Geoff Robson has just written about the contact he had with a man called Russel that changed his life:
The Russell I’ve been thinking about is a man who changed my life. But I don’t even know his last name, and I met him just once more than 15 years ago.
I met Russell in the food court at Westfield Miranda – not usually a venue for life-changing encounters. I’d just finished lunch and was heading for the escalator when Russell politely stopped me and asked if we could chat. Russell was a Christian, and he wanted to talk to me about Jesus.
But I wasn’t interested.
Go read the whole story. It’s a really encouraging read.
Discipling my four children is possibly the most challenging (and certainly the most humbling) experience that I have ever had. Because they share a house and most of the day with me, they know me and my faults better than anyone else. How many times have I questioned the wisdom of this arrangement? Did God factor in who I really was when he put these little disciples in my home? Yet there they are, day after day, with no place else to be but under my care and discipleship… watching, watching, watching me. And (gulp) imitating. (more…)
To Sunday School Teachers - past and present - of St James, Castlecrag and St Philip’s, Castle Cove (now Castle Cove Anglican, recently re-planted after a decade or so of being closed!), (more…)
Something really significant is going on beneath the surface of conversations that are properly anchored in Christ. Not just the content is different. Much more significantly, the attitude we bring with us is different as well. You see, if our lives are anchored in Christ then we’re free to respond to hostile questions without either striking back (one of the most common fear responses) or checking out (physically or emotionally). (more…)
God gives different gifts to different people. The important thing is not the gifts we’re given, but what we do with them. Being a godly man, Chappo always used his gifts for the gospel, and always for other people. (more…)
When John Chapman came to your church in the 1970s, it was like the evangelical circus had come to town. I don’t mean that it was entertainment (though he was gripping) or that there were clowns (though he was hilarious) or even that it was a spectacle (though he was larger than life). I mean that it was the best day of the year. (more…)
While not exactly Chappo’s words, “The first 50 lessons are the hardest” is more than a faint echo of something we often heard him say. I’m going to share with you something of Chappo’s legacy in the area of evangelistic practice. He taught me at least 50 lessons. Here are my top ten.
You’ve probably heard of the Gideons. Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably at least seen one of the Bibles they’ve placed in hotel rooms, doctors’ waiting rooms and elsewhere. An evangelistic organization with a particular goal of personal evangelism coupled with getting Bibles into the reach of as many people as possible (and especially at times and places they might be inclined to read it), they’ve placed over 10 billion copies of the word of God in a variety of places around the world. (more…)
On any given Sunday, my church has four non-English services. Furthermore, 54% of people from one of our English services are not from Anglo-Saxon or Celtic backgrounds. So while the Sunday school I attended was 100% Anglo, my daughter will most likely go to Sunday school with children from just about every continent of the world. And this trend is not restricted to our churches; it reflects our wider society. In fact, it seems to me that while in the past we had to get on a plane, the ends of the earth have now arrived in Sydney! (more…)
Thabiti Anyabwile, on lessons he’s learning having committed himself to doing the work of an evangelist, along with a story of the same:
Second, I’m learning again that faithful evangelism requires putting to death the fear of man. Will I ever stop having that halting tightness in my chest? Will those hesitation-inducing thoughts of rejection and offense ever fade away? You know, probably not. I’m likely to always feel some hesitation and some fear of man when it comes to evangelism. But what am I going to do? Not share the greatest news the world has ever received? No. I’m going to remember Romans 1:16, Philemon 6, and Hebrews 10:38-39, and other such texts which encourage, admonish, promise, and guide.
Just like every time I hear about personal evangelism, I’m equal parts encouraged and challenged.
What is so special about Wayne Bennett? Wayne Bennett, for the uninitiated, is one of the most successful rugby league coaches of all time. Before Bennett, St George were a talented collection of chronic under-achievers. With Bennett, they became a team, won the minor premiership in the first year, and won everything the year after that. (more…)
There is no longer any Christian bookshop in the city I live in. But not everyone can, let alone will purchase books online. To generalise, this is particularly true of older generations and of the non-tertiary-educated. (more…)
It’s Monday morning. Another working week begins. You walk through the office hallway, thinking about the tasks you need to get done today. You make eye contact with a colleague, and throw out a casual, “Hey, how was your weekend?” He looks tired, and he stares blankly into the distance and replies restlessly, “My girlfriend walked out. She’s been sleeping with my best mate.” Do you automatically respond by wondering what the office boundaries are for over-sharing? Are you filled with compassion or judgement for your colleague? Or do you feel just plain uncomfortable, and blush? What words, if any, do you reply with? (more…)
Speaking of Dave McDonald, he’s got lots of other great writing on his site. This piece, about ‘clumsy Christians‘, clicked with me and my stumbling efforts:
My experience of Christians is that many of them – including me – are really quite clumsy. Not literally stumbling or falling over ourselves, but often doing the social equivalent. We put our feet in our mouths, we make others feel uncomfortable, we have a knack of saying the right thing at the wrong time, and vice versa.
Let me say this. I hope that none of my friends dismiss the Christian message simply because of my clumsiness. I pray they’ll put up with some of my mistakes, my awkwardness, even my selfishness, and hypocrisy… and look beyond me to Jesus.
I also appreciate his reflections on dealing with his lung cancer, such as this post on body image.