Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Challenge

Hey guys and gals,

Hope you're having a great day. Yesterday we played at a Dare2Share conference in Columbus, OH. I was so encouraged yesterday about witnessing. I think when you grow up in the church like I have, you can get so used to hearing about certain things that you loose the real passion you should have. I felt the love and conviction of God fill me up yesterday. Why don't we tell the world about Jesus? What's stopping us? There are people all around us that will go to hell if we don't share with them this amazing news... this beautiful gospel. And it's not just an eternal hell people face, what about all the heartache and pain that can be avoided by living for Jesus.

What is "witnessing" any ways? Is it going door to door? Or walking around on the street and directly confronting people about their spirituality? It can be both of those things, but it's also something more. A witness is someone who's literally seen, heard, and experienced something. What have you seen, heard, and experienced in your relationship with God? That's your testimony. That's a big part of what you need to be telling people. Just be transparent and tell them about all the things God's done in your life. And if you think He hasn't done much, just look around because it's everywhere.

When you pray today, ask God to set up divine appointments with people who need to hear that Jesus loves them. You'll be surprised by God's response, believe me. Finally, walk in love. The whole Gospel is based on love, so we can't go around contradicting it with a mean, judgmental manor. People don't need to be reminded about how bad they are... they need to be loved just as they are and they'll become the people God's called them to be.

I'd love to get some comments on this post in a few days from people who put this into action. I love you guys! We're headed back to Nashville to the studio. Please be praying for us as we're recording these new songs.

In Christ,

jack

19 comments:

page lynch said...

Very good, bro. I have found that a lot of times, if you are just kind to people and let Jesus flow from your heart and out of your mouth in normal conversation, living for Christ becomes a topic of interest for that person.

I have also picked random people up and given them rides or given homeless people money, etc., and said, "This is in the name of Christ." I've learned that all that really says to others is, "I'm only doing this because I have to."

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to give Jesus the credit, but the latter of these two contrasting methods makes witnessing an "ought to," and the first makes witnessing a "want to."

Your bro in Christ,
page lynch

Abby said...

Let me tell you, you guys are AMAZING!!! I was at the Dare2Share conference and you guys blew me away (as usual). Leeland(the singer, not the band), you are truly talented. I just got hooked on you guys, and I love the whole band. My favorite song is "Count Me In" by far, but my one friend was disappointed that you didn't sing "Opposite Way". Oh well. I love you guys. I love the sound which made the conference even better. Thank you so much for coming. Your songs are truly inspirational, I listen to them all the time. Thank you for everything, especially the worship time yesterday, that gave me an awesome time with God.

Your #1 fan,
Abby S.
P.S. Leeland (the singer)- Thank you also so much for letting me and my friend get an autograph and a picture with you after the conference. (We were the ones who came to you at the stage) I'm so excited, being able to say that I got my picture with you and have your autograph.

christina (the dreamer) said...

i have to say that this subject has weighed heavily on my heart. i know that i am called to be a missionary- but how can i be that when i'm so afraid to witness to my own fellow students? how can i ever be brave enough? what do i do... what do i say? what if i screw up (whish happens alot) and turn someone away from Christ?

some days, i feel like just going out in front of the college library and just singing a hymn as loud as i can... if only to comfort them. i love them so much. i don't want to see anyone go to hell!

i'm so angry and distraught for our generation... and yet i am so afraid. what can i do?

Paula said...

Hey! Excellent message.
I'm planning on going to the Dare2Share in Chicago. I want to see you guys. :)
But really the message is so important.
Take care and thanks for sharing.
Love you guys!!

Rafaela said...

Somehow you always write blogs about things I've just heard of.. Like yesterday God really opened my eyes about how important it is to pray for people and to tell them about Him. Cool how God always does the right things on the right time =) The preacher (is that what you call it?) also said how important Israel is and how important it is to stand behind them and pray for them. After all they are God's ppl, right?

I really want to tell the world about Jesus! I find it pretty tough tho.. I'm not that great at talking and all.. I believe that God is working with me on that tho! :)

Thanks for the inspiring words!

Oh btw: The theme at my church is 'De Omgekeerde Weg' which means 'The Opposite Way'. Pretty cool huh? :D

God bless you and the band!

Rafaela

Sam said...

Christina,

I know exactly how you feel. I have that very same problem with witnessing to people. I'm always so worried that I'll be in the flesh and not in the spirit when I talk to them. But something that the Lord has shown me recently is just to trust him, although it does matter what we say, what matters more is that God can use whatever we say and do for his glory and for the advancement of his kingdom! Just trust God to use you. Even Paul asked for prayer for boldness to keep spreading the gospel. Don't let Satan scare you away from spreading the love of Christ. So be encouraged! God is faithful!

Sara F. said...

i was at the same conference!! you guys did amazing by the way :) and i was in total shock when we arrived to my hotel and there were hundreds of people dressed up as cartoon or anime characters. the first thing that popped into my mind was "WEIRD!" but i really go convicted during the conference. we were learning about sharing the love of Jesus to anyone, no matter what they wear or what interests they have. so everyone from my youth group decided to go around during our 3 hour break and share the love of Christ with at least 12people. i didn't get to minister to all 12, but i had a few great conversations with people and hopefully gave them a little more faith in God. all in all, this weekend at D2S was great! i feel like God scheduled the same conventions together on purpose. and leeland...awesome job! i love you guys, youre truly blessed and annointed by God :)

love,
Sara F from Ignited Youth

Whitney said...

Inspiring.
Christina, I also feel afraid sometimes to share the Gospel. I think that they may be unreceptive or totally blow me off and get offended. But I'm striving to care less about what people think and care more about what God thinks. If i'm moved by the Holy Spirit to say something then it should be said. I'm praying for confidence. I think what we Christians forget a lot of times is that what we have is perfect and everyone needs to hear it. A good opportunity to reach out to someone is pray with them about something they're going through. Just be real and upfront. I'm talking to myself here too.

Youth Pastor Jeremy Pearsons recently said that unbelievers are always challenging God, or putting Him on trial. In a trial, you need witnesses and evidence. God has already provided the evidence (check out Romans 1:20) and He needs witnesses. I want to be one to testify. What has God done for you? Share with others what He can also do for them. Strive to show God's love and grace.

GcbGirl said...

wow!!

God is REALLY showing himself to me this year (as I've told you examples and told you that before)

This week at GCB and at church Bob Wiener came and spoke to us... he told us about all the people who's being lead to Christ... NFL players who have gotten up onto the podium and preached the gospel in front of the world, Pro athletes, people who the world looks up to have spoken to the whole world about letting Jesus into your heart and how it will change your life.. incredible! He told us how he re-wrote the russian constitution and that the new constitution has 85% of the things he wrote! He speaks passionatly about how we are world changers and history makers, and how when we get to the day when we are judged on whether we go to heaven or hell, there will be 2 lists. One that says if you made it, and then if you did, what you did in your life to fulfill your purpose in life. He was so good! And then you posted this, and it was like the same thing... wow!!!

God is Good!

makayla

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel about the whole "growing up in church" deal. I've been a believer in Christ for 10 of my 16 years. Before the Dare2Share conference this past weekend, I was totally talking the talk and not walking the walk. I mean, I didn't do anything horrible. But I wasn't on fire or... SHREDDIN THE GNAR DUDE! :) This weekend made me realize...woah nelly, my friends are going to hell if they don't accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Before I go into my story, I'll give you some background information on my friend. She's 18, a senior. Active, smart, outgoing, beautiful. She had a lot going for her... and then she got sick. They think she has colon cancer. Back in November, she was in the hospital for almost a month. She's had to drop out of school. And she goes to the hospital almost regularly now because of all the pain. She doesn't know the Lord. They didn't think she would make it a couple times. But it never really dawned on me that...i would never see her again if i didn't share my faith with her.
So Saturday morning/afternoon Greg had us do the cell phone challenge. Immediately, I heard God say "Call her." So, with a shaky voice and tears in my eyes, i dialed the numbers on my youth pastor's cell phone.
She answered. I told her that I was at a Youth Conference in Columbus and that I called her because I wanted to share my faith with her...

She laughed at me.

She laughed at me, and then said she had to go.

I didn't realize until after i hung up what had happened. And the tears came, the heartache, the disappointment...

But i was smiling...I was literally smiling while my heart was breaking in two.

I could hear Satan in my head... "Wow, you're a loser. It didn't work. She thinks you're weird. She'll never talk to you again."

But I didn't believe the lies. I had the full armor of God on. Nothing that Satan could say or do would hurt me.

So yeah, she laughed at me...but I DID IT! I DIALED THE NUMBERS AND TOLD HER WHAT I WANTED TO.

Maybe one day down the road she'll call me back, or she'll come back to school and she'll ask me about that phone call.

Who knows.

But i would like to ask everyone that reads this to pray for her. When I got back from the Youth conference late Saturday night, my mom told me that they had taken her back to the hospital that afternoon. She's really sick. Just pray that God heals her and softens her heart so that she is willing to accept His love that He has to offer.

Thanks for reading...you guys were great at the conference. Praise and Worship was so amazing...

Count me in guys.

christina (the dreamer) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HannahBallou said...

i really agree. The thing that keeps people, me at least, is just that I think... 'well somebody else will do it.' If God is working in their hearts then someone is bound is talk to them. OR I think, especially with friends, 'I have time'! I look back and realize that my frame of mind is wrong, but for that split second that God urges my heart to say something....

Thank you so much for the encouragement!!!! Truley... WHY DON'T WE JUST DO IT? We know God has all of these things for us behind the left door, but for some odd reason we go to the right door jsut because we can see what's inside of it.

God Bless You All!

at His feet said...

praying for you guys as you work on your album.

Samantha said...

heyy leeland.. this is soo true. i was at dare 2 share && i too was encouraged to share the great news w/ my friends. since then, ive witnessed to 4 people. its a feeling like no other to be working for God and sharing his love.. you guys do such a great job of sharing the love when you play your music, so great job to you. im sure God is very pleased. you guys rockk! i love your music, esp count me in :) God bless

Gideon said...

Jack,

This is the truth many of us Christian are getting way too comfortable and centered inside the four walls of the church and are forgetting Christ's commandment to us to "to go in the world and preach the kingdom of God is at hand". Honestly we are being very selfish and forgetting that our neighbors around us are perishing and are damned to hell without ever hearing the hope of the Gospel.
And I am preaching to myself but we really need to start praying to God to teach us how to deny ourselves and learn to love our neighbors as ourselves. Because perfect love does truly cast out all fear(fear of man, rejection ..)
People do however need to be reminded of their sins ( there is alot of instances when God told the prophets to show his people their sins in which they have sinned against God, but there is right ways to do this) for those of you that dont know about THE WAY OF THE MASTER check it out at thewayofthemaster.com it is a pretty good method, to learn how to approach people and what to say to them. Please remember this is not a formula but a guide or tool to witnessing to people. it really helps.

God Bless

Your brother in Christ,
Gideon

Kelly said...

Hey Leeland you were amazing at dare 2 share! i love you guys and you really encourage me to go the opposite way and to be the change. Im so glad i got to meet you and get a pic with you. I am the one who asked to get a pic with you and then you jumped off the stage!!! haha you guys are so cool and i hope to see you again sometime soon!!
Kelly

Kelly said...

Hey Leeland!! I just wanted to say you guys are amazing and you really encourage me to go the opposite way and to be the change, and you make me want to draw so much closer to God than I am. You rocked at Dare 2 Share in Columbus! And Leeland, I'm so excited that a met you!! I came up to you on the stage and asked to get a picture with you and then you jumped off the stage! (Which I thought was really cool!)I'm learning the bass right now for my youth groups praise band and the other day I played Yes You Have!! ( although it didn't sound quite like when you guys played it!!) Hah ok anyways I just wanted to say that and I'm really excited for your new cd thats coming out! I can't wait to hear it!

Count me in!!
Kelly

Sarah said...

Ok, I really wanted to go to this conference, but it didn't work out. Some of my friends went, and they said it was awesome. While they were there, they kept sending me cell phone videos of you guys and all. Then they got their pics taken with some of you. I've read the Dare to Share book, and it was really good. I was kind of jealous of them, but maybe next year!

Paulo Reis said...

Speak a Portuguese??
uahauahuah

Deus abençoe o trabalho de vocês cada dia mais e mais.
Testemunho realmente é isto que você escreveu.
Eu creio que ser luz é atingir.
bela metafora... (risos)

amo vocês em Cristo Jesus.

Conheci Leeland quando estava em Angola, África trabalhando. Pedi a minha esposa para comprar um cd e enviar para mim. Demorou 30 dias para chegar. Foi o disco "Sound off melodies"...
Estarei sempre acompanhando.

PS: posted in Portuguese to honor my language. (Laughter)

Grace and Peace.

To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
(Rom 16:27)