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Faithful life powers intentional evangelismcomment (0)

November 25, 2004

By Grace Thornton

To Glenn Taylor, senior pastor of Orrville Baptist Church in Selma Association, lifestyle evangelism is the stream that powers the wheel of intentional evangelism.

“And when there’s a log somewhere upstream clogging the flow, that wheel ain’t gon’ turn,” Taylor said.

That log, he explained, can represent a breakdown between what Christians say and what they do, as well as anything else that hinders the empowerment of the Spirit in their sharing.

Taylor said Alabama churches can “add daily to their number” as the early church did in Acts 2.

“If a church catches fire for the Lord, the whole community will come and watch it burn.”

But clearing the path for them in your personal walk is a necessary factor, he added.

“If there’s something in the stream keeping the water from getting to the wheel, let it go,” Taylor said. “With Abraham, it was Isaac. What is it for you?”

For many people, it’s personal finances, or possesssions, Taylor  said. “I’m not here today to tell you what kind of car to drive or how much money to give to the Lord, but I am telling you to be sensible in running your household,” Taylor said.

“When we build huge churches and drive fancy cars, what kind of message are we sending to people about stewardship?”

Financial decisions made without the Kingdom in mind may send the message that Christians have their eyes on the creation rather than the Creator, he said.

Trouble in reaching others for Christ may also occur when so much emphasis is placed on methodology that empowerment by the Holy Spirit is left out of the equation.

“Methodology is important; it has strengthened me as a personal evangelist,” Taylor said. “But methodology never worked apart from the Spirit’s guidance, even in Paul’s day.”

When a heart is drawn by the Spirit, Christians had better not be in the way, he added.

“Sometimes we expect God to do now what He did at Pentecost, but we are not willing to live like the people did in that day,” Taylor said. “But all the same miracles and power going on in that day are still going on in this world.

“We are living in communities where God can increase our number daily,” he said. “We just need to make sure we don’t keep the wheel from turning.”

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