Understanding the Times for the Advance of the Gospel

Monday Discussion

Thesis #1: The world economy creates some barriers to gospel expansion.

I am not saying that it doesn’t create some opportunities as well, but in this post I want to suggest some of the barriers.

In a macro-economy like we have today, all relationships that we have with non-family members are in some sense, unnatural, not normal and therefore unnecessary. The typical urban, suburban and even rural dweller, because of travel and refrigeration can buy all that they need for living without anymore than superficial contact with other human beings.

By contrast, in a micro-economy, without refrigeration and travel options that take one far from home, almost all relationships are almost familial. They are normal; they are natural; and they are necessary for common life. In a micro economy, like the ancient world, going to the market or finding food was a daily and often times, communal undertaking. In such a system, when “Jacob” or “Mary” became a follower of Jesus and their lives begin to be transformed from darkness to light, everyone knows, everyone sees and the effects and opportunity for gospel propagation are multiplied.

But in our modern macro-economies, most of these opportunities are muted.

Thesis #2: Overcoming these barriers is going to be a key ingredient to life and ministry in post-modern and post Christian America.

Our churches, both “organic” house churches and “brick” churches on street corners, need to do a better job of training their people to be “gospelers” in their neighborhood. Training men and women to be intensely local is the challenge for 21st century leaders of Christ’s Bride, the Church. The church needs to wake up and help its people develop natural, normal and necessary relationships with their neighbors so that the light of Christ shines to a new generation.

I have written about Intensely Local ministry here and here and numerous other places. The book is coming soon.

[To make a comment, return to the top of this post.]

3 thoughts on “Understanding the Times for the Advance of the Gospel

  1. Interesting thoughts! I can email my cousin in Italy with less effort than it takes to go next door and visit my neighbor. It’s easy to isolate from the people around us in a world of global communication.


  2. Very true. However because of this and the resulting relational loneliness (we were all created to be relational beings, regardless of our current culture/world economy) – the intentional Christian who steps out to Love Your Neighbor can make an impact. For 12 years I didn’t know my neighbors, but four years ago when we stepped out intentionally to learn how to love them, we found in them a latent need and a hugely positive reception to building community among our neighbors. This gave us the context to, in time, grow these relationships from social to personal to spiritual.


    1. There is great opportunity when we begin to take the initiative with our neighbors. Glad you are seeing fruit brother. How long has it been since the class? We need to get together. I’d love to find out more about what you are up to. Send me an e-mail or give me a call.


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