Impact World Tour – Dangerous Stuff!!

OK here goes…
I have resisted for LONG ENOUGH. I know some will suggest I should have resisted all together, I know my wife has said as much. She asked, “What benefit come from blogging about such a sad event as this IWT.?”
My answer after thinking about her question for a week?
It may stop this type of thing for even coming back to Perth and damaging the church in Perth.
It may stop this type of manipulative approach to faith from continuing around our globe.
This post comes, not from a desire to divide and destroy, nor a bitter heart or disdain towards the church, but rather, it comes from a desire to unite the church, to build the Church of Jesus, it comes from a love for His Church and a love and respect for all people created in God’s image, particularly those who are not in a relationship with our Lord.

Did I go? No I did not. I admit that I speak third hand from other people’s experiences. This testimony comes from numerous sources around our city, both the cynics and those who were in full support of IWT coming to Perth, some of whom were even employed in anticipation of the outpouring of new disciples as a result of IWT.

Why did I not go?
I saw the advertising, both the website and the flyers and smelt a rat.
I knew this was driven by YWAM, and for all I think about YWAM, I understand they are keen to see people follow Jesus, as I am. But was there any hint of that on any material? Any suggestion that this could just have been a Christian outreach? There was one small line suggesting that amongst other organisations and community groups that local churches were also behind this strange and mysterious visit to Perth by these muscle men and dancing islanders.

I smelt a classic “bait and switch“.
It looks like this –
“Flash, bam, boom, stretch, crash, pow, wooooohoooo, amazing, incredible, look at that etc etc”
then all of a sudden…
“JESUS JESUS JESUS, if you loved all of the above…ya gonna love Him too, come fwd if you want all of this cool stuff…oh and Jesus too?” (This was just what it turned out to be I have heard)
There were even people bending iron bars into the shape of Christian fish symbols and breaking baseball bats and making the sign of the cross and kneeling down…CHEESE…I Think I feel a vomit coming on!

So I did not go, nor did I encourage my kids to go even though it took place almost on our door step.
I asked my daughter what she thought it was when she brought the flyer home.
“Looks like a fancy show with some guys doing some fun stuff, what is it Dad?”
“These people want people to come to know Jesus, but they don’t want anyone to know this until they surprise them with it on the day. They are spending more than one million dollars to do this”
“Seems dumb hey, and expensive too, do we have to pay?”
“No I think they made Churches and rich Christians pay”
“I guess there are better things to do with their money…”

And I would add better ways to make disciples…

Agh but I am told that one quote coming from leadership was that “We are not after disciples, we just do the winning souls bit”

And that division is shown in scripture…where?

I wished I had been recording some of the horror stories from the past week up here in the northern suburbs, but maybe people will jump on and add their own stories in the comments, and no doubt some will add some positive stories that no doubt will surface. There has even been ugly press in the West Australian and local rags. The local school even wrote an explanation in this weeks newsletter home to parents.
There is always some good, but must we perpetuate the horror, abuse and destruction of the name of the church to justify a handful of good testimonies some of which may actually survive and even thrive in some faith community somewhere?
Some may also add their horror at me writing this post and my strong tone…trust me this is not strong! But you are welcome to shoot. I know you no doubt feel as strong about this event going ahead as I do about stopping the damage being done. Some people have invested much time and money into making this event work. You may say,”if you spent the time you spend complaining actually helping make this event work better it would be good!” – Agh Nope, you missed it!

We had parents that we are building relationships with from our school dismayed by what they saw as an incredibly manipulative event. They felt tricked, they were angry at the school for promoting it, they were disillusioned with friends and neighbours who invited them.

Why can’t we do 2 things;
1. Make faith a natural part of our day to day relationships. Make “Jesus” as natural a conversation in our relationships as the conversations about the holiday we want, or the dead patches on our front lawn…these type of conversations come all too easy, and Jesus all too hard.

2. Have the balls and simple ability to articulate our own faith story with friends instead of feeling like we need to “take them to a special event”. At this even we sit smugly (albeit uncomfortably at times) thinking “go get em preacher, you tell my friend about Jesus so I don’t have to, you smack em about with the reality of their futile lifestyles, their sin and their eternal destiny. If your friend responds well, COOOL! “What a great event, PTL!”
If your friend is offended, you join in with them criticising, apologising for the “insensitive preacher, not all Christian events are like that, I am so sorry”

But it’s too late, both your integrity and that of the church (and sadly Jesus too) is damaged and your chance for trust building and on going discipleship (and maybe relationship) is less if not gone.
These are challenges I wear myself, I am not just throwing them only at you.

Can we PLEASE start to get over the consumer driven religious experiential church structure we soak in within Western Christianity. (Obviously if your church does not fit this, the I am not talking to you am i?) I have to shake myself daily to realize just how sucked in I get by our consumer society, but when the Church starts to look the same and I get sucked into this too, then it is a sad day.

We are of another Kingdom, we are not of this world. Our shopping, our spending, our entertainment, our parenting, our dating, our marriage, our travel our use of resources, our relationships, our hospitality our everything should look different not the same. We serve a different Lord. Jesus is our Lord, not Caesar…or consumerism or GW Bush or Howard or Myself!

IWT organisers, I know you intended well. I don’t know who you are, and this is not a character attack, it is an attack on a way of doing, on a philosophy of Christian events…including Church services.

There it is!

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130 thoughts on “Impact World Tour – Dangerous Stuff!!

  1. “There were even people bending iron bars into the shape of Christian fish symbols and breaking baseball bats and making the sign of the cross and kneeling down…CHEESE…I Think I feel a vomit coming on!”

    I love it!! I can smell the cheese from down here on the southern side of the river!!

    I agree Scott. I am sick and tired of our consumeristic society and that doesnt exclude the church!

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said mate.

    (loved how you backpeddled anytime you made mention of the word ‘church’) 🙂

  2. i wholeheartedly agree too. I personally have not heard one good thing BUT have spoken to many people (not Christian) about their anger towards their advertisements.

    Our youth group went along last night(so i believe) and I think are going again on Sat (although i won’t be going then either). For them, they know why they are going…but i feel sorry for all the people that are getting hoodwinked into going, then finding out the real reason it is on.

    Why must we ‘hide’ our colours? I am very disappointed:(

  3. case in point – World Impact Tour, one of the most blatant, church -sanctioned, manipulations of public trust that i have ever witnessed in over 20 years of church involvement in Perth.

    all you have to do is simply put together a fancy promotional flyer, local school tour and television ad campaign – featuring lots of explosions, muscular strong men, kung-fu kick ass stunts and loud music, then at the end of each promotion quickly mention in the fine print, that the event is sponsored by businesses, like MacDonalds and Xpress magazine, local individuals and churches.

    Then when you get the 3000 people from the local communities in the door, and after a few things are set on fire and a few other things are smashed with bare skulls, slam them with 45 minutes of “do you know if you walked out of here tonight and died, that you’d go to heaven?”, dressed up in the disguise of “we are christians and we simply love you too much to let you go to hell without getting a chance to hear the good news”.

    and there you have evangelicalism gone mad right here in perth over the month of March!

    I hope each church that was involved in promoting the WIT to members of their community as an “exciting event for the whole family and great to bring neighbours along to” publically apologise to their friends and neighbours for what was a disgraceful act of deceit, masquerading as christianity.

    that’s exactly what we had to do to our neighbours as we dropped their kid home from the event we took them to. to which our neighbour graciously accepted our apology, and said rather confusedly, “that’s funny, it didn’t say anything about that on the flyers”

    if we do not have the balls to say up front what our intentions are for building a relationships with another person, then we do not have the right to treat them like secret projects for Jesus! I’m sorry but that is nothing like how Jesus treated people.

    the scary thing for me is that so far, everyone i’ve talked to either loved it or hated it.

    those who loved it promote and sponsor itagain, and those who hated it, would possibly picket against an event like this ever returning to our shores.

    where is a safe space for the two to engage in dialogue???

    importantly, I agree with you scott – this is not a character assassination attempt – these guys are genuinely doing what they think they should, but unfortunately, their methodology is so bent outa shape it looks like one of the cars they rolled over on the night.

    i can imagine if IWT asked for honest feedback we might end up in the same situation as when youth alive WA and churches of christ 2INSPIRE conf organisers asked for feedback on their respective events – a lot of defensive and acusatory remarks reflecting a “unless you agree with us, you have no right to criticise” – er,… duh!

  4. oops – that last bit sounded like character assassination – sorry – not meant to, but rather questioning the “review methods” that only validate those who are like-minded.

  5. “But it’s too late, both your integrity and that of the church (and sadly Jesus too) is damaged and your chance for trust building and on going discipleship (and maybe relationship) is less if not gone.”
    You said it bro!
    How long has this been going on!? How many ‘programs’ have been/are run that were aimed at ‘saving the city’, only to leave those that were needing hope by the side, left bewildered by a jesus who came and offered life, only to get a show. How many times has Jesus been presented as a religion, or a list of rules and people again go away thirsty wondering where the jesus of love really is!
    Too many times and it’s time we woke up.
    People need an ongoing, live relationship with the living Jesus and they need to see real people living real lives in the power of the Spirit – not in the futile power of man.

  6. Interesting read. Was planning on taking my teenager son this saturday to the GX part of IWT(skate and bmx) as this is what interests him but I and he are aware that it is a Christian outreach, hopefully the seed of the Word sown on the night by man will be watered by God in the future. I too dislike manipulation and deceit, it’s tacky and it is a turn off. Whatever happened to the being sent out in twos and going door to door and evangilising, healing, casting out demons etc. and wiping the dust off your feet if your not received. That seems a bit confronting and time consuming, but cost effective, what was Jesus thinking…..I personally agree with Jesus but no church leadership is taking a stand on it. I actually prayed for Jesus to send someone to my door to speak to my non-believer husband and two girls yes girl Mormons arrived that morning and were speaking to my hubby who was out the front washing the car whilst I was at Church. When I got back I told them quietly that I had asked God to send someone and she replied saying she was given our name of the street by God and looked it up in the street directory and that there was such a name in the suburb of their evangilising and felt compelled to go. The name of our street is a weird one by the way. Can the church (that’s us) go out in twos and not to sign people up into our denominations but simply tell the gospel or pray for them????? oh and be rejected sometimes too. Or are we pressed for time and don’t want to be seen evangilising for Christ?????

  7. “one of the most blatant, church -sanctioned, manipulations of public trust that i have ever witnessed in over 20 years of church involvement in Perth.

    Indeed! Sadly this sums it up perfectly.

    I have intentionally stayed silent over the last 18 months – and even tried to show interest in the hope that my reservations were misplaced and this would be the great evangelistic event it had been hailed as.

    All that has happened has only served to confirm my worst fears. If Billy Graham were dead he would turn in his grave 🙂

    Shameful unscrupulous advertising that suckered people in was just the start of it.

    1.5 million bucks well spent?

    If the medium is the message then what do people believe the gospel is?…

    I have been furious at this nonsense and glad I haven’t had a blog, because I have had plenty to say!

    Good on ya Scotty for speaking up. I have heard lots of talk around the place since they first did the rounds raising funds, but I haven’t seen anyone go public with a critique.

    I hope this doesn’t get branded as ’emerging church reactionism’, because in reality it is simply one person speaking out what many disillusioned others feel. (both Christian and not)

    If another visit is ever mooted then my voice will be heard loudly saying NO BLOODY WAY!!!!

    In response to Christine’s question ‘what purpose does this serve?’, I’d say maybe it serves to say ‘the emperor has no clothes on!’ Maybe when one person has the courage to speak up, then others will also add their voice. Someone needs to name and shame what we have seen and experienced.

    I wish it had been different because there are no ‘winners’ here.

  8. 1. Make faith a natural part of our day to day relationships. Make “Jesus” as natural a conversation in our relationships as the conversations about the holiday we want, or the dead patches on our front lawn…these type of conversations come all too easy, and Jesus all too hard.

    I reckon the thing with this is, we talk easily about things that don’t matter too much to us, stuff that doesn’t go too deep. Like, you know, hasn’t there been a lot of cloud today, or, I can’t believe it hasn’t rained for this long.

    Jesus and faith stuff, on the other hand, reaches really deep. It goes to the very core of who we are – and that’s stuff that we naturally, for our own protection, shut off from everyone but those we really trust.

    So that’s why I reckon we don’t talk about Jesus stuff as easily as we talk about other stuff – Jesus stuff is way more important and personal.

    Which is not to say we shouldn’t be prepared to talk about Jesus stuff – but when you really get into dialogue with people about close-to-your-heart stuff, it’s pretty easy to get hurt. So, we tend not to dialogue about that stuff with great ease.

  9. Philippians One
    15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[c] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    How many people have you led to the Lord this week??
    I agree with a lot of the sentiment, they needed to be a lot clearer about what they were on about. But if people get saved from Hell, then Heaven will rejoice.

  10. Meh, not my kettle of fish, but then, I support Geelong, fancy fringe music and laugh out loud at inappropriate times…

    There is an element of needing to engage in culture to redeem it, even if it is fallen. So there is probably a place for these events, so long as they are aware of this, and seek to challenge rather than perpetuate.

    Good luck to them in my opinion. Im kinda sick of jumping up and down about this stuff. We sent a bus load, they enjoyed it, but the burden of discipleship is on my shoulders, not some one of concert.

    In regards to deceit etc. i have no idea as i haven’t heard anyone complaining about it, so i cant really comment.

  11. “How many people have you led to the Lord this week??
    I agree with a lot of the sentiment, they needed to be a lot clearer about what they were on about. But if people get saved from Hell, then Heaven will rejoice.”

    how many people have i led to the Lord this week??? why is that important? I know i’ve spent time with non-believers, and even talked about Christ – i’m building the relationships needed to gain the trust that they need to feel comfortable to ask me about my life and Jesus.

    that’s called disciple building, because when they come to God it won’t be some emotional splurge, but an understanding of who Christ is and following an example they’ve seen in my life.

    Maybe people heard about Jesus at IWT, but I reckon nothing of the ‘discipleship building’ thing i mentioned above was done (and that quote vaws posted about “Not doing the discipleship bit, but just doing the saving” is a big big BIG problem). Maybe this thing could be used by someone discipling a person, as a ‘outside’ event to check out.

    but for people coming in off the street due to misleading advertising i don’t know how much of an impact (positive) it would have.

    too many times we sweep things that are ‘off track’ under the rug by quoting Philippians 1.

    someone needs to have the guts to stand up and say this is doing more harm to our church than good… thanks Vawz for doing this.

  12. um yeah that sounded harsh mark – sorry – i guess sometimes this big events make a different kind of ’emotional splurge’ 😛

    i guess u were using a hard pointing question to make a point, but i felt it a pretty harsh attack when you asked the ‘how many people have u saved this week’ question.

    we had an event here in Qld recently which did pretty well the same thing as IWT – and i’ve seen the reactions of some non-christian kids who went… and they’re changed reaction to youth groups and the church…

    sometimes the word might get preached – but the whole event is doing more harm to people’s view of the church than good.

    i guess that’s when we need to stand up.

    that said – we have another group here in Qld called J.C Epidemic – they’re an extreme display team with skaters, bmx, motocross and all the other crazy stuff that get’s teens all smiley and excited – but they’re so upfront about being a Christian organisation… and they do such a fantastic job!!! Not just doing shows, but drawing un-believers into their groups by setting up open skate bowls and stuff… they’re servant based, not hype based… and they’re doing great things.

    i guess when we see it done right – it makes us more offended when someone comes in and just implements it so wrong…

  13. Mark – your question of “how many people we have saved this week?” comes across as very condascending.

    Maybe this is not your intent, in fact i’m sure it wasn’t – but we are not putting these comments up as a way to fill in time, or to simply “jump up and down” for the fun-factor involved.

    We care passionately for those in our community who are on a spiritual search and that is why we feel so strongly when we believe they have been taken advantage of, in the name of “evangelism for the kingdom”.

    As shepherds in our communities i believe we have a kingdom responsibility to recognise and protect when we see wolves masquerading in sheep’s clothing.

    in the case of IWT, we are not suggesting the wolves are the organisers of the event, nor the athletes, but rather a mindset and a way of doing things that relies on an emotional manipulation and a deliberate miscommunication of truth as the means to attract their “targets”.

    Scott, Hamo and myself are all actively involved in our local communities – and all know friends who were impacted by the deceit employed by the IWT promoters to get these “fish” into the barrel before opening fire.

    Can i suggest that maybe if someone did the same with your friends and/or congregation, that you might too feel some of the tension that we are experiencing and maybe you too would want to do something about stopping it from happening again.

    i must admit though – the words of Paul you cite are a challenge, and i am wrestling with how to reconcile them with this situation. I guess I’m not sure that just because paul draws his line in the sand there that we need to align with him on that point. hmmmmmm.

  14. I think Paul addresses that in Phillipians two anyway ‘do nothing out of selfish ambition’ he says. I imagine that nothing means everything even preaching Christ. It’s important again not to take one passage but holistically look at scripture. It’s evident to me that Jesus was about making disciples not converts. The other question is what is belief? My view is that belief is a doing word not just a position. Belief takes on action, a change and a continuation of that belief affecting every part of your life. I don’t think this takes place after one message even if you agree with what they say. It means discipleship. Heck the disciples took three years to get it with Jesus in their face and even then they didn’t quite get it.
    Andrew – “We sent a bus load, they enjoyed it, but the burden of discipleship is on my shoulders, not some one of concert”.
    What about those who don’t have someone to carry that burden? What about those who now align you as a bait and switch person because you too call yourself a Christian?

  15. Yeah Mark not to sound too childish but how many have you saved this week? What about your monthly, yearly or lifetime rate? Oh and how do you quantify your stats? Can you claim fractions like a third of a soul or one eight of a soul? It would all add up.
    Jesus as a Jewish man was obviously all about that when we wondered around Palestine. “When I die I’ll rise again at this point you can then say you believe in me and then have your soul go to heaven!” said Jesus. He continued, “It’s too bad if you don’t live in Palestine or middle east or europe because it will be many centuries before this message gets out to you. But I guess them the rules and you have to burn in hell for all time! Just remember God Loves Us.”

  16. Jarrol and others, I have no problem with you ‘pushing back’, and you are free to say what you want, hopefully nothing here is personal, just a robust discussion.

    I dont mind though if I offended with the question, because sometimes we need to have a long hard look in the mirror, (and I include myself)

    I do not want to be guilty of judging my brothers motives. I have met often with leaders of IWT and they are sincere in their desire to see people led to Christ, and I am a pragmatist, and I suspect Paul was as well, at least it seems that way to me in this passage.

    If someone is saved from eternal seperation from God because some overzealous Christians from the US put on a pyrotechnics display, but in the midst of that, the word is preached, the Spirit works, and they come to Christ, I AM NOT GOING TO COMPLAIN!

    You know, I helped them with some multi media work, because I liked their heart, but our church did not get involved, simply because we are flat out with our own outreach ministries, which are far more effective for us that IWT would ever be, context, context, context.

    But I am not going to slag them off too much, because like Paul, I want to see people come to Christ, and in this case, sorry, but the ends does justify the means, because people are going to Hell without Christ.

    You know what I did like about IWT? Unlike a lot of other flashy ministries, they were not going for Christians.

    Thanks Scott for providing this forum.

  17. Lance and Deb

    fair question, but I think mine was too.

    I am asking it in a rhetorical sense, trying to prod people to look at IWT motives.
    Its hard leading people to Christ in Australia, and I struggle with my own issues in doing it, and I dont do anywhere near as well as I would like, which is why I reckon we have to be careful in judging IWT too quickly.

  18. “How many people have you led to the Lord this week??
    I agree with a lot of the sentiment, they needed to be a lot clearer about what they were on about. But if people get saved from Hell, then Heaven will rejoice.”

    Im sure heaven DID rejoice – but I can almost imagine God cringing and curling his toes at the way things were done. I find it interesting that people get so upset about things (eg. Mark and IWT)when they have been involved with it, such as doing some of the media stuff, which is fair, but they never want to hear some criticism.

  19. With all due respect, who said I was upset???
    I have not been to any IWT events, I have had very little to do with them, apart from doing some media in my own office.

    And as for not accepting criticism??????? Sorry, but I consider that a thoughtless statement. All I have done is engage and discuss this criticism, which means I am listening to it!!!

  20. I’m reminded of the times when my church youth group went into high schools to do a lunch time program disguised with fun and laughter to only then use the opportunity to give a testimony or small talk. The kids didn’t come to hear about Christ they came to have fun. In these attractional arenas I wonder if it is really Christ that they are accepting or the good times. When the fun times end and the Church no longer provides exciting dynamic ministries (like when they reach adulthood etc) what happens to the faith then? All too often I’ve seen people walk away from God when the fun stops. Maybe it wasn’t really God that they accepted at all. Yes, only God knows but I want my children to have a faith that will be passed down generations not one that just gets them through their teens!

  21. Im sorry, I wasnt trying to have a go at you, and I probably shouldnt have used you as an example. I was simply trying to give my view of the fact that when some people are involved in events like this and like Youth Alive, church together etc. they tend to be more on the defensive side (understandably) and arent as prepared to listen to any sort of criticism.
    As I said, I completely understand why they would be defensive, but its this defensiveness that sometimes prevents people from speaking up about some of the cheese that christians/churches come up with.
    Im sorry I didnt mean to isolate you like that.

  22. If the means justify the ends then IWT was a complete success. But if we believe that the means are as important as the ends then we must raise some serious questions.

    I believe IWT plays to the weaknesses of those of us who are pragmatists. As a recovering pragmatist I regret the nonsense I foisted on people in the name of the gospel.

    I read Paul’s words in Phil 1, but I can’t help but seeing Jesus asking ‘what the hell were you thinking?!’ I doubt Paul ever had to contest with this kind of thing – while the motives may have been questionable the people were obviously preaching Christ. Even here I don’t think Paul is saying ‘this is a way to do it’. I think he is saying ‘this isn’t good, but God works thru it’ (Such is his grace)

    A question… When was ‘Christ preached’ at IWT? If it was actually at the ‘message’ part then perhaps the questions is what or who was preached over the remainder of the evening – because it sure as hell wasn’t Jesus – at least not the one I read about in the gospels.

    This is the problem. We can’t excuse deceptive, manipulative practices because there is a short Jesus talk at the end!

    The same logic applied to IWT can be applied to spam. It is surreptiously sent out to everyone because eventually someone responds. Of course the disturbing question is ‘what about those who don’t respond? And what about those who install spam filters so they will never come across this kind of thing again?’ Does spam do more harm than good? Its not a trick question!)

    Dodgy methodology should not be glossed over because a few ‘souls are saved’, and a very narrow soteriology should also be questioned. I have claimed ‘salvations’ from events like these – crikey I have preached at events like these – but I know that salvation is much more a process than we allow at these times.

    I believe the church in Perth owes the city of Perth an apology for allowing IWT to deceive us and the people of our city with their false advertising. Maybe that would restore some confidence…

  23. Bek – No Problem 🙂

    Hamo…
    Are you saying that the gospel was preached, in the Jesus talk at the end, but because it was surrounded by entertainment, it is invalidated?

    did you actually go? Because I did not, but would like to hear from someone who actually did, someone I know.

  24. Our church did not support IWT for many of the reasons raised above.
    But the debate (conversation) on evangelism always interests me, in that we are quick to see the Jesus who evangelised like we think it should be done. Surely an honest reading of the NT shows him doing it many differnt way… including ways that we think are ‘wrong. For example…

    From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

    or

    “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

    or

    Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

    or

    Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    or

    Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

    My point is this… There is no right or wrong way to tell others about Jesus… only the command that we do it.

  25. Matt – I have no problem with Jesus’ methods. I have no problem with many methods. But I do have problems with deceitful methods

    Is this an acceptable method? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flirty_fishing

    Mark – I didn’t go. I drove past on the night but I just couldn’t bring myself to go in. I don’t think that invalidates my thoughts as I have heard plenty from others who did go.

    I am saying the medium is the message and the medium spoke as much about ‘the gospel’ (if not more) than the ‘message’ did

  26. G’day “Brothers and Sisters” in Christ. Kind of wondering how this kind of “Heated” discussion has any benefit to anyone! It kind of feels like one part of the body is biting or mauling depending on your perspective another part and this results in the body feeling pain???

    I have actually been a part of the 3 events and have felt that they have been quality ‘shows’. I agree that maybe more info was needed in the advertising and probably the altar call and follow up could be reviewed and looked at but other than that i didn’t smell the cheese and definitely didn’t feel like vomiting! (That was pretty harsh hey! Maybe i’m soft or maybe you wanted me to bite? Well it worked!)One thng that i must say was pretty impressive was the way that they contextualised their ‘jesus, jesus, jesus’ stories within the show! Very relevant and very powerful. I have no doubt that some people’s lives were impacted.
    I know that most of the time when you go to a secular concert you kind of go for the music but you get parts of the singers story. Generally we are ok with that hey??? That’s what it kind of felt like for me pretty natural! but yes they could’ve been more up front about the ‘J BOMB’ and i sense that this would’ve had litle or no effect on numbers! It may have even got more people there???
    My other question is have any of you met any members of the iwt team? They are wonderful men and women of God who have come to our city to serve and reach. The guys i have met have been spirit filled, so humble and so passionate about reaching people with Christ. Please consider them in this very frank discussion surely we would want to encourage and build them up????
    Well that’s my take and I hope that life long discipleship results from this big investment.
    Now we should get back to talking about things that really matter like when will BC be back playing at West Coast? Or will Judd stay at West Coast? Now these things are what really matter in ‘LIFE’ HEY! (tongue is in cheek!)
    BTW just dropped Scott of at the Airport and he encouraged me to put my perspective here so there you go!

  27. hey rod – nice to have your input.

    i went to the arena event with my whole family and a neighbour’s kid.

    i was not suprised by what i saw, but i had hoped to be, in the slim chance that these guys would simpley blow the hell outa stuff, like they promoted, and maybe tell a story or two about Jesus and the difference he has made in their personal journey.

    instead, this is how the night progressed:

    1.from blowing the stuff up – which everybody loved

    2.to mentioning they were christian athletes – which nobody had a problem with

    3.to telling one story of transformation – which everyone seemed to appreciate at some level as a “nice thing to happen to a good bloke fom a pretty sucky beginning in life”

    4.to if you left this building tonight do you know if you are not going to hell – at which people started to walk out.

    5. to put your hands up if you want jesus to turn your life upside down like the car they just flipped – at which many hands went up.

    6.to come forward now and people will talk to you and you can get a free bible – to which those with their hands up moved forward and in the process swept up the majority of kids in the front on the ground who had not been warned of what was about to happen, and whose parent now had no idea where exactly their kids were (we had a 5yo, a 7yo, 2x 9yo and an 11yo sitting down there).

    7.to many of us then finding our kids and taking them home, and in our case, having to apologise to our neighbour for what turned out to be a flat out turn or burn evangelical crusade, with musclebound evangelists, not simply a strong man show as promoted.

    I have a problem with the style of evangelism they used – but that is not the point for me. I tend to agree with many who say – each to their own, because it has to do with theology and belief and we are all never going to agree – heck many of us were “saved” through gear like this.

    What i do have a problem with is deceit and manipulation in order to capture an audience unaware.

    to go into a state school, with a guy who can kick through 20 blocks of concrete is going to get attention for sure. A message of “life is to be lived, believe in yourself and dream!” is positve and will always be received well and is true. To use this to trick people into the second-part of the message – the hidden motives become revealed.

    Rod – this is where i disagree with you. i believe they did not promote this event as a christian evangelical rally because:
    1. they would not have been able to secure the sponsorship of macdonalds or Xpress magazine, and they needed the money to pull this event off.
    2. they would not have got the numbers of “non-christians” through the door they did through this manner – this can been seen every sunday when 99% of people in our communities make choices not to attend our church services. you may however be right in that they may have pulled bigger numbers ie, christians – but then that would have been missing the point, right?

    so let’s at least be honest – if we are only interested in starting a relationship with someone in the hope that they will get “saved” – tell them so they can make a choice if they want to continue the journey with you. Don’t pretend to love someone unconditionally when there is a very real condition to your love – that for you to show an interest in them they need to be interested in following your belief system. (this is not “you” rod – but “you” as in “someone”)

    anyhoo – i’m sure this will keep going for a while longer 😉

  28. Hamo, I did not go, and I have an opinion, I have no problem with you saying what you have said, based on what you did see.

    I agree with otherendup (no, the world will not come to an end)
    They should have been more upfront about what they were promoting. If people did not come because of that, well bad luck. In my view, you have to earn the right to share the gospel.

    Billy Grahams crusades worked because Christians invited their friends. They trusted Billy, and their friends knew without a doubt that they were going to hear an evangelist. And thousands got saved.

    All I would say IWT needed to do was include one line on all their publicity, something like,
    “Come have a great time, be entertained and hear about true spirituality”. That would be enough for me.

    I have no problem at all with all the entertainment side of it. Christians should have fun, and do things really well. If that costs money, to reach this modern generation, so be it. And I do believe in ‘harvest’ events.

    To finish up, if people were saved, that is fantastic, if bad methods were employed, but God still worked, in His grace, I am not going to complain too hard, because people found Christ.

    and Rod, 90% of this discussion has not been heated, but BC is a dropkick, so is Kerr (who has been found out on tape talking to a convicted drug dealer) and if Judd has any brains he will leave the drug infested culture and come play for the premiership favourites, the MIGHTY DOCKERS

  29. Hi Rod

    I would suggest that this conversation benefits people by challenging them to think and by pointing out some serious problems.

    I believe sometimes the body needs to feel pain and if these words spoken with honesty and conviction, as well as a fair bit of tangible experience cause pain then that may be a good thing.

    I respect you and others involved. I have met some of the IWT team who were sincere people, and I ‘wanted to believe’. I supported GW as he got involved and was even willing to do some life-sharing stuff myself because GW convinced me it was a group who were concerned with doing things well.

    But it did not turn out as any of us had thought. And there has been plenty of time to change things, since it began at Quinns a couple of weeks back.

    No doubt many good people have been involved, but if we ignore the deceit and the damage done because some good came then I believe we fool ourselves.

    I hate writing these kinds of things because inevitably it puts me at odds with some of my friends and comrades, but this is an issue I am very concerned about because it seems to have been glossed over by those involved.

  30. Wayne Field – are you closely related to the Kerr family?

    i’m hoping you provide more insightful messages for your friends at sermoncentral.com otherwise people are definitely not getting their moneys worth for a download.

    it would probably be more useful for you to be preparing to “exploit the opportunity presented” (what a lovely quote from your website) with your 1.. 2.. 3.. easy mother’s day program to get unsaved husbands through the door by using their relationships with their wives as the hook. maybe even encourage your “wives” to pretend they are sick and the only thing that might make them feel better is if their husbands comes with them to church.

    then you can knock em out with your wisdom and no doubt, your church will be full and overflowing with all these repentant husbands, within weeks of employing this tried and true system.

    it’s late and you pushed my button, but you were kinda hoping to get a bite from someone weren’t you. i hope i didn’t disappoint 😉

  31. Hmm. This blog and the responses stirred up some emotions deep within. Some good, some not good 🙂

    While I can understand why some people may have felt mislead or manipulated and deceived, I throw some responsibility back on them. How many people go blindly to see a movie without first researching the premise of that movie? There is plenty of information on the web about IWT, mostly on their site. There should have been no surprises if they had done the research.

    When IWT came to Canada, our churches rallied behind them and made sure we had representatives from several denominations present during alter calls. They spoke with people who had questions and did follow-ups after the event. How sad that there are people who are “saved” only to have nowhere to go after that (it does happen). As the church, we are ALL responsible for making sure that does not happen. We cannot get everyone of them to church, but we can try. IWT is presenting a message, the church needs to follow-up with discipleship. And I’m not saying that everyone from the church has to have that responsibility for this event, there should be people who are chosen (or volunteer) to continue this ministry once IWT completes their show.

    Others, who have already started building relationships in other ways, as I read in earlier comments, commented that these people are offended. I would hope that the trust is not broken down but that the people building those relationships would offer an ear to listen and walk them through it. Explore their reasons for being angry, and use this as an opportunity for discussion. Often, a heart that has been touched also has hurts that may have surfaced. Naturally, they lash out at what caused it. Find out what that hurt is, and minister to it. I would not suggest jumping on the bandwagon with them and being critical of IWT. We are all one in the body, and agreeing with them that IWT has done wrong will only add to the hurt. Allow them to feel the hurt and anger, don’t try to change their mind, but keep loving them and eventually you will get across the message from the event at a different time.

    One other question that came to me is why are Christians bringing others to an event without explaining it to them first? THAT could be considered tricking them into it, and not the fault of IWT. Having said that, maybe there are Christians who do not care that their friend may be angry for being tricked, because they know that is what it may take to get them the message. Some that may be so angry about this message they received (Heaven or Hell?) may stay angry about it for 6months, 12 months, 6 years…but that seed has been planted, and eventually they will have questions. All I can say is that it is not for anyone to judge another’s actions if we trust they are following God’s lead.

    I know members of this team personally, and their hearts are amazing! Some have left well paying jobs that they loved, in order to spread the message of God. A lot of work goes into these events, and a lot of prayer. I hope I am not stepping on toes, as this is not my intention, but does everyone here believe that if you are following God’s lead, He will do the work and His will be done? Then you have to trust these people who are serving in the way God has instructed THEM. Sometimes God asks us to do the strangest things, but only HE knows who will be impacted, and it is His timing. If only one person gave their life to Christ that night, then the entire kingdom will still rejoice.

  32. Here is another perspective from a church in Australia:

    http://www.hismethod.com/2007/02/28/impact/

    Honestly, I really believe the more church involvement the better. Promote it from your church, don’t be ashamed to ask non-Christian friends to come. Let God work on them, we are not going to do it alone.

    Okay. I’m done preaching. Sorry. Well, maybe not sorry, just…ya.

  33. Wow, I guess this one grabbed some thought!
    Matt – your shots at Wayne were at bit low!! Late night or not…but then Wayne…seriously!!!!????Exploitation of Mothers day, can this be true?
    Christina, thank for your thoughts, as with Rod Thom, it’s great to hear from people who have had some good experiences with IWT. And as I said in my original post, this is not a go at the character of individuals involved in “The Tour”, rather a question on the whole concept of “getting people in” to our stuff. I am sure that, like all of us commenting here our hearts are to see people meet with Jesus and grow in Him.
    Christina, I have to say that the “God told me to do it” argument holds little water with me, I understand Hitler used the same argument! Sometimes God does asks us to do the strangest things…but sometimes we do the strangest things and tell everyone “God told me to do it”. Tough one. Never the less I appreciated your comments and link to HISMETHOD.

    I am up in Kalgoorlie for the weekend, about to be served eggs on toast by Aash from the Bapos, great dude!
    I was pondering all this while laying in bed this morning and the old saying came to mind, “If we always do what we have always done we will always get what we have always got” (We have got a dying church in the west)
    For as long as … a long time, we have spend more money and resources trying to get people to come to us. (1.5 million in this case).
    I wonder what resouces and time and money well spent would produce if we reversed this mindset and directed it all at Christ-followers in training and equipping them to go out and make disciples and plant appropriate churches for those we are reaching (indigenous). Never once actually trying to get them in to our existing churches or programmes…idealistic?

  34. firstly – sorry for being a bit of a dick, Wayne. The comments i made were very sarcasting which my mother has always told me is the lowest form of wit.

    I guess i was disappointed that someone like yourself, who obviously thinks alot about isses regarding the church was not interested in joining in the conversation in a way that benefitted those who were.

    if the conversation bored you, as your “SNORE!!!” comment implied, it would have been better for all of us if you have just walked on by without making any comment.

    The reason why your thoughts could be beneficial is from looking at your blog, you do seem to have a foot in both camps.

    You comment on IWT as something you deliberately stayed clear of due to the “bait and switch” nature of the event. But you do highlight events like “mother’s day” as a way of luring people into a place they would not normally chose to go ie. church.

    It’s one thing more a lady with a bad back, to have a caring husband choose willingly to help her and as a by-product end up in church. But that is his choice out of love to serve his wife, and that is something to honour him for.

    But to use events to lure people with the intention of selling them the gospel seems only to add to the crowd mentality that Jesus saw through as only resulting in people asking for “more miracles”, knowing that there would never be enough to satisfy them.

    so – there it is, an apology and an honest request for more diverse dialogue. This type of forum will remain valuable if we keep the respect of others as our priority – sorry for letting it slip.

    PS – yes, my wife did have a go at me too 🙂

  35. Good on ya Matt… This is a very important discussion that we need to have… in love… because the outcome of why we do evengelism is of the greatest importance. The reality is the the Gospel will offend some people, the Bible says that, but I totally agree that we sould not trick people into hearing it. Preach it by all means… but be honnest about it.

  36. imagine if the Muslim’s did an IWT. and a whole stack of kids accidentally converted to the Islamic faith without their non-muslim parents knowing coz the strongmen made it look so cool…

  37. What a great thought C&C, this certainly made me sit up and think even more strongly about this topic. It brought it right on home! Thanks for this insight and wise thinking…you Solomon type person you!

  38. yeah but it’s simple – christians are right and muslims are wrong, so any means for christians justifies the ends… doesn’t it????????

    it certainly does sound ridiculous when it is verbalised doesn’t it?

    i agree with you Vawz – great insights C&C

  39. just wondering what benefit saying that stuff here will have?

    Is it possible that the gripes and complaints etc would be better directed towards the IWT team rather than aired here?

    Is this really more gossip than anything else having this convo here on vawz’s little corner of the net? Especially seeing how it has escalated from one or two regulars to 40+ comments? Maybe you should email the IWT people and tell them to come read your blog scott?

    Just thought i would put it out there….love yas all.

  40. Yep, I had given that some thought, thanks forthe nudge. Not sure how it constitutes gossip any more than you an I having a converstaion about the weather is gossip that the BOM should hear about…well maybe not a good example…aghhh a bad big mac is gossip that McDees should hear about?? Ok notha bad example, OK your right, I will contact them.

  41. I have been reflecting on this and I don’t think it is gossip.

    It is done in public – not behind backs. People are welcome to engage and respond. There is nothing hidden here and I am happy to be disagreed with in return.

    I think we can get too careful sometimes with this whole ‘gossip’ thing and never actually speak out against stuff that is wrong.

    There is a place for saying ‘no’ / ‘wrong’ etc and I don’t think we should shy away from that.

    I can’t speak for anyone else on here, but I believe sometimes we need to speak up and be prepared to disagree with people – even do it strongly and publicly.

    That has happened here. And anyone can hold a contrary opinion or challenge the original POV so long as they are open to their own views being challenged.

    Sometimes I think we are too soft on debate.

    Of course I could be wrong… 🙂

  42. Just been trying to research some of the public’s back lash on the web and came across this media release from i assume IWT but as i read it it very clearly states that it is an event put on by the christians!!!

    Spreading the extreme Word
    (http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,21275299-5005364,00.html)
    February 22, 2007 10:00pm

    THE Impact World Tour will bring BMX riders, skateboarders, dancers and rock musicians to schools and parks for a series of free concerts.

    Four international teams made up of skateboarders, BMX riders, musicians, dancers, cultural artists and athletes will perform in major venues, putting together a unique and stunning show for audiences. The performers are all committed Christians.

    Impact World Tour is a world-class event that has attracted more than 2.3 million people in hundreds of cities throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America, New Zealand and Australia since it began touring in 1993. More than 60 performers will make Perth their home for five weeks as they perform shows expected to draw more than 100,000 people.

    Team Xtreme perform amazing feats of strength and athletic prowess. Ripping whole telephone books in half, bending steel bars, shattering stacks of concrete bricks and other amazing displays of power and might, leaves audiences breathless and screaming for more.

    GX International brings together young men and women from all over the world who perform extreme skating and biking manoeuvres, as well as the very latest in hip-hop dance. The 2-hour multimedia presentation is a high energy, entertaining adrenaline rush.

    Death and Desire is not your average metal band. From very different parts of the world come the band members, unified through their passion, fury and hope. They bring together mature and thoughtful tones to present an amazing and intense live show.

    Island Breeze showcases the beauty of Pacific culture in a programme the whole family can enjoy. Stunning costumes, fire knife dancers and pounding Pacific drums are all part of this intense awe-inspiring performance.

    The events are generously supported by local individuals, businesses and churches. All of the IWT teams are made up of volunteer Christian performers from across the world who share a positive message of hope and destiny with their audiences.

    The Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor Dr. Peter Nattrass and IWT Board of Reference member welcomed the tour. “I am sure local residents will get right behind the performances and see for themselves that young people can play a positive role in the community,” he said.

    Teams will also be going into schools and prisons to challenge young people with their anti-drug and alcohol messages and encouraging them to live their lives to their full potential.

    Impact World Tour will be performing at the following locations. Shows start at 8PM except Members Equity Stadium shows which start at 7PM. For additional information, please visit http://www.impactworldtour.com.au

    Admission will be free.

    I thought that was an interesting read! not sure if it made the paper??? I guess this is pretty up front about the Christian bit and it’s public! However agree that they could’ve done more!!!
    Scott and Roo what are we going to do to make this a debate that actually has a bit more weight than words on a screen???? Would be good to talk this through some more!

    Mark Edwards don’t think i have ever met you (maybe one day?) but your comments about bc are the kind of comments i have come to expect from a typical docker supporter!

  43. Rod,
    thats a good press release, pity it did not get any press.

    All this talk about WC has sure taken the gloss off their premiership. Its a bit sad at my local auskick seeing kids with number 9 on their back. They dont know whats going on, but they are getting exposed too soon to stuff on the back of Cousins stupid decisions.

  44. I’m sorry Rod, But i don’t see how being christian means the same as putting on a flat-out christian evangelical rally???

    saying “all of the IWT teams are made up of volunteer Christian performers from across the world who share a positive message of hope and destiny with their audiences” does not equal come and hear that you need jesus as your saviour or unfortnately you will go to hell, nor does it have anything to do with a multi-media presentation which pits evolution against literal 7-day creationism.

    should we expect the same from our christian teachers who are in our state schools, or our christians who are policemen, or our christians who are lawyers????

    Do we allow our muslim brothers and sisters to teach their belief system in their field of vocation, or our homosexual brothers and sisters the right to teach their sexuality while they go about their day to day work?

    there is no doubt, this was a blatant attempt to hide the overt nature of the christian rally aspect of these events, because any person who is involved in the christian church in the 21st century knows that very few non-christian people would turn up to such an event if it was promoted truthfully.

    there was an article in the west that printed and it was very closely reflecting the sentiment of much of the disappointment regarding the deception of advertising. the text will follow if i can work out how to get it off a .pdf file and not have to type it out word for word.

  45. Tuesday 6th March, 2007, Inside Cover.

    “Religion and other extreme sports”
    Brainwashing is a delicate subject.

    But it’s alive and well in Dullsville in the form of the Impact World Tour.

    The “tour” is being marketed as a youth event centred on extreme sports, music and dancing.

    Lawyer Cheryl COllier took her daughters Emma, 11, and Lauren, 10, to the first date in IWT’s 24-even, month-long tour of Perth.

    Cheryl said the show at Quinns Baptist College in Mindarie started innocently enough, with a weightlifting display, but quickly turned to blatant religious propoganda aimed at the young audience.

    This included explicit descriptions of the crucified Jesus’ torture and death, repeated instructions to disregard the theory of evolution and demands from on-stage performers that children come forward and give up their souls to the Lord.

    Cheryl said she was shocked when the entertainers began detailing how religion had saved them from sins such as prostitution, pornography and drugs.

    “I was astounded at how this could be discussed when there were so many families present with young children,” she said. “It was extreme religion.”

    Cheryl said her daughters had appeared to be affected by the brainwashing.”

    “I saw my girls going towards the stage in what i can only describe as religious fervour,” she said.

    “I was very worried because there was no indication of this extreme religious content on the flyers we saw for the event and it outweighed the rest of the entertainment.”

    Impact World Tour spin doctor Rachel Olsen said they had “attempted” to disclose the event’s heavy reigious focus.

    Their flyers and adverts in the media have featured prominent images of skateboarding, BMX riding, DJ’s, musicians, strongmen contests and dancing, with the only nod to religion being a brief line in small text” “Sponsored by local individuals, businesses and churches.”

    About 1300 people attended the Mindarie show and the group was hopeful it could attract up to 4000 at the bigger venues, which included Challenge stadium and Joondalup Arena.

    With that many dartboards in the crowd, IWT’s propoganda will hit a few bullseyes.

    end of article

  46. The above article appeared in The West Australian and fyi, i did have to end up typing it word for word, hence the couple of typo’s.

    this one did obviously reach the press and, along with other bad word of mouth press, may have contributed something to do with the event at Challenge Stadium only pulling a crowd of about 700, of which many would have been made up from the IWT support team and christians from local churches.

    Maybe the IWT team will be asking themselves “what is going on – where are all the people?”. Hopefully this may result in them being open to discussing the obvious concerns held by both christians and non-christians in the general public? From the sounds of it, if Rod, Scott, Roo and others successfully manage to approach them for discussion, we will soon see how open they are.

    here’s honestly hoping…

  47. Otherendup – thanks, very inciteful.
    pdf – don’t you just click on the ‘t’ in the toolbar and then you can block the text and cut n paste?

  48. There seems to be two topics which keep getting confused…

    1) Deceit – That is as plain as I can put it. IWT was promoted on tv, flyers (I even found one at my local coffee shop), posters, but was not promoted as a Christian event, or as some would like to put it; come along so we can make you a Christian.

    2) Style – The whole big band, EXTREME examples like God is EXTREME and do you know where your going when you die thing…

    Lets not get the two of these confused (though I think at a deeper level they are intimately intwined as part of this corporate mentality to ministry).

    I think it would be safe to say we are all against the deceit, as it is perceived.

    Some of these guys who are against the style have actually been involved in this style in the past as well. Rather then “debating” something which its clear a majority didnt attend but have shared opinion from 3rd parties, I’d be interested to hear insight as to why the move away from that style of the past and what lessons have you learnt along the way… To me, that would be helpful to all.

    My 2c
    M.

  49. I have to agree wholeheartedly with hamo (upstream) here.
    Why are we christians so soft when it comes to pointing out when something is completely wrong?
    So many times we let these things go because we dont want to hurt feelings…but in truth something should be said! I am glad Scott posted about this, someone had to say it! We were all thinking it!!
    I just wish that Christians should get a little back bone and stand up when things are going a little skewiff, rather than just let them continue down the wrong path.

  50. Backbone is more than saying a few controversal things online. Backbone is taking action which is fueled by those opinions, hopefully leading to positive change.
    Down a WRONG PATH??? ummmm!

  51. hey folks,been reading along here as Scott introduced me to the topic this weekend. We turned down IWT in Kal here, personally due to a “something not right here” feeling, I think someone mentioned that before 2. But what I’m interested in is, what now? Those who disagree, what is to be done? If we should stand up for something that is so wrong(agree with you there Hamo), then we MUST do something. What is it? Agreeing with you here 2 Rod. Maybe dicuss it with Peter Brownhill himself, and I say discuss, not blast. I’m just keen to see something happen. My views on events like this I’ll hold onto for later as I feel(personally) more discussion can wait. There’s enough concensus from those who have issues with this for them to take it somewhere. Let’s do something folks.

  52. i think it takes backbone to actually goto the person or persons you have a gripe with and talk to them about it. Not complain in an ‘open forum’ where they aren’t present. The fact that they aren’t excluded doesn’t mean that it’s OK. they need to be deliberately included for this discussion to have any merit surely? Otherwise this will do nothing to bring the change you all want to see because you are preaching to the choir from the vibe of the respondants.

  53. I dont think anyone is trying to preach here, but simply air their concerns. When I mentioned backbone, I meant it in the sense that we Christians never speak up! We let things like IWT slide by. I dont believe we are gossiping, and I agree with Aash and Hamo that we now need to do something with what we have all (mostly all) agreed on.
    And Rod, sometimes simply speaking up does require a lot of backbone.

  54. Roo it was my understanding that YWAM were at pains to make this an event ‘owned’ by ‘the church of Perth’. I wonder which number I call for this?
    I say this kinda tongue ini cheek as I know YWAM were behind it. But their heart (I would hope) would be open public forum, I have asked many people I know via email and blog links and face to face requests to enter the conversation (as Rod indicated).
    And as you have encouraged, I intend to advise them of this forum.

  55. I remember reading about this guy once. His method of teaching wasn’t everyone’s favorite either. He did have some followers, the others, well…they crucified him.

    This is what I meant when I said we shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon. Of ALL the people who are complaining of the method used, I am going to guess (because I have no actual figures and most of the comments people refer to what they’ve “heard”) that over half the people speaking against this “method” IWT used were not actually in attendance, just going by hear say (which reminds me of a word “heresy” …hmm).

    I have looked, and I am not able to find anywhere in the Bible where God says, “sugar-coat my word,” or “do not offend anyone by suggesting that the alternative to an eternity with me is hell”. If anyone here is able to show me scripture to back up the point of view which says IWT is doing something “wrong” or “going down the wrong path”, I am completely open to seeing it.

    It is time we get over our own discomfort and evaluate what we are willing to do to get God’s word out to the ones who NEED TO STILL HEAR IT. We need to realize that there are still those out there who are willing to be persecuted for serving God and speaking his message in a very CLEAR manner. Self-evaluation time…”Am I willing to be persecuted for spreading the word of God?” and I ask that to myself as well, because there are still times I feel awkward and I need to be challenged.

    There are many who choose not to serve the world (and worry about “what will they think if we speak truth”) but they serve someone higher than themselves. They go into it willingly, knowing that there will be opposition, I just find it very sad that the opposition comes from other Christians who have not even taken the time out of their day to go see it first-hand. Your opinion may be different when you hear what is actually said, not someone’s angry paraphrase. You weren’t personally there to hear Jesus speak either, but do you entertain a conversation with someone who does not believe He actually said the things he did and performed the miracles he did? Okay, maybe that is a stretch because in this case we are speaking of those who have attended the performance. But still, I think it gives some more to think about.

    And for goodness sakes, what we are hearing in other parts of the world is how dry the Churches have become, how much you are wanting God to burst open the Churches over there (and this being said from people who live there as well…) If that is the case, then can we agree that the methods currently being used are not working? So why not see the effects this method has over the next year. I’m sure there is no preacher/pastor who would like to have his method of preaching judged by the immediate fruit, but the fruit over time.

    Just a challenge, and yes, I am willing to be challenged back.

  56. Ok I go away over the weekend and come back to a lot of reading.

    many people have asked what the use of this back and forth ‘banter’ is – well I don’t believe it’s gossip, but I feel it’s an insight into the personal feelings and beliefs of the people contributing – and for that no one should be looked down upon.

    personally I’ve gotten some good ideals of what Evangelism is about – and different takes on those views – but it’s good to see all views point to the glorifying of God and the growth of his church.

    Mark – again i think i should appologise, when i posted my first comment i hadn’t taken much notice of who’d posted your comment – i think if i had of realised it was you, i would have understood where the comment was coming from a lot better – as it was i reacted as though some teenage punk had just thrown his 2c in to tick everyone off.

    I love the way you grow and lead your traditional styled church – and i wish more Western Churches had the pride and community of Jesus that i see coming from yours.

    Yet a part of me still leans towards the evangelism and missional ways of Vawz and Hamo. I think I’m caught somewhere in the middle – a little like what WEC is doing in Sydney – established Churches sending out people to work in an ’emergent’ situation amongst people groups in Sydney. With the full backing of their respective churches…

    …anyway back to this topic…

    is one person coming to Christ worth it, if 10 people are at the same time offended so badly it takes another 10 years before they ever think about going to another Christian event?

    i mean i’d say the 1.5 million dollars would be all worth it if one person came to Christ – who can put a value on that – but what about the opposite side, all the people who felt betrayed?

    is that too great a cost?

    something else i heard on a camp recently was someone questioning the validity of us dragging our non-Christian friends along to events and church so SOMEONE ELSE can tell them about Jesus, why aren’t we doing this ourselfs?

    i almost feel that we have the responsibility to our neighbours and workmates to teach and introduce them to Jesus, and after that they can grow in the church. But bringing someone unawares to church is almost as bad as people advertising ‘lifting stuff’ then pushing Jesus onto them.

    Maybe just because IWT was such a big event we’ve seen it in a really blatant light – but maybe we do it on a smaller scale with some of out church ‘outreach’ events??? I guess at least having it at a church or something would not be as misleading as what IWT seems to have been.

    Again it’s a ‘style’ thing – but sometimes maybe style does matter.

    I’m looking back onto the words of a very Godly man – someone i admire and respect as someone who knew the heart of God.

    Keith Green.

    Never did this man worry about offending or hurting feelings if he saw a Christian or a church doing something blatantly wrong. Like when a church took up a love offering for his ministry and then when he received it he knew some of that offering had been taken out by the church. He turned his car around and went back and drilled the pastor – not on ripping him off – but on deceiving his church, he’d told them all the money was going to Keith’s ministry, but he took some for the church as well.

    Keith Green’s lyrics also didn’t worry about offending the touchy feely Christians – he wrote biblically, and didn’t worry who thought he was wrong…

    “To obey is better than sacrafice, I want more than Sundays and Wednesday nights, if you can’t come to me everyday, then don’t bother coming at all”

    powerful words – that even his wife urged him to change…

    but he stood his ground.

    maybe sometimes when things seem so blatantly wrong we need to stand our ground as well – not having experienced IWT i’m not game to throw down that’s what we need to do – but if people think that God’s word is cleary pointing that way – then stick to your guns

  57. I think what the majority of us are concerned about, is not how many people were saved, but how many people were alienated?
    Yes, we need to be strong and firm in our stance for God and not back down from “preaching” it, but when we start to alienate people, then I think we are going down the wrong path.

  58. Big Dave’s computer would not let him post so he emailed me –

    Wow Scott

    You started a hoo haw..

    For the record… I went to IWT on Saturday and was thoroughly “entertained”… Yes they did good job in presentation and great pyrotechnics, dance and skate boarding, BMX and all bells and whistles. It was a good show..

    Emotionally manipulating yes the clips used all had a young female sufferingan identity crisis and the explaination was that God was the answer.

    The testamonies were obviously YWAM team members. They dealt with issues such as identity and security, trying the bad stuff but finding the answer in Jesus and so on…

    The appeal at the end was way to long

    At the end of the day the six kids I took with me had the highlight that when the skaters jumped the ramp of fire one of the main guys shoe laces caught fire… so it had an impact on their world…

    Our church intially was very interested in the IWT concept and supported it at the start, because by all appearances it was based on a sound thought out strategy. I also believe that there is a place for large scale evangelism events that add to the relational incarnational evangelism I believe in.

    But over time it became apparent that because the young team coordinators from IWT (most YWAM)

    were young the focus was aimed at reaching young people particularly teenagers. This did fit with our church and our dynamics. Over much discussion we chose not to make this the priority for our church.

    I am still inviting people to go but I am also being careful of explaining it is a cHristian event.

    My two cents worth…

    Loren Mead in a relatively unknown book “Transforming Congregations for the Future” writes of the blatant poles that exist in evangelical protestant churches( this is in the 80’s but can be applied today with a tweek).

    One pole being the outright “get them saved from hell” gospel by being wholly evangelistic…

    The other pole being the social impact of the Gospel serving the communities by addressing social needs and injustice.

    Meads points our the even within a congregation that there are extreme of both poles and these are valid interpretations within certain contexts but it is important for both sides to acknowledge one another through dialogue to add richness the multifaceted diamond that is God’s church. He also encourages us to find teh balance between to two extreme and that balance is a place of great relationship and dialogue.

    My point is they do what they do… it may make it you vomit but I belive they do so with sincere hearts. Do some people get offended…yep. Do IWt manipulate attendee?… probably but search your hearts and know that we are involved in some form of manipulation in any human relationship.

    Should they do what they do?…

    Only God know…He will take our weakness and use them for his greatness.

    I don’t know the whole story but I believe the big main from Banksia Grove got with IWT guys to address some of his concerns and they listen to him. I respect that and I would love to hear his point of view.

    Big Dave

  59. Man, you get convicted sometimes hey! My bro and wife just ‘spoke to me’, I love these people probably more than anyone in the world and they said some hard things.
    This is what the focus was –
    The issue of “IWT IS WRONG” and “WHAT I THINK IS RIGHT”
    This drawing a line in the sand type talk, not allowing room for diversity etc.
    It got me thinking. Maybe there are things about IWT that I could be OK with. I don’t know what. But maybe if they reply to my email I could sit with them and make a list of things I thought were “Questionable” rather than “WRONG”.
    This right and wrong language is like my old “In” and “Out” language.
    I guess it is a clash of cultures, I want black and white, I struggle with relativism, but then there are some things that would not be classed as relativism, just methodology.
    BUT – I said to my bro, I feel so strong about the image that the Church gets from this type of thing (IWT). I feel the need to stand up and say ‘this is wrong’. He said good, go to IWT and tell them, not like this.
    I think we have to be careful when drawing the line in the sand and stating this is right and that is wrong. Having said that, everyting in me rages up when I think of some of the reactions people are having to this event, people who don’t follow Christ.
    Aghh. What to do.
    Should we just all agree with everything the other parts of the body do?
    Should we be outspoken and negative about everything unless I agree with it totally?

    The other thing my awesome bro challenged me on was…”You didn’t even go! How can you say this stuff without having gone!”
    Well, that is true, I stated it in my original post. I had made my (small) mind up before I went, just based on the advertising and conversations I had had with people involved. My thoughts turned out to be not too far off the mark. But OK I admit to being a third hand distant observer taking pot shots from the boundary!

  60. Big Dave said what I was trying to convey…I am just not always great with how I get my point out. Better in person with dialogue (grin).

    And Vaws, very insightful thoughts from your bro and wife. It is really hard to determine when we need to stand up and fight something that is damaging to the Church, but it is so important to seek God on it first. There are always grey areas and having been pretty “black and white” myself for most of my life, I am still learning that too. I admire your passion for the cause, we all need to have some of that fire in us.

    While I don’t necessarily think we need to agree with what all parts of the body does, I have learned the hard way not to judge unless it is seriously putting anyone in serious danger. Sometimes my own judgment makes me miss the entire point of what God is trying to work through in someone else. I have learned to be “slow to anger” and quicker to go directly to God and ask for the answers to my questions. He still speaks, we just have to be quiet long enough to hear Him. And when we get hot under the collar for something we are so passionate about, it can sometimes plug our ears. I say this because I’ve been there, still sometimes go there, but less and less as I grow in my faith.

    I pray you get the chance to express your concerns to IWT, I pray that you get to even meet them. They really do have AMAZING hearts for God and for the people.

  61. Should we just all agree with everything the other parts of the body do?

    you’re standing on top of a cliff… your legs (one part of the body) say, let’s just jump from here, thats a decent way to get to the bottom…

    i’m sure other parts of your body that know a little bit more about gravity will disagree (quite harshly too)

    the goal of the body might be the same (the bottom of the cliff) but there are some good ways, and some bad ways to get there. If the legs go with their idea then it’s probably gonna hurt the rest of the body.

    maybe the eyes need to mention to the legs that they see a path that will take the whole body safely to the bottom???

  62. this side of all the hoo har, i stand here…

    2 years ago i was asked to get involved in helping organise the IWT tour. I asked for some clarification as to what was going on, the methods used and what they hoped to achieve.

    From what i was told, i was able to see that the methodology and theology behind it was at odds with my own personal beliefs and therefore made a decision not to be aligned with it.

    Some of my friends, who share similar ideologies and theologies to me did however get involved. they saw an opportunity to hopefully help the IWT organisers re-view and re-think some of the stuff that has been talked about in this ongoing conversation.

    All of the above was brought up in many, many planning meetings and discussions – many of which were more heated than what some people fear this has become. But they were all carried out amongst the planning team for the event – over 2 years.

    At numerous times my fiends were given assurances that their concerns had been heard and were valid and that there was no way some of the things they were concerned about, would happen as IWT came to Perth.

    They were assured the promotion would be totally honest and upfront in it’s christian emphasis and intention.

    They were assured that discipleship packages that had been designed specifically for the deliberate and thorough follow up of any IWT “new converts” would be promoted amongst the local churches in the areas the event was run.

    PLEASE NOTE – neither of these points has anything to do with whether people choose to use muscles, motorbikes or musicians in the delivery of their message about Jesus.

    So all that was left to do was wait and see.

    Unfortunately, as i witnessed first hand, and have inside knowledge from the planning of these meetings, that both the things they promised were blatantly disregarded in practice.

    now my friends see their role as trying to minimise the negative impact this tour has had on many of the people and churches in perth.

    I will not get involved in these types of events for many of the same reasons i do not attend a traditional western evangelical charasmatic church anymore. But THIS IS NOT why i was disappointed with the IWT (Perth) organisers.

    It was their decision to undermine and disregard the heart and work of many of our local church workers who are passionately involved every day in their local communities. The IWT organisers (Perth-based) listened to the pleas for care when attracting the crowds and heard the hearts they have for long-term discipleship. And they ignored both of these things.

    Some times, it is not what you do, but how you do it that makes all the difference, and in this case the IWT (Perth) guys dropped the ball when it mattered most.

    game over, time to move on.

  63. I went to an Island Breeze night, took my kid + school friends.

    Great show … personal testimonies where about when the red flags that I so hoped wouldn’t pop up in my head and heart started flashing. “Jesus saved me from a life of drugs and drink.” Just what every kid needs to hear because that’s what happens to kids these days – right?

    The Maori dance interpretation of the cricifixion was powerful and one of the kids wanted to respond (as did I – it was deeply moving). And so I sat for a few minutes (too many minutes) debating as to whether to allow the kids go down to the front, or whether the affirmation of faith was better coming from me when we got home … and what was I going to say to the parents? “Your Catholic child responded to the evangelical version of Jesus tonight …?”

    We left and as I put the kids into bed, I chose to affirm that the feelings that were felt were true and from God and that the choice to follow Jesus is always a good one – however that looks.

    I’m sad that the IWT organisers didn’t listen to the insights of local people who really wanted to partner with them. I know that hearts and lives have been changed … IWT has produced a pile of buds on the vine – I trust and hope that they mature into fruit that lasts.

  64. Funny, this brings back some stuff that seems familiar from the Franklin Graham Crusade. I’m pretty sure there was some deaf ears there too in some approaches to evangelism. Is this cultural?

    I can remember organising some events in the past that drew crowds of teens.

    I can’t honestly remember what was on all our flyers / advertising but I know in some form there was some pretty cool stuff going on, extreme games, bullriding, music groups (a bait?) and that in that night of the really cool stuff we gave a message about Jesus (a switch?)

    Some of the young people came to know Christ, many didn’t. It’s funny though. From one of these events was a guy who became a Christian. I personally spent a fair bit of time with him and in helping him bond relationships with others. Through the organising of this event he became a Christian, not in the event itself. It was about relationship. The plain fact is we are too reliant on programs to lead people to Christ. Christians are often after an easy fix for their friends and family.

    Personally, now, with what I have experienced and my view on religious eventism (yep just made it up) I would rather see people come to know Christ in purity, through simple relationship, doing life together, rather than through a religious system of rules, judgement and expectation. I don’t feel like I can trust many churches anymore or religious eventists, that they won’t put the cream and cherrie on top, spoiling a perfect saviour.

  65. At some point you have to confront people with the gospel.

    Is it possible that inside of us is a fear in sharing the gospel? So instead of confronting that issue in our own lives, we slag off those who do?

    Is that possible??

    Jesus was friends with people, but it was not just because he wanted them to be his mates. He had a purpose for their lives,

    He had an agenda in building relationships.
    We might not like that, but too bad, its true, He was a pragmatist.

    And the end justified the means.

  66. yeah mark – thats sort of what i was getting at when i said…

    i heard on a camp recently was someone questioning the validity of us dragging our non-Christian friends along to events and church so SOMEONE ELSE can tell them about Jesus, why aren’t we doing this ourselfs?

    the relationships with our neighbours, peers and such needs to have that end goal in sight of sharing Jesus. And that’s our responsibility – not the resonsibility of some steel bending muscle men….

  67. Thats fine Jarrol, and we are all responsible but….

    some are gifted evangelists, and this can be shown through scripture.

    Hybels tells the story of how he was sharing his faith for 3 years with a friend, then another mate came along, witnessed to him, and within 2 hours, he made a commitment.

    There are people who are gifted to be ‘harvesters’, but this does not absolve our own responsibility to be witnessers.

  68. Mark. Are you saying that the only way to confront someone with the gospel is through an event or institutional church?

  69. ok yeah sure Mark – i guess i hadn’t looked at it from that angle.

    you’re totally right. strange i didn’t think of it, we discussed that exact point in depth on a camp i went on last weekend.

    But i guess we don’t know that someone has that gift until we’ve met them or heard credible reports… so taking someone along to an event could still be a lazy hope of conversion if you have no idea the speaker is a gifted evangelist.

    again not knowing this IWT i’m not making a big claim, but with how the advertising sounded – if i’d read it – i wouldn’t have known the backgrounds and ‘gifts’ of the speakers at IWT – so taking a friend to that differs in my oppinion than say taking them along to a Billy Graham crusade.

    I know without a doubt Billy has a gift for evangelising….

    But yes I do agree with you – i still feel we need to be careful though, and keep our responisbility of witnessing alive.

    hey Glen – i think Mark was just saying don’t use ‘building relationships’ as a reason for not confronting the person with the Gospel (either in person, or by a church or event).

  70. Glen….Mark said,
    “There are people who are gifted to be ‘harvesters’, but this does not absolve our own responsibility to be witnessers.”

    I interpret that to mean that yes, large scale events can be a way to accomplish the goal, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t have the responsibility to do it one on one as well. There are SEVERAL ways to accomplish the ultimate goal, large scale evangelism is just one way.

    Mark, if that is not what you were saying, please correct me. Thanks.

  71. Cristina, thats what I think.
    The scriptures indicate to me that some people are more gifted to lead people to Christ that others, but we should all try, and with Gods grace, all can….
    beinga good Baptist boy, I believe in the priesthod of all believers.

    Jarrol, your point about trusting people is a good one. And based on this thread, IWT have lost a lot of trust.

    But thank God, that He is gracious and will work despite the medium, which is not a criticism of IWT, just a general statement

  72. Hi all. That was a loooong read. It was interesting to read everyones views and opinions. Just thought that i’d give my persepective (no matter how late i’ve joined the convo). I did go to one of the performances, GX at Freo. I totally agree with Scott, there was an undeniable ‘bait and switch’, AND BOY DID THE AUDIENCE NOTICE! After the first session of rapping, break dancing and skating/riding was the “we’re all Christians telling you about Jesus” speech. At this point i felt an unease i only feel rarely and i believe it was justified. I was sitting near the front and as i turned around i saw the exit path behind full with disgruntled audience members flooding out. That was in the first 15 minutes. I was totally disappointed with the lack of truth in the advertising. The blurbs to each team could be used on any ‘positive life’ kind of group, no matter what faith, or lack of, they had. But most disappointing was the thought that all of those people leaving had an even greater reason to hate the church, Christians and ultimately God. That doesnt help my work with the community i’m in. Another reason that this was disappointing was that i myself was once a YWAM’er and at the event i caught up with many old friends from my time there. I know that they would never want to do anything that would push someone away from knowing their Creator. However, like in most institutions, the ‘little guys’ have little say in what actually happens on a bigger scale. I have much more to say regarding evangelical events vs. incarnational evangelism, but consider it wiser to leave it here with a question that i think would really benefit people in my position, who are on the ground, in the lives of our neighbours, possibly who have been hurt by the church. How can we turn this kind of effort and energy in our discussion to being Jesus (a long-term Jesus, not just one for 2 hours while doing BMX backflips) to our neighbours? How can we encourage and strengthen eachother? We’ve seen how things maybe (it’s a personal opinion) shouldn’t be done, lets use that fire thats been stoked up to mobilise.

    ADAM.

  73. Adam, you ask some great questions here, “How can we turn this kind of effort and energy in our discussion to being Jesus (a long-term Jesus, not just one for 2 hours while doing BMX backflips) to our neighbours? How can we encourage and strengthen eachother? We’ve seen how things maybe (it’s a personal opinion) shouldn’t be done, lets use that fire thats been stoked up to mobilise.”

    I have been approached by a member of the IWT WA reference group, kind of a local link executive I understand. He has asked if I am open to hosting a forum for discussion to ask some of these type of questions and address some of the issues mentioned in the above posts. He suggested that this blog has brought forth many great insights, some angry and even somewhat hurtful, some creative, gracious and so on. But his feeling was, “Lets use this to grow and help the church of Perth”
    He made note that his group are not part of IWT, they are our local pastors and leaders based here in Perth used as a reference committee.
    It is my understanding and reading between the lines of my conversation with this gentleman that IWT will have flown in and flown out and left us to pick up the mess (My interpretation). But this may be confirmed by IWT’s response in which they thanked me for my email but declined to read or comment on this site, or make further comment.
    Fair enough, I did appreciate getting a response. It would be wonderful if at the end of all this the best thing IWT have left us with is a reason to dig deeper in unity and solidarity in the church here in Perth. Agree or disagree with IWT, that has got to be a good outcome yes?

  74. Yeh Scott it is great that this has in some form unified some of the church. And yes, there are some genuine born-again, Christ-loving converts now as a result of what they were told at an IWT event.
    But i’m sure a lot of us are still quite disappointed about some of the attitudes behind the running of the tour.
    What shocked, but didnt surprise me were ‘otherendup’s comments.

    “At numerous times my fiends were given assurances that their concerns had been heard and were valid and that there was no way some of the things they were concerned about, would happen as IWT came to Perth.”

    “Unfortunately, as i witnessed first hand, and have inside knowledge from the planning of these meetings, that both the things they promised were blatantly disregarded in practice.”

    It is sad that this dishonesty to the church, and ultimately the general public occured. And it saddens me further to think that this is the exact same attitude will be transferred to Darwin where the tour is going next (or so i’ve heard).
    I think that issue HAS to be addressed, for the sake of the rest of Australia and the world that may be hurt by such dishonesty.

    A forum may great, but i would hate to see it become a slagging match. I’m sure everyone agrees that that isn’t acceptable among the church.

    I hope that from all this we are able to review our church’s (congregations and city-wide church) evangelism methods. Any kind of flashy event, whether evangelical or for disciples (not mentioning any in particular) with pretty young ladies, smoke machines laser lights, 5 guitarsists and break dancers tends to piss me off quicker than a rabbit hit with a cattle prod, just ask my friends. But it would be absolutely great to get together and talk about some kind of neighbour service and evangalism ideas. I’ve seen some amazing ‘programs’ (for lack of a better word), and im sure some of you have other effective ideas.
    If only we could get Maccas to send us a few hundred k so we could help out some of our neighbours.
    ADAM.

  75. I totally agree Adam. For so long local Church resources have been used to run larger scale programs or to pay mega bucks in staffing for what I would say is little return. If the church was in a business world and disciples were the profit, most churches would have been made redundant by now for operating at a huge loss. Now I need to say here that God is sovereign, and I believe in that sovereignty in bringing people to Himself. However, He has given the mantle for making disciples to the church and what are we doing? Using the resources just to keep the institutional church alive. If that’s all we do with the resources then you have to question whether it really is God’s church?
    I believe we need to resource those who have a heart to evangelise and make disciples. This may be individuals it may be groups but we need to get our resources away from propping up the church internal structure or resourcing eventer’s and resource and mobilise people who’s heart it is to reach their community, people who are already amongst us.

  76. It’s the strangest thing. We could give $ to those in our midst who we know their hearts and can coach them in their discpleship but we spend $ on people who we don’t know to do our business for us. Isn’t that an issue?

  77. Still not able to post for some reason…
    Big Dave says

    Interesting discussion and worth having…

    I went to Team extreme last night.

    Up to this point I had only seen the GX international, which as in my previous comment I found entertaining

    My comments on Team extreme:

    Very good… if you’re a redneck bogan hick with an IQ of 50, looking around the crowd there were no signs of DB’s (desert boots) or Flannelette shirts…( if this is your preferred attire it doesn’t imply you have a low IQ just poor taste).

    Left me tasting parmesan cheese at the back of my mouth. Very smelly cheese…

    Quote of the night

    “Lets here you scream if you want to see someone break concrete Blocks with their head”

    Hear my mind scream “o it harder

    Even if you agree with the methodology and I believe there is a place for this methodology in God’s kingdom, this was a case of badly misreading the culture of the area. Didn’t match, didn’t fit and didn’t impress me.

    And yes I will be writing to IWT with my feedback because there was other stuff done that was insensitive to the various denominations and was too pressuring for the making of decision.

    Big Dave

  78. Wow, this post is an entire book!

    A couple of things come repeatedly to my mind as I read all this and has been repeatedly stated here:

    “…He have some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…” According to Paul, there is some kind of distinction between proclaiming the good news of Jesus (evangelism) and training each other as an apprentice of Jesus (discipleship). This makes sense since how can we train someone to be like someone they don’t believe in? So, what is the distinction between evangelism and discipleship? Which leads to my second thought…

    What you win people with is what you win people to. Do the ends justify the means? I suppose it depends on our definitions of “gospel” and “converts” and “disciples”.

    Does IWT make it easier or harder to introduce people to the upside-down kingdom of God and His Son Jesus Christ?

    At the end of the day, with all the money and energy required to put on IWT, they only happen every once in a while. It’s like a fireworks show. Lots of ooohs and aaahs but a short time later everyone gets up and continues with their lives. The impact, good or bad, by the event is miniscule compared to the amount of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that we allow the Holy Spirit to show to those we live with.

  79. I guess I just wanted to say that I think its really said that you and other people Christian and non- Christians have a problem with something that has a Christian message that is relevant, the response in dozens of nations would point towards that. Its advertised so it appeals to the people who think that Christianity is weak and irrelevant, because we are weak and irrelevant and fearful for a long long time. But we love and take in all the other messages that are given to us in every public school classroom, movie, news program, news paper… Only that they do it in a truly deceptive way, they say they have no agenda, no motive… No one questions it at all. Yet a clear transparent Christian message is frowned upon, at the very least that is discrimination.

    But for me what is really heartbreaking is that Christians turn on things like these and defend the current way that the body of Christ reaches out to the community around us. And our impact in the world outside the 4 walls of the church is over all inexistent.
    Christianity as it is lived today is just simply not at all in the likeness of Jesus Christ… No love, no truth, no miracles that touch people, no answers to real life issues… just a couple of buildings filled on 2 nights a week at best for a couple of hours… Or some “evangelistic friendships” where Christians are much more concerned about their reputation than actually sharing a relevant message of the gospel… so it takes years for us to come around to it and so we are incredibly inefficient… not at seeing “people saved!!!” but at actually touching people around us with care and hope. With the truth and reality they are littering killing themselves in search of.

    I wish there were more people willing to take the gospel out of the church and in to the streets like Impact World Tour has… weather in events or in their personal sphere of influence. Else we will continue to be irrelevant and the only reason that the church wont completely cease to exist is because God is merciful towards those who dont know Him. Because the ones who are the hands and feet of the mesage are locked away somewhere…

  80. that is a really good point that you make the whole way through your comment. But most people here AGREE that this world has to be reached outside of a ‘church building’, and that faith and love has to be expressed in the wider community. But if you read through everyones comments, what people have been saying is that the deceptive, or at least untruthful, advertising and ‘bait-and-switch’ methods used by the tour may be doing more harm than good. Some, or many, people i know who are school chaplains and pastors feel that a lot of the relationships that they have established have been hindered because of some teams disregarding expectations and norms in places like high schools. I for one am not bagging out or disregarding the great and hard work IWT members have put in to share their message with Perth.
    It is just that many of the church who LIVE and breathe here, who have to stay here after the tour has left, feel that some of the methods used in organising, promoting and running the tour were deceptive, untruthful and actaully irrelevant to the social context (even while trying to be relevant).

    Lastly, you said that
    ‘Christianity as it is lived today is just simply not at all in the likeness of Jesus Christ… No love, no truth, no miracles that touch people, no answers to real life issues’. Well i am a minister in this city. I see the church i am with loving more relevantly, LOTS more truthfully and with more answers to peoples issues than anybody flying in and out ever could. I think that comment was a broad generalisation, no matter how large the element of truth.
    ADAM.

  81. I am stoked that you are a minister in this city and thanks for providing leadership to the body on Christ in my city. I really appreciate and I know its hard work and lots of sacrifice… so thanks.

    I am not knocking what goes in the city dont get me wrong. I live in this city and therefore I minister to this city and I love this place.

    But what I am saying is that something needs to change cause at the rate we are going we are not influencing society and we continue to loose our relevance and voice in the community. I am not saying that any specific ministry has a bad approach or any one church is not doing enough. I am asking if continue in our track now where will this city be in 50 years… Will the suicide rate continue to increase, will the drug epidemic continue to rage out of control, will abortion continue to ravage the next generation. I dont want a “religious answer” that will fill churches… I want a real answer that will transform the city I love, the people I love. And as whole right now we are no where near it…If you dont agree with me that is cool. But if you know different… that are communities being transformed in this city than please let me know cause I want to come see and learn.

    I am generalising and I am aware of that. I am doing that only because I am looking at the macro and not the micro. I am looking at the impact that the church in the city as whole is having in the city as a whole.

    As far as I have studied and heard, public proclamation of the gospel has always been part of true social change… Never well received either as far as I can see.

    I think that you would agree with me that if the advertising for the event was done in way that it clearly promoted a Christian show. All that we would have at the shows is Christians… I think that 80 percent of people that come to big gospel presentations are Christians. What they wanted to do was to avoid that exactly. That is not IWT’s fault or any other ministry like it fault. But it us, our fault… that people would hear “Jesus” or “Christianity” and think… actually not even think about it AT ALL, cause its irrelevant. So they will go out and look for life somewhere else with out even considering that maybe “Jesus” or “Christianity” will help me deal with my fears, my life, me relationships, my poor self-esteem

    So they put in there sponsored by local churches as way of warning people or at least giving them the heads up about what the message will be about. Cause sponsorship means ” I want my message or brand or… to get out there so I am investing in this vehicle”. Which should not even have to be there cause people are free to come and free to leave at any time. Every show that comes in this city promotes a certain message, the news we watch at night has an incredibly strong agenda…

    So you are probably thinking true but we live by a higher standard. You are right we do. But it is not deception to put on a show or a blog or art piece that carries a message. Its deceptive to say that it does not carry a message, when it does. By saying Christian art, Christian music and so we put barriers around that message. Art is art, music is music and they will all always carry the message of the artist or entertainer… As Christians we are meant to be a part of society but we continually separate ourselves. Yes the message will separate people and offend people more that any other message in the market place of ideas. Same as it always has, that does not mean that we should go out to offend people. We should go out to love people but knowing that many will get offended. If Jesus offended people we got no hope.

    Sorry this turned out way longer than I thought…

  82. Hey Anonymous (post 84 & 86),
    I think i hear your heart, and i can definitely hear the desperation in your plea, but i’m just not sure that because nobody likes that 1 + 1 = 2, that we can justify changing the answer to “3” because more people seem to like that option.

    You say “I guess I just wanted to say that I think its really said that you and other people Christian and non- Christians have a problem with something that has a Christian message that is relevant, the response in dozens of nations would point towards that.”

    asking young people if they want to come forward to accept a “Jesus” that can smack his head through 20 concrete slabs, and roll over cars, and bend iron bars is like offering a kid a candy bar and a can of coke for free and asking them if they want it. What kid wouldn’t want to be the strongest, funniest, most powerful person in the universe??? unfortunately though, if that is what these kids are expecting on the other side of these events, when they mosey on down to their local church, which you have so well pointed out – are mostly “irrelevant”, then what have you achieved???

    Unfortunately, IWT is not a different way of doing things for many of our evangelical churches – it is just another way of doing the same thing week in and week out. We sit down and plan “how can we get people to come to us this week?”.

    We come up with catchy sermonette series, that will tantilise not bore, with sermon titles like “what would Jesus say to Bart Simpson” and “God wants you to have more money”.

    We add to that a nice little skit and a 3 minute multi-media presentation and a cool power-point outline. We even tell them they don’t have to give any money, if they don’t want to.

    IWT is just the same thing, but with a different accent, a few more muscles and a beat up old car.

    And this is where i’m afraid you are missing the point – the state of the church around Perth and Australia and the World is largely due as a result of doing things EXACTLY THIS WAY!

    Just like you said, “Christians turn on things like these and defend the current way that the body of Christ reaches out to the community around us. And our impact in the world outside the 4 walls of the church is over all inexistent. Christianity as it is lived today is just simply not at all in the likeness of Jesus Christ … just a couple of buildings filled on 2 nights a week at best for a couple of hours”

    Remember WIT did not come to Perth to save people into their movement – the churches in Perth agreed to use WIT as a means of seeing people get saved – just a bit more funky franchise than the usual, but nonetheless, just another franchise.

    your second posting continued to share your heart – thanks again, it is truly passionate, and something that many of us share.

    but to think that deceiving people into a building to then suprising them with the Gospel is a valid way to reach our world – i’m sorry, but you are seriously mistaken, although with good intentions.

    You said, “I think that you would agree with me that if the advertising for the event was done in way that it clearly promoted a Christian show. All that we would have at the shows is Christians… I think that 80 percent of people that come to big gospel presentations are Christians. What they wanted to do was to avoid that exactly.”

    please find me one instance in the Bible where Jesus deceives people into believing him. the only people doing the deceiving are those plotting against him (see pharisees and religious leaders of the day) – and from when i last checked – Jesus was pretty against this type of two-faced “sincerity”.

    No matter how poorly the church may seem to be doing (which may be debatable depending on what measuring system you choose to adopt), you can’t begin to try and drag people agianst their will, kicking and screaming into heaven whilst reassuring them, “don’t worry, this is for own good! You’ll thank me one day!!!”

    How does this show people that we truly believe that “greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world” or “the gates of hell shall not prevail” or “it is not His will that any should perish”.

    From where i sit, in my little corner of Perth northern suburbia, i thank God that he is actively working in and around me every day. He is loving and drawing people to himself, by His Spirit every miniute of every day, and every now and again i get to witness it.

    The kingdom of heaven is slowly taking shape on earth all over the place.

    Maybe, what is being shown by events like IWT, is that much of the western evangelical church is indeed missing the point entirely.

    bums on seats every sunday, bigger buildings with cool “subversive” church names, counting how many hands went up after a 22 and a half minute talk that mentioned Jesus as the answer to all your problems, and getting 80% of everyone tithing may not show us the true health of the kingdom on earth.

    maybe none of that stuff actually matters at all.

    maybe simply choosing each day to partner with God in the work of his Spirit, in our own little corners of the world, is all we need to concern ourselves with.

    maybe…

  83. Whoa Whoa Whoa!!! I just had a brain-wave! If people dont want to come to Christian evangelical events because they’re Christian evangelical events, lets not have Christian evangelical ‘events’!!! Lets be like….well maybe, the first apostles. Lets go to the world, not drag the world to church, even ‘church’ glossed with laser-lights, young pretty dancers, strong men, rappers and cool music.
    Contextualising is great, but lets contextualise to peoples NEEDS, not their consumeristic natures.
    “GO”, not ‘bring’, was the command of Jesus.
    ‘Going’ to people shows acceptance, sacrifice and love, just as Jesus went to the lepers, Samaritans, adulterers, sick and even the dead.

    ‘Bringing’ shows selling a product, conforming to my ideas, and the church compromising it’s message. It involves deception and covering. It invovles enculturating and ‘Christianising’.
    ADAM.

  84. My name is Dan and i wrote post 84 and 86. These were the first times I ever blogged anything. So sorry for not putting my name in there I just got that revelation…

    Thanks for reading and responding. I am stoked that there are people out there who are trying to make a difference the best they know how. We agree in some stuff dont agree in others, one day we will all see clearly instead of through a darkened glass. All the best keep searching and thinking and praying… Our city needs it.

    Dan

  85. Dan, thanks so much for introducing yourself to us all here at “No Guarantees”. It can be a dangerous place at times with so many opinions and ideas and challenges, and it’s nice to know names. I guess it (blogging) is impersonal enough not to mention coming in as anonymous. Sometimes people find it hard to get a user account with a user name for some reason, so it’s nice when they sign off with a name. (Just a passion area of mine) So all I am saying is that you have made my day by telling us your name! Welcome!
    Otherendup – your last post was great to read. It clearly articulated (as usual) some of the feeling I too feel on issues of consumerism and the state of the church.
    I read 2 stats recently, both horrific.

    One was 80% the other 94% of young people drawn to our youth ministries and giving their lives to Christ will walk away from that commitment and the church by the time they are 18.
    I used to say 80% of people with an adult faith made that decision to follow Jesus before the age of 18. (this may well be true) But this new stat is shocking.
    It indicates that whatever it is we are using to “get them in” is certainly not “keeping them in” after they leave school.
    I guess the depth of discipleship does not stand against the challenges of a uni education. I guess the tantalizing lights, concrete smashing, bar bending and emotional messages don’t stand up against a Robbie Williams concert.
    It would seem (statistically and from reading my blog and all your comments) that something is wrong, way wrong with the way we are “doing church” if you will excuse this grose use of term.
    I am convinced that Church is not an event, the Kingdom does not boil down to home group and sunday services. In fact these things are just periferal. The Kingdom is sooo much bigger than I have ever imagined…funny as I now ‘go’ to a ‘church’ that is smaller than I ever imagined. And according to an offensive book by Gordon Moore of Christian City Church international, what I am a part of is not even classed as a church as it has not hit 75 people yet! (p10) And based on his book our group is heading for destruction as we value things such as “Servant Leadership” and “Unity Between Churches” things that according to Gordon Moore are “counterproductive for the growth of the local church” (page 67 Leadership Styles & Levels of Church)

    No wonder we are in trouble!
    God help us!

  86. God forgive me for feeling like slapping Gordon Moore repeatedly with a Bible then reading it to him.

    That 80-94% stat is horrific. Ive noticed its truth with my experience in plenty of youth groups/youth services (although not all, and not to that degree).

    So what i’ve tried doing to combat this is to keep it small. Ive decided to not let one person i meet in my role to ‘slip through the cracks’, to go unnoticed. Before i care about getting bigger, i care about who i am with now! There’s no use having 50 kids under my care if i can’t pastor 10 effectively. I care about discipleship, and it is intensive. It requires small groups, it requires intimate times. Jesus had 12 disciples and a smaller close group.
    I read somewhere recently (and wrote it in an essay) that a good pastor (which we are ALL to be) ‘knows peoples names’. What he’s implying there is actually knowing more than someones name, but knowing the person. I know there are lots of ‘pastors’ who dont know the names of people in their flock. How can you pastor someone if you dont even know their name?
    I think that’s why people are leaving church, because a lot of our brothers and sister IN CHRIST aren’t even noticed, acknowledged or missed.
    Thats why in evangalism and discipleship we need to move away from the flashy and showy and get back to the heart, get back to actually KNOWING someone and caring for them from our heart, not because it’s the purpose of the event that night.
    ADAM

  87. On my way to work this morning I was reading a little more of Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. He talked about how we cant label things ‘christian’ because than can be dangerous and misleading.

    The word Christian is a noun and shouldnt be used as an adjective (I think thats the word).

    Just because we might buy a ‘christian’ cd from a ‘christian’ store, doesnt mean that it is ‘truth’. When we start to label ‘things’ as Christian we can be playing with fire.

    I guess what Im trying to get at is when we start saying that we should support something because its ‘Christian’ doesnt mean we shouldnt research it and go on supporting blindly. I know we all have our own opinions on whether IWT was right or not…but I think we need to put a little more thought into what we support. Noone will ever have 100% support. Noone! Someone will always disagree.

    Rob Bell really challenged me to think about what I listen to, read, watch, support, simply because it is labelled ‘christian’.

    (If I confused anyone, Im just responding to Dan’s comment about
    “I guess I just wanted to say that I think its really said that you and other people Christian and non- Christians have a problem with something that has a Christian message that is relevant, the response in dozens of nations would point towards that.”)

  88. here’s an example of a good ‘Christian’ event – even with your explaination Bek – i think this one still fits.

    This weekend (Easter) about 30 000 people will diverge on Toowoomba for the Australian Gospel Music Festival.

    A huge ‘event’ which is advertised as having something for the whole family – music, bmx displays, skating, ice skating (how????), food, break dancing lessons… ect – but also openly advertised as a Christian run, organised and supported event.

    I went last year – and the whole thing has a real missional feel about it – from the musicians to the store vendors. And so many un-believers come to it!!!

    it’s a great witness… and the Easter Sunday service (with about 10 000 people sitting on the hill in Queens Park) present the Gospel in a simple, and non emotional way (well at least it did last year).

    AGMF at least shows me some ‘events’ are doing it right.

  89. I rang today to speak with someone about IWT and make a time to discuss my concerns.

    I have discovered that every time the topic comes up I get infuriated. I have also discovered that there are plenty who were involved who have been disillusioned, but who I doubt will speak up.

    One pastor told me they can’t criticise it because their people gave so much money that it would look terrible to say they were disappointed or felt duped. If they admitted that then people may not give to future fund raising. This is not a mug – but it is a person who is aware of how ‘church politics’ operate!

    So hopefully I will have a conversation in the next month and air some concerns with the appropriate people.

    FWIW I don’t believe it is ‘wrong’ to express opinions on this forum – I don’t think it constitutes ‘sin’. My reason for making contact is that I want to air my concerns and hear if there is a reasonable explanation for the crazy stuff that has happened.

    I was talking with someone today who told me that the ‘Forge guys’ or the ’emerging church guys’ have been seen to be bagging out stuff again.

    Frankly I am sick of hearing it labelled as ‘Forge guys’ etc.

    I don’t make my protest under my Forge umbrella. I do it simply as a thinking human being who cannot live with the madness!

  90. Hey I just found this post and comments thread.

    Mrs Grendel and I had seen the TV ads for the show and shrugged it off as some ‘redneck’ thing we had no interest in – how many others had this reaction? We had no idea that there was anything more to it – I don’t even know if you had to pay to get in. I reckon If I saw the ad, bought a ticket and went in – THEN found out it was more (or less) than it seemed, I’d have been making my way to the exit – I don’t like to be conned.

    I noticed some comments suggested people should do their own research before going to things. I’d venture to suggest that the target audience for this event are also a demographic not known for either forward planning or research. It was sold as a ‘gut wrenching’ event and that is what would have drawn many people.

    If governments behave this way to sell a policy we call it propaganda and no matter what you are selling if it comes in false packaging then at some point that will make it feel wrong for the consumer.

    George W, is currently having a problem in the USA because his nice packaging for the Iraq war has been stained by the reality of it – the rotten fish oil is seeping out across his gold foil wrapper.

    I guess you could reverse the analogy here in that church groups were trying to package their ‘gold’ in fishy flavoured wrappings, but the ‘gold’ is still going to smell of fish.

  91. Come on people! We can’t let this entry stop at only 97 comments. Who out there will commit with me to pushing it into the triple figures?? Someone’s gotta have some response still left in them. Maybe we need to throw in some controversial statement to milk a few more.

    Did you know, according to a good friend of mine, the 1st moon walk never happened. True. It was all done in a television studio…

    Tarn

    P.S. Scott, I’ve done all I can!

  92. The moon walk happened – I can remember watching MTV in the ’80’s and seeing it – ok it wasn’t live, but there was Michael Jackson backsliding. . .

    Who knew?

  93. So you leave me with no choice but to make comment 100! What a joy, I have been sitting by the computer for weeks just hanging to be number 100, thanks people!

  94. So I get to be comment #101 a month after the fact, huh? I really shouldn’t let things sit in my RSS reader for so long… oh well, I don’t know if anyone will read this, but here goes:

    My church was pretty involved in the IWT events in our area. As such, they were asking for volunteers etc from our church. I was one of the Local Links (read: counsellors) on the night. I’ve done it at Youth Alive events before, so I thought it’d be a pretty similar deal.

    We had a 4 hour “training” meeting the week before the event, in which they told us the exact way the altar call works. This is where my real concerns came in. I dunno if this qualifies as deception again, but it feels it to me.

    Things like… there’s 3 appeals in the altar call. The “if you want to accept Jesus tonight come down the front”… a bit more talking then the same again… then the “I believe God is telling me there’s more people that need to respond here tonight, if that’s you you need to come down the front.”

    Well that’s all well and good if it’s legitimate… but when it’s planned weeks out that God is going to say to me that there’s more people…. at all of the events? Hmmm…

    The other one is similar. At each of the calls, a certain subset of the local links had to put their hands up to “respond” and then go down the front. To make people around us feel more “comfortable” responding. Or something. Oh, and we had to keep our badges in our pockets so no one would know we weren’t real responders. And during the prayer we were to sneakily put our badge on so we could introduce ourselves to the people around us.

    Oh, and the “casual, friendly” conversation we had to have with them… that we were trained in how to appear to be friendly and casual in such a way to get as much information out of them as we could.

    To me that all seems deceptive. And it calls into question for me questions about the rest of the events. How much of the performers testimonies are real? How much of the statistics about when they ran this in other cities are real? Etc.

    It also suggests to me how much they really care about the people they’re trying to reach (as opposed to just wanting to see some numbers), if they’re willing to be so deceptive in the event as well as the advertising, etc.

    Maybe that’s just me being cynical, but hey.

    -jas (delurking on here for the first time…)

  95. wow … coming in this late in the game to read all those posts was quite a chore, but also rewarding… being a YWAMER or at least having served with YWAM THAILAND for a couple years, I was excited about IWT when I initially heart about it. I had heard reports of how it was done in other locations and the transformations of cities that took place… so I hoped that God would do something like that here. I may be wrong but I believe why it was more effective in other places was because it was less fancy, but when it all started to unfold here it wasn’t exactly what I had expected … in fact I didn’t make it to any of the events myself. I wish I had so I could have seen what happened … both the good and the bad. I pray that God use all of us to balance out the body. God has quite a task on his hand when you think about it because we are all so different, and we all have our own methods (which we are sure come from God) and he has to get us to work together to do his will… I don’t envy God at all!!!

  96. Oh and Jason, it was actually your comments I wanted to use…no names.
    I am not asking permission, so much as this is a public forum that IWT has been invited to read anyway,
    have a good day

  97. Pray all goes well with that… because “us YWAMers” need your (and everyone else on this blog) input. so that the future efforts that will take place in Perth and around the world, will hit a little closer the mark that what this one may have.

    It seems that alot of trial and error occurs … whether it be our individual lives or the church as a whole. I really do pray there can be grace extended on all sides, as well as an open heart to grow and be stretched even when its painful.

    God bless

  98. Hi readers –
    Hamo and I met with Joel who is a Impact World Tour Facilitator this week.
    It was a good meeting, Joel is a great guy with a huge passion to see Perth impacted for the Kingdom of God.

    I have to say, horror stories continue to roll in from the IWT events around the city, not just on this blog but face to face. Just today I had a ‘hot’ conversation with someone regarding the events!

    Joel shared with us some of the incredible challenges faced by the organising groups. Things happened with IWT, that just shouldn’t have happened. Perth reacted towards certain things that were not anticipated by organizers.

    Some things that have been shared on my blog about words spoken at training events and things that took place at Impact events are in complete contradiction to IWT policy. So either they are not true, ie they were made up, imagined, perceived or wrongly interpreted or they happened and were never meant to happen, they were people who went outside of what IWT standard procedures require of their workers and volunteers.

    Some of the things that happened at IWT events and training programmes may have resulted from short cuts due lack of local involvement and leadership.

    Some of the things that happened at IWT events and training reported on the blog actually happened and are IWT policy (one example we spoke of was the putting on of badges for local link people after they had moved forward at the altar calls. This, we were told, was so that the people going forward with them – respondents-did not think they had the wrong message about who was supposed to go fwd as some people moving fwd with them had badges on and they did not) I was not entirely convinced of the methodology of the badge issue or a few of the other issues we spoke about. I for one still remain convinced that IWT is not something I would support if it happened again.

    What I did come away feeling was that sitting over a coffee as a group of brothers, despite our vast differences and (dis)agreements on some of the methods used to reach the lost people of our world, was a better way of actually DOING SOMETHING about these issues and not just complaining about it.

    Joel is more than keen to hear from anyone else from Perth who would like to give feedback on the tour here and pass it on to the appropriate person , and I am sure (just my thoughts) that he would like to hear from people with encouragement too. – Who would want this job he has? – really! His email address is joelm@impactworldtour.com.au
    Hamo suggested YWAM release a press statement to the public of Perth apologising for the hurt and confusion (my words) IWT has caused some people here in Perth and a small explanation as to what they thought went wrong and why the people of Perth felt ambushed rather than impacted. Hamo suggested an ad of similar size to those included in the West Australian be placed and used as a clear apology. He indicated he would happily kick in the first $100.00 towards it. Not sure if this will happen, but we will see.
    I personally will no longer be making comments on this post, and would like this to be a kind of closure on the topic. If you would like to take it further you now have an email address to follow a more personal pathway.
    Thanks for your participation on this topic.

    Scott Vawser

  99. MD, USA

    You know, there’s a lot of great debate about witnessing and discipleship here on this very forum. It really opens up the topic of perspective doesn’t it? I get the feeling at least that those in other countries don’t shun the tour because of it’s american conception. And thanks to be God for that, because we’re getting a bad rap around the world these days 😦

    I think any of the problems anyone has with this are easily a result of the perception someone had in a leadership position about advertising the events. I mean, if that person had chosen to put more “labeling” of the Christian nature of the event, you probably wouldn’t have gripes would you? Conversely, you would most likely laud the creativity of such an event as I did when it was described to me (with the Christian part in the first few words). I have a very close friend who is going to work in the community outreach section for the state of Ohio in the US, and after reading this, you can rest assured I will make known what I feel is an agonzing, silly shortcoming in a great idea!

    God bless you all, and don’t forget we all have a calling He will give us, and that sometimes you can be led astray by someone’s perception or interpretation that may not be straight and narrow. It is through our own faith and the Spirit working in us that we can bring it back to what His word teaches and provides 🙂

    Take care and God bless!

    Tony

  100. Hello!

    My name is Johanna and Im from Sweden.I was a part of the GX International this IWT in Perth.
    I paid for my trip from sweden to australia by myself, as all people in IWT does. At home in Sweden, I had no job, so if I was going to Australia it had to be a part of Gods plan and also: No one gets any money to go around the world as missionaries. Not in IWT they don’t.

    I also respect your thoughts of IWT, but I must say…pretty bad that you never went to our show! If people dont like it – please feel free to go! If you do like it – stay! It’s not false advertisement. It’s advertisement that awakens something in your heart. Bad or Good, you get curious. Also, what is also to be said is that during the days we went to 2-3 different school the week before the big shows and sometimes we were not aloud to talk about God. Sometimes we were. And they knew.

    I remember on time, this little schoolgirl comes up to me and says: (without me saying anything) “When I grow up I wanna be like you”

    If I can be a rholemodel to only ONE kid, talking to them about believing in themselfes and sometimes be able to pray with them , then my mission is forfilled. God loves you! And he created you. Isnt that worth telling?? I will not stand in front of my GOD on the judgement day saying that I didnt tell people, just because I was afraid of what my Christians friends would say… And Jesus wasn’t directly the guy who told who we was from the beginnig was he??
    God bless you and your work!

    /johanna

  101. Dinosaurs, if we had real dinosaurs they would come to church. As a Christian owning the only living dinosaur I would think I would have to bring it to church every week. The preacher’s job is to tell the people the gospel the Holy Spirit’s job is to convict them of their sin. Once they come to Jesus to be born again they are saved. I do think christians need to stop being afraid of the world.
    We can’t make everyone like us.
    God uses all things to bring people to Christ. Peter and John used a net. Suggestion start using the internet as a net to win souls.
    God bless
    Bro Jim

  102. wow!
    was curious re iwt. was given slip with envelope for donation. Just seems odd to me so much cash spent on events. yes i would love friends + family to know the Lord but… wot an expensive mistake if not effective!! the kind of cash needed for there events could help soooo many people.

  103. Hmmm…it’s been very interesting reading the thoughts about IWT and how it turnt out in Perth.
    I have to admit that I’m not all in favor of how it works either and I used to be a IWT facilitator.
    Just to make it clear, when you facilitate IWT, you pretty much don’t have a personal life anymore so everyone is really in it to see lives changed. A lot of us were really exhausted afterwards and some unfortunately even burnt-out.
    I know that the idea behind IWT is great – it’s not supposed to be an event but a movement.And mass evangelism is a way to reach many at once and even done in New Testament times (e.g.Acts 2).
    Everything leading up to the performances is supposed to change people’s (Christians)mind of thinking and us starting to live the Christian lives that we are supposed to live anyway, i.e.being a community that people are attracted to which includes worship, witnessing to friends, praying for them and for our cities.
    IWT is supposed to motivate people to get out of their comfort zones and have a goal (the IWT nights a year or so later) to work towards.
    At the end, you invite your friends to the IWT events and you should let them know what it is about. That would be the ideal way. Unfortunately, it’s often seen as only an event and the only thing that is done is getting all the logistical stuff ready for it. But that’s a problem with us Christians…we come up with all these programs and stuff and forget that we need God’s presence in it all and that prayer will change things. I don’t know how it was in Perth but in some other towns, the combined prayer times either didn’t take place or were not attended very well. You saw the difference to places where people had prayed a lot!

    In general I think that people would always get offended by the gospel no matter what but I have to admit, I didn’t like the way it was advertised either. As a local facilitator you don’t have too much to say about that though. That must be changed in the headquarters.

    The first IWT night I went to (not in Perth) I felt the same way how many felt: O man, it feels so manipulative. No way that anybody will go to the front! But people did go (not just councillors ;-)).
    I have to admit, I was almost surprised but definitely relieved (especially since I had left everything behind at home for facilitating this). The next night I saw a man who had gone to the front the previous night and he looked like a changed man – totally joyful. I think for those that accepted Jesus that night, it was worth it.
    However, I’m not facilitating IWT anymore but now I’m involved in the discipleship part. So many kids and youth responded and someone has to do it…that’s what I prefer doing anyway…building relationships and impacting people that way. But big events are a nice bonus if people know what they are about and what your intentions are when you invite them.

  104. Please tell me I am not the only one that questions this – Death & Desire ( the band that IWT use for these events) I have a very watchful spirit when it comes to music and I can tell you I would be letting our children go to a Death & Desire concert

    Likes and interests
    Likes

    Sevendust, For The Irony, kingrail, Caesura, Metallica, Archangel Body Jewelry, Jason Ellsworth Band, YesStyle.com, PANTS ON THE GROUND.

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  106. I am really glad I came across this blog! As a Christian, it is awesome to see what I am doing wrong when it comes to telling others about Jesus so here it is, no flash, no hype, no money involved. Jesus Christ loves every single person on this earth, including those that have posted to this blog. He came to this earth, and despite all the mockery He has endured throughout the ages, lived a life free of mistakes (sin), took a beating you wouldn’t believe and then got nailed to a cross where He died. He went to hell first so you and I wouldn’t have to, then He came back to life again. Before going to heaven to prepare a place for those who believe in Him and what He did, He told His disciples to go and preach the gospel and make disciples in all the world.

    Forget about how we Christians try to convince you to accept this fact. I apologize for our ignorance and zeal in this area. The bottom line is that all we really care about is you. Admittedly, we have gotten caught up in using “fun events” to tell as many people as we can at one time about Jesus but don’t you worry, that day will come to an end because many people are getting to the place that they would rather shoot us as opposed to listening to us. Just know, no matter how the church is ridiculed and persecuted, the truth of the message we bring will last forever.

    Will you all forgive the “church” and believe on Jesus Christ today? I hope you do because He and “the church” He died for wants to see you in heaven.

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