Posts Tagged ‘evangelism’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

If therefore the whole church comes together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that you are mad? (1 Corinthian s 14:23).

When I was about age 18 there was a Christian man where I worked. He asked me to go to church with him in Hicksville, Ohio. So my girlfriend and I got dressed up and went with he and his wife. The worship was the same songs I was used to in the Church of Christ and what she was used to in the Lutheran Church, but perhaps a little more lively, and they had guitars! But soon the minister announced that it was time for prayer. At that point every person in the room, with a loud voice, began speaking with words that sounded like mumble jumble to us. People were shouting and getting really emotional. We both sat really still, but it scared us. We had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into. It did not draw us closer to the Lord, it scared us away. We never returned.

I’m not sure, but it must have been a Pentecostal Church and they were probably praying in their prayer language. As I read the scriptures, it was probably a good thing. But, from the perspective of unbelievers, we thought they were way too radical for us. We never considered this might be God. If there was prophecy present, I can’t recall. All I remember is never wanting to go back to that wild place.

I think we get the idea of what was happening at the Corinthian Church that motivated Paul to make this statement. They were probably getting real serious with the Lord in prayer in a big public meeting and scaring everyone away before the Holy Spirit could grab their hearts. Sometimes we must be real careful with spiritual gifts, because ministry is always about helping others take their next steps toward Him, and not about our own experience. Its what we give away that comes back to us. People will not invite their friends to a place that will embarrass them.

Tell us about your early experience with others praying in tongues.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

This is fair week in DeKalb County. It is the time when people from all over the county congregate to compete, socialize, and get refreshments. As the shepherd, let me encourage you to be missional about this fair. The Great Commission is that we go out into the world to [for the purpose of] make disciples.

When your family goes to the fair this year, and I strongly encourage you to do so, go with the specific intention of seeing who God leads you to. Pray together on your way there, be responsive to the accidental and coincidental encounters. Expect to be led by His Spirit. Don’t be afraid to talk about what the Lord has done for you. People may argue with your doctrine, but they can never argue with your story (your testimony).

Look for connections to be renewed, and even old hostilities to be silenced. Go with a forgiving heart, because we are on a mission. Our mission is not to have fun, but to make disciples on some level. Put God first and watch what God does through you.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I’ve been writing about some of my memories of a 1974 mission trip I went on to Sonora, Mexico. The primary purpose of this trip was to dedicate a church the people of Calvary Temple paid for. It was my first trip outside the United States, and was an eye-opener.

This was a dirt-poor (literally) community in the desert of Sonora state. The people literally lived in cardboard boxes with salvaged tin roofs. They had no source of income. The only previous church in town was a Catholic Church which was no more than a broom-closet sized shack with a clay crucifix, and few small pictures of some Saints, and a bouquet or two of flowers. Not one seat and no priest. In contrast, This new adobe church sat in the middle of town, with a nice metal roof. It was about 20′ x 30′, had no doors or windows (as yet). But it stood out like a mansion compared to the Catholic Church. They decorated by streaming toilet paper from the rafters. One light bulb hung by the wire from the rafters over the pulpit.

When the meeting began, the ladies all sat on one side of the aisle, and the men on the other. There a couple of speakers set up outside to broadcast the sound in all directions. As the meeting progressed, the church was packed with people, until crowds stood outside around the building trying to get a glimpse inside the open windows. It was a great experience to see these people so excited about something new in their community.

When the last time you were excited about something new happening in town? Got any ideas about how you can help stir up some excitement?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I like potatoes. I like them fried, baked, browned, chipped, or mashed. But what if potatoes was the only thing I ever ate? My body would soon become sick because it needs meat, vegetables and fruit, as well. A balanced diet keeps us healthy.

Relate that to your church world. Although you may like one style of church music, perhaps we would be more balanced in our faith if we exposed ourselves to different styles. Diversity is what keeps any church healthy. Some of God’s choicest characters were culturally diverse. Consider Moses, raised by an Israelite nanny (actually his God-fearing mother) but educated in the idolatrous Egyptian palace as royalty. Also consider Peter, who was so prejudiced he thought God only used Jews, until God straightened him out saying, “If God says something is acceptable, don’t say it isn’t” (Acts 10:15 NLT).

Paul said, “I try to find common ground with everyone…that I might bring them to Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:22). Apply that to your life today.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

People wait all year long for the county fair. Then, when it finally gets here, it rains all week! Kids that want to socialize, play the games and ride the rides either stay home or get soaked. The horse and pony competitions get stuck in the mud. What possible plan could God have for all this rain just as harvest season opens?

Perhaps the rain will drive people into the Industrial Tent where they will pass by the ‘Free Prayer’ booth and God will deal with their hearts. One person walked past and then stopped, looking back at the booth. “Can we pray with you about something?” asked the attendant. “No,” he replied as he walked on, “but I’ll be back.” We can only wonder what was going on in his mind at that point.

Another guy announced himself as an atheist and proceeded to debunk our idea of answered prayer. But he handed his business card to the attendant. I wonder what he thought the prayer booth attendant was going to do with that card?

Continue to pray this week as we see God’s still small voice speak to people where they are.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Several years ago I went to the hospital to visit a World War II vet who had just had open-heart surgery and was very well medicated. When he saw me he said, “Preacher! Untie me.” They had his hands tied to the sides of the bed because he kept trying to pull his tubes out. He asked, “Why do they do this to me?” I replied, “Probably because you won’t be good.” He leaned back on his pillow and smiled. He knew exactly why they did that to him.

He wanted me to help him break out of there like it was a prison. Because I knew him and his often flashbacks to combat with Japanese soldiers, I just joked with him a bit, and he received it. This man knows I love and respect him, so was open to my words to him, even if they were not what he wanted to hear.

If we want to minister to the tough cases, we have to earn the right to speak into their lives. Then, when the right crisis moment comes, we’re both ready. My assignment for you this week is this: Find someone who is cold to the things of God, and begin to develop a relationship with him/her. Buy them a soda or coffee or candy bar. Give them a compliment (women appreciate compliments on how they look, men like compliments on what they do). Ask them about their hobbies or children. Don’t bring God in until they’re ready. Just earn respect by caring about them. God will do the rest in due time.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Dwight L. Moody told this true story:

“An obscure man preached one Sunday to a few persons in a Methodist chapel in the South of England. A boy of fifteen years of age was in the audience, driven into the chapel by a snowstorm. The man took as his text the words, ‘Look unto me and be ye saved,’ and as he stumbled along as best he could, the light of heaven flashed into that boy’s heart. He went out of the chapel saved, and soon became known as C. H. Spurgeon, the boy-preacher.”

Church history is filled with such accounts of conversion experiences that had humble beginnings. I often say, “Don’t despise humble beginnings.” Spurgeon went on to be one of the greatest evangelists of all time. Expect the Holy Spirit to use you to plant a seed in someone else’s life.

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