Sunday, January 23, 2022

LOYAL SHEPHERDS WHO WILL LEAD YOU WITH KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL

 

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.

Hello Friends:

     Last week we capped off Pastor Aubrey Maye’s Pentecostal Witnessing book, Chapter 4. We discussed the mental attitudes we must have to be effective soulwinners. Also, the benefits of having a plan to share Jesus with people.
     This week I was a little stymied in direction. I prayed and I’m sharing a post about “Loyal Shepherds Who Will Lead You With Knowledge And Skill”, and I’m trusting God’s Holy Spirit to use it. It’s based on Jeremiah exhorting the scattered Israelites to return to God. Jeremiah then made a declaration directly from God in Chapter 3:15, where God said, “I will give you shepherds who are loyal to me, and they will lead you with knowledge and skill.”
     First, what leads to sheep being scattered? It’s likely due to shepherds that don’t really care about the sheep, and/or ones that don’t attain the knowledge and skill needed to lead and guide them effectively and safely. Think of the times that we had knowledgeable and skillful bosses. They knew each employee and the strengths each possessed to draw them in to move collectively toward getting the job done. 
     Then compare it to a boss that might have been promoted but doesn’t really have the best interests of the team or the goal in mind. That boss wants to exert authority and they usually make decisions to show that he or she is as my wife sometimes says, “are large and in in charge.” The employees under them usually are unsettled and in many cases scatter toward other jobs.
     Most people, me included, usually gravitate toward the boss that really cares, and has a great deal of knowledge and skill in guiding the needed processes toward getting the job done. The boss doesn’t even need to be the most personable person on the planet if they know what they’re doing and can encourage and draw in their employees to follow the path toward the goal.
     Why is it in churches that we don’t require, or at the least encourage those same types of qualities? We think that if a person has a somewhat dynamic personality with a degree of charisma, that he is a good fit to be the leader of a church.
     Think of the time of Saul and David. Saul was chosen to be the Israelite king. He was what today we might call “a man’s man”. The problem was that he was very insecure, had very poor judgement, was full of jealousy and rage, and he proved to be a very poor leader.
     Then comes David. He was the runt of his family. Everyone thought that Samuel would have chosen his bigger, more experienced brothers to be the next Israelite king in place of Saul. David was just a shepherd boy. Oh, but what they didn’t figure out was that this little shepherd boy was very knowledgeable and skillful in leading and guiding his flock, and in slaying imposing predators. He didn’t meet the “eye test”, but he certainly met the loyalty, knowledge, and skill test needed to be a good king of Israel.
     I’m not posting this to just dog the church as it exists. I understand the importance of loving and supporting the church body and its leaders. But as a layman and a longtime Christian, I am posing these questions with concerns that I think church leaders should consider moving forward.
     What is the motivation of someone wanting to be the shepherd of a group of people? Following are what I think are prerequisites of choosing shepherds of churches. They should:
  1. Be loyal to God and His plan on earth. What is His plan? Jesus said in Luke 19:10, “I came to seek and save the lost.”
  2. Embrace knowledge and skill to effectively lead the flock toward God’s goals as outlined in the Bible.
  3. Protect the flock from danger.
  4. Love the flock deeply with great passion and energy and go after sheep that are scattered. 
  5. As the shepherd gets to know the traits of each sheep and lamb to keep them safe and in the fold, the Christian shepherd should also get to intimately know his sheep, to really know “what makes them tick”. In that way the sheep are naturally drawn toward him because they sense his great care for them. 
     One of my main reasons for sharing this post is because I know how important it is when we evangelize people in desperate need of Jesus, that we can direct them to safe havens with leaders that are very “loyal” to God, and they lead with great “knowledge and skill”.

See you next time,
Arlen

Friday, January 14, 2022

THE SOULWINNER’S MENTAL ATTITUDES AND PLAN! by Pastor Aubrey Maye


 

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.

Hello Friends:
      Last week we discussed Pastor Aubrey Maye’s encouragement that all Holy Spirit filled believers can be soulwinners. He touched on the fact that telling our personal experience in committing to Jesus has a powerful effect on soulwinning, then he gave some personal requirements to become a soulwinner, like sharing our personal experience, the importance of living a consecrated and Holy Spirit filled life, having a dynamic and powerful prayer life, steadily studying and having a deep knowledge of God’s Word, and lastly . . . acquiring a deep compassion for lost souls.
      This week we’ll cap off Chapter 4 by talking about what Pastor Aubrey Maye said are the mental attitudes a soulwinner must possess to share Jesus with people. Then we’ll end the session with discussing the benefits of engaging in some personal training and developing a planned approach to soulwinning.

THE SOULWINNER’S MENTAL ATTITUDES
      Pastor Aubrey Maye emphasized there are certain positive mental attitudes which the Christian who would be a soulwinner must possess.
  1. Be convinced that we should be soulwinners.
    • Before we will ever be consistent and effective witnessing Christians, we must be firmly convinced that we should be soulwinners, and that the Holy Spirit living inside us empowers us be one. Then we can do so with great confidence.
  2. Be convinced of the great need for personal evangelism. 
    • We must become keenly aware of the possibility that there are people who will never be reached with the gospel unless you and I reach them.
    • We must see the real value of a soul. Jesus said in Mark 8:36, “For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life” (or soul).
    • We must see it’s worth the effort for us to win just one soul through personal evangelism.
    • We must be convinced the Church will never be able to fulfill its responsibility to evangelize lost people of this generation unless there is a revival of personal evangelism.
    • We must become interested in encouraging and training others to join us in this challenging work.
  3. Be dependent on the Holy Spirit. 
    • We should always keep in mind in doing personal evangelism that we aren’t presenting "a religion "; we’re presenting a Person—the Lord Jesus Christ. To do this effectively, we must learn to depend heavily upon the Spirit of God. Our ability to reason and to present the facts of salvation will be useless until we depend on and learn to work with the Holy Spirit in our witnessing.
    • We must remember that only the Holy Spirit can bring true conviction of sin and genuine salvation in the heart of a sinner.
    • We must become sensitive to the Spirit’s presence and expect Him to be there when we are dealing with lost souls.
    • We must trust the Holy Spirit to guide and help us lead sinners through the plan of salvation.
THE SOULWINNER'S PERSONAL TRAINING
      Pastor Aubrey Maye wrote that in New Testament times witnessing and personal evangelism seemed to be the normal thing for Spirit-filled Christians to do. This was the example set before them and it was what they had been taught.
      Since most twentieth century, and I will say now twenty-first century Christians have not had this example or teaching, they will need help to get started. There is a need for training.
      Pastor Maye wrote that we need a plan for personal evangelism. He emphasized the benefits of having a plan:
  1. A plan will give us confidence.
    • One of the major problems for the average Christian in talking to others about Christ is fear. This fear can be greatly alleviated by having the confidence of knowing what to say and which Scriptures to use.
    • Remember that most Christians experience some fear when they begin witnessing to the unsaved. You mustn’t allow this initial fear to overcome your determination to become a soulwinner. You can overcome much of this fear by learning well a soulwinning plan.
  2. A plan will enable us to present the gospel systematically.
    • By learning a plan, we’ll be able to explain the way of salvation clearly and simply to the unsaved person. This is very important because most unsaved people don’t know what the Bible teaches about being saved. They may have certain ideas about conversion; but when it comes to what the Bible teaches, most of them don't have a clear understanding.
    • Our goal is to present the simple, Bible plan of salvation in such a way as to bring about the following desired results in the sinner:
      • (1) Genuine conviction of sin.
      • (2) Genuine repentance.
      • (3) Genuine faith in Christ as his or her Savior.
  3. A plan will eliminate blundering and haphazardness. 
    • By having a plan, we will be less likely to antagonize the unsaved person. If the prospect who doesn’t get saved, is left in a good attitude, there’s a good chance that you can deal with him or her again sometime.
    • Careless, haphazard attempts at personal evangelism can close the door to future opportunities. 
  4. A plan will help avoid the following problems: 
    • Learning a plan will immediately eliminate the excuse of not knowing what to say.
    • It will help us to avoid the prospect's unrelated questions and other attempts to get away from the subject of his or her salvation.
      We need to remember that we aren’t the pastor. We’re soulwinners, so it isn’t necessary to answer many of the questions which the unsaved ask. We’re there to present Christ and should stick to the subject.

SOME PRECAUTIONS
      Pastor Maye gave the following precautions when evangelizing. 
  1. Never argue when attempting to win someone to Christ.
    • When the conversation deteriorates to the point of argument, we have lost the opportunity to win the person to Christ.
    • It’s better to change the subject completely than to destroy our future chances of winning the person by hardening him or her against us through an argument.
    • We need to remember that there are many unsaved people who enjoy talking and arguing about religion, so we should try to avoid this.
  2. Don't condemn the person with whom we are dealing.
    • We must trust the Spirit and the Word of God to bring condemnation to the sinner for his or her wrong doings. We aren’t the judge. We’re there to help, not to embitter them by making harsh personal judgments.
    • The Word of God is adequate for this task. The writer of Hebrews 4:12 wrote: "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
  3. Don't criticize what the individual believes.
    • If we disagree with some belief they express, it would be better to simply avoid the issue for the time being. The first need is salvation. Beliefs of the unsaved person can best be dealt with after conversion.
    • If they have serious difficulties, it would probably be wise to direct them to our pastor, even after conversion.
  4. Don't criticize the church mentioned by the person and what the church believes, even though sometimes we’ll be asked our opinion of them.
      Pastor Maye wrote before concluding Chapter 4, it should again be pointed out that although a plan is important, our own spiritual condition is more important.
      Pastor Maye encouraged remembering again the verse from Daniel 12:3: “Those who have insight will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
       And lastly, Pastor Maye reiterated, “You can be a soulwinner!”

See you next time,
Arlen

Saturday, January 8, 2022

YOU CAN BE A SOULWINNER!

 


“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.

Hello Friends:

Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. I’m continuing with the "Pentecostal Witnessing" book, written by Pastor Aubrey Maye, to encourage myself and others to witness to others the wonderful saving power of Jesus Christ. Today’s post is entitled “You Can Be A Soulwinner!” based on Chapter 4. We’re going to just cover the first part of the chapter.

Daniel 12:3 captures well a very important reason to win souls. Daniel wrote, “Those who have insight will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Which of us don’t want to shine like the heavens and stars?

Pastor Maye wrote that being a Christian gives us the privilege and responsibility of being a witness for Christ. He said we can witness simply telling others what Jesus Christ has done in our own lives. Pastor Maye said simply telling others what Jesus has done for us, “is witnessing in its pure and simple form”, and “it has brought thousands of sinners under conviction of sin.”

He wrote, "With the proper preparation and dedication, we can tell an unsaved person not only what Christ has done for us, but also show from the Scripture what Christ has done for them, and how they can receive the same experience that we have.”

Pastor Maye wrote, “Some people have the idea that to be a personal soulwinner, we have to memorize a great amount of Scripture, but it simply isn’t true." We’ll touch on that briefly later in the post.

THE SOULWINNER’S PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS
  1. Personal experience of salvation.
    • We must have a vital personal experience of salvation, a deep knowledge that our sins were forgiven and that we have peace with God.
    • In Luke 10:17-20 Jesus told his disciples that were rejoicing because of what they had accomplished on their missionary journeys, more important was the fact that their names were written in heaven. Jesus was encouraging them that to have a deep personal experience of salvation leading toward heaven is very much more important than anything else in sharing the gospel.
  2. Consecrated and Spirit-filled life.
    • Merriam Webster defines consecrated as, “Dedicated to a sacred purpose.” We can’t be half-hearted in what we believe.
    • Along with consecration to a sacred purpose, we must rely on the Holy Spirit in us to give us the power to share the gospel.
  3. Prayer life.
    • A dynamic and powerful prayer life is essential to have the spiritual strength to witness. Pastor Maye said that private devotional prayer and intercessory prayer for the lost are musts for us to be effective soulwinners.
    • He said, "Prayer is our lifeline to give us victory over sin, and to give us courage to keep at the task of witnessing.” Prayer also renews our compassion for the lost.
  4.  Bible Study. 
    • Pastor Maye said it isn’t necessary to commit to memory a great amount of Scripture to be a soulwinner. But it is definitely necessary to diligently study the Bible “to show ourselves approved” as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:15.
    • Pastor Maye wrote that the Word of God is truly the “sword of the Spirit" for the soulwinner (Ephesians 6:17), and that we must learn to use it skillfully and confidently as our chief weapon to win souls.
  5. Love for souls.
    • Pastor Maye wrote that a genuine love for lost souls is born out of the above-mentioned prayer life, and the study of God’s Word. 
    • He wrote that as we deepen our experience in God, we’ll also deepen our compassion for the unsaved. 
    • When we become more like Jesus, it’s only natural that we’ll look on the needs of the lost like Jesus did in Matthew 9:36-38 where Matthew wrote, “When he saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” ‘
Pastor Maye wrote, “There’s no substitute for real love in the life of a soulwinner.” He went on, “Cold hearts in Christians are prone to make still lips when it comes to witnessing. You can be a soulwinner: But you must first love lost souls.”

Next week we’ll finish Chapter 4, which includes the mental attitudes a soulwinner must have to share Jesus with people. Then we’ll cap off the session with the benefits of engaging in some personal training and developing a planned approach to soulwinning.

See you next time,
Arlen

Saturday, January 1, 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR! PENTECOSTAL WITNESSING, CHAPTER 3: PRESENT-DAY EVANGELISM, by Aubrey Maye

 

"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.

Hello Friends:

Happy New Year from the Soulwinnersr.us website. I started the website almost a year ago, and I pray that God blesses our efforts greatly of soulwinning in the New Year of 2022, and the Holy Spirit inspires us to introduce Jesus to people in new and exciting ways.

I entitled my post today “Happy New Year! Pentecostal Witnessing, Chapter 3: Present-Day Evangelism” by Aubrey Maye. I was going to do another post on “The Current Anti-Evangelism Wave”, but I want to do a more positive post to start the New Year.

By the way, I wrote to Pastor Aubrey Maye, and he called me this week from Chesapeake, Virginia. I was excited, and He was pleased that I was using his book that he wrote so many years ago. Pastor May said he's currently 83 years old, and he wrote the book at the age of 27 about 56 years ago, which is amazing to me. So, let’s start off the New Year with a bang on Chapter 3 of this wonderful little book!

Pastor Maye encouraged us in Chapter 3 not to be too critical of our current evangelism methods, BUT, that there’s great value in being honest with ourselves in taking an objective look at the following points related to evangelism:
  • “What's being done.”
  • “What can be done.”
  • “What MUST BE DONE now and in the future.”.
He said “after an honest look at ourselves, we'll probably do one of three things: 
  1. Attempt to justify our failures in evangelism by blaming the evil conditions of this generation.
  2. Attempt to shift the responsibility of evangelism to others.
  3. Rise to the task with new determination and faith.
He said, “For the sake of this lost generation, may God help us to do number three.”

Pastor Maye said that after the initial exciting wave of evangelism and Holy Spirit power at Pentecost, there were centuries of a waning in the spiritual life of the church, and of open evangelism. He said evangelism leading to conversions was replaced by rituals.

The 15th century finally ushered in the Protestant Reformation, with Martin Luther and others who turned the tide back somewhat to the right direction, but there was still a significant lack of evangelistic efforts. A focus on evangelism didn’t return until the 17th and 18th centuries with the appearance of such men as John Wesley and George Whitefield.

So, after about 1500 years of darkness with little spiritual focus, Wesley and Whitefield had great evangelistic success in England and America with thousands of lost souls saved, just like in the time of Jesus and the Early Church. It was said of Whitefield that he started preaching from a hillside, down into an open field that can still be seen today. It's estimated that he preached across the field to up to 20,000 people at one time . . . with no sound system! Periods of evangelism, however, waxed and waned in the next couple hundred years after Wesley and Whitfield.

Wesley and Whitefield were noted for mass evangelism meetings, preaching to thousands of people at a time. Mass evangelism meetings were called various names through a couple centuries: “Revival meetings”, "camp meetings", and "city-wide crusades”, to name a few, and they were greatly used by God to bring multitudes of men and women to Christ.

But mass evangelism had its limitations. Pastor Maye said that personal soulwinning among Christians was a very important supplement to mass evangelism?

Pastor Maye addressed present ideas about personal evangelism and soulwinning by considering three keys that we talked about two weeks ago:
  1. Soulwinning should not be limited to a few key people like a pastor or an evangelist.
    • The job to evangelize should also fall on every spirit-filled Christian to "proclaim" to others the Good News of salvation.
    • Pastor Maye wrote that pastors are somewhat to blame for their lack of emphasis on personal responsibility, and encouraging and teaching their flock to evangelize.
    • Pastor Maye wrote, "Do we really believe that the responsibility of personal evangelism and the great power of the Holy Spirit ended for good at the end of the era of the Early Church in Acts?"
  2. Soulwinning is not limited to certain places. 
    • Soulwinning doesn’t have to occur in a church building, a meeting hall, or a revival tent. Most unsaved people won't darken the door of a church, or a revival meeting hall or tent.
    • We need to go to them as Jesus and the Early Church did. Pastor Maye wrote, “We have no choice! The Church has been commissioned.” He said, “Many churches, instead of growing, are actually dying because they're shackled by this church building-centered concept of evangelism.”
    • Pastor Maye wrote that mass revival meetings are important, but more important is an emphasis on personal evangelism.
  3. Soulwinning is not limited to certain times. 
    • Evangelism isn’t just a seasonal affair, and we don’t have to wait until the calendar says we’re ready to evangelize.
    • Pastor Maye wrote, “Someone has recently suggested that most of us are so busy today working IN the church that we no longer have time for the work OF the Church . . . which is soulwinning.” Pastor Maye wrote, “We usually find time to do those things that we really want to do.
We must want earnestly to introduce Jesus to people in our communities. When we find ourselves so busy that we have little time for any evangelism and no time to train and organize our churches for soulwinning out among the unsaved, we wonder what's happened since Luke said: "Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved." Acts 2:47.

Pastor Maye discussed the following four points:
  1. “We must stop losing the battle to win lost souls.”
    • The church is making strides in many areas such as Christian education, music, and other areas, but we’re losing the battle to reach the rising, ever-growing population that don't know Jesus.
    • Cult groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are growing faster than the Christian church because of their emphasis on personal outreach. 
    • If any group reaches out to their community it should be a group of spirit-filled believers.
  2. “The church is at a crossroads.”
    • The present-day Church is faced with two alternatives.
      • The First Alternative: We can continue the present pattern depending largely upon the revival meetings and other pulpit evangelism which is becoming less and less effective in reaching the sinner (because the sinners don't come). OR . . .
      • The Second Alternative: We can dedicate ourselves to the training of personal soulwinners, pray for a renewal of Pentecostal power and boldness like in Acts 4:29-31, and take the Church to the lost.
    • In order to accomplish this, there may have to be some changes made in local church programs.
    • Necessary steps will have to be taken to put the primary purpose of the Church in its proper perspective – “that the saving of lost souls comes first!”
  3. "Personal evangelism must be revived!"
    • Personal evangelism is encouraged in a few churches, but most times it isn’t encouraged or emphasized at all. Sometimes the youth only are taught and encouraged to evangelize. While it’s a good thing to teach and encourage youth to witness to the lost, evangelism can’t be delegated solely to the youth. It’s the responsibility of the entire Church body.
  4. "A revival of personal evangelism has tremendous potential." Following are some key points about the tremendous potential of personal evangelism:
    • Personal evangelism can be entered into wholeheartedly because such outreach is overwhelmingly supported by the New Testament.
    • Personal evangelism offers the one possibility for a local congregation to actually present the gospel to every person in the community who will listen.
    • Personal evangelism not only helps reach the lost, but the lives of individual Christians will be greatly changed, and their experiences deepened as they begin to share their experience of knowing Christ personally with the unsaved.
In conclusion, Pastor Maye wrote that revival won’t come easily. It will only come as the direct result of deliberate prayer, hard work, and action on the part of God's people.

See you next time,
Arlen