The more the Servant Evangelism/Outflow message goes forward, the more I need to clarify what is not being said in all of this. Many leaders – with whatever intentions, have taken the original concept I couldn’t have more clearly explained in terms of what wasn’t being conveyed in that book.
It’s not doing something to get people to come to your church…
We serve because the spirit of Jesus dwells in us. Our ‘new normal’ is to serve. We don’t take serving lessons. We don’t manipulate others/anyone – anytime – in order to get them to listen to us – to respond to us.
We serve in utter simplicity because it is normal for us.
And long-term we are changing the spiritual culture of a city-state – country – beyond.
Each time we do even the smallest ‘Jesus thing’ we are in some small way extending the kingdom of God on planet Earth.
In so doing we are leading people into the kingdom.
Will churches focused upon such things grow? Absolutely.
However, if churches that do such things seek to grow by doing such things – (say that three times fast)
… they will sabotage the work of God’s Spirit in expanding the kingdom in their midst.
I couldn’t agree more with that last statement…”they will sabotage the work of God’s Spirit in expanding the kingdom in their midst.” These acts have to be done for the purpose of serving people NOT manipulating them. Good thoughts…
….idealistic thought, Steve, and we are thankful that you taught us to serve and are are still hitting the streets regularly five years into our plant, but we still run just 50 on an average Sunday, so we are what you call a “toxic environment” in your book “The Perfectly Imperfect Church”. And yes, we are a little frayed at the edges from the long-term toxicity exposure, yet we still have so little time and resources to put into that church, so we simply MUST think growth, and when we go into the streets we invite people to our church as we serve…..I don’t know that I can mentally separate the idea of church growth from serving my town, really. Because I think our church community can really help people find Jesus, and I want to help them….. so the statement “if churches that do such things seek to grow by doing such things they will sabotage the work of God”…. baffles me, because I honestly cannot always figure out what comes first, the chicken or the egg ?!
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