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Archive for the ‘The Church’ Category

Day 85: Science of Persuasion

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 18, 2016


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

I was watching a YouTube video on the Science of Persuasion recently, and as I watched them define 6 shortcuts in being persuasive, I saw Jesus. These techniques were already used by Jesus during his ministry to influence others (specifically, in showing his followers how it’s done).

Watch the video below and then finish reading.

Science of Persuasion

The first shortcut to influencing others is Reciprocity. This means that people are more willing to give back that which they also receive.

How Jesus influences through Reciprocity

Jesus told us that there was no greater love than one shows when they lay their life down for another. He demonstrated this by dying on a cross for the sins of mankind.

Though we were yet still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Since he showed us grace in this way, we are compelled to do the same for others.

The second principle is Scarcity People want more of what they can’t have.

How Jesus influenced through Scarcity

People do not have a lot of grace toward people that violate their particular rules. Jesus has rules, but has greater mercy. A woman caught in the act of adultery was brought to him because the law said she must die (so should the guy, but where was he?)

Jesus ignored them for a bit then asked, “You without sin cast the first stone”.

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

She said, “No on, Lord”

And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you’ go, and from now on sin no more” – John 8:10-11

The third principle is Authority.  People will follow the lead of credible and knowledgeable experts.

How Jesus influences through Authority

Jesus wowed the teachers of the law at 12 years of age. People marveled everywhere asking, “where did this man get so much wIslam and authority”.

With Authority, he commanded demons to flee, drove out money changers in the temple and preached the message of repentance.

The fourth principle is Consistency This is asking for small initial commitments that can be made.

How Jesus influences through Consistency

Jesus picked his disciples with one simple statement – “Follow me”

Jesus preached a simple message, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand”.

Jesus didn’t ask more than one thing from pexpel. It may have been a challenging thing, but it was always a call to a commitment to God and was doable. Salvation begins with a small request of commitment, “believe”.

The fifth principle is Liking. Simple put, people are more influenced by people they like.

How Jesus influences through Liking

The video shows three factors to people liking us:

  1. People who are similar – Jesus, who is God, became a man to dwell among us.
  2. People that give compliments – when someone responded in faith, Jesus would always compliment. Sure he also corrected those that lacked faith, but never missed an opportunity to encourage.
  3. People that cooperate – This is why Jesus didn’t get along with the leaders. He didn’t cooperate with their brand of religion. But when it came to people who brought people to Jesus to be blessed or healed, he never turned them away.

The Sixth principle is Consensus. People will look to the actions of others   To determine their own.

How Jesus influences through Consensus

As mentioned, Jesus exemplified the life we should lead, so all we need to do is emulate him.

However, he also takes this concept in reverse when dealing with others. He says,

Do for other that which you want them to do for you. – Matthew 7:12

Later, when the Church comes into fuller being, Paul talks of the followers of Christ as a “body”, working together for the common good. Unity is critical for all followers of Christ.

If Jesus influences us, we cannot be a follower in a vacuum. We must continue in the ways he showed us with others so that we can also influence in the way he did.

 

Posted in Daily Devotion - Scripture Nuggets, Jesus, The Church, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Day 39: What’s in a Church Service Name

Posted by undergroundchurch on March 19, 2011


Perusing the local Saturday paper, I noticed the assortment of church service titles.

Several church groups have multiple gathering times and each of them have  a name. There are services called:

  • Traditional Worship Service
  • Contemporary Service
  • Informal Worship Service
  • Sunday Morning Worship
  • Sanctuary Service
  • Fellowship Center Service
  • Praise Worship Service
  • Church Service
  • Sunday Adult Coffee Conversations
  • Church School
  • Sunday School
  • Traditional Sunday School
  • Mass
  • Holy Day
  • Liturgy

I’m sure I’m missing something, but its no wonder the world is so confused about the church, we don’t even know what to call our meetings.

What is the difference between “informal” and “contemporary” or “Sunday School”, “Church School”, “Traditional Sunday School” and “Sunday Adult Coffee Conversations”?

How many people actually “serve” at the “service” times?  How much time is spent on the worshiping in the meeting called “Worship Service” versus the time preaching?  Do only “Praise Worship Services” have praise and worship?

Wouldn’t a more accurate title be for many of out gatherings be, “Sit and listen while I talk and sing to you”.

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t it seem like we are doing a lot of “people pleasing”?  I mean, we try to fashion the look and feel of our gatherings to pack seats with people so particular about the church they “attend” that we feel we need to draw a distinction between “contemporary” and “informal”.

Paul rebuked the church in Corinth because they did more harm than good when they came together (1 Corinthians 11:17).  They were missing the whole point and I think that point is still being missed today in many of our gatherings.

  • There were divisions among them… We do that with through our different “formats (vs 18)
  • People thought their way got God’s approval more than another’s… We think our format is best (vs 19)
  • They were being selfish and considering their own needs above the needs of the other people there… how many people serve in a service vs. those that receive? I’ve even seen saved seats. (vs 20,21)
  • Do we all use our gifts in our “service” times?   The stage provides a dividing line between the servers and the served. (Chapter 12)
  • Do we all come with a heart of ministry ready to share with and minister to one another (14:26)
  • Actually, as you go through 1 Corinthians, about the only thing we do well is keeping our services in order.

I don’t completely mean to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but I do hope we begin rethinking the way we “do” church and begin “being” the church.

That’s all.

Posted in Daily Devotion - Scripture Nuggets, The Church | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

How to Defend the Gospel

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 4, 2010


NOTE: This article contains strategies for believers and is not intended for those of you that do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ because it contains strategic information (trade secrets).  If  you wish to establish a relationship with Jesus prior to reading this article, shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to talk with you. Then you can read the article and get more out of it.

Call me a pacifist, if you will, but I do believe that there is a right and a wrong way in which believers defend the good news (a.k.a. the Gospel) of Jesus Christ and that for the most part, we get it wrong.

Do our methods hinder the message?

Personally, I am appalled at the way the world treats the God who came and died in their place, took on their guilt and shame, and made a way back to himself.  I mean, what did Jesus ever do to deserve the bad rap He gets from unbelievers?

The answer to that question may lie more with His followers more than in His own life.  While it is true that Jesus saidthe world would hate us because of him, we aren’t making that attitude any better with our public pulpit indiscretions, our internal disputes played out on the world’s stage where we are mocked, our church splits, and even how poorly we drive when we cut off another driver while we flash our “I love Jesus” bumper sticker.

We can learn from Paul in Philippians 1:7 that there are three basic ways to reflect the good news: in chains, defending and confirming.   We spend a lot of time on the second, and not much on the other two.

In Chains or In Battle

What does it mean to be in chains for the Gospel?  And more importantly, what does that look  like in America?

Paul represented this aspect of his testimony by being shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned and stoned all of which only reflected Jesus attitude on the Cross when he forgave his killers while they were killing him.  This is a lost art with the Christian world in America.  There is a proverb that reads, “in doing so (being nice), you will heap burning coals upon their head”.  Our tactic tends to display defensive aggression and not much offensive conversion.

We followers of Jesus need to follow Jesus.  We need to understand that the world is lost and they don’t need to Adopt godly standards, they Need God.

I was reading an article about an artist showing his “art” where he depicted Jesus in, shall we say, non-biblical ways.  Now here is the question for all the believers reading this article; how should followers of Jesus respond?

A) We can respond the way the Christians are reported on in the article and protest.  What does this do though to the witness for Jesus? If we get them to take it down, then what? Do people come to Christ because the art is not longer there?

B) We use the opportunity to show people what Jesus was really like. Oh, you might need to turn the other cheek, but in so doing, you may make them look away long enough to show them a better way.

What is the intent of our defense?

I guess it comes down to this.  We can make noise and protest the world’s…. uh, worldliness. In so doing, we might even change the look of things… less strip clubs, less bars, less cheesy art exhibits, but are people coming to Christ, or have we just won moral victory that makes us feel better, but really does nothing for the advancement of the Gospel?

I’m not saying that we should just let the world do their thing and build strip clubs on every corner.  We have an American right to live in a place that reflects morals (Constitutionally backed), but the dilemma we face is that moral legislation, moral victories, moral indignation, does not bring people to Christ.  Sometimes, we need to put on the chains for Christ in order to set people free. Through our chains, we confirm Jesus’ good news.

What does our testimony reflect?

Is our testimony to the world reflecting Christ or leaving a bitter taste that becomes a stumbling block to the message?When they think about the church of Jesus, what image comes to their mind?  Is it the image of a group of zealots that want to change their laws and restrict their freedoms?  Is it a group of holier-than-thou people that live paradoxical lives?  Is it a church that burns books from other religions, protests funerals of soldiers or removes evolution from text books in public schools?

Or… should it be the image of a church that first and foremost ministers to widows and orphans and feeds the hungry, helps the needy?  Is it an image of a church that has hope for eternity and knows where they are going and knows how to show them the way?  Is it an image of a church that spends less money on their buildings, parking lots, sound systems and salaries than they do on their outreach to communities through helping others and ministering Christ to a lost and dying people?

The Calling

As a church, we are called to take on the image of Christ and to reflect Christ to each other and to the world.  When we defend the good news He brought us through the cross, does our defense become an offense to those that need to know the news?

A lost world is lost and trying to find their way in darkness.  By default, they are going to do things that repulse believers. It is the nature of the world.

We carry the light of Jesus Christ and have to use that light to bring people to Christ FIRST. If we change the heart, we change the world.

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