Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Go ahead! Steal the Bible!!




If you look up a list of the Ten top selling books of all time, you will find the Holy Bible sitting on top of the  heap! It is estimated that over 6 Billion copies of the Bible have been sold world wide. The nearest competitor comes in at just over 600 million. I am looking over at my bookshelf as I write this, and from my desk I can see 7 copies of the Bible in plain sight. If I dug a little deeper Im sure that I could come up with a few more copies that are tucked away. My I phone has a Bible application that includes every known version of the Bible that exists today.

If you don't own a copy of the Bible it's your fault. You can download it for free, send for a free copy from me, or walk to most any Christian Church and get one. OR, the next time you check into a hotel…….TAKE THE BIBLE!  Yes I told you to steal the Bible. Do you know what will happen if you take the Bible out of a Hotel room? A Gideon will magically appear like a Gnome, and put it right back! That is why they place them there. For you to have.

It's safe to say that the Bible is more available now, than any other time in our history, however it's less read now than any other time in our history! How do I know that? Its simple. If people read the Bible it would change the way  they live their lives. You see the Bible is unlike any other book that has ever been written It's different from Treasure Island, Oliver Twist, Shades of Gray, and the Twilight Series. As a matter of fact I have never met anyone that has said: " I read the Twilight series and I really think God was speaking to me. He was saying "Be a Vampire, Be a Vampire!!" No one ever reads Treasure Island and says: " I think God wants me to be a pirate". However countless thousands have read the Bible and come away saying "God spoke to me through the Bible!" Why is that? Because the Bible is how God chooses to reveal Himself to us.

The Bible says about itself in Hebrews 4:12: "For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart".  It is a book that God actively uses to speak to the hearts of people. Why then if it is so widely available and the testimony is so powerful, do people, even Christians not bother to read it?

I want to challenge you to discover or re-discover the Bible this year. If you don't know where to begin or how to start, keep these tips in mind.

1) Don't worry about how much or how fast you read the Bible. Take your time. I have a friend named Jeremy Kingsley who said :"Read the Bible through in a year, why? We don't read the Bible to finish it. We read it to change." Let God change and correct you as you go.

2) Remember the Bible is a lamp to your feet, not a spotlight for your future. Have you ever been in a dark room where you couldn't see where to step? You light a match or use the light of your phone not to light the entire room, but to see your next step. The Bible wants to give you light for that day. When  you read ask God to show you your next step.

3) Learn to read the Bible in its context. One of the single greatest dangers of Bible reading is to take the verse out of its context. Read the passage and let it speak to you in the context of which it was written

4) Be a doer not just a hearer. So many of us know what the Bible says, but often times we don't DO what it says. Don't just read it. Let is sink in, and affect the way you live you life.



*For more tips on getting a Bible, reading a Bible, and putting the principles of the Bible to work in your life. Contact Chris at: Chris@chriswells.org



















Monday, January 20, 2014

Life Lessons from Richard Sherman.




Last night as the Seattle Seakhawks defeated the 49ers to advance to the Super Bowl, an interesting phenomenon occurred.  A reporter immediately stuck a microphone in the face of defensive back Richard Sherman for Seattle, and asked him to break down the final play of the game. His response as one person put it turned the vast majority of Americans into Denver Bronco fans for the super bowl.

As I watched and rewatched Sherman's self praising tirade played over and over on the Media. As it trended on twitter, yahoo. google and most every other major Social media outlets some major life lessons hit me like a ton of bricks. I wondered if 5 minutes after Sherman did that the sobering realization of what he said turned into deep regret. I thought about how many times in my own life I have said something I wish I hadn't, just moments after I said it. I look back at something in the light of common sense and think "Ohh that didn't come out like I thought".  So I want to take this opportunity to not bash Richard Sherman, but learn some life lessons and hopefully put them into practice in my own life, and maybe you can too.

1) Try not to speak in the heat of emotion.  Boy that's easier said than done isn't it. Anyone who played high school football with me knows I was that guy, and truth be told, I can still be that guy today.  This is especially true when you have the gift of zingers. When you  think fast enough to put a  little hurtful quip out there to put someone in their place.  The book of Romans says "Don't live under the control of your sinful nature. If you do, then you will think about what your sinful nature wants. Live under the control of the Holy Spirit."  Conviction duly noted Chris Wells.

2) Realize the tongue is dangerous. My pastor once said that the phrase: "Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is a lie from the depths of Hell. Words can damage far more than any physical assault. Sherman should have guarded his tongue, but before you go jumping Chris, walk to the mirror and examine yours. The book of James speaks of the dangers of the tongue. "but no human being can tame the tongue, it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." Chris you need God to tame your tongue.

3) You always look better not tearing people down in public- I don't know what Michael Crabtree said to Richard Sherman during the game. Im sure it was probably as bad as anything Sherman said. However Sherman said it in public. Now I'm not saying at all that there isn't a time to say someone is doing wrong in public. There most certainly is. The Bible gives us this protocol: " If someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently."  The procedure is to seek that person out privately first. Then proceed from there. Take note Chris Wells.

Im sure Richard Sherman will regret that decision. We all have regrets. The key is to not live there. To confess forgive and Repent. That's what I'm going to do. How bout you?



Friday, January 17, 2014

5 Creative Evangelism Events for Sportsmen!



I have has the privilege of speaking at so many amazing events that are designed to reach sportsmen. Often times we think that only Mega Churches can reach lot's of people Below are 5 Churches that do Sportsmen Events that make a big impact.

1) Wildgame Banquet in the cow Shed- Summerton Baptist SC. Summerton Baptist is in a town that has around 1,000 people in it. They have a Church that runs about 100 on Sunday mornings. At the height of there Wildgame outreach event they have had as many as 2,000 people attend their event! That's doubling the size of the town folks!

2) Trout Outreach tournament- Helen Georgia. Helen Ga is a unique litte area nestled in the mountains of Ga. Known for its Alpine themes, River tubing, and Bigfoot sightings. Center Baptist near Helen does a Trout Tournament to reach people who would never attend a Church Service. They have the DNR stock the river the night before. On the morning of the event, fishermen register for the tournament and the Gospel is shared at the pre-tournament meeting. They have had over 600 fishermen attend. They offer prizes and a free fish cleaning station!

3) Free Bass tournament- Riverwoods Church near Benton Ky and my friends at Southside in Fayette Alabama both do a free Bass Tournament. They guarantee a first place salary, the only catch is all fisherman must come to the pre tournament meeting for a meal, rules meeting, and to hear the speaker share the good news. They have had over 250 boats participate in their event.

4) 3D-Archery Tournament- Polk County NC. The Polk country Baptist Association put together a competitive 3D archery outreach. Shooters go through a certified real life shooting simulation course and are scored based on the best shots. Lunch provided on the grounds drew over 300 shooters to compete and hear good news.

5) Big Buck Scoring Contest- Marion Kentucky. Marion Baptist Church hosts a unique event on the opening weekend of gun season in Kentucky. The Big Buck scoring contest tests hunters ability to look at a Buck and score it on the Boone an crocket scale. They have had as many as 600-700 sportsmen attend the event and see many people come to Christ each year.


You don't have to have a huge Church to have a huge impact. Look around your area and see where God is at work and join Him in it!

**If you would like more creative outreach ideas to reach sportsmen. Contact me at Chris@chriswells.org

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The truth About Prayer!


Type AMEN if Prayer Works!  Have you seen it? I can't go a day without seeing it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, or whatever social media you hang out on. Sooner or later you are going to see it. Now I know the people who usually put this up have the best intentions, however I think it represents a fundamental flaw in our understanding of Prayer.

For instance, would you say: Type Amen if your son speaks to you when you speak to him? Or Type Amen if your pastor answers you when you ask a question? Or Maybe Type Amen if your wife chats with you when you have conversations? You see when we say "Type Amen if Prayer works" What we are really saying is Type Amen is God has ever given you what you asked for or what  you want. Because that is what  "prayer has become to most people. Reading our requests lists to God.

I do this little exercise when I speak sometimes. I ask how many of you who are Christian have prayed to God and He just didn't answer your prayers? Hands usually shoot up all over the room. The I say this. This is a trick question, because God answers the prayers of every Christian. It's just that sometimes the answer is "NO". Sometimes the answer is "YES". Sometimes the answer is "WAIT".

Far too many times we are "Santa Clausian" in our prayer times. We sit on God's lap and tell him what we want. We read Him our list and no one wants to listen to that. I will guarantee that if you ask any pastor what the least attended service that he could ever plan for is called. He will answer: A prayer meeting.  Why is that? Because most prayer meetings are people reading a list of the sick or their lists of needs off to God.

So what is real prayer?

 Prayer is communicating with God. It's speaking with him. It's "LISTENING" to Him. It's a time when we get in the very presence of the creator and commune, fellowship, and hear a Holy God that desires to be with us. It's when we come into His presence to hear what HE has to say, what HE desires, and what He wants. Does that mean we can't ask things of God. Not at all. He wants us to ask. But far too often all we ever do is ask.  Prayer is more than that.

 God is not in heaven with a counter that reads if you get to 75 prayers Ill answer. Oh No. God answers every single prayer his child prays.

Does prayer work? When thought of in this way…………….      AMEN.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Helpful Hints in planning a Wildgame Dinner or a Sportsman's Banquet




Determine the purpose of your Banquet- This may sound like a given, however this is the critical first step. The banquet’s purpose sets the tone for the planning of the event. Basically there are two types of banquets that we will be discussing today.
Banquets designed to reach the lost. Banquets designed to challenge Christians
For our purposes today we will spend most of our time on banquets designed to reach the lost.

Find a Keynote Speaker- The speaker should be someone who relates to your target audience. Think about who you are trying to reach and book accordingly. (A professional golfer is probably not the person to reach Duck hunters). Contact the speaker with several dates in mind. Choose a speaker who handles the Word of God correctly! Make sure your speaker is knowledgeable on how to extend an invitation.

Secure a Date and Location- A week night offers fewer conflicts than a Saturday. It is easier to get a person to come straight from work to an event than compete with Friday or Saturday Activities. Many people hunt and fish on the weekends. Secure a location away from the Church. Community Centers, High School Cafeterias, Armories are all good locations.

Charge Admission- Charge a nominal fee. One of the problems of the Church today is that we don’t think like lost people. Lost people are skeptical about free events from the Church. Budget for your banquet, and charge a small fee. This gives the event value. (Fee can help with d├ęcor, cleanup, speaker cost, etc)

Create a great Environment-  There is a reason people love to go into the Bass Pro shop and Cabelas. It's like walking into Man world!  Invite local game wardens, boat dealers, taxidermists, hunting and fishing store owners,policemen, firemen, etc. to be a part. This is a chance to get your entire community involved. Have them set up displays or booths about what they do. Make the place interesting.  Put up displays of wild game, fish, and other mounts. Ask people in your community (they love to show off their mounts). Assure them that they will be taken care of. Gun displays, knife displays, arrow heads, rods and reels, etc. Contact your local Game Wardens office for ideas.

Sell tickets/Sponsor Tables- This is one of the most important things to do. If people buy a table they will have ownership, positive peer pressure to bring people and accountability to fill the table. You can also get Church members to sell tickets. Think about selling tickets (or buying them to give away) other than at Church. Sporting goods store, hang outs, etc.

Music or Video –It is a good idea to have some music or video (Hunting or fishing) playing in the background. This helps people relax. Play some positive secular music ( Remember lost people don’t know or care about Church songs). Play it while people are in line and while they are eating.



Follow up Team- Have a team of men who will be able to make contact (phone, email, or mail) within one week of the banquet for people who make decisions that night. Mail out packets to people who want more info on your Church. Have a plan to disciple new converts! Don't just stick them in the old men's sunday school.

Decision Cards- These are important. Use the Decision Cards as your door prize card. Hand them out after the invitation. Each person needs their own pencil. Have them fill out the card all together at one time after the invitation. Cards should have: Name, address, phone, email, age. (see example) Use the decision card to draw for door prizes so that you are insured to get every card in the room.

Secure Good Door Prizes-  Go for  Quality not Quantity. You would rather hand out 5 good door prizes than 100 things people don't care about. Guided fishing trips, gift certificates, hunting supplies, shotguns, trolling motors, tools, rods, reels, etc. (Many door prizes can be donated).

Committees- Prayer, food preparation, food servers, setup, cleanup, door prizes, sound system, photography, displays, follow up, etc.
Get Sunday school classes to donate desserts. Secure wild game appetizers or meal. (Ask Chris for contacts on wild game dealers).

Serving lines-  Never Never Never let people serve themselves! If you do it will kill the program time of your Banquet. You will need one line for every 75 people. Have a server for each food item. This will cause the line to move faster and food will not run out. Position drink stations throughout the room not in a corner, allow space for people to enter and exit so the line does not back up. Locate the desserts away from the main serving line.

Miscellaneous
Have a starting and an ending time. Stick to it.
Be intentional about preparing spiritually for this event. Pray specifically and often.
Teach your people how to share their faith.
Don’t be flippant with the things of God.


**Chris Wells started Wellspoken Ministries with a burden and passion to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He combines a blend of humor, passion, and intensity to convey his concern for those who don’t know Jesus. His messages are exciting, expositional, and inspirational with a strong evangelistic emphasis. He speaks for Wild Game Banquets, revivals, youth rallies and retreats, as well as men’s ministry events. He has spoken at over 700 Wildgame Banquets and Men's events.

In addition to speaking at your event, Chris is also available as a consultant in the planning and implementing of your Wild Game Banquet, from vision casting to follow up.
Chris can be reached at:
864-414-9453 
chris@chriswells.org

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Unsung Heroes of Wellspoken Ministries



Wow this ministry is starting its 10th year of challenging people to walk in an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ! In 9 years we I have preached across the country and have seen nearly 7,000 people come to faith in Christ! What a blessing it has been! In saying that I want to state publicly that I give our Lord Jesus the glory. He doesn't need any of us, but chooses to use us for His good will.

There are so many people that allow me to do what I do. So many behind the scenes people that help this ministry go forward. I want to thank a few of those people starting with the man who is the most unsung of all.

Larry Vaughn and I met when I was a Student Minister in Sumter SC. Larry is a devout Christian businessman and Minister. He is also my accountant. I have never met a man that radiates the total peace of our Lord than Larry. He emotes a calmness that can only come from a relationship with Christ.
God has used Larry to grow Churches and lead people to Jesus. When we first started Wellspoken Ministries I knew absolutely nothing about running a 501c3 Ministry. Larry helped me. He researched questions, problem shot for us, and talked with the people that helped us survive. In addition to that Larry has done the payroll for WSM for 9 years and never charged us a dime for it. He quietly and faithfully serves this  ministry, and is absolutely invaluable to it.

I want to thank Larry for what he does for us. I hope you will pray for him and his family as he continues to be used of God in Wellspoken Ministries and his life.