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Friday, October 23, 2009


(A message from October 11, 2009 in the evening. )

A few days ago I listened to a message by brother David Chancellor from Moore, Oklahoma. Some of his thoughts had a deep impact on me and I took a few notes that I want to pass on. I was particularly thrilled by his distinguishing between the work of the evangelist and the pastor. It was a thought that was entirely new to me and my heart was excited at the truth of it. I’m not claiming to be passing his words on verbatim or exactly how he presented it, but this is the message I got from it. And it blessed me.

He pointed out that the emphasis for many years has been on the role of the pastor who is called to care for the sheep. But the evangelist’s role is to reach those who aren’t in the sheepfold. There are many good pastors today, but there is a need for evangelists to go out among the American people today.

The work of an evangelist is to speak to people who don’t know anything about the Word or Jesus… Consider Paul’s message on the unknown God.
The work of a pastor is more to preach to people who do know, but need to be better grounded. An evangelist has a gift for presenting the message to those who know nothing about the Bible or God.

There really are a lot of people in America today who have no idea of what the Bible says. We try to get them to come to ‘church’ but when they do, the language is almost incomprehensible to them because they just don’t have the background we do. Without that background in the Word, they simply don’t understand what is being preached.

Paul faced this problem in Athens, but he took the one thing they DID know, the ‘unknown god,’ and turned it into a message they could understand. I never thought of it quite that way before, but isn’t that great!

“A church without evangelists is like a business without salesmen.” Someone has to present the product in a manner that all men understand how it benefits them. Someone has to present Christ to people in a way they can understand. Quoting scripture at them has little impact. Seeing and hearing about some path that applies directly to them (and then discovering later that it is from the Bible) gains their immediate attention. Many people are looking for solutions to their problems. They are looking for answers to their questions.

The answers and solutions are in the Bible, but we have to have a knowledge that we need to go look there. We (the people of God) need to supply some of the answer or solution and the knowledge of where to look before we present the Bible.

First people need to be convinced that there IS a God and Christ is His Son. They need to see Him in the Lives of His People. They are convinced He is real by seeing Him in action in the lives of his people. It does matter how we live and what we say and where we go. Seeing Jesus in our lives may be the thing that prompts them to go looking for what is missing in their life and to pick up a Bible to find it.

Brother Chancellor related a testimony of a young teen living in a the Soviet Union when it was a communist country a few years ago. The concept of atheism was being pushed in the schools. The teen sat in one of those classes and thought to himself: “If there is no God why do people work so hard to convince me there isn’t onel” It happened to be snowing this particular day and the young person lived in an area where snowfall was infrequent. He wanted to be out in the new falling snow and he spoke in himself saying, “God, if there is one, make this snow last long enough I can get out in it.” It snowed for three days and the young person was led to begin searching for the reality of God. That happened without the intervention of an evangelist but it demonstrated that something has to prompt the search for God and His direction.

Brother David spoke of cultural differences…. The impact on me was that we cannot outright condemn cultural traditions up front. Some understandings come only later in our walk with God. Others may not fit in our own perception of what is good, but there may be nothing wrong with them before God. Let’s understand that our moral standards may not be those of another culture. ( for ex. Chinese women’s traditional casual dress with trousers: one of my biggest quandries. vh.) Let’s not allow those cultural differences be so much at the front of our mind that we are condemning them before the message of God and Jesus is ever presented. Let’s first present the wonder of a Heavenly Father and the Salvation he presents through His son. We can let the cultural differences be taken care of by the Spirit after the convert learns what it is like to live for God!

I hope I’ve done justice to the message. I apologize if it isn't presented as brother David intended. Remember this has been strained through the element of my understanding and perception. There was more to it that this, but this portion was the part that rested most heavily on me. You can go listen if you want to. http://www.moorecog.org/sundaynotes.aspx

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