Friday, April 27, 2007

NNCC - Vince Antonucci - Pre-Launch Session

Session Seven Vince Antonucci
Has a book Coming out in Feb called,
“I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”

Someone’s got to say it:
There are lots of churches being started and lots becoming mega-churches, but . . .
Of 280 million in USA:
-40% say they went to church last week.
-49% in 1991.
-Research indicates that about ½ as many actually go as say they do.
-“In the past 15 years the church in America has spent 500 Billion dollars on domestic ministry and for it has shown NO appreciable growth.” (H.B. London, Pastor’s Briefing, February 22, 1999).

Forefront Church - 70% were previously unchurched

How do you create Evangelistic DNA in your church?
  1. It starts with having evangelistic DNA in you.
  2. It’s powerful to have evangelistic metaphors and stories.
  • Our church is like a steak restaurant for PETA activists: a church for people who do not like church.
  • I’m not asking if you want to be on this team, I am asking if you want to sacrifice for people outside this church. It is like the day after 911. If asked to join a team to pull people of the rubble no one would say what is in it for me. Our purpose for existing is to find people dying who still have the hope of life left in them.
  • He tells the story of losing one of his kids at a water park and the tremendous anxiety and fear of losing his child. After a long while he found his son and he felt like he knew what it must be like to be God searching for his lost children.
3. You need to be willing to make the sacrifices it takes.

Practical Principles to make Sunday Mornings truly evangelistic
  1. Unfolding people’s arms – They don’t like church and are saying prove it.
  2. Wear their shoes
  3. Treat your visitors at church like you would treat visitors at your home,
  4. Check your influences – we all should be getting our main influence from God but there are a lot of things we do that don’t come from the Bible. They are influenced in method by MTV, Letterman, Chuck E Cheeses, Starbucks, SNL, Disney, etc.
  5. Use their Culture – they use secular music to open and close the service, they use series on movies etc. They sometimes use series on books but might call them Elijah true Hollywood stories.
  6. Don’t use your culture – your assumptions will create your crowd. The way you speak will ultimately determine who will stay and who will leave. What do the people need to know to understand what you are saying. Ex supporting something with Ephesians 4:12 they are saying what is and Ephesian? Just change it to the bible says in Eph 4:12. Now they know that it is something in the Bible.
    1. - Instead of saying “sometimes when you pray . . . you might say if you pray, you know sometimes . . . by saying it this way the person who does not pray says he knows I am here.
    2. - Instead of saying Paul said you might explain who Paul is or say a guy in the bible named Paul said.
  7. Authenticity
  8. The Joe Dimagio principle – when he got walked he would run to first base. He always ran out to the field and back to the dugout. He said he did this because some kid is watching me to see how to play baseball and I do that for that kid who is watching. They want to model.
A walk though a new person’s experience at forfront
  • They have lots of signs to get you excited about the church before you get there. Like Disney or south of the border.
  • They don’t have greeters, because they assume that people aren’t wanting to meet someone when they first walk into a place. (There are people standing around to help and clear info table with people to help there)
  • They always play secular music coming in and going out.
  • They have someone handing out programs which contain 6 bible studies for the week.
  • Funny pre-service slides
  • Call to service “Lets Get It Started" by the black eyed peas.
  • They have a lean band without tons of band members or singers. No one does that except the church.
  • They try not to look too weird. The cross and the gospel are weird enough for unchurched, they don’t try to be too weird in everything else.
  • They don’t start with worship. He says it would be like a visitor coming to eat and you open the door and ask them to pray rather than waiting till you sit down to eat.
  • They do welcome, then do something creative to uncross the arms to get people to open up. He said they will do anything but sin to uncross people’s arms.
  • Before they move into worship, they explain what they are doing. They don’t explain the videos and dramas because those are not weird to them.
  • They don’t do an invitation. It is not Biblical. They sometimes invite people to come up after to talk to somebody if they want.
The Final Questions:
Are you willing to sacrifice to be a part of a church that reaches lost people?

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