John Maxwell has been writing books on leadership for decades. This one is my favorite by far. In Thinking For A Change, Maxwell doesn’t tell you what to think but how to think. He shares 11 mental habits everyone needs to develop, including:
- Big-Picture Thinking – seeing the world beyond your own needs and how that leads to great ideas
- Focused Thinking – removing mental clutter and distractions to realize your full potential
- Shared Thinking – working with others to compound results
- Reflective Thinking – looking at the past to gain a better understanding of the future.
Have you read this book? If so, what were the most helpful habits discussed?
In the Book of Acts, planting churches in unreached areas was the natural application of the Great Commission.
In fact, the logical implication of the Great Commission is that it would be done in the context of the local church wherever it exists and that it would lead to establishing local churches where they don’t exist. Baptism isn’t something that is done isolated from Body life. It is the initiatory rite of a new disciple into the church. Naturally, if a church doesn’t exist and we are pursuing the disciple-making mission, a church needs to be established or we aren’t being faithful to Jesus’ commands. The New Testament knows nothing of a lone ranger evangelist who saves souls and moves on. The church is where disciples are baptized and taught.
This was the approach the apostles took when they were empowered by the Spirit. They established a church in Jerusalem. Then, when the persecution arose against them and many were forced out of Jerusalem, they began making disciples and establishing churches everywhere they went in Judea and in Samaria. Soon, churches were established as far out as Antioch which was a Gentile city. They were fulfilling Jesus’ mandate to be witnesses and to make disciples.
This is a guest post by Patrick Hubbard. Patrick is the Founder and President of Living Bread Ministries. The vision of LBM is to expand an interdependent church planting movement among the global poor. In this post, Patrick explains how their vision of planting churches in impoverished areas is an important step towards ending slavery.
The trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation and forced labor is possibly the greatest humanitarian tragedy the world has known.
The United Nations estimates that there are over 2.5 million people in forced labor, including the sex industry, at any given time. This horrific practice affects 161 countries, essentially every nation in the world. Women are primarily the victims of trafficking averaging two out of every three people. The average age is between 18 and 24, but it is estimated that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.*
Often victims of trafficking are tricked into captivity with promises of job opportunities. However, they are often sold into slavery to pay family debts or provide money to care for other children. There are even cases where the poor voluntarily give their children to traffickers believing they have found a family to “adopt” them and provide a better life. Regardless of how it happens it is clear that one of the leading contributing factors to human trafficking is poverty.
Queens County is recognized by many demographers as the most diverse county in America. As a result, there are hundreds of languages, peoples, and religious groups represented.
The following list of the top 20 religious groups in Queens reflects the diversity of Queens County (according to the 2010 ARDA report).
Top 20 Religious Groups in Queens, NY
- Catholic – 677,520
- Muslim – 81,456
- Orthodox Judaism – 80,000
- Non-denominational – 33,325
- African Methodist Episcopal Church – 28,085
- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – 24,250
- Traditional Hindu – 16,775
- Assemblies of God – 13,989
- Seventh Day Adventist – 13,507
- Buddhism, Mahayana – 12,957
- American Baptist Churches in the USA – 12,003
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – 10,463
- Episcopal Church – 9,241
- National Baptist Convention, USA – 7,261
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – 7,210
- The United Methodist Church – 6,932
- Conservative Judaism – 6,235
- Presbyterian Church (USA) – 5,092
- Southern Baptist Convention – 4,694
- The Christian and Missionary Alliance – 3,585
- The top 20 religious groups account for 47% of the population in Queens or 1,054,580 adherents.
- Only 5 of the top 20 religious groups are evangelical protestant.
- Evangelicals account for 3.8% of the population in Queens.
What are the implications for evangelism and church planting in Queens? What are the challenges and opportunities that this information presents?
According to a recent study by Lifeway Research, 80% of churchgoers agree that they are personally responsible to share their beliefs about Jesus with non-Christians.
However, in the next six months only about 39% of them ever will.
The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 starts with “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations”. Another way to translate the word for “go” is “as you go” or “while you are going”.
In other words, disciple making should be a natural way of life for the Christian.
As you go, make disciples.
It’s in the “as you go” that most disciples fail to make disciples. Some wait until Tuesday night visitation to share their faith. Others get excited about dollar drops1, placing tracts in toilet paper rolls, and other good-intentioned but UN-natural tactics of sharing the gospel.
In a culture that craves honesty and authenticity a gospel gimmick isn’t going to make disciples. We need to look for opportunities to be ourselves and make disciples along the way.
Here are 52 (and more in the comments section) natural, non-threatening, relational ideas to help kickstart disciple-making relationships:
Over the past few weeks I’ve been helping a church plant in Woodhaven NY. Grace Baptist Church has been around for awhile but they just recently moved to Woodhaven from Richmond Hill.
We recently mobilized a couple of mission teams to work with GBC to help them get the word out about their new location. Our teams passed out cookies and crackers on the corner of Woodhaven Blvd and Jamaica Avenue. We know of at least one who has started attending Grace as a result and perhaps others will in the days ahead.
Pastor Peter Nicotra of Grace Baptist Church serving residents of Woodhaven, NY
The church is now renting space from Emanuel United Church of Christ on the corner of 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Blvd. The entrance for Grace Baptist Church is actually on 92nd Avenue, just around the corner.
Entrance for Grace Baptist Church on 92nd Avenue
It has been a joy to work with Pastor Nicotra and we are excited about this new location in Woodhaven.
If you are looking for a church that loves God and loves people, this is the place to go in Woodhaven. You can find out more about them at gbcny.org.