An echo chamber is a lousy place to serve.
Isolating ourselves to hear only an echo of our own opinions keeps us from growth. This is because part of the process of growth is for our thinking to be challenged. When we discuss truth or ideas with people with whom we don’t agree, we better learn where others are coming from and are able to either change in areas we need to grow or sharpen our understanding and articulation of what we already believe.
As important as it is to have our thoughts challenged is, however, there is still tremendous value to the partnerships with people with whom we do already agree. And this is where the echo chamber warning and analogy breaks down.
A partnership is not the same as an echo chamber.
For instance, marriage is to be a partnership. Healthy marriages are based on shared love and support, not disagreement. This is one reason that 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
Ministry partnerships, too, are usually stronger the more both parties share the same beliefs and ministry philosophy. Although it is healthy to have ministry relationships where everyone is free to share new ideas and hash out possibilities, the reality is that you’re going to be most productive in a shared partnership with people you already agree with.
This is similar to the rhetorical question God posed to the nation of Israel, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
There are those who suggest that one should so insulate himself in ministry that he hears only his own opinions. This becomes an echo chamber and is a generally ineffective way to serve the Lord.
But then there are those who go to the opposite extreme and suggest that one should so open himself to every opinion that he hears little of what he already agrees with. This actually has the tendency also to make a person an echo of differing philosophies…just not the philosophies
Did you know that on average 15% of your congregation will no longer be attending your church next year? This happens for a variety of reasons. Some people move away, some people switch churches, and some people just stop going to church altogether. So, if you’re not finding a way to replace these people, your church will be declining in attendance every year. This is a scary thought for most churches, and most of us have experienced this.
So, what do you do when people are leaving your church?
There are really only two options.
Here’s the thing, no matter how hard you try to get people to stay, there’s always going to be a certain percentage that leave every year. There’s not much you can do about it. Sure, you can concentrate on getting them better connected and those types of things, but even then some people are going to leave.
So, your best bet is to try to get new people in. Even in small towns like mine, there are still hundreds of people who have never visited our church. Plus, there are new people moving into the community every year. We just have to get them to show up.
The best way to do that is through personal invites. Your church people inviting their friends, family, coworkers, the lady at the bank, the guy at the supermarket, etc. This is how it should be happening.
If it’s not, there may be a few reasons why.
The Lord allowed the opportunity to have a number of good Pastors, Missionaries, Evangelists, teachers and laymen in my life in which I'm very grateful. Three of the Pastors, who have built a number of solid Bible believing Baptist churches and ministries would continually express and practice the value of having special week long meetings. These special outreaches would change them personally, along with their family and church families. One Pastor stated, "Once the Lord helps me then I can be a blessing and help others! But I must having HIS touch first in my life before seeing God change others!"
Most Christians know that God has called them to be witnesses for Him and to share the gospel with others. But sometimes—perhaps out of fear, perhaps out of preoccupation—we miss opportunities to do so.
Below are five practical tips that point us to dependence on the Lord and preparedness in sharing our faith.
The best thing about having gospel tracts with you is that you are always prepared when the Holy Spirit nudges you to witness to someone. Also tracts are a useful tool whether your opportunity to witness is short or long. You can easily hand one to a cashier, for instance, in a ten-second window, or you can use one to start up a longer conversation. Because of how versatile and helpful tracts are, I always try to keep them with me—in my pocket and in my car.
If it were up to us to convince people of their need for Christ and the truths of the gospel, we would, at best, be religious salespeople. But it’s not up to us. It is the Holy Spirit who guides us, fills us, and helps us. And it is the Holy Spirit who convicts hearers of their sin and their need to place their faith in Christ.
Remembering God’s promises to be with us (Matthew 28:20) and to empower us (Acts 1:8) helps take the fear out of witnessing. And beginning each day asking the Lord to lead us to opportunities to witness helps to make us alert to His leading throughout the day.
Sometimes we forget that the people with whom we interact throughout a given day are real people with real souls. They aren’t just “a guy at work.” They have hopes, fears, needs…and all of these can be—and only can be—satisfied through Jesus. So instead of just brushing past people, build relationships with them.
When you are sharing the gospel door-to-door, it’s pretty easy to bring up the
Evangelist Wayne and Hattie Nelson Will Travel
Praise the Lord for the opportunity to share the Word of God for the last forty years in the USA and overseas. Our Saviour has given the joy of being in the Chaplaincy for almost three years, planting two churches in central Florida for over ten years and twenty nine years proclaiming the truth as an Evangelist, Revivalist and Teacher. We would like to thank the many Pastors, Evangelists, Missionaries and faithful Christians for the blessing they have been in our lives and the privilege of helping in their ministries.
God has allowed us to be used to conduct over 1,400 extended series of meetings in the USA and over 220 meetings on the foreign field. Each of those special occasions did reach out in one of the following: Revival-Evangelistic meetings, Bible & Stewardship Conferences, Family Life Encouragement, Family Vacation Bible Schools, Faith Promise Missions Conferences, Youth Rallies, Camps, Soul Winning Seminars and Special Music. The Lord has blessed in so many wonderful ways over the years with many asking for salvation and numerous saints growing in the Grace of God.
Over the years the Master has used various tools to fulfill His will. Most of the events along with preaching, teaching and special music will include: Sermons in Chemistry, Objects Lessons, Puppetry, Ventriloquism, unique Power Point Presentations (that give clarity to salvation and growth in the believer’s lives) and Soul Winning Training. Every one of these ministries has been by faith. Truly, the King has been faithful in providing and touching hearts.
FACEBOOK ALIVE INTO INDIA
In the last few weeks God has used His Word through FACE TIME (live face book video) to seven locations in India in which messages (along with much counseling) were delivered (one service twelve trusted Christ, another
A young preacher complained to Spurgeon that he only had fifty members in his church. Spurgeon replied, “That’s fifty more than you’ll want to give account of at judgment!