Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Carthage, Missouri

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From The Evangelism Committee

You want to share your faith, but you’re just not sure what to say? Well, Christmas is a wonderful time to share your faith with others. The Evangelism Committee invites you to visit their “Christmas Outreach” table in the narthex. You will find information and ideas about sharing Jesus with others and some inexpensive gift ideas that focus on keeping Christ in Christmas. Use one of these gifts to give to someone and share Christ at the same time. Donations are accepted for the gifts.

“Christ Alone” in a Coexist World

Many contend we live in a post-church culture. I would certainly agree that people’s identification with churches appears to be diminishing. Within the past ten years, the number of people who claim to be Christians has dropped by ten percent.

From baby boomers to the millenials, we have shifted from a modern culture to a post-modern culture in terms of religious affiliation. In other words, rather than people identifying themselves as Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, many who are spiritual create a personal religious mosaic by pulling elements from here and there. As a result, the lines are now blurred.

The MISSION U course MU-301: “Christ Alone” in a Coexist World addresses the plurality of mindsets current among those to whom we may witness. People in today’s society pick and choose pieces of different religions like they are items at a buffet.

This course helps participants learn to engage others who consider belief systems as a purely personal thing. Operating from a buffet mentality, there are segments of contemporary society that view the world in relativistic terms, where one choice is as good as the next — whether it’s a value, a moral, or a belief.

Speaking with people who don’t believe that any belief system is more accurate or more reliable or more worthy of trust than any other can be difficult. Words like “peace,” “love,” “heaven,” and “God” are viewed as open-ended concepts meaning something different to everyone.

This module trains participants to listen carefully, clarify the speaker’s position, request to hear his or her story, and then ask permission to share their own. It reminds that age counts (“builder,” “boomer,” “Gen X,” “Gen Y”); there is a distinction between being modern and post-modern; religion is not universal; words have different meanings; and that quality connections take time.

For more information on MISSION U courses and to enroll your congregation in this course, e-mail Sarah Guldalian, manager of Evangelism Training for U.S. Ministries at missionu@lhm.org. She can also be reached at 800-944-3450, ext. 4144.

New! Courses from MISSION U School of Witnessing

MU-101- Equipping to Share: Everyday Evangelism
This course challenges students to recognize and embrace their roles as Christ’s witnesses. Students will identify witnessing obstacles and receive biblical tools to overcome them. They will learn to recognize and to initiate faith-sharing conversations. Students will practice sharing their faith in unique contexts and within relationship models they may likely encounter. This course provides ample hands-on application to increase confidence.

MU-102 – Witnessing Methods: Seven Styles of Faith-sharing
This course identifies, examines, and applies seven different evangelistic styles. Students will learn to identify an effective witnessing style as they encounter unique individuals and scenarios. Each student will pinpoint his or her natural style and discover applicable secondary styles in order to develop each.

MU-201 – Dealing with Tough Questions
This course addresses prevalent questions concerning Christianity in society today. Students will learn to discover the root issues behind a question and how to respond appropriately. Answers will be provided and reviewed in-class. Most importantly, students will learn to bridge back into sharing the Gospel.

MU -202 – The Outreach-minded Church: Unified Vision and Mission
This course is geared towards congregational leadership and volunteers to help churches build a culture of outreach and assist with planning and teamwork toward that objective. Students will identify an ideal vision and mission model. They will learn to pinpoint personal talents and team-member strengths that encourage growth together as one body towards accomplishing meaningful outreach.

MU-301 – “Christ Alone” in a Coexist World
Students will examine the culture that defines present-day America. They will identify prevalent religious views present in the U.S. and become educated about them. Students will learn points of connection and apply unique conversation paths towards sharing the Gospel with relevance to people of today’s culture.

Enrollment is now open! To enroll your congregation in one of the above courses for Fall 2010 or Spring 2011, email Sarah Guldalian, manager of Evangelism-Training, at missionu@lhm.org.

Tips for sharing

Members of today’s society seldom accept his or her religion as-is. Instead, most create their own religion like they would create their own pasta dish at Macaroni Grill or customize their Starbucks drink. It is no longer safe to assume that because someone in Jewish, for example, he or she fits into the mold of what you know to be a Jewish person by belief and culture.
Here are tips for navigating as a Christian witness in a coexist world:

Recognize each person as unique. Do not see him or her as a “type.”

Be sensitive and sincere. Do not identify that person by his or her sin.

Take time to get to know him or her. Do not force entrance into someone’s life.

Recognize and identify commonalities rather than differences.

“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Colossians 3:14
Dear Heavenly Father,

We live in a country that grows less and less focused on You. Statistics point to a society that will continue to be less churched and more hopeless. As Your witness, it is easy to get downtrodden and to feel defeated by these saddening numbers. As a parent, it is easy to feel fearful about raising our children in such a secular culture. But God, we know that You are greater than statistics. You are more powerful than media. You are more powerful than any human influence. We ask You to move on our country. Use us to impact the people around us. We ask You to turn this country around, to move on people’s hearts and to blow our statisticians out of the water!

We know You are powerful. We pray that, through us, Your name would be glorified. We pray that you would rise up Christians in the media industry who will praise Your name rather than slandering it. On our own, it’s easy to feel defeated. But, we are not on our own. Your Word says that your Spirit never departs from us. So, we ask You to continue to place Your Spirit on us. Make us bold people of faith. Work mightily through us. And, protect us from the devil. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
For an excellent and easy read on overcoming witnessing obstacles to become more confident sharing the Gospel message, get a copy of Dr. Milton Rudnick’s How to Share Christ Confidently.

This excellent book offers effective tips and techniques to help people boldly and confidently share the Gospel message. It addresses a number of obstacles to personal witnessing and provides exercises designed to confront and overcome fear, helping believers to step out of their comfort zone and into everyday evangelism.

For your copy of How to Share Christ Confidently, visit cph.org/p-596-how-to-share-christ-confidently.aspx?SearchTerm=How%20to%20Share%20Christ%20Confidently

Prayer Bears

PRAYER BEARS are in the sanctuary pews and available to be signed out and given to anyone that needs God’s love, comfort, and peace.  Each bear is numbered on the back of the tag.  That is the number to record in the notebook in the narthex, along with your name, the name of the recipient, and reason.  The recipient may keep the bear as long as needed, or may return it to the pews to be given to someone else needing extra love from God and extra prayers from us.

Evangelism Workshop

Second Annual Reaching Out Together

Evangelism Workshop

Save the Date! Feb. 13, 2010

Held at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.

Reaching Out Together image
“Reaching Out Together” is an evangelism conference designed to inspire, encourage, teach and give opportunity for putting into practice principles for talking about Jesus to others, especially the uncommitted or unchurched. This event is presented by the Saturday Outreach School in partnership with Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, the Missouri District of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS) and North American Missions Ablaze! “Reaching Out Together” is for pastors, evangelism boards, church leaders and laypeople in the Missouri District and adjacent LCMS districts.

For more information contact Concordia Seminary Continuing Education at (314) 505-7486 or e-mail ce@csl.edu.