I’ve been learning from some of my “Release” brothers and I had a conversation with one of our long time TRC members the other night at our men’s event and came away thinking we may need to do some formal training on the practice of evangelism. All this came together yesterday and this morning to put on “paper” my personal practice. So, I’m going to share this with you this morning.
We have preached a series on “evangelism” a couple of years ago and believed that covered it, but perhaps this is a terrible oversight or over assumption on the part of your pastors that we are all able to go and do effective evangelism. Regardless, I’m going work on putting together some formal training for our church. So, if you don’t know how or are afraid or just need a process, I’m going to share here and work into a formal format what I have done and what I do.
I could give you a “canned” process, but what I’ve found is that every process has to change based on who, where and which particular variables present themselves with the person and context you are in. So, what I’ve done is try to mimic what Jesus did, what the apostles did and what the church did in the bible and adapt it to my context. This is what I do. I invite you to take this and use it for yourself, you R-Life group and your other Christian friends.
So, here we go.
Start by making sure you know and have believed the gospel.
If we are unsure about the gospel message we would attempt, even in context ignorance, tell someone we have to question whether we’ve believed the gospel. We can’t believe something we don’t know.
Be sure you can articulate the gospel message. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).
Here are some examples:
We’ve given you the framework of: Creation / Fall / Redemption / Restoration in which to frame this message. Use that framework and learn to articulate the message.
Make sure you are practicing 5-Fold, as we’ve instructed during preaching, in your R-Life group.
Why? Because the Spirit gifts the community with “evangelists” and “evangelism”. Jesus builds his church with evangelism and evangelism is a way we grow up into Christ. See Ephesians 4.
We really need to do some more training here. So, expect that to be available coming up.
Also, please don’t make a habit of missing the gathering of the church. Much good is shared and much instruction provided, and if you miss, you miss the instruction. Please make gathering with the church a priority (Hebrews 10:25). It’s commanded in Scripture.
Make a list of 5 people you know who need to believe. Begin praying for those people.
Invite your non-Christians friends from your list of 5 to your R-Life group who need to believe, need to experience Spirit power and who need to get to know more Christians.
Have an intentional gospel conversation with your friends in your top 5 who need to believe.
You can’t get around this. You have to talk to someone about Jesus and their need to repent and believe. This has to become a discipline. Don’t tell me about all our social exploits that we can’t tell someone about Jesus and the need to repent and believe.
Invite your friends to believe in Jesus through repentance and faith.
Trust the Holy Spirit to navigate you, your friend and the entire process.
To practice evangelism is to practice walking in a magical world of amazingness. It will grow your faith. It will make you more bold. It’s quite addictive.
If they say “yes”, then begin teaching your friend, get them a bible, bring them to the gathered community of the kingdom (church) and just do Matthew 28:16-20…teach them to observe everything Jesus has taught us.
If they say “no”, then still be their friend, continue praying for them and keep praying for them.
If they say “maybe/not yet”, then keep praying…pray more, keep talking about their questions and always use the bible.
Really, we have no excuse. Worse case scenario we just tell folks the message the way we heard it. Here’s the deal, our new friends in India heard, then they go tell someone else they know and invite them to follow Jesus too…and they’ve had no class, nor formal training, read no book other than some verses from the bible and they are effective evangelists. It’s really not a method or training we need. We just need to obey Jesus’ command to make disciples.
I love you TRC. I’m proud of you. I love all those we serve around the world. I’m proud of you all too. We can do this and do it well. Let’s get after it!