Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tract your progress

I was putting together a top ten list of reasons to use gospel tracts when I came across this list at Transfired Ministries. I have to admit, I was a little dissapointed that they had thought of it first. On the other hand, their list was so cool I had to grab it! So here they are:

Ten reasons to use tracts

1. They are a very economical form of evangelism
2. They work while we sleep
3. They have the ability to get into a house and stay there
4. They are never afraid or show cowardice
5. They are never tempted to compromise their message
6. They never get tired, discouraged or give up
7. They stick to what they have to say and never argue
8. They can present the message when don't have time
9. They can go to places where we cannot
10. They get people in the mood – they only speak when they are read

Maybe you've heard that tracts are ineffective or only used by people too afraid to personally engage others--basically, the easy way out. All I can say to that is try handing out a pack of fifty good tracts without feeling fear. Even if you don't say anything, you'll find yourself picking and choosing who you think will take them, or who you think will mock and ridicule you. It's kind of funny really. What's the worst they could do, laugh at you because you love Christ and want to spread His gospel? Persecute you because you don't want to see people die without having heard the wonderful, generous, kind provision that God has made for them?
By far, the best way to pass out gospel tracts is to find a place with lots of people and just start asking "Did you get one of these yet?" It piques their interest, and you aren't asking them to take something. Most will take one and keep going, some will stop and ask "What is it?" That's my cue to say "It's a gospel tract, I'm out here asking people what they think happens when they die?" It's as easy (and hard) as that. Some will say "No thanks" and keep going. Rarely have I gotten rude responses other than just being ignored. I can deal with that.
By far the best place to find good bible tracts is at Living Waters, the website of Ray Comfort for books, audios, tracts and all sorts of other free resources for evangelist. The photo above shows one of their starter packs which includes many of the different choices you have.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ten Four and Centurion Papers

TenFour Ministries is the work of retired Los Angeles Sheriff’s department deputy Tony Miano. His mission there is to provide practical and spiritual support to the law enforcement community. If you or anyone you know is in law enforcement, there is a wealth of knowledge an resources to be had there including his newest book “Take up the Shield.”

Tony currently serves as a volunteer Chaplain for the agency he served for twenty years as well as being a full time missionary sharing the gospel locally and abroad. He can be heard weekly on The Way of The Master radio program in their “street fishing” segments. Tony also maintains a blog at The Centurion Papers where he writes articles and editorials as well as discussing various experiences in open-air preaching and street evangelism encounters.

Tony’s ministry and counsel have been a great encouragement to me and my work here and I would like to personally thank and welcome him as a friend and partner to StreetFishing.

Friday, August 17, 2007

"Be cool, because I am cool"

Yet another curiosity to marvel at. I submitted this picture to the folks over at Crumby Church Signs (yes, that is a real web site) but I have to give them the credit for the clever reinterpretation of 1 Peter 1:15-16. "But just as He who called you is cool, so be cool in all you do. For it is written, "Be cool, because I am cool."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Church for men or Church for me?

Here is yet another example of what's being done for the sake of "relevance." When I saw this story, all I could think is that it was a furthering the cause of "low view theology." That is, a low view of the bible, and the power of the message within it's pages. This seems like it's a dumbing down of church for the stereotypical armchair slob who can only laugh at potty humor and beer commercials but who wants to have some form of godliness in his life. God's message hasn't changed and it is as powerful today as it was thousands of years ago. Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David and many others were manly men who knew of Gods holiness, righteousness and provision. They were not nagged to serve God by their wives nor did they need some kind of interesting bait to make their relationship to God more appealing to their flesh.

Men's ministries and functions are great--within the context of a church body that is committed to sound biblical teaching and fellowship. A church for men to get them to warm up to the mainstream runs the risk of emphasizing the worldly comforts instead of the things of God.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Me Church

The following quote is from the famed Reformed Baptist minister Charles Haddon Spurgeon. It was written well over one hundred years ago in response to the increasing use of modern methods and attitudes in the church. It became best known as The Downgradge Controversy. Compare it to some of what we are seeing today in the post-modern age where truth is becoming more subjective and the authority of the scripures are being questioned. Churches are becoming increasingly interested in the comfort of attendees. Careful attention is being paid to the individual's personal experience. The result may be strong membership and wealth but at what expense? God is Holy and Righteous and angry at sin. The world get's more depraved each day and people are going to Hell. Is it right to offer gratuitous humor in sermons to keep people interested, or to focus so much on aestetics and polish along with "relevant" 26 minute messages to keep from boring people. Read Spurgeon's words below:

"An evil resides in the professed camp of the Lord so gross in its
impudence that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the
past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate evil for evil. It has worked
like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer
thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide
entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out as
the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked
at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her
borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the

In the great day, when the muster-roll shall be read, of
all those who are converted through fine music, and church decoration, and
religious exhibitions and entertainments, they will amount to the tenth part of
nothing; but it will always please God by the foolishness of preaching to save
them that believe. Keep to your preaching; and if you do anything beside, do not
let it throw your preaching into the background. In the first place preach, and
in the second place preach, and in the third place preach.
Believe in
preaching the love of Christ, believe in preaching the atoning sacrifice,
believe in preaching the new birth, believe in preaching the whole counsel of
God. The old hammer of the gospel will still break the rock in pieces; the
ancient fire of Pentecost will still burn among the multitude. Try nothing new,
but go on with preaching, and if we all preach with the Holy Ghost sent down
from heaven, the results of preaching will astound us."
- Charles

To me, it certainly sounds like these words could have been written a week ago. Let's not forget Paul's example to preach the whole council of God. It is the Gospel rightly preached that produces fruit. We know that it is the "power of God for salvation." Focusing on felt needs focuses the person on self. A most dangerous place to be. See my video of the week in the sidebar. It's funny and a little extreme, but it rings true.