|If you look at my links box you will find one for In His Name Ministry. On this site you can listen to some of Pastor Don’s teachings, watch a few TV shows with him preaching. He has two great books published – One called Christianese and the other called Not Forsaken; Healing the Father Wound. Both books are great and impacting. I do hope though Pastor Don does publish his discipleship manual, for there is much information in that that would help the body of Christ.What I particularly love about Pastor Don is his heart for the lost, the genuine love that he shows, and how patiently he reaches out to help people see the love of God. I was blessed to be the recipient of that when I started speaking with him as those of you who have read my testimony saw (3/24/06 entry). He teaches the church members this too, for it breaks his heart if someone does not feel loved and accepted when they walk through the church doors.
Here is another entry from the discipleship manual that may bless you, from pages 57 and 58.
Don’t stand up and identify anybody’s sin, behavior or actions. Let’s say you have a friend who’s “living in sin.” Don’t stand up and say, “I’m bringing this guy to church and he’s breaking God’s law.” or “He’s not living right.” or “He’s got to get straightened out.” Don’t embarrass people or over-expose them to criticism, judgment, and condemnation. It’s embarrassing, and you have to give people time to come to the Lord and get right first in their hearts.
***People must first see the Power and Love of God before they’ll
Jesus met the woman at the well, and it wasn’t until after a foundation of conversation was laid and she recognized that He was the Teacher that He prophesied a Word of Knowledge over her in a non-condemning way, pointing out her sin. We want to be like Jesus. Look at how He did this.
Turn to the Book of John Chapter 4. Jesus is at Jacob’s well. John 4:7 “A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”” Now verse 9, “Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” Actually the Jews considered the Samaritans dogs. So Jesus breaks down the wall of prejudice and accepts her by two things. First: she’s a woman and He’s speaking to her, second: He knows immediately she’s a Samaritan, but goes beyond prejudice.
Let’s look at the scene. They are on a journey and it was about the sixth hour. The sixth hour is about high noon. She is doing a most difficult labor that no one chooses to do at the hottest time of the day. The reason she would do it then is because she’s trying not to meet people at the well in the heat of the day. Her reputation is soiled and she’s probably avoiding the “respectable” women who draw water at the cool of the day in the morning. Then she speaks to Jesus and identifies the fact that she’s a Samaritan woman and He’s a Jew. She says, “How can you ask me for a drink?” Jesus is immediately saying, “I’m going to meet you where you are, at the level where you are. I’m going to accept you and treat you with love. If not love, then, at least acceptance. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt”
When we over-expose someone, we are not giving them any benefit, doubt or otherwise. We are condemning them, elevating ourselves and putting them down. We are saying, “I’m saved, born-again, spirit-filled, but you…you have the good sense to come to church with me, but…you don’t qualify yet.” Jesus wasn’t doing that, though He could have. Not only is He a Jew, but He is the Lord.
In the 10th verse Jesus says, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” They continue on and talk about the well and the water. Jesus goes on in verse 13, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again…In verse 15 the woman said, “Sir, give me this water that I may not thirst…” She has opened the door here. In verse 15, the woman has established that Jesus has something that she doesn’t have and now Jesus, by His conversation with her, and the fact that He hasn’t dealt with her in a prejudiced or condemning way, has made it possible for her to identify her own need.
Next she says to Jesus, “Give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty.” Another interesting thing, if you notice, Jesus said to her, “Everybody who drinks this water will be thirsty again.” He used everyone. therefore, not signaling her out. He didn’t say to her, “Woman, if you drink this water, you’re going to be thirsty again.” Go to verse 14: “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.” And not, “Woman, I have the answer to your problem. If you take My answer, you’ll never thirst.” He continued, “But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus has painted such an indirect, third person situation that it makes the woman free to accept or reject without condemnation. As opposed to, “I got it. You ain’t. I’m giving it away, if you want it, but if you don’t want it, you’re going to hell, and I know private things about you too!!” That is very ineffective because by the time the person does come to the Lord, they won’t want you to have been the vessel or the messenger. And you won’t get the crown or the reward.
In many cases that’s why we can’t win our neighbors, family, and the people closest to us. When we express ourselves in that manner it is seen as arrogant and condemning. you want to avoid appearing judgmental. If what you have is so good, you want to express it like, “Man, this is really good, in the sense that it really works for me. I really love the Lord. It’s a beautiful thing that really works for me.” And leave it at that. They’ll get the message. As opposed to, “It really works for me and, if you don’t do what I’m doing, you’re going to hell.” Might be true, but we don’t need to say it. Except as a last resort, and only under the unction (leading of the Holy Spirit).
I have been on the receiving end of some heavy-handed evangelism, and walked away often mocking the person, not listening, tuned them out. Trust me when I say that more will be accomplished quicker by planting a seed of love. I think that we often feel we have to do it all, and in one fell swoop. Yes, the time is short, and yes, there are times when you must tell a person bluntly get saved or you will end up in hell. But often your walk in the Lord will entice a person, making them want to know what it is that you have. If you face a crisis with faith, that will interest those who are watching you and your walk with the Lord. Sometimes just what you do on a day to day basis will have more impact, for it shows that you walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Talk is cheap, the walk shows commitment. I think it boils down to following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And sometimes planting a seed once, that another will water later on down the road is as important as bending a person to your beliefs. But again, it is a situation by situation thing, and there are times when you are prompted to not just plant a seed, but do a complete renovation of the garden. God will guide if you let Him. Remember where you came from, and realize that it took time to get to where you are, and give people the courtesy to let them come to points of realization in their own timing. Entice, and intrigue will sometimes break down barriers.
I belong to a Woman’s Book Club, and I suspect that 3/4 of the members are either New Age or non-believers, or those who have rejected church completely. These women have delighted in picking books (they do know my past, my previous involvement in the occult before I got saved, and the fact that I am now a Christian) that are rather challenging to me. Two that I can think of are the DaVinci Code, and the Mists of Avalon. During our discussions they would pointedly ask me what I thought of the books. I would tell them, when I was a witch I felt this way….now I feel this way… One of the members said to me, “You know what I like about you Heather? You don’t seem to go at religion from a denomination or a set of beliefs or laws, you just seem to have a relationship with Jesus.” What a complement, for that means that they are seeing the effects of my walk with God, not the particular denomination or seeing me as a legalist. Yet, I am able to honestly talk about God.
I am not always so perfect in this though, and there are times when I bite my tongue and wish I could take back things that I have said to people. So sometimes I pray that God will cause a crop failure for words I have spoken, or that if something is not right for a person to hear, that they don’t hear it.
I think too that if you genuinely love the people you are relating with, even if you make a mistake they will see that it comes from love.
Hope you have a blessed day! As you can see, I had a bit of insomnia tonight.
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