How is Crowd Different?

8/4/10

Crowd Evangel is a way to plant seeds. It’s a way of clearly explaining the washing of regeneration and the power of following Christ. We plant seeds. And we do that by imitating the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John and borrowing their wording. The wording we borrow is eternal life and regeneration. Paul treated regeneration as the very beginning of salvation. He treated regeneration as the leading edge of salvation. If salvation were an exacto-knife, regeneration would be the little slanty strip you cut with. And when he spoke of regeneration he was on the same page that John was on. Eternal life is very beautifully offered in John 3:16. But sometimes we think of eternal life as a John thing, and salvation and justification as a Paul thing. But here’s the connection between the two apostles: when explaining how people become saved, that initial experience that begins salvation, that
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leading edge, Paul preferred the John 3:16 concept of life: life or regeneration! In fact, even in Romans he uses an interesting phrase. He writes of the “justification of life,” as if the Father saw the brand new life of Christ in us and in response counted us righteous. And in 2 Timothy he writes that [Jesus] has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. In Ephesians Paul said that God has made us alive together with Christ. On their first missionary journey we know Barnabas and Paul preached eternal life because they told those who rejected their message that they had “judged themselves unworthy of eternal life.” In 1 Timothy Paul says the way he himself was saved by Jesus was a pattern for others, “for those who are going to believe on Him for eternal life.” And in Titus Paul said we are saved “by the washing of regeneration”. So it isn’t just John’s Gospel that focuses on getting saved through regeneration, Paul used the same wording. He treated eternal life as the leading edge of salvation. This is why this matters when we’re planting seeds. It frees us up to rely on the Bible. The Apostle John and the Apostle Paul weren’t just subtly on the same page, they actually used the same words and expression. So we can quote John 3:16
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without feeling like we are being simplistic. We can plant seeds and trust God for the increase. But we can also do the opposite. Jesus didn’t always tell people about eternal life. People are not always ready for that component of the message. Like Jesus, we also can stress the cost of disciple ship component of the Gospel and the repentance component of the Gospel. Again, we can plant seeds and trust God for the increase. In addition: Crowd defers apologetics. With Crowd we have the option of deferring apologetics by sending an email after the fact.  In Crowd Evangel we read from a handbook. While reading the handbook, we don’t communicate with eye contact. It gives the person some space to listen and tends to encourage some very, very positive conversations with people from very diverse points of view. So all we do is focus on reading in a way that helps the person follow along. Crowd also is about careful listening. If the person has any sort of an objection or question, stop reading. Listen. Objections are sometimes due to spiritual warfare. So, it is important to

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listen carefully and let God guide a gracious response that may resolve that objection permanently. If you are wondering how to do that, Crowd uses a technique Greg Koukl has developed. It is a very effective tactic. He uses two simple questions in dealing with objections. He calls them the Columbo questions—after the TV detective who steered the guilty party toward confession with his gentle but clever questioning. When the person has an objection we use the first Columbo question, which is — Could you elaborate on that? Just get them talking and committing themselves about the problem they see with what you’re saying. And then — What are your biggest reasons, or evidence, for believing that is a problem or issue? In other words, as nicely as possible, get the unbeliever to flesh out his or her ideas. Your gentle questioning will keep you in control of the conversation and help unbelievers rethink how solid their objections and assumptions are. Also when using Crowd we don’t apply pressure at the close. This is a way of doing what we learn intuitively when sharing our faith in our personal lives. Applying pressure can be counterproductive and disorienting.

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With Crowd, as is always the case, the engine of evangelism is prayer. Pray for planting seeds and for harvesting fields. Network with other people who are serious about prayer. Crowd Evangel is a way to plant seeds. We don’t fully explain the Gospel narrative but we do something equally biblical, we plant seeds that if the Lord wills will germinate to eternal life.

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