This past Saturday, our church did a public evangelism event at our local library. The West Coast is deservedly considered one of the more leftist areas in the United States. The Governor of Washington State recently ended an unsuccessful presidential run in which his platform consisted of climate change alarmism. Paper straws are mandated in Seattle. The homelessness crisis in urban centers along the I-5 corridor grows ever worse. Marijuana is legal. The sexual revolution is in full swing.
Olympia, WA (the state capitol) is one of the more secular areas in a very secular region. It’s a small city; not much more than 50,000 people. Together with Lacey and Tumwater, it forms a modest metro area.
My experience is that, in the Midwest, your church can grow (albeit slowly) if you (1) preach faithfully, (2) do a children’s event like VBS in the Summer, and (3) maybe a few other odds and ends. I also found that many people think they’re Christians already because they’re Americans.
Olympia is different. Really different.
I never saw urban ministry modeled in a healthy way. I come from the KJVO-flavor of Baptist fundamentalism, where “run and gun evangelism” was the order of the day. I’ve had to fiddle around and figure some things out for myself. I don’t have much figured out, but one thing I have figured is that churches need to be winsomely aggressive with evangelism in this culture.
"In his new book, Narrative Apologetics: Sharing the Relevance, Joy, and Wonder of the Christian Faith, Alister McGrath—professor of science and religion at Oxford University—invites his readers to consider a supplementary approach to the standard, intellectual apologetic method." - TGC
"By nature and by training we all seek solutions to our problem of sin. To varying degrees, these solutions include doing something—law keeping, good works, etc—to please or appease or satisfy the God who is one day going to judge us. The idea of contributing to one’s own salvation is universal." - 9 Marks
"In their recent ecumenical zeal, Catholics have finally accepted Protestants as Christians, though as 'separated brethren.' But does the Pope believe that evangelicals and Pentecostals who try to win others to their faith 'are not disciples of Jesus'?" - Gene Veith
"Though we often focus on the beginning of Luke 2 at Christmas, the middle of Luke chapter 2 describes two individuals who had been waiting to see God fulfill His promises and their joy in seeing the beginning of this fulfillment in the birth of Jesus." - DBTS Blog
"'There is really no such thing as an atheist,' has smugly crossed the lips of more than few of my conversation partners over the years followed by a variation of the 'foxhole' story. That accusation was even thrown in my face several times by Christians when I was an atheist. Trust me, that doesn’t encourage atheists to listen to whatever else is said by the Believer, including any gospel presentation that might follow." - John Ellis