Posts Tagged ‘ministry’

Socialmediaicons-500x281

Social Media – A Tool for Ministry

For atleast the past 10 years, I have discovered and now believe that Social Media is a powerful tool for ministry. Posting on social media sites has allowed me to be salt and light to a lost and dying world by reaching those people who may never visit a community of faith.

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:13-16 (ESV)

social-media

Through the use of social media many people can be touched with the Gospel. Social media is an influential tool.

Let’s take for example how I use my Twitter account. I post short Gospel messages each day with a link to The Story.

The Story is an online booklet containing content and design that was created for the believer and unbeliever, to clearly present the Gospel of Jesus. ViewTheStory.com, the online version, was setup for churches, ministires, and individuals to embed on their website. Spread The Truth ministries created the online version specifically for churches, but anyone can use it as a tool to share the Good News.

Each day I post on my Twitter feed anywhere from 8-10 little messages with links to The Story. Each day I check my dashboard at ViewTheStory.com to see how many visits and views were made to the online booklet. So far since September of 2012, there have been 3,247 all time views, and 2,988 all time unique visitors to the link sponsored by Symphony Ministries. Last month a total of 731 people visited and viewed The Story, the Good News of Jesus Christ. I am amazed at the response, and have prayed that of the three thousand people who visited The Story that many of them received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

There are other social media or media outlets that I use to spread the Gospel message. I have learned many things in this Communication in Ministry course related to communicating the Gospel. The main thing I have learned is that when we give a clear, concise, honest, presentation of the Gospel message, it will help the listener or viewer to respond to God’s call to salvation. For that, I am very thankful.

 

Kerygma

The Kerygma – Part Two

The Kerygma

To review, kerygma is the Greek word κήρυγμα kérugma, translated proclamation or preaching. The Kergyma is proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in spoken words, or even proclaimed in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. It is the proclamation of Jesus redemptive work. It is the proclamation God’s story of the history of redemption from the beginning of creation. Proclamation was usually followed by teaching and instruction in the elements of the faith, or the reading of a Creed. What Jesus did and taught in His ministry was included within the basic proclamation.

Here is a summary of the ancient kerygma:

  1. The Age of Fulfillment has dawned, the “latter days” foretold by the prophets.
  2. This has taken place through the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.
  3. By virtue of the resurrection, and His ascension into heaven, Jesus has been exalted at the right hand of God as King of Kings – the Messianic head of the new Israel.
  4. The Holy Spirit in the Church is the sign of Jesus’ present power and glory.
  5. The Messianic Age will reach its consummation in the return of Jesus.
  6. An appeal is made for repentance for the forgiveness of sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and salvation.

Jesus the Messiah, of course, was the center of this ancient kerygma. The cross, the resurrection, and His ascension to the right hand of Majesty are crucial to the kerygmatic preaching of Messiah Jesus.

Kerygmatic preaching is not a technique that can simply be learned by articulate spokespersons, it is a relationship that must be received, experienced, and thereby announced.

There are eight kerygmatic sermons given by the Apostles in Luke’s letter to Theophilus, the Acts of the Apostles. They are found in the following passages:

1) Acts 2:14-36

2) Acts 3:12-26

3) Acts 4:8-12

4) Acts 5:29-32

5) Acts 10: 34-43

6) Acts 13:16-41

7) Acts 14:15-17

8) Acts 17: 22-31

covenant-triangleMy New Covenant Relationship with God

I believe that entrance into the Kingdom of God is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. My call to ministry is one based upon God’s faithfulness to fulfill His revealed purpose in my life. I had no ability to acquire salvation on my own. His loving grace granted me repentance and faith. God enabled me to make the choice of trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. He transformed me into a new creation in Christ Jesus, and now His sanctifying grace is making me holy in my daily life.

The Holy Spirit baptized me into the Body of Christ, the Church, of which I am a member. Now, I am a member of the Community of Jesus Christ. God created a community of worship, dedication, and faith in the time of the Old Covenant. Now, the community has changed with the coming of the new and better covenant. Within this community of the Kingdom, I am able to view my calling more clearly. It means that being a “covenant person” of a covenant people (the Church); Called to a mission along with many others, and equipped by God through the Holy Spirit as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher, I pursue the Missio Dei.

Therefore, I can speak with conviction along with the Apostle Paul when he said in 2 Corinthians 3:6, “ He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” Therefore, I see that those members of the Community of Faith are ministers unto each other, the world, and unto God.

My call and the call of His Church (Matthew 25:35-45) is to minister unto a world that is lost. We are to be beacons of light to those who are blind in darkness. We are to be workers of justice and freedom for the oppressed and captive. We are to demonstrate to the poor the power of His greatness and His faithfulness from which we hope, and to proclaim the Gospel and His Kingdom!

Seal-Sun-black-Red-Moon

Darkness At Noon: A Post-Christian Age

We are an affluent and comfortable people. We live in the midst of freedom as
championed by those who established this nation and defined by successive
generations, not only in terms of the originating vision of freedom, but now an
ever-expanding understanding of liberty. We live in a time of prosperity; we live in a time of
trouble. It all depends upon how you look at the world around us.

It is good for Christians to take some time to look at the trouble, for all around us are a
darkening sky and gathering clouds. As we engage this culture and look at it honestly, we
must sense that something has happened — and is even now happening — in our culture.
These major shifts and changes will change everything we know about ministry in terms of
the challenge before us and will draw out the reality of who the church is in the midst of a
gathering conflict. Clouds are darkening.

We are no longer seeing the first signs of cultural trouble, but rather the indicators of
advanced decay. The reality is that people now do not even know what they have lost, much
less that they themselves are lost.

As a nation, we are living in the midst of an intense season of cultural, political, and moral
conflict–that is no longer news. America has been through epic conflicts in the past,
including a bloody civil war. Still, we must wonder if the worldview conflicts of our time may
represent an even deeper conflict than those experienced in times past. We are living in a
time of deep and undeniable trouble.

There is a sense, I think, in this culture that we are waiting for a signal for something to tell
us which way we are going to go. Something is happening and about to happen. The
landscape is changing, the skies are darkening–and this is something we know with a
spiritual perception, a spiritual sense, a spiritual urgency. Something is happening that we as
believers in the Lord Jesus Christ should see and understand. For we cannot say that we were
not warned.

The prophet Joel declared: “I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and
fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood,
before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone
who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there
shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom
the Lord calls. (Joel 2:30-32 ESV).

And, from the book of Hebrews: “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they
did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape
if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he
has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This
phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken–that is, things that
have been made–in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us
be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God
acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews
12:25-29 ESV)

These passages describe a reality we might call darkness at noon. In these passages we
confront a prophetic vision, a prophetic warning, and a haunting reality. Darkness at Noon–I
borrow this title from Arthur Koestler. In 1941 he saw the Soviet Union in all of its horror and
the Third Reich in all of its hateful fury, and he described this horrifying reality as darkness at
noon. Our times are not the same as Koestler’s, nor are the particular challenges we face. Our
central concerns and fears are not represented by totalitarian governments or foreign
regimes that threaten world domination, but we must see a real and present threat on our
horizon. We can hear the prophet Joel–we can hear him speak of the sun turned to darkness
and the moon turned to blood on the great and awful day of the Lord. This is apocalyptic
imagery–we know that. It is speaking of a judgment, of a day of the Lord that was near on
Joel’s horizon, and yet distant on the horizon of the eschaton, when the Lord Himself shall
come to judge the living and the dead.

The imagery of judgment in this passage — of the sun turned to darkness and the moon to
blood — is a foreboding image that gives us in a graphic picture a sign of the times, and
around us we can see a darkening sky that threatens a darkening sun. We can see darkness at
noon on the dawn.

A central dimension of this reality is the dawning of a post-Christian age. History has been
altered in so many ways in the twists and turns of human experience. But who could have
expected that in our times we would see those nations that once were the cradle of
Christianity become so secularized that they can only be described as post-Christian in
composition, in culture, in theme, and in worldview and understanding? The post-Christian
sense, the post-Christian theme, the post-Christian mentality of these cultures is such that
we can look to the nations of Western Europe and see what a post-Christian culture begins to
look like. We hear the language, we listen to the discourse, we see the laws, we hear the
judgments, we watch the culture at work, and we realize that this is what a nation, a people,
an ethnos, a generation that once knew Christianity but knows it no more, looks like and
sounds like. This is how they live. And it is not just Europe.

Even as demographers, pollsters, and statisticians tell us how many Americans believe in
God, and how many claim belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, still we can see the beginnings of a
post-Christian mentality here in America. Look at the cultural elites–the political elites, the
legal elites, the judicial, academic, and entertainment elites–look at them, and you will
realize that they are largely post-Christian in their mentality.

The prophet Joel speaks of the “day of the Lord,” when the divine judgment would fall like a
terrible and swift sword. In Joel 1, the prophet says, “The word of the Lord that came to Joel,
the son of Pethuel: Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the Land! Has such a
thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let
your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. What the cutting
locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust
has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten.” (Joel 1:1-4 ESV)
This text speaks most directly of a crop, but it also points to a culture. Our culture has been
savaged by locusts. What the cutting locust leaves, the swarming locusts eat. What the
swarming locusts leave, the hopping locust takes. What the hopping locust leaves, the
destroying locust destroys.

We can give evidence of this in individual words, each representing an individual loss.
Consider what has happened to truth, to beauty, to dignity, love, and marriage. Consider
what is even now happening in our midst. We are witnessing the dawn of a post-Christian
age in our own times, in our own nation, in our own world, and among our own people. We
can see the ravages that will come as the sacred things are profaned and trampled under foot.
We see the evidence of this decadence and downfall in the culture–in art and music and
literature. We are a people whose cultural and moral aspirations are indicated by the Neilson
ratings and by the lowest common denominator of the entertainment industry. We are a
nation, a people, entertained by a show called “Desperate Housewives,” by reality TV that
celebrates the lowest and most base human instincts, and by entertainment that panders and
is profane.

Look at what has happened to marriage and family. The idea of romantic love is now
commonly reduced to lust. We have largely destroyed the purity of marriage. This central
institution of civilization has been decried, denigrated, and even discarded. Marriage is under
attack by those who would transform it into something it cannot be and never was, and
truthfully never will be.

We see all of this and we wonder how it could have happened. And yet Scripture has told us
that sinners love darkness rather than the light. Let me put it this way–in a truly post-
Christian age, the saddest loss of all is a loss of the memory of what was lost. The saddest
aspect of our dawning post-Christian age is that there is no longer even a memory of what
was discarded and what was denied and rejected. Having lived for so long on the memory of
Christian truth, without the substance of Christian truth, the culture now grows hostile to
that truth.

Even the memory of what once was is now being lost in our generation. We are living in an
age in which all constraints and restraints are to be thrown off–all in the name of the
liberation that does not liberate, but enslaves. We are seeing the coming of a repressive post-
Christian age that is packaged as an age of unprecedented liberty. We must name it for what
it is — and be aware of what a challenge this represents for the believing church.

~ by Dr. R. Albert Mohler

Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.