QUESTIONS & ANSWERS



In regards to "setting aside our agenda," all we mean by that is that evangelism must be our ultimate motive, not our ulterior motive. When we love and serve people based on whether or not they respond positively to the gospel, then evangelism is an ulterior motive. When we love and serve others regardless of whether or not they respond positively to the gospel, then evangelism is an ultimate motive. The heart of the gospel is love. Most people, neighbors, co-workers, schools, etc. need to experience the gospel through our acts of love, kindness, generosity, serving, etc. before they'll ever embrace the verbalized gospel. I like the saying, "Our goal is to fulfill the great commission in the spirit of the great commandment."

"Good Deeds lead to Good Will. Good Will leads to Good News." Eric Swanson, co-author of The Externally Focused Church

Our motivation, wherever we go to serve and build relationships, must be love. If we are perceived by the schools that our motivation for being there is to evangelize, then they won't want anything to do with us. If we are perceived that our motivation for being there is to love and serve, then they won't mind if we share our faith, because it will happen in the context of trusting relationships built over time.

God uses our seemingly insignificant, unspiritual acts of service to advance His Kingdom, but only when it is our greatest desire that those we're serving come to know Christ. Otherwise, it's merely a social gospel. When a passionate evangelical embraces serving and social action, watch out! That becomes a powerful combination for winning hearts, schools, and communities with the gospel.

 

Curious as to WHY PUBLIC SCHOOLS?  Contact heidih@perimeter.org to obtain a copy of the valuable resource "Going Public".  Learn the WHY behind Drue and Laura Warner's choice.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN "TO MAKE A KINGDOM DIFFERENCE?"

Believers can make a significant Kingdom difference wherever we are (i.e. public schools, neighborhoods, workplace, etc.), and it all starts by serving people and developing relationships. Making a Kingdom difference is not just focusing on spiritual needs, but also on physical and emotional needs. Spiritual transformation occurs when people begin loving the Lord with all their heart, soul mind and strength. Societal transformation occurs when people love their neighbor as themselves.

When we help a child learn to read, we're making a Kingdom difference. When we help raise graduation rates, we're making a Kingdom difference. When we encourage a child who doesn't think they have any value, we're making a Kingdom difference. And certainly, when a student or a teacher begins to comprehend and embrace the love of Christ, we're making a Kingdom difference.

Making a Kingdom difference is allowing God to work through us to bring the characteristics of the Kingdom of God (i.e. love, humility, service, compassion, justice, peace, etc.) to the community. Making a Kingdom difference happens only when we treat people, not as "projects" but with value, love, and respect. Evangelism without love feels manipulative and methodical, but evangelism in the context of a true heart of love for others attracts people to the gospel. We'll know the difference by how willing we are to love and continue investing ourselves in people who don't accept the gospel. If our tendency is to "move on" and become impatient with people because they won't listen to or accept the gospel, then it's quite possible we're not loving that person the way Jesus would. The more we invest ourselves in loving people without condition, the more people we'll see God bring into His Kingdom, through us.


HOW CAN I BE MYSELF WITHOUT FEELING PRESSURE OR GUILT REGARDING MY EVANGELISM EFFORTS (OR LACK THEREOF)?

Often times, Christians feel a great deal of pressure to "share our faith" with non-Christians, and that pressure makes it difficult for us to "be ourselves" and just be a friend to whomever it is that God sends our way. Well, the pressure is off! Missional living where we live, work & play places the priority on developing friendships by loving and serving others and praying along the way for those same people with the hope that eventually (it could be 6 months or 3-5 years) we would be able to verbalize the gospel. I heard someone say that "often the best way to share the gospel is to share our story, and the best time to share our story is when we're asked." Our goal is to live our lives in such a way that those around us would become curious as to the reason for our hope and that there would be such a high level of trust that others wouldn't be afraid to ask.

When we love, serve, invest in developing friendships, and pray for those that we're investing in, God opens the doors to new relationships and spiritual conversations that we would, otherwise, never be able to bring about any other way.


HOW CAN I STAY MOTIVATED TO SERVE AND LOVE OTHERS?

We must remember that the foundation for all of our personal ministry efforts MUST be the gospel. I recently heard someone describe the gospel as "God willingly forgiving all of our sins when we repent of our sins, ask for God's forgiveness, surrender our will, and confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior." While I believe that certainly is part of the gospel, I don't think that's the full gospel. The full gospel is to know that, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly, of whom were also His enemies. Jesus Christ came across enemy lines to rescue us (His enemies), to give us new life and perfect righteousness, and that God the Father has adopted us out of His abundant, unconditional love, into His family." See Romans 5:8-11, Ephesians 1:4-5

The gospel tells us that Jesus pursued us with His love, even while we were running away from Him, and showed us the kind of love we'd always wished we'd have but never thought was possible, unconditional, never-ending, and full of passion. We are friends of God and children of the King, not because of anything we have or have not done, but by the work of Christ on our behalf. That's the gospel. It's out of the joy, amazement, and love that we serve.

Our ministry efforts must be motivated out of love not duty, and the only way for that to happen is to know, experience, and remember the kind of love that Jesus Christ has first shown to us.

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Top 5 Recommended Books (relating to Live, Work & Play ministry)
  • Making Room for Life - Randy Frazee

    This is an easy, fun book to read, with great ideas about how to slow down the speed of life, to have dinner with your family on a regular basis, and how to make a Kingdom difference in your neighborhood while developing new friendships along the way.

  • Field Guide to Neighborhood Outreach - Group Publishing

    This book tells the story of Drue & Laura Warner?s neighborhood ministry in Sugar Hill, GA. Drue is Perimeter's Director of Live, Work & Play Ministries. This book also gives excellent, practical ways to build relationships with your neighbors (i.e. Neighborhood Food Drive, Ultimate Tasting Party, Recipe Rally, NASCAR Race Day, etc.).

  • The Jesus of Suburbia - Mike Erre

    This is a highly recommended book that re-casts focus on what it really means to be a Christian, even in middle class suburbia. Great for small group discussions.

  • Stop Witnessing... and Start Loving - Paul Borthwick

    Effective mission most often happens in the context of love. Paul Borthwick offers a refreshing perspective on missional living that helps free us up from guilt and fear when it comes to sharing our faith. offers 9 great "Heart Builders" to help rekindle and refresh our passion for Christ.

  • Just Walk Across the Room - Bill Hybels

    What a great book with practical ideas and encouragement for how to relate the gospel to people in our daily lives. The pressure's off! Bill tells of how it took seven years of driveway conversations before his neighbor came to know Christ. Bill gives great real life examples of how to share our faith stories in simple, but effective ways, and how to mix it up with lost people in a natural way that allows us to be ourselves and bear fruit for the Kingdom.

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Informational Documents that may be of interest are available by contacting heidih@perimeter.org 

  • LWP 21 Daily Devotionals
  • LWP Recommended Books and Resources
  • 150 Things To Do To Build Relationships with Neighbors
  • Going Public - Why We Chose Public School For Our Kids
  • Understanding the Channels of Cultural Influence
  • Public Schools - Half Hour Hero Info Flyer
  • Becoming Equipped for LWP Ministry
  • Serving Public Schools - Info Packet
  • My Visit to a Mormon Church
  • Personal Ministry Principles

Additional Resources:

  • About My Father's Business - Regi Campbell
  • The Last Dropout - Bill Milliken
  • Finding Common Ground - Tim Downs
  • They Like Jesus But Not The Church - Dan Kimball
  • If Jesus Were Mayor - Bob Moffitt
  • Organic Church - Neil Cole

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