Welcome to our November E-Tools Newsletter! This monthly TCC field report also includes helpful outreach resources to encourage and equip you to more faithfully share the Gospel in all your personal relationships and beyond as we witness for Christ in Canada together.
SHARING AND SHINING THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
The Cross Current (TCC) is a local missions ministry that equips by example.
The onsite and offsite training we provide will help leaders train and sustain their entire churches to normalize sharing the Gospel.
It is our prayer that these testimonies from two TCC team leaders will inspire you to share God’s good News of great joy in all of your personal and community relationships this Christmas.
Heralding Christ at the “Lighting of the Lights” | Jeff Mardling
Jeff Mardling serves as Vice President of The Cross Current and Senior Leader with the Street GO Team of Harvest Bible Chapel London. Jeff’s call and passion is to herald the Gospel at every opportunity and to equip average, every day Christ-followers to more faithfully do the work of an evangelist. Jeff and his wife Susan live in Ridgetown, Ontario with their two sons, Cameron and Joel.
This will not only be a testimony, but I trust an encouragement for everyone to take advantage of the Christmas season to witness the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Sorry – I can’t help myself…it’s what I do!)
This past Friday, the Street Gospel Outreach “GO” Team from Harvest Bible Chapel and many others from local churches, met at London’s Victoria Park for the annual “Lighting of the Lights” event where the city flips the switch and lights up at least one hundred trees at the downtown park.
What a thrill to see God swell our team to 30 or so, in an effort to share the Gospel to four to five thousand at the event.
Left: The Street GO Team from Harvest Bible Chapel comes together for caroling and preaching
Many first-time evangelists joined up to distribute 4000+ Gospel tracts, including a dozen 14 year-old girls from the churches youth program. It is such a joy to pass out the tracts and have people say, “Thanks a lot and Merry Christmas.” I really do find that the Gospel and witnessing is a little more palatable at this time of year.
Once the lights were turned on, many people head for the exits. It was wonderful to have 10 open air preachers stationed at the five exits this year to read Scripture and preach the Good News of the true meaning of Christmas.
One of our evangelists, Paul Jenkins, and I read from Luke 2, concluding with verse 14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” What a fantastic springboard into the law and the Gospel.
We simply asked people: “If you were to die today, would God be pleased with you?” This is a beautiful way to open air during the holiday season. By explaining God’s holiness and perfection, our violation of the law, His righteous judgement and then the glorious plan of Christmas to Easter, we can easily convey the Gospel to hundreds of people at one time.
After the mass exodus, everyone joined at the main gates for a time of carolling and preaching for the next 40 minutes. Wow! What a treat to hear so many voices singing Joy to the World, Silent Night and Hark the Herald and all throughout the gospel was shared to those who stopped to listen.
Right: Harvest GO Team members share Bibles, tracts, and hot chocolate amidst the holiday hustle and bustle
I had such a fantastic time of ministry and fellowship in the Gospel. From the Bibles, tracts, and hot chocolate that were freely given, the highlight of the evening was seeing so many Believers, loving the Lord so much, that they braved really cold temperatures and publically shared the Gospel with a lost and dying city.
Thank you, and please never quit heralding the true and only “Light of the World” our King and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Click here or the pic to the left to experience open air preaching from the “Lighting of the Lights” outreach
Picture Problem Alert! Our apologies for the absence of pics and videos from these Christmas Gospel outreach missions. The nighttime witnessing resulted in the majority of shots captured being too compromised to use.
Click here to watch open air preaching footage from last year’s “Lighting of the Lights” outreach
Reflecting God’s Glory at the “Santa Claus Parade” | Edin Azabagic
Edin Azabagic serves as a Researcher with The Cross Current and Leader with the Street GO Team of Harvest Bible Chapel London. Edin is passionate about Protestant Christian Theology and the biblical defense of the faith. He holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Western University and is planning to earn a Masters in Theology in the New Year. Edin and his wife Anita have four young children together – two boys and two girls.
On Saturday, November 10th, 2012 the Harvest London Street GO Team went to distribute Gospel tracts at the annual “Santa Claus Parade”. Thousands of people lined the streets in London to officially welcome the time of year when we will be bombarded with familiar secular icons, images, and other idols of tradition.
I have been part of the Harvest GO Team for the last few months and have to admit that this was the easiest outreach I have participated in. All that I did was smile, wished “Merry Christmas” and distributed 500+ tracts with the true message of Christmas. Our team together distributed 5000 tracts in less than 3 hours!
Right: A graphic of the specially designed “Christmas Cash” tracts distributed at all of this year’s Christmas events
Most “devotees” of this annual parade seemed quite happy to receive a festive “souvenir” from us. What grieved me was witnessing just how far our Canadian culture has drifted away from its Christian roots.
This parade reminded me of something one could see in India during a Hindu festival. In India’s festival of Rath Yatra, the people line the streets to witness the parade, eagerly awaiting a glimpse of their god Jagannath, who sits in a chariot. Here in London Ontario, people lined the streets waiting for a glimpse of the big man wearing a red suit, riding in his sleigh – pulled by flying deer none the less!
By God’s grace, I was not one of those who eagerly awaited a glimpse of Santa Claus on his “chariot”. I felt sorry for all the children to whom their own parents lied about this festive time of year – a time when children are supposed to receive gifts for their good behavior from the “Santa”. If only parents knew how much responsibility they carry in teaching their children the real story behind the Christmas and the most wonderful gift that God gave to those who believe!
The thought of even one person reading a Gospel message and being saved because of the seed that the tract planted brought me a great joy. This outreach was time well spent, an encouragement to participate in, and a way to reflect more of God’s glory. We should be wise to aim to be more simply and purely devoted to Christ this season.
A Seed Sowing Glory Story!
“The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.“ (Mark 4:26-27)
God calls us to sow and water the seed of His Gospel, all the while trusting Him to bring the growth. How does the seed grow? We don’t know. But aren’t you glad that the qualities are in the seed and not the sower?
This little glory story was submitted by a family member of our local church in follow-up to our team seed sowing efforts at “The Santa Claus Parade” outreach event.
He explained how he went to a prayer meeting for a new church plant out of town and met a lady from a neighboring church who has unsaved family in London who she has been praying for and sharing the Gospel with.
It turns out that, by God’s grace, one of the 5000 tracts that we passed at the Santa Claus Parade ended up in the hand of one of these same unsaved family members! As you can imagine, the lost loved one was asking this lady whether she “put us up” to approaching them at the parade. While she obviously hadn’t, we all rejoice in the fact that God did use us to partner together for the purpose of sharing His Son.
While it’s reported that the lost loved one is still “resisting”, we suspect that it’s become obvious in their heart and mind that the Lord is using His servants together to get their attention about the true meaning of Christmas!
Remember: God is sovereign over every seed that’s sown and every heart that receives. Though we will not always hear such a tangible testimony of the fruit of our faithfulness on this side of eternity, let’s continue to “go” and sow together, all the while trusting God to bring the increase by saving more souls for His glory this Christmas!
Get equipped to “go” with team training from The Cross Current
KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
We all want to spend eternity with those we love most in this world – our family and friends. Yet, we all know that our lost loved ones are often the most challenging to evangelize due to the fact that there is so much to lose if things don’t go well!
However, as you enjoy a little holiday hang-time this season, here are three keys for keeping Christ in Christmas with family and friends:
1. Keep Christ in Christmas by pen.
Many people still send their loved ones a family update for the year. Instead of sharing everything that you did in your life in 2012, why not make the most of the opportunity and share the good news and everything God did in your life in 2012?
It is important that this letter is handwritten and not typed, as it communicates the time and care you put into involving them in your life. Handwriting heartfelt letters to the loved ones you have been praying for will give you opportunity to testify to who Christ really is, why He came to the earth, and how He has changed your life since you’ve repented of your sin and put your faith in Him.
2. Keep Christ in Christmas by portable recorder.
Taking the time to record a simple audio message is another powerful and relational way to share the real Reason for the season with all of your family and friends. Amidst all of the holiday hustle and bustle, many shoppers lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas – if they ever knew it at all!
We would encourage you to follow the evangelistic example of Jesus in John 4 when He witnessed to the woman at the well. Starting in the natural and then swinging to the spirtual, you can begin by referencing one of the many cherished classic Christmas carols before bridging to the hope of the Gospel. As a guideline for time, 150 words per minute is about average talking speed. This means that a 5 minute audio recording will require a script of about 750 words.
Click here to listen to a sample audio Christmas Greeting for family and friends
Click here to download a sample Christmas Gospel script
3. Keep Christ in Christmas by prayer.
Many (if not most) families feel an obligation to say grace before diving in to Christmas dinner – whether they profess Christ as Lord or not. While we all know that such man-made traditions are really nothing more than religious lip service, why not extend an offer ahead of time to say the token prayer this year…and make it count for eternity?
This is by no means giving sanction to preach a twenty minute summary of “Sinners in the Hands of Angry God”! However, a short testimonial prayer about how thankful you are for God sending His only Son into the world to save sinners from His wrath could be very timely and appropriate. Remember: Jesus IS the reason for the season, so go for it!
In closing, after you step out in faith and sow the seed of the Gospel into the hearts of your lost loved ones, why not invite them to church over Christmas? After all, now that the light of Christ is finally out from under the bushell, you can pray that God will shine in their hearts to give the light of the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ!
GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY!
Do you know that Christmas can be the most wonderful time of year for sharing Christ?
In this outreach radio series, you’ll several real-time conversations with non-Christians surrounding the subject of Christmas, along with their reaction to the Good News of great joy that a Saviour has been born!
TCC Radio host Cory McKenna will also be closing out each episode by sharing hints from Scripture to help us all make the most of Christmas in our life and witness this season.
Remember: the greatest and most miraculous “good” of the Good News is God Himself!
Visit TCC Radio online
THE EZRA INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIANITY
The Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity (EICC) equips God’s people to defend, demonstrate, and apply biblical Christian faith in every sphere of life, as defined by scripture and as commanded in both the cultural mandate and the great commission, in order to advance the Kingdom of God in Canada, and submit all things to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Reverend Joe Boot is the founder of the EICC and senior pastor of Westminster Chapel in Toronto. Joe and his wife are originally from England, having come to Canada to work in Christian apologeticgs, worldview education and evangelism, focusing on students and those that shape the ideas of culture. He also served with Ravi Zacharias for seven years as an apologist in the U.K. and Canada, working five years as Canadian Director of RZIM.
Right: (l to r) Sye Ten Bruggencate (Absolute Apologetics), Joe Boot (EICC), Edin Azabagic (TCC), and Cory McKenna at the first EICC leadership roundtable discussion
The Cross Current was graciously invited to attend EICC’s very first leadership roundtable discussion on November 21st, titled: “The Church in Our Current Cultural Crisis”. Hosted in Mississauga, Ontario, the event was specially designed to serve pastors and ministry leaders in recovering the biblical mandate of disciplemaking in the church. To that end, EICC is committed to hosting this event tri-annually to provide several hours of teaching, discussion, reflection, and prayer.
The Cross Current looks forward to further strengthening our Gospel partnership with EICC through developing strategic discipleship opportunities for leaders and their churches.
YOUR PRAYER PULSE FOR DECEMBER
Canada needs Christ! Let’s continue partnering together to keep our prayer pulse for TCC and the Church in Canada strong.
We humbly ask you, your family, and your church to remember to pray for:
> Christmas Gospel outreach teaching and preaching as we partner with local churches to take full advantage of the most wonderful time of the year for witnessing
> TCC Rep enlistment as we prayerfully equip and release more radio reps to equip the church by example in Canada
> TCC Radio expansion as we make contact with more radio station executives to broadcast our program
We again thank God for you and your partnership in preaching the Gospel.
For His Glory Alone,
The Cross Current Team