Posts Tagged ‘evangelism’

This is why London City Mission loves London
We seek to share the transforming love of God with the people of London. The Bible tells us that loving others is going to be hard and costly. It tells us that our love shouldn’t discriminate on any grounds but be open to everyone, regardless of any distinction.
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This is one of the reasons we run Webber Street, our homeless day centre just a stone’s throw from Waterloo station. Here we give hot meals and new warm clothes to some of London’s most marginalised and unloved individuals, as we practically share God’s unconditional love with them. But we also want to see a change in the choices our guests make. We want to make a practical difference in their lives, but we want to make a personal and eternal difference as we introduce them to Jesus.

London is full of people who’ve come here to forge careers for themselves, people who stream through stations like Liverpool Street. Millions of people use London’s transportation system every day. While many of them don’t live in material need, we know that they have a great spiritual need. Despite outward appearances many here are hurt, broken, isolated and lonely. Jesus came for people like this.

At Departure we want to share the good news with those from other parts of the world who have settled in London. This area is typical of many in London where large ethnic communities have congregated together. They add colour, vibrancy, culture and language to London, making this one of the most diverse places on earth. The world has come to us! What an opportunity we have to share the love of Jesus with people as they settle in London.
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Our commitment to ministry in London is steadfast, just like the love we want to share with Londoners. We do this through committing to specific geographical areas for the long-term.
Sticking with people through thick and thin, whatever life throws at them, regardless of the decisions they make. Through our work right across London we want to create environments
where men and women can enjoy being with one another as they search for Jesus. We love because he first loved us.
Will you join with us as we seek to share the love of Jesus Christ with the people of London?
Whether through our centres, our cafés, or our marginalised, ethnic, compassion or workplace ministries.
Will you partner with us as we love London?

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Charles Marnham at London City Mission day of prayer 8th January 2014
Acts 26:12-32
Rev 12:7-12
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We live in a society which is increasingly ignorant of the basic facts of the Bible. The bad news is that Christians will be misunderstood and attacked. The good news is that we have more people asking questions.
Rev 12 pulls back the curtain and gives us an insight into the spiritual battle that is going on. Satan had been defeated but he continues to make war. We must remember that the result of the war is certain. Christ is victorious, despite ongoing skirmishes.

Paul tells his remarkable story 1-18
The orthodox zealot turns from persecuting and killing Christians to leading them and spreading their message.  Even the least likely person can be saved! Paul had been kicking against Jesus for some time. His Damascus moment was the culmination. Paul’s testimony is powerful. He is able to share his own story which shows that he is orthodox and can be taken seriously. The blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony prevailed. Giving our testimony is a powerful way of overcoming Satan’s lies. We share our story, we open the Bible, we point people to Jesus. Our story plus prayer is a powerful witness.
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Paul gives a life changing message
He preached that people need to move from darkness to light, to repent and live for the Lord forever. Death for Christians is very different because we have hope of eternal life. A radical liberation from the power of Satan and a liberation into the kingdom of heaven.  Bonhoeffer complained that repentance was left out of the church in Germany and it became full of “cheap grace”. Cheap grave is grace without Jesus, grace without genuine repentance. We fall into the habit of only needing to repent of the things that the world finds offensive but fail to repent of sin, but Paul preached the true gospel.
Paul takes his opportunity and gives the true gospel message short and succinctly. We also need to be able to share the Good News in a brief, understandable manner.

Paul has an unending passion
Paul faces opposition, but doesn’t give up easily. He says, “do you believe the prophets?” Paul sees what the issue is that his hearer has and he deals with it. Sometimes people have hoax issues as a shield against God but some have genuine issues. We need to be ready with an answer. That may mean we need to read some books, but we must be prepared with an answer. It is the Spirit’s work but we must be bold. LCM recently received a donation from an anonymous donor in memory of one of our missionaries, Charles who worked with bus drivers. He worked for years and was often treated with contempt by the drivers but one man at least was persuaded to listen to him. That man became a Christian and so did his wife and children and his mother. Subsequently so did his grandchildren. One of his children wanted to show gratitude to the missionaries who continue to patiently share the Good News. Paul persevered because of an unending passion for the gospel. So must we.
Changing London

Today in London and in most of the Western world it is easy for Christians to feel they are labouring under a cloud. Church attendance is falling, the media has an anti-Christian bias, our politicians are for the most part self confessed atheists, and our churches are dumbing down the Good News in search of worldly approval. But we need to be careful that we are not falling for lies from the pit of Hell. In the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien describes several great leaders falling for the deception that Sauron is unstoppable and therefore despair is the only reasonable counsel. This Epiphany I believe the Lord wants us to remember that, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light”. We have a King who is enthroned in Zion who laughs when he sees the enemies of his people. His victory is assured.
At the arrival of the Messiah, his people were caught on the hop. Only a couple of aged prophets at the temple were expecting God’s redemption. So God sent outsiders to make it clear that there was good news. At Epiphany we remember that God sent wise men from overseas to announce news of glad tidings to his people. Today it seems we are still in need of good news from overseas. Our churches in England may be struggling but there is revival going on in China and many parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America, even Iran has seen a resurgence.
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The London City Mission church census last year shows that church attendance in London isn’t actually falling. There has been such growth amongst the Nigerian and Ghanaian churches that over all attendance is rising. Praise the Lord!
So it is with great joy that I welcome Jonathan Oloyede to London City Mission today to encourage us from God’s Word. There is a wind blowing through London today and it isn’t only a winter storm. God has not given up on the battle in this land. His King is enthroned in Zion and he will accomplish his desires. He laughs at his enemies. If we are wise then we’ll hear the Good News and respond in humble obedience and declare his glory!

Quotes from Jonathan
“As a Muslim I sought the Lord but Allah did not speak to me. Instead I found Jesus Christ whilst studying at medical school”
“London as a city desperately needs the gospel”
“We need to raise up a cohesive army of men and women who submit to Christ’s Lordship and reach out to the lost with the gospel”
“Nobody is to far from Goods for him to touch”

Here are a handful of news-bites from around the world included in the January issue of EN. May these encourage us as well as spur us on to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world facing severe persecution.

USA: best seller
The best-selling book The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, has just sold its one millionth copy, it was reported in early December.
Born in the UK — not related to Martin Lloyd-Jones — and now living in the USA, Sally noted that this book can be given away to anyone from university presidents to car salesmen as anyone can understand it. It focuses on teaching the Bible’s own ongoing narrative, that of every story in the Bible breathing Jesus’ name. Crosswalk

EU: euthanasia coalition
A new coalition was launched in Brussels in mid-November to combat the growing threat of euthanasia across Europe.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Europe (EPC-Europe) brings together organisations and individuals from across the continent to campaign against the erosion of laws that protect people from euthanasia. It plans to act as a powerful voice against attempts to change laws across Europe that protect people from euthanasia and assisted suicide. Christian Concern

Brunei: sharia law
The sultan of Brunei announced on October 22 that the country will be ruled according to sharia law, which will be introduced in phases from April 2014.
Penalties for hudud crimes will be in line with the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah (the deeds and sayings of Muhammed). Hudud crimes include theft, for which sharia requires the amputation of limbs, adultery, which is punished by stoning, and apostasy, which carries the death penalty. Muslims who insult, mock or deny Islamic teachings may face imprisonment for up to 30 years and 40 strokes of the cane. Barnabas Fund

Rwanda: mission
In a Rwandan mission held in October, 78,500 heard the gospel and around 8,900 made decisions for Christ. Hundreds of church leaders received training and there was a special programme for children.
Under the heading ‘Improved Literacy through Youth Education’, 50 teachers and 50 young people were trained in Musanze town. During the training, many were able to forgive and reconcile with those who had offended them. African Enterprise

For more news and prayer fuel from around the world, subscribe to EN for monthly updates.

Evangelicals Now

Here are a handful of news-bites from around the world included in the January issue of EN. May these encourage us as well as spur us on to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world facing severe persecution.

USA: best seller
The best-selling book The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, has just sold its one millionth copy, it was reported in early December.
Born in the UK — not related to Martin Lloyd-Jones — and now living in the USA, Sally noted that this book can be given away to anyone from university presidents to car salesmen as anyone can understand it. It focuses on teaching the Bible’s own ongoing narrative, that of every story in the Bible breathing Jesus’ name. Crosswalk

EU: euthanasia coalition
A new coalition was launched in Brussels in mid-November to combat the growing threat of euthanasia across Europe.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition…

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I’ve been scratching my head since getting back from China wondering why English churches feel so strange, and it’s finally come to me. English churches are inside out.


I don’t mean that the carpets and pictures are in the wrong place, I mean the focus of the church is in the wrong place. I’ll try and explain.
Chinese home churches tend to feel small and vulnerable. Members are evangelists, trying to share the good news with as many people as possible. The church minister is often only a little better trained than the congregation and sees their main role to be encourager and cheer leader for the troops.
In the UK on the other hand the church leader tends to be vastly better trained than the congregation. The leader has probably worked as a volunteer for a couple of years, then spent three years learning Hebrew, homiletics, and history. They may have spent a further three years as a curate/assistant so by the time they get to lead the church they are very much a priest.
The priest is not a cheer leader. They are a teacher, a guru showering wisdom upon the drones who work hard all week to pay the priest’s salary. As a congregation, we turn up on Sunday exhausted and slump into seats waiting the reviving words of the teacher. We hope that there will also be a junior priest looking after our kids.
The junior priest (youth worker) may well be given free accommodation and a salary of £20,000 per year to look after 10 teenagers. The cost per teenager might be as high as £3000 per kid per year. The church’s expenditure on the other 30,000 kids who live in the area is negligible.
In this model of church we have priests providing services tailored to a few paying customers, whilst the 92% who never go to church remain largely untouched.
Church has become a service centre for busy Christians. It has become inward looking, centred around a single priest. Instead of employing a youth worker to train the kids to evangelise the district, we have a youth worker filling in the gaps that busy Christian parents have left in parenting our kids.  Instead of reaching out to the local council estate we say that “we don’t feel moved by the Spirit” to reach that group and ignore them with our leafleting for Christmas Carol Services.

I’ve talked to some of these priestly church leaders about trying to remedy the situation, “What about the Polish, the elderly, the council estate kids close to our church?”
The answer is a look of despair. “Brother”, they say, “I’d like to do more, but I am short staffed, I need to prioritise my preaching preparation time, and then I’ve got two couples on the edge of a marriage break up. On top of that my senior elder is annoyed that his son isn’t getting enough attention from our youth worker, and eight of my best, most able members have just left to join a church plant in Suburbiton. How am I meant to start a new ministry to the elderly, or the Polish, or the council estates, when I can’t even look after my own flock? Brother, you are weighing me down with burdens. Surely we pay London City Mission to look after the needy, so you look after that lot, and I’ll struggle on with caring for my congregation.”
It’s hard to argue with the poor Church minister so I’m going to let Paul do it. In his letter to the Ephesians chapte 4, Paul says this,

“11 And he himself gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as pastors and teachers 12 for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ”

He didn’t say, “and he gave the body of Christ to pay for the important ministry workers”.

He didn’t say “and he gave pastors and teachers for the work of the ministry and to keep an eye on the body of Christ”.

He said that the church leaders are to be equippers, cheer leaders, encouragers to get the Church doing all the ministry.

The “priest” is the worst person to be doing all the ministry.  They haven’t worked in the real world for years.  The people who are out in the real world need to be doing the ministry.

The church is inside out. Rather than having an inward looking church huddled around a priest for survival, we need an outward looking church, reaching out to the lost, and our pastors and teachers need to be our equippers, our mobilisers. Instead of employing young pastors to keep our kids on the straight and narrow, we need to employ evangelists to train the kids to reach out into the community. The best way to deal with young doubters is to turn them into young evangelists.  When one of our church’s young people thinks up the idea of starting a “football ministry” for kids on the council estate the church minister shouldn’t be rolling their eyes to the sky with thoughts of the effort, but encouraging them and getting a couple of Dads engaged in the project.  When the students want to get involved with ministry to the homeless, it should be encouraged, and telephone numbers provided for the Christian shelter where church members regularly volunteer and run Bible studies.  When the mums group wants to start an outreach to the elderly widows in the community it should be helped with offers of the church premises and a rota for providing the less mobile a lift to church on Sunday.  The minister shouldn’t be running any of these ministries, but they should be engaging with their church members, getting them to do what they are good at, and encouraging them from scripture to reach out with both Christian love and the Gospel that Jesus Christ is our risen Lord.

We need to turn our church’s back inside out.  One way is to plant a new church which is tiny and vulnerable like the Chinese church.  Another is to challenge our idols that leave us so terribly “time poor”.  That is the subject of another blog