Getting Serious about Outreach: The Recovery of Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism

Overview

This book tells how the contemporary church can reclaim its ancient witness through hands-on ministries with the unchurched.

When it comes to transforming people's lives and leading them into active Christian discipleship, why does there seem to be such a difference between the church we read about in the New Testament and our own churches today? What was it about those earliest Christians that empowered them to spread the gospel with such startling results? One core reason, ...

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Overview

This book tells how the contemporary church can reclaim its ancient witness through hands-on ministries with the unchurched.

When it comes to transforming people's lives and leading them into active Christian discipleship, why does there seem to be such a difference between the church we read about in the New Testament and our own churches today? What was it about those earliest Christians that empowered them to spread the gospel with such startling results? One core reason, says George G. Hunter III, is that they reached out into the communities in which they lived. Instead of building fortress churches and inviting others to come join them inside the walls, the earliest Christians spread out, engaging in hands-on ministries to meet the needs of people where they were. The churches today that have reclaimed this apostolic ministry are the ones that do not rely on worship, or even preaching, to woo the unchurched into visiting them. Rather, they use outreach ministries -- everything from recovery groups to English-as-a-second-language classes -- to reach those most in need of the healing word of the gospel.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687074419
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Series: Training and Equipping the Team Series
  • Edition description: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

George G. Hunter III is Distinguished Professor and Emeritus of Asbury Theological Seminary’s School of World Mission and Evangelism, where he served as Dean for 18 years and Distinguished Professor for 10 years. He served as the founding dean of Asbury's E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism. A sought-after speaker and workshop leader, he is one of the country's foremost experts on evangelism and church growth. He has written over a dozen books, including How To Reach Secular People, Church for the Unchurched, The Celtic Way of Evangelism, Leading and Managing a Growing Church, Radical Outreach: Recovering Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism, Christian, Evangelical and . . . Democrat?, The Apostolic Congregation: Church Growth Reconceived for a New Generation, and The Recovery of a Contagious Methodist Movement—all published by Abingdon Press.
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Table of Contents

Foreword 9
Preface 13
Ch. 1 Western Christianity's "Corinthian" Future 21
An Urban Society, with Many Cultures 22
A Dysfunctional Church, with a Mission 24
Paul's Prescription for Church Renewal 26
Lessons from the Snook, Texas, Foxhunting Club 28
The Great Commission Manual 31
Ch. 2 A Short History of "Apostolic Ministry" 41
How Church People Misperceive Lost People 43
Jesus' Ministry with "Impossible" People 45
Mission of the Apostles to Impossible People and Peoples 49
The Church's (Reluctant) Mission to Rural Peoples 57
The Church's (Reluctant) Mission to "Barbarian" Peoples 59
Three Cases - Two Global, One Local 61
Ch. 3 Apostolic Ministry Through "Cultural Relevance" 67
The Unconscious Pathology of Old East Side Church 68
Six Indicators That Old East Side Is in "Deep Weeds" 69
Old East Side's Losing Game Plan 71
Recovering a More "Apostolic Way" of "Doing Church" 74
Insights for an "Indigenous Strategy" 77
Culture Communicates 79
Form and Meaning 82
The Periodic Loss and Recovery of Indigenous Christianity 84
Top Ten Insights Supporting Culturally Relevant Christianity 90
FECs (Frequently Expressed Challenges) 94
Ch. 4 Apostolic Ministry Through an Empowered Laity 97
The Early Christian Lay Movement 99
The Priesthood of All Priests 100
The "Celtic" Exception 103
The Priesthood of All Believers - Proposed 104
Richard Baxter As Newton and Darwin for Traditional Protestants 105
The Priesthood of All Believers - Implemented! 107
The Emerging Revolution in Lay Ministries 109
On Either Side of the Mainline (Old line, Sideline) Denominations 112
The Indispensable Role of Small Groups 115
Ch. 5 Recovery Ministries As a Prototype for Outreach Ministries 119
Addiction, As (Mis)understood, in Historical Perspective 123
The Multiple (Known) Causes of Addiction 125
Addiction and Recovery in Informed Perspective 130
The Story, the Steps, and the Serenity Prayer 132
Addiction and Recovery in Theological Perspective 137
Opportunities in Recovery Ministries 141
The "Underground Awakening" 144
Ch. 6 First Baptist Church, Leesburg, As a Church for Everyone 149
To "All the People We Can Find That No Other Church Seems to Want" 150
The "Roesel Revolution" 151
"Proactive Outreach" Begins, and Then Multiplies 153
"Ministry Village" 156
Insights from the Women's Care Center 160
First Baptist Church's Emerging Future 165
"Positioning" First Baptist Church, Leesburg, Within an Apostolic Perspective 166
Critique for an Even Greater Mission 168
Ch. 7 Witness Through Ministry, Hospitality, and Conversation 174
The First Disciples of Jesus (John 1:35-42) 176
The "Chain" of Experiences, and the Sources of the "Links" 181
Jesus and the Woman of Samaria (John 4) 183
Five Questions for a Congregation Considering Radical Outreach 186
Five Approaches to Reaching People Like the Samaritan Woman 188
Communicating in Many Ways, Especially Through Conversation 190
Postscript: Old East Side's Enormous Challenge: The "Cultural Enclave" 195
Notes 208
Index 222
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