Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Easy Evangelism

Matthew 9:37–38

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

RayMcDAt First United Methodist Church of Laurel – MD – we talk a lot about evangelism. Evangelism is not a dirty word folks! In the Great Commission – we are called to go and make disciples. Matthew 28:19–20 – 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Making disciples is spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ – and that is evangelism.

Evangelism is – according to one definition I found online – the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness. A Scripture that defines evangelism – that gives us an example of telling the story of the Gospel – can be found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 – Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas,  and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. Continue reading

December 23, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Hinders Our Walk?

 

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

IMG_0301What is it that hinders our daily walk with Jesus? What is it that keeps us from living as a Disciple in all areas of our life? What keeps us from being a complete disciple in Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry and Evangelism?

My children use to play Wii and play target games. I tried to play once did OK but I didn’t know where all the targets were, all the secret things to shoot at, so my score wasn’t that high.  The children beat me because they knew what they were aiming at on each screen. Continue reading

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let the Little Children Come to Jesus!

Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

IMG_0301In a church I once served – dismissing the children for children’s church meant a large number of those in worship got up and left – a number that included the many children and the numerous volunteers and staff that went with them.  In a day when many churches are filled with gray hairs and few if any children – God is calling us to wake-up and look for ways to reach out to younger families and their children/youth.  In reading the Bible – this passage came to mind – and I wondered if there are actually churches today that would turn families and children away as the disciples tried to do in Jesus day.

I would hope that no church would actually turn families and children away – but let’s look at this for a moment from the other side of the coin so to speak. How do churches attract or draw families with young children? I had conversations with three young couples that were attending that former church I mentioned earlier.  I asked them why they chose to come to that church and continued to attend. These are some of the reasons they gave me. First off – all three said they found us on our website. They were looking for a church home and two said they were looking for a church home with young people and a ministry to young people. They liked seeing pictures of our children and youth ministries on the website.  They appreciated that we were staffed for children and youth – with a full-time children’s director and a full-time youth director – and that we had many activities for their children and youth.  In other words – we were reaching out to them before they ever started to attend. Continue reading

June 19, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Easiest Invite Ever

Matthew 9:37–38

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

IMG_0301At First United Methodist Church of Laurel, MD, we talk a lot about evangelism.  Evangelism is not a dirty word folks!  In the Great Commission – we are called to go and make disciples.  Matthew 28:19–20 – 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Making disciples is spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ – and that is evangelism.

Evangelism is – according to one definition I found online – the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.  A Scripture that defines evangelism – that gives us an example of telling the story of the Gospel – can be found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 – Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas,  and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. Continue reading

March 30, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Hinders Our Faith?

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgWhat hinders our daily walk with Jesus? What is it that keeps us from living as a Disciple in all areas of our lives? What keeps us from being a complete disciple in Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry, and Evangelism? What hinders us from bringing people to Christ, building up our faith, and serving Jesus?

Years ago my children got involved in the Wii play station and they liked to play target games. I tried to play them and did OK but I didn’t know where all the targets were, all the secret things to shoot at, so my score wasn’t that high.

Knowing what to aim at or what hinders us from going forward in our walk – as a disciple – is important. God tells us through the author of Hebrews the following (today’s passage in partial context). Continue reading

October 13, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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