17 Oct Becoming A Priest To Those Who Don’t Go To Church
Many of you are already in relationship with or have heard of Johannes Amritzer from Stockholm, Sweden (http://www.missionsos.org). Early this year I heard Johannes give a great teaching on “Becoming A Priest To Those Who Don’t Go To Church.” Like me, I’m sure you’ll find something to apply.
Johannes focused first on Abraham in Genesis 23:3-6 and how he had lived among the Hittites in such a way that they had great respect and regard for him – seeing him as a “Prince of God!”
Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said, “I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.” The Hittites replied to Abraham, “Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.” (Heb. = elohyim nasi = “a prince of God”)
– It is not enough to have respect and influence inside of the Church; we must have the same influence outside of the Church!
– Abraham walked in the land that he “would possess” as though he “already possessed it!” We must move through the land that God has promised to give us as though He has already given it and we fully possess it! It is ours!
Johannes then considered the Apostle Paul’s ministry in Athens recorded in Acts 17 and shared seven principles for “Becoming a Church Planting Priest in the City.”
1) Paul had a disciplined spirit. v16
– Paul could move throughout the pagan city without it affecting his testimony. There was no compromise within him.
– He wasn’t taken in by the city’s carnal attractions, nor did he remain aloof like some “holier than thou” visitor. Instead, Paul was able to observe the needs of the city without it exciting his unrighteous or self-righteous flesh.
– If you do not have a disciplined spirit you’re not ready to move forward in church planting.
2) Paul knew how to build relationships with all kinds of people. v17
– He gave value to all people, both in the synagogue and in the marketplace.
3) They gave Paul their platform. v18-19
– Once you are regarded in their eyes, they will open the door for you to share.
4) He connected with their culture. v22-23
– He did not attack them. His statement “You are very religious” may have been viewed as a complement by the Athenians – “Thank you, Paul!”
5. He could quote their authorities. v28
– He related to them by touching something that was important to them!
6) He called the people to repentance. v30-31
– The rest is in vain if we never present the Gospel.
7. He discipled those who responded. v34
– The focus is always on disciples, not simply decisions.