
Here are two more lesson I learned on this game-changing trip…
4. Women play a central role in advancing the Gospel.
When Michele Montenegro, Director of Women’s SonLife Latin America, took the stand in The “Duc in Altum” (“Into the Deep”) church in Magdala we were poised for something powerful. After all the huge windows behind her gave us a spectacular view of the Sea of ??Galilee. And this small town was the home of Mary Magdalene, the devoted follower of Jesus who had been set free from demon possession.
We all received pink pens when we came into the room. Michelle then told us that, as a woman, she was very interested in how many women traveled with Jesus as disciples (and disciple makers) during his ministry. In her own studies of the Gospels she had begun to use a pink pen every time a female disciple appeared. She was surprised by how much she found.
One of the “pinkest” passages in the Gospels is found in Luke 8:1-3, “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.”
Michele went on to make a strong Biblical case from a few other passages as to how central women were to the discipleship multiplication process in the Gospels. She made the case how these key women may have been discipling the women while the twelve apostles were preaching to the crowds. This clicked theologically for me because it would be unthinkable for a Jewish man to disciple a Jewish woman in this culture. Could it be that these women who traveled with Jesus, like the other male disciples, were making and multiplying disciples along the way?
I know at the ministry of Dare 2 Share women play a key role and will continue to do so in the future. Michele’s talk really helped me understand the centrality of women to the plan of Jesus and made my mind reel with the possibilities for our future at Dare 2 Share.
5. We need to go with Jesus to “the other side.“
“One day Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side of the lake.’ So they got into a boat and set out.” Luke 8:22
When Benjamin Francis (who has been used by God to help plant 16,000 churches globally!!!) spoke on what it meant to the disciples to go to “the other side” it was packed full of meaning. Why? Because on the other side of the Sea of Galilee was a pagan region full of lost Gentiles! On “the other side” was the demoniac who chased away locals and visitors alike! On “the other side” were thousands of pigs (which Jews detested as unclean!)
But it’s straight into this dangerous mix that Jesus takes his disciples!
What is “the other side” that Jesus is taking you and your ministry to? This is a question that Benjamin forced me to wrestle with (and I’m still wrestling!) But God is making it clearer and clearer as we are readying ourselves to “step into the boat” and set sail for his vision for our ministry. Core to that vision is mobilizing 30,000 Gospel Advancing ministries to equip their teenagers to engage every teenager in North America in Gospel conversations by 2025. But I’m convinced this is just the beginning! I think God has so much more in store as we go to “the other side” with Jesus!
What is “the other side” Jesus is calling you to go to?
These are just some of the lessons God taught me through my trip to Israel. Stay tuned as we unpack more and more over the weeks and months to come!