In 1996 85% of the American population who had no religious commitment had a favorable view of Christianity. By 2009 that number shrunk drastically to 16% of young “outsiders” who had a favorable impression of Christianity and just 3% had a good impression of evangelicals. [Stats from the George Barna group]
We have such an incredible God-sized opportunity these days. It is all about glorifying God in our community by giving people a reason and chance to change their minds about church, Christianity and Christ. The tide is against it, the prevailing wind is at our face and the odds are horrible but I am praying for and dreaming about being part of an irresistible local church in Winona Minnesota! You wanna join me, our staff and the hundreds others in our community who hear this call?
This is what Pleasant Valley Church is all about these days. We love our church because Jesus loves His church. We want to glorify God in our day like never before. We want to make a big deal out of our God and Savior. This is at the heart of the Irresistible Initiative we’ve been moving together on for the last year.
I’m facilitating a conversation and class called “Irresistible Living” on Wednesday evenings 7: – 8:30 in the Chapel. We have 5 more sessions scheduled. Please email me if you want to join us. firstname.lastname@example.org
Our goal as a group is this: to live in such a way that even our greatest enemies will want to glorify God.
Some of our key Biblical passages: Proverbs 16:7; 1 Peter 2:9-12; John 1:14; 13:34-35; Proverbs 2:3-4; Luke 2:52; Romans 14:17-19.
I’ll highlight 2 of those passages here.
“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to live at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7
“”Live such good lives among the pagans [non-believers] that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” 1 Peter 2:12
Here’s a recap from last nights Irresistible Living conversation :
- Be quick to admit when you’re wrong
- Live daily in the reality that you need Christ’s grace and forgiveness just as much as anyone else
- Get context before drawing conclusions
- Listen first
- Learn the art of doing your part in having optional vs. terminal conversations
- Focus on planting and watering God’s word in others and leave the growth and life change to God
- Be respectful kind and gentle when communicating your beliefs with people who oppose you
- Learn to become all things to all people that you might win them to Christ
- Aim to more and more become a person like Christ who was full of grace and truth
Please come and be part of this conversation with some people who are being intentional about changing the minds of people ticked off or ambivalent about the church and Christ.
Remember, what is impossible for people is possible for our God! Lets trust Him to do this!