Reaching Thurrock for Jesus

from a talk by Tim Harrold at New Covenant Church (Chafford Hundred) that meets in Stanley Lazell Hall in Dell Road, Grays, on 9.12.16

What’s the difference between these two scriptures?

Isaiah 61:1-2
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God...

Luke 4:18-19
(Jesus quoting from the scrolls...)
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

Why did Jesus leave off the bit about ‘the day of vengeance’?

  • Because Isaiah was speaking under the Old Covenant
  • Jesus is the New Covenant
  • The covenant of love

What does this have to do with evangelism?
What is the greatest weapon of spiritual warfare we possess? LOVE!

Pastor Jan Pasterkamp (Netherlands) says in the documentary Furious Love:

“I’ve come to the conclusion after a long time of study; the greatest weapon that we have against the devil, is love. When God wanted to redeem a world that had come into the hands of satan, He did not use spiritual warfare, He used love. And that is one weapon the devil cannot stand, it’s the weapon of simple, pure love.”

  • Is God in a bad mood or a good mood?
  • Does God give out bad stuff or good stuff?
  • Did Jesus bring bad news or good news?

Some true stories

  • A Christian friend heard street preachers shouting about damnation in Nottingham town centre and said they weren’t engaging with anyone
    • Helpful or unhelpful?
  • A preacher of the Gospel outside Stratford Underground stood shouting about judgment at the passers by who ignored her
    • Helpful or unhelpful?
  • Preachers of the Gospel in Grays High Street shouted at the tops of their voices at coffee drinkers outside Costa about going to hell - when asked to leave them in peace, they didn't
    • Helpful or unhelpful?

Grays outreach1What Gospel do we reach out with?

  • There’s natural evangelism and there’s supernatural evangelism
    • The traditional evangelistic preaching-out Gospel of Salvation is often negative, off-putting, numbers-related and church-centred
    • The reaching-out Gospel of the Kingdom is always positive, inviting, relationally attractive and Jesus-centred
    • Church-view can be limited but kingdom-view is always unlimited
  • Religion is the stone that covers the well of blessing
    • The kingdom rolls away that stone
    • Our evangelism can therefore be stone-rolling, unplugging, unblocking, releasing the water of life
  • Kingdom culture is heaven invading earth
    • The wells spring up afresh when the Jacobs roll away the stones
    • It’s only when heaven rolls away the stone that people can see the tomb is empty
      • Religion just keeps us guessing and superstitious

John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

  • Salvation is about saving, not condemning
    • Jesus wasn't sent to judge
    • We aren't sent to judge
  • As Jesus’ disciples we are the conduits of heaven
    • We are to demonstrate God’s love - not remonstrate guilt
  • Rob Purnell says: “I’ve never felt the compulsion to change through judgment. I’ve only ever felt the compulsion to change through love.”

Being a conduit of heaven means being a conduit of glory

John 17:22-23
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

  • Think about it - Jesus gives us the glory he’s been given
    • How much glory does Jesus have?
    • Infinite!
  • We’re being changed from one degree of glory to another - so we’re getting more infinite!
    • We can release Jesus' glory
    • We can release heaven's love
    • We demonstrate God's love and impact people's lives
    • Grace, mercy, favour flow
  • Do we evangelise to fill our churches - or to introduce people to the supernatural reality of God?

Revival historian Andy Smithyman says there’s an “infinite demand of love”
Heidi Baker says “a revival of love” is coming to the UK (it’s already begun in Coleraine, Reading, Liverpool and Southampton) - why can’t it come to Thurrock?

How do we communicate the Gospel of the Kingdom?

The following tools introduce people to God through an experience

  • Provide a basis for entry into kingdom
  • An encounter with the supernatural reality of the kingdom is the beginning of the journey into a relationship with Jesus
  • It is Holy Spririt's job to convince of sin
  • 1 Corinthians 2:16 says “we have the mind of Christ.”
    • We can trust our God-given gifts that the most of the thoughts we have are from God
    • It's not hard to tell which thoughts are not from God!

Here’s some tools for blessing we’ve begun to start using...

  • Free Hugs
    • Release blessing
    • Express love
    • Give hope to the lonely
  • Street Healing
    • Using words of knowledge, offering prayer on a number of levels
    • Healing for physical, emotional and spiritual issues
  • Treasure Hunting
    • Method: write down what God says to you (the first thing that comes into your mind) using these 5 headings
      • Location
      • Name
      • Appearance
      • Need
      • Anything Unusual
    • Go out in 2s or 3s looking for the 'treasure'
    • Introduce yourself as someone on a treasure hunt using clues from God
    • Offer prayer
  • Spiritual Readings
    • Method: after praying, select those cards you feel led to put out
    • Place the selected picture cards* on a table
    • As people come over, invite them to choose the card that attracts them
    • Explain that you are Christians and you're going to ask the Holy Spirit what God wants to say to them
    • Give a word of encouragement as God speaks through you about the picture - say the first thing that comes into your mind
    • Offer prayer as well
    • Encourage them to take a photo of the card they've chosen as a reminder of the moment
    • Always emphasise it's about Jesus (so as not to be confused with New Age methods)
    • Always work in twos, sensitive to gender and age
High Street March 1The Firestarter team go out to Grays High Street every 3rd Saturday of the month from 9.30am to 1pm. The team is inter-denominational, cross-cultural and non-confrontational. If you have done the Firestarters or Ignition course, or want to come along and see how it all works, then please feel free to join us. The next few dates are:
  • Saturday 21 January
  • Saturday 18 February
  • Saturday 18 March
  • Saturday 15 April
  • Saturday 20 May
  • Saturday 17 June
Other methods of evangelism are available!

* Packs of 120 Spiritual Reading cards are available from Transformation Thurrock at £10 per pack
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