Tag: Crowded House

Three Strand Evangelism

ďMost gospel ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality.Ē Evangelism is often presented as a program or something for professionals. It is neither. Growing out of a radical call to love other people in the way of Jesus, Total Church authors, Timmis and Chester argue for a refreshingly simple model of evangelism that is rooted in gospel and community.Three Strand evangelism includes: 1) building relationships 2) sharing the gospel 3) introducing people to community. This approach has most influenced our approach to “evangelism.” Regarding the role of the community the authors comment:

Not everyone can think on their feet. Some people are simply not good at speaking to strangers and forming new friendships. One of the practical benefits of the three-strand model of evangelism is that it gives a role to all of Godís people. By making evangelism a community project, it also takes seriously the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit in distributing a variety of gifts among his people.

Applied three-strand evangelism includes forming authentic relationships with others, inviting them into your community through dinners, movies, hearing bands, parties and so on, allowing them to witness the power and presence of God in people who arenít afraid of culture and genuinely love others.

The World We All Want

In search of a biblical-theological, culturally relevant, simple evangelism approach I came across Tim Chester’s The World We All Want. Here is a description of this course:

We all dream of a better world – a world of security, plenty and friendship. Christians believe that God promises just such a new world. The Bible is the story of God making that promise and keeping it. The World We All Want is for people who are interested in the message of the Bible. Developed by the Crowded House, The World We All Want is an evangelistic Bible overview.

One of the key points that Tim has emphasized is beginning our gospel “presentations” with new creation, not with sin. I the Austin context, this is pretty crucial. Beginning with sin smacks of legalism and self-righteousness, but beginning with what we all long for—and what God promises—a world put to rights, full of joy and justice connects with the longing of every human heart. It mines the seed of religion in the heart of man and graciously leads him to repentance over looking to lesser things for fulfillment of this longing.

I just ordered the accompanying book, so more to come. Tim has also graciously posted the pdfs of the session summaries for Alpha course like presentations.

Evangelism Done Redemptive-Historically

Check out this review of Timmis and Chester’s The World We All Want (authors of Total Church). The reviewer highlights three mains strengths to this evangelistic approach: 1) gospel presented in the wider context of the Biblical story 2) emphasis on conversion into community, not making “the church” optional 3) Jesus centered. Here is an excerpt of the review:

I particularly liked the manner in which Godís people are described in session seven as ďa waiting community, a proclaiming community, a loving community.Ē Itís been reported recently that many people on the street are cool with Jesus, but have a problem with the church. TWWAW demonstrates that you canít have the bridegroom without his bride, nipping that particular problem in the bud.