Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Spread the Gospel

Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Spread the Gospel

Pastor and Author Alan Burns says it may be a lot easier than you think.

22 Minutes • 2 months ago

Episode Notes

Charisma Connection

Guest: Alan J. Burns

 

While many believers may be fearful to spread the Good News of Jesus because of what society may think of them, pastor and author Alan Burns says those fears may be unfounded. The author of Lifestyle Evangelism: The Missing Link in the American Church, Burns says if Christians simply share the gospel with people they meet on the street, chances are they won’t be rejected as often as they think.

 

Introduction

Taylor Berglund: I'm excited to welcome over the phone lines Alan Burns. You're the author of a new book called Lifestyle Evangelism: The Missing Link in the American Church. First off, if people want to look into more about this book, where can they pick that up?

 

Alan Burns: They need to go to Amazon. com and then just type in the title and it should pull it right up. Also, they can go to alanjburns.com and order it.

 

Taylor Berglund: So we're going to get into all things related to the book pretty soon. But first, I just wanted to ask you, Alan, so what is your testimony? What's your journey of faith look like?

 

Alan Burns: We're going back 44 years, October 1975. I was saved in the tail end of the Jesus movement that swept the nation from the West coast to the East coast. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, I was a senior in high school and I attended a high school called South Dade High School which actually is in south Dade County, Florida. There were four individuals that influenced my life back then. God used these four individuals. One was a young lady named Denise who would ride the bus with me every day to school, and that was when I was a junior. When I became a senior, there were three other on-fire Christians, Louie, Eddie and Freeman. I call them the Peter, James and John of South Dade High School because all they would do was practice lifestyle evangelism and they would witness to everyone they could wherever they went on the campus. So, Louie was … let me give you some more definition here. When I was a senior, Louie was in my two-hour electronics class. It was a hands-on electronics class. They had these giant block tables. Basically, what we would do is we would get these old TVs and part of our assignment was to tear the TV apart piece by piece, and then put it back together. Louie was one of the first Christians that, when I was a senior in high school was, I believe, assigned to me from the Lord. He was at the very desk when we would work together every day, day after day, for a whole year in 1975. So, we were there I was watching him very closely. I had a lot of questions about Christianity, about life after death. I had an encounter 1968 when I was living in the Philippines. My dad was stationed there in the Air Force and there was a major earthquake, 6.9 on the Richter scale. During that earthquake we lived in a village near the city of Manila. That house shook so violently that I got out of bed threw myself on the floor. All we could do was hang on because it was like we were on a on a boat that was being tossed by violent waves. So, that experience awakened in me a fear of death. I could not shake that fear of death until later when I was born again in October 1975. So, here I am with Louie and he started witnessing to me, he answered all my questions about life after death; what is my purpose? Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going, you know the three basic questions of mankind. So, then he gave me this booklet, the title of it was, “Have You Signed Up? That was on the front page. Okay. The booklet was written by a late evangelist named Oliver B. Greene. So, he would pass these out to everybody. So, I got one from him. That was it. So, I took it home one day in October 1975. I brought it in my bedroom and I read it from cover to cover, it was a 30-page booklet. It had a Sinners’ Prayer at the back of the booklet. I just really felt a felony conviction. I got out of my bed, got on my knees and I prayed that Sinners’ Prayer, repenting of my sins and I committed my life and made him Lord and Savior. It was like a million-ton spiritual weight was lifted off my shoulders. Physically, I felt even better because I had a lot of guilt for my sinful lifestyle. So, that was how I got saved in October 1975. God surrounded me with four Christians, one when I was a junior and three when I was a senior in high school.

 

Alan Burns Books

·         Lifestyle Evangelism: The Missing Link in the American Church

·         Spiritual Gifts: Use Them and Don't Abuse Them;

·         The Potter and His Clay

·         The Mixture: Overcoming the Endtime Apostasy and Defeating Satan’s Seduction of the Church

 

Taylor Berglund: So, after you came to salvation in Christ, what happened then in your life?

 

Alan Burns: Louie was always wanting me to visit his church because it was in Florida City, which is 20 minutes south of homestead, Florida. I just refused. I didn't want to be a part of any organized church. So, he was patient and then eventually I did attend his church, Mount Calvary Community Church. Pastor Willie Mitchell was my first pastor. I was there for about a year. During that same time, I knew I needed to get a water baptized and then I knew I needed the baptism Holy Spirit. So, then, I went to Jesus ‘76 in Orlando, Florida. It was a great Jesus festival that they had started. Alex Clattenburg was the one that had spearheaded this. He was a youth pastor at the first Assembly of God church in Lakeland, Florida. So, they had a baptismal there. That's where I was water baptized in 1976. I had a lot of fear in my life. I didn't really embrace the supernatural right away, but it took another year, Jesus ‘77 in Mount Union Pennsylvania. I started going to all these Jesus festivals, I believe God raised Him up to mentor and disciple that generation that had gotten saved in the Jesus movement. So that was in August of 1977, and that's where I got baptized in the Holy Spirit.

 

Taylor Berglund: You were baptized in the Holy Spirit there and so how did you get from that point to now where you're the author of a Christian book?

 

Alan Burns: The first thing that I wrote with this little tract. Fast-forward to now. Me writing that tract showed me that I had a gift from God; that I was a writer and called to be a writer. Later on, when I actually went to Christ for the Nations in 1978, 79; graduated in 1980 and then moved back to Florida. God connected me with a pastor later in 1985 named Bruce Clap, who still pastors the Upper Room Assembly of God Church in Cutler Ridge, south Miami. I went on staff there and I was there for five years until August 1992 when the hurricane came through and swept through that South region and destroyed 40,000 to 50,000 homes. I was one of five full-time pastors. It was at that time that I began to write this book; this was the early roots and the foundation of this new book that I just published. During that time, I wrote two chapters. The first chapter was how to recognize divine appointments. And the second chapter was the how to how of soul winning. So, I was starting to put on paper what is now only four chapters in this book. So that was that. But what I didn't understand was that I had four books in me. I didn't understand that until later. Here's what happened. So, I had to leave the ministry in 1992 and moved back to Texas. My brother myself, I started a roofing business here 1981. I moved back here and then then pioneered and pastored my own church, my wife and myself, for seven years in Richardson, Texas, in North Dallas. So here we are, let's walk it out. Then God began to give me ideas about books. I had a desire to finish this book, but I just didn't take the time to do that. What I learned was in hindsight, was I needed time to write. I had this gift to me and I needed to develop it. I had these four books and this was one of them. Actually, this was the last one that I published but I started it in the 1980s. So, I had four books in me.

 

I pastored a church for seven years. A book came out of that titled Spiritual Gifts: Use Them and Don't Abuse Them: How to Make the Most of God's Precious Gifts to You. The second book was God was teaching me about his ways and his character, which is titled The Potter and His Clay, How to Know About Present Purpose for Your Life Now. The third book was The Mixture: Overcoming the Endtime Apostasy and Defeating Satan’s Seduction of the Church. That book reveals four heresies in the American church. I do a lot of witnessing everywhere. I would go to high school football games, rock concerts, and I would talk to all these people that had been in church but now weren’t in church, and they would always tell me I'm once saved, always saved. It doesn't matter how I live my life. I was really shocked about that. That's why I wrote the third book and then the fourth book, which was this one, Lifestyle Evangelism, the Missing Link in the American Church. I had to finish it. So, I finally got it done last year. I realized that if I would have been in the ministry full-time, because I had formed three ministries and then the pastor asked me when this youth pastor quit, he said can you take the youth group? I was yes man, so I said yes. So, now I have four major ministries in the church. I didn't have time to breathe. But I got the books done, that's what matters. I got them done. I obeyed God. Now I've got all of them on my website. You talk about the satisfaction of finally completing you know the assignment from God. Of all the others, this book was really my passion because I've been living like this since 1977. I have practiced lifestyle evangelism for over 40 years now. That's how it came about.

 

Taylor Berglund: Congratulations on completing that call from God. One thing I'm curious about is the subtitle for the book, the Missing Link in the American Church. I was reading a story just this morning actually that came out from Barna, a research study that was talking about the fact that for many millennials, 47 percent of the millennials that they talked to, agreed that it was at least somewhat wrong to share one's personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith or what most Christians refer to as the evangelistic process. Can you a little bit about how the church has lost this passion for evangelism to the fact where the next generation thinks it might even be wrong to do it?

 

Alan Burns: I think it’s sad because too many Christians are afraid. They’re afraid to witness and they're afraid of what others will think of them. I have to take that statement and put it on the shelf. I can't let that statement cause me not to obey the Great Commission because we have mandate in the body of Christ, the church in America, has a mandate that we're supposed to go and actually witness wherever we go. That was the key for the early church. The Book of Acts is boom, after explosion. God poured out his spirit and boom, 3,000 were saved through Peter's preaching. But if you take that down to Acts chapters 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, it talks about the persecution that broke out against the church. It says all the disciples were scattered except the apostles. Where were the apostles? They were stuck back in Jerusalem with all of the other believers. By this time there were 10,000 to 15,000 believers. It says they went everywhere proclaiming the Word. A better translation would be in the Message Bible. They went everywhere witnessing. They just went and shared Jesus on the streets. Isn’t that beautiful, isn’t that powerful? I do a lot of witnessing. And I know the millennials. I know they're sensitive to things like that. So, I'm not trying to convert anybody. Jesus said, you're my witness. A witness does what? He tells others what he knows from personal experience. The witness in a court of law only tells what he knows from personal observation, from what he's seen and heard. Remember what Jesus told his disciples at the end of his life? He said, you are witnesses of these things. He was depending on them to go and gossip, if you will, gossip the gospel wherever they went. I love the millennials. Let me just share some personal information. I'm an Uber cab driver. I'm an Uber Lyft driver on the side. I go to the airport here a lot. I pick them up at the airport and I drive them all over the place. I drive them to their destination. So, I try to be really sensitive on each individual I pick up, whether or not I feel like I should say anything to them about the Lord. I don't know how to explain this, but if I feel a burst of compassion in my spirit like for someone in the vehicle, then I know it's the Lord. I'll just tell them hey, did you know Jesus loves you. He died for your sins and He wants to give you eternal life. He's got a divine purpose for your life. I'll just say something really brief. I tell you what, nine times out of 10 most of the time, either to millennials or baby boomers or baby busters, they're not offended by that. They're not offended by me sharing with them. I'll even ask them if they were offended by that. Nine times out of 10 they will say no. We have to watch out that the enemy is trying to put fear on us as Christians. He wants to put a strong amount of fear on us to keep us from opening our mouth about the Lord.

 

For the rest of the interview with Alan Burns, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Connect with Alan Burns

·         Alanjburns.com

·         On Facebook

 

Episode Notes

Charisma Connection

Guest: Alan J. Burns

 

While many believers may be fearful to spread the Good News of Jesus because of what society may think of them, pastor and author Alan Burns says those fears may be unfounded. The author of Lifestyle Evangelism: The Missing Link in the American Church, Burns says if Christians simply share the gospel with people they meet on the street, chances are they won’t be rejected as often as they think.

 

Introduction

Taylor Berglund: I'm excited to welcome over the phone lines Alan Burns. You're the author of a new book called Lifestyle Evangelism: The Missing Link in the American Church. First off, if people want to look into more about this book, where can they pick that up?

 

Alan Burns: They need to go to Amazon. com and then just type in the title and it should pull it right up. Also, they can go to alanjburns.com and order it.

 

Taylor Berglund: So we're going to get into all things related to the book pretty soon. But first, I just wanted to ask you, Alan, so what is your testimony? What's your journey of faith look like?

 

Alan Burns: We're going back 44 years, October 1975. I was saved in the tail end of the Jesus movement that swept the nation from the West coast to the East coast. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, I was a senior in high school and I attended a high school called South Dade High School which actually is in south Dade County, Florida. There were four individuals that influenced my life back then. God used these four individuals. One was a young lady named Denise who would ride the bus with me every day to school, and that was when I was a junior. When I became a senior, there were three other on-fire Christians, Louie, Eddie and Freeman. I call them the Peter, James and John of South Dade High School because all they would do was practice lifestyle evangelism and they would witness to everyone they could wherever they went on the campus. So, Louie was … let me give you some more definition here. When I was a senior, Louie was in my two-hour electronics class. It was a hands-on electronics class. They had these giant block tables. Basically, what we would do is we would get these old TVs and part of our assignment was to tear the TV apart piece by piece, and then put it back together. Louie was one of the first Christians that, when I was a senior in high school was, I believe, assigned to me from the Lord. He was at the very desk when we would work together every day, day after day, for a whole year in 1975. So, we were there I was watching him very closely. I had a lot of questions about Christianity, about life after death. I had an encounter 1968 when I was living in the Philippines. My dad was stationed there in the Air Force and there was a major earthquake, 6.9 on the Richter scale. During that earthquake we lived in a village near the city of Manila. That house shook so violently that I got out of bed threw myself on the floor. All we could do was hang on because it was like we were on a on a boat that was being tossed by violent waves. So, that experience awakened in me a fear of death. I could not shake that fear of death until later when I was born again in October 1975. So, here I am with Louie and he started witnessing to me, he answered all my questions about life after death; what is my purpose? Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going, you know the three basic questions of mankind. So, then he gave me this booklet, the title of it was, “Have You Signed Up? That was on the front page. Okay. The booklet was written by a late evangelist named Oliver B. Greene. So, he would pass these out to everybody. So, I got one from him. That was it. So, I took it home one day in October 1975. I brought it in my bedroom and I read it from cover to cover, it was a 30-page booklet. It had a Sinners’ Prayer at the back of the booklet. I just really felt a felony conviction. I got out of my bed, got on my knees and I prayed that Sinners’ Prayer, repenting of my sins and I committed my life and made him Lord and Savior. It was like a million-ton spiritual weight was lifted off my shoulders. Physically, I felt even better because I had a lot of guilt for my sinful lifestyle. So, that was how I got saved in October 1975. God surrounded me with four Christians, one when I was a junior and three when I was a senior in high school.

 

Alan Burns Books

·         Lifestyle Evangelism: The Missing Link in the American Church

·         Spiritual Gifts: Use Them and Don't Abuse Them;

·         The Potter and His Clay

·         The Mixture: Overcoming the Endtime Apostasy and Defeating Satan’s Seduction of the Church

 

Taylor Berglund: So, after you came to salvation in Christ, what happened then in your life?

 

Alan Burns: Louie was always wanting me to visit his church because it was in Florida City, which is 20 minutes south of homestead, Florida. I just refused. I didn't want to be a part of any organized church. So, he was patient and then eventually I did attend his church, Mount Calvary Community Church. Pastor Willie Mitchell was my first pastor. I was there for about a year. During that same time, I knew I needed to get a water baptized and then I knew I needed the baptism Holy Spirit. So, then, I went to Jesus ‘76 in Orlando, Florida. It was a great Jesus festival that they had started. Alex Clattenburg was the one that had spearheaded this. He was a youth pastor at the first Assembly of God church in Lakeland, Florida. So, they had a baptismal there. That's where I was water baptized in 1976. I had a lot of fear in my life. I didn't really embrace the supernatural right away, but it took another year, Jesus ‘77 in Mount Union Pennsylvania. I started going to all these Jesus festivals, I believe God raised Him up to mentor and disciple that generation that had gotten saved in the Jesus movement. So that was in August of 1977, and that's where I got baptized in the Holy Spirit.

 

Taylor Berglund: You were baptized in the Holy Spirit there and so how did you get from that point to now where you're the author of a Christian book?

 

Alan Burns: The first thing that I wrote with this little tract. Fast-forward to now. Me writing that tract showed me that I had a gift from God; that I was a writer and called to be a writer. Later on, when I actually went to Christ for the Nations in 1978, 79; graduated in 1980 and then moved back to Florida. God connected me with a pastor later in 1985 named Bruce Clap, who still pastors the Upper Room Assembly of God Church in Cutler Ridge, south Miami. I went on staff there and I was there for five years until August 1992 when the hurricane came through and swept through that South region and destroyed 40,000 to 50,000 homes. I was one of five full-time pastors. It was at that time that I began to write this book; this was the early roots and the foundation of this new book that I just published. During that time, I wrote two chapters. The first chapter was how to recognize divine appointments. And the second chapter was the how to how of soul winning. So, I was starting to put on paper what is now only four chapters in this book. So that was that. But what I didn't understand was that I had four books in me. I didn't understand that until later. Here's what happened. So, I had to leave the ministry in 1992 and moved back to Texas. My brother myself, I started a roofing business here 1981. I moved back here and then then pioneered and pastored my own church, my wife and myself, for seven years in Richardson, Texas, in North Dallas. So here we are, let's walk it out. Then God began to give me ideas about books. I had a desire to finish this book, but I just didn't take the time to do that. What I learned was in hindsight, was I needed time to write. I had this gift to me and I needed to develop it. I had these four books and this was one of them. Actually, this was the last one that I published but I started it in the 1980s. So, I had four books in me.

 

I pastored a church for seven years. A book came out of that titled Spiritual Gifts: Use Them and Don't Abuse Them: How to Make the Most of God's Precious Gifts to You. The second book was God was teaching me about his ways and his character, which is titled The Potter and His Clay, How to Know About Present Purpose for Your Life Now. The third book was The Mixture: Overcoming the Endtime Apostasy and Defeating Satan’s Seduction of the Church. That book reveals four heresies in the American church. I do a lot of witnessing everywhere. I would go to high school football games, rock concerts, and I would talk to all these people that had been in church but now weren’t in church, and they would always tell me I'm once saved, always saved. It doesn't matter how I live my life. I was really shocked about that. That's why I wrote the third book and then the fourth book, which was this one, Lifestyle Evangelism, the Missing Link in the American Church. I had to finish it. So, I finally got it done last year. I realized that if I would have been in the ministry full-time, because I had formed three ministries and then the pastor asked me when this youth pastor quit, he said can you take the youth group? I was yes man, so I said yes. So, now I have four major ministries in the church. I didn't have time to breathe. But I got the books done, that's what matters. I got them done. I obeyed God. Now I've got all of them on my website. You talk about the satisfaction of finally completing you know the assignment from God. Of all the others, this book was really my passion because I've been living like this since 1977. I have practiced lifestyle evangelism for over 40 years now. That's how it came about.

 

Taylor Berglund: Congratulations on completing that call from God. One thing I'm curious about is the subtitle for the book, the Missing Link in the American Church. I was reading a story just this morning actually that came out from Barna, a research study that was talking about the fact that for many millennials, 47 percent of the millennials that they talked to, agreed that it was at least somewhat wrong to share one's personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith or what most Christians refer to as the evangelistic process. Can you a little bit about how the church has lost this passion for evangelism to the fact where the next generation thinks it might even be wrong to do it?

 

Alan Burns: I think it’s sad because too many Christians are afraid. They’re afraid to witness and they're afraid of what others will think of them. I have to take that statement and put it on the shelf. I can't let that statement cause me not to obey the Great Commission because we have mandate in the body of Christ, the church in America, has a mandate that we're supposed to go and actually witness wherever we go. That was the key for the early church. The Book of Acts is boom, after explosion. God poured out his spirit and boom, 3,000 were saved through Peter's preaching. But if you take that down to Acts chapters 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, it talks about the persecution that broke out against the church. It says all the disciples were scattered except the apostles. Where were the apostles? They were stuck back in Jerusalem with all of the other believers. By this time there were 10,000 to 15,000 believers. It says they went everywhere proclaiming the Word. A better translation would be in the Message Bible. They went everywhere witnessing. They just went and shared Jesus on the streets. Isn’t that beautiful, isn’t that powerful? I do a lot of witnessing. And I know the millennials. I know they're sensitive to things like that. So, I'm not trying to convert anybody. Jesus said, you're my witness. A witness does what? He tells others what he knows from personal experience. The witness in a court of law only tells what he knows from personal observation, from what he's seen and heard. Remember what Jesus told his disciples at the end of his life? He said, you are witnesses of these things. He was depending on them to go and gossip, if you will, gossip the gospel wherever they went. I love the millennials. Let me just share some personal information. I'm an Uber cab driver. I'm an Uber Lyft driver on the side. I go to the airport here a lot. I pick them up at the airport and I drive them all over the place. I drive them to their destination. So, I try to be really sensitive on each individual I pick up, whether or not I feel like I should say anything to them about the Lord. I don't know how to explain this, but if I feel a burst of compassion in my spirit like for someone in the vehicle, then I know it's the Lord. I'll just tell them hey, did you know Jesus loves you. He died for your sins and He wants to give you eternal life. He's got a divine purpose for your life. I'll just say something really brief. I tell you what, nine times out of 10 most of the time, either to millennials or baby boomers or baby busters, they're not offended by that. They're not offended by me sharing with them. I'll even ask them if they were offended by that. Nine times out of 10 they will say no. We have to watch out that the enemy is trying to put fear on us as Christians. He wants to put a strong amount of fear on us to keep us from opening our mouth about the Lord.

 

For the rest of the interview with Alan Burns, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Connect with Alan Burns

·         Alanjburns.com

·         On Facebook

 

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Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Spread the Gospel