Frequently Asked Questions

Big Questions
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Outreach

Q I feel so inadequate and timid. I have read books on how to share my faith with others and have a sincere desire to declare that Jesus is for real. But I don’t want to mess it up. What should I do?

A When Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to his disciples and said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised. . . . For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:4-5, 8). The book of Acts goes on to explain that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and receiving his power came as the disciples devoted themselves to prayer. In prayer the disciples turned a key in the gates of heaven, and the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. The Spirit empowered Jesus’ followers with the resources of divine power and transformation, turning them from a bunch of cowards into fearless witnesses to the resurrection of the Lord. What the church needs today is not so much “knowing how to do evangelism” as being on our knees in prayer for the power and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Praying is the means through which we partner with the Holy Spirit in the work of outreach and witnessing.

Dr. John DeVries writes, “Prayer is also the key that unlocks the gates of Satan’s resistance to the spread of the gospel,” reminding us of the biblical truth that a spiritual warfare is being engaged. The apostle Paul empowers the church with this strong admonition: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5). What are these divine weapons? The Holy Scriptures and prayer!

I hear an old gospel song— “It's me, it's me, it's me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

 —Victor Ko is a church planter with mosaicHouse in Edmonton, Alberta.

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Comments

I always enjoy the section of the Banner entitled “Frequently Asked Questions.”  It often addresses situations that our members frequently confront in daily life.  It’s interesting to see how the so-called experts reflect on and respond to a particular concern.  I was a little surprised by Victor Ko’s response to the question from a respondent feeling inadequate and timid in doing outreach.  It seems that Ko’s response is only a portion of a responsible answer.  But with many in our denomination embracing “third wave” theology, this kind of answer could be expected.  While in the past, it would seem likely that some concrete suggestions might be made to this person.  Or maybe expressing the idea that simply to genuinely love and care for others will go a long way toward the evangelism that draws others into the warmth of our (and Christ’s) loving embrace.  Not all people have an outgoing personality by which they can easily talk to people about personal matters (such as faith).  Different approaches work for different people.

Third wave theology tends to take away action and responsibility from individual Christians and relegates our frustrations or disappointments to an alter reality where spiritual warfare takes place and through prayer and the Holy Spirit those battles are fought and won.  And so according to the Ko’s response, we don’t need to know, so much, how to do evangelism as to being on our knees praying for power and the Holy Spirit.  And somehow when the battles in our lives are won up there (in this alter reality) we will then be able to be effective in our witness down here.  And so through the Bible and prayer we can tackle the witnessing frustration as well as nearly all other problems.  The answer that Victor Ko gave for this timid witness is likely the answer he might give for any frustration that a Christian faces.  It's kind of generic.  Such a response as was given may sound nice and use a lot of Scripture but is lacking in practical and reasoned substance.  That’s also the problem with much of third wave theology.

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