If you missed Part one of, Jesus the Crowd Killer, you can check it out HERE
Do we get too excited about conversions? “250 people dedicated their lives to Jesus!” I don’t know if somebody’s counting raised hands, or if all of those people are filling out cards, but I can tell you after 21 years of ministry experience, that it can be as deceptive as people shouting “Hosanna” one Friday, and “Crucify Him” the next. Jesus talked about the “flash in the pan” conversion during the parable of the sower. He wouldn’t give himself to men, because he knew what was in the heart of man. After being on the mission field for 12 years, I confess that I’m a bit wrecked for a lot of what we do. In countries where there is little to no gospel witness, these tactics don’t do. You still have to fall back on the good old-fashioned tactics from the pages of the book of Acts.
Statistician Abraham Wald’s research on where to put extra armor on warplanes during World War II is a wonderful example. The British and U.S. air forces were concerned because many of their planes were being shot down. They wanted to use more armor, but were not quite sure where to put it. Wald put a mark on every bullet hole in the airplanes that returned from battle. He found that two major sections of the fuselage—one between the wings and the other between the tails—had far fewer bullet holes. He decided to put the armor in these places, where he saw fewer, not more, holes. Why? Because it stood to reason that the planes were hit randomly. The planes he analyzed had not been shot down! So it was the holes he wasn’t seeing —in the planes that weren’t returning —that needed extra protection.”
What if everybody’s patching the bullet holes and putting the armor in the places where they’re not needed. I want to patch up the parts people AREN’T talking about, because to be frank, nobody’s talking about Acts. Some people think that going back to the 1st century is archaic, and outdated. It’ll be sneered at by some, but only by people still clinging to the outdated models of the past few decades. The reality is that we’ve still not duplicated the degree of success that Paul and the apostles achieved.
It’s a brave new world.
The Brave new world is going to require a brave new church.
The brave new churches are going to require brave new Christians.
If Brave new Christians are to develop, it will require brave new leaders.
And it’s not by inviting them to church.
The secret to reaching lost people is creating church wherever you go. Learning to take God to people, not bringing people to a building.
We’ve got it backwards.
We haven’t made the connection yet that a post-Christian world is very much like a pre-Christian world. The challenges are the same, and therefore, so are the solutions. We will increasingly need to rediscover 1st century tactics to reaching the lost. As soon as we do, we may finally admit that the apostles knew what they were doing. We don’t have the answers because we haven’t been asking the right questions.
By the way, I know you’re probably thinking that the missional movement is the silver bullet, but I’ll tell you that I probably get more people from the missional movement coming to me for coaching than established churches. They’re stuck too. They aren’t seeing any more conversions than you are. They’re equally frustrated. Just like you.
Even that is a type of program. After all, it’s just another model. More people are realizing it’s not the silver bullet it sounded like when it doesn’t happen for them like it did in the books written by the charismatic leaders. They’re suffering from the exact same problem: How do I get people to come to my barbeque, poker game, church, ____________(fill in the blank).
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.