Through the year, we are taking a few minutes in our services each week to consider practical tips, ideas and encouragements to help us as we seek to reach out to others with the gospel.
Each time, we’ll add them to the list below, so that we can keep coming back for a reminder.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
This tip is one of those more obvious ones. And it’s simply this… Pray. This great commission is God’s work which he chooses to use us in. So it is vital that we ask for his help isn’t it? Let’s not try and do this in our own and strength or wisdom, we’re not going to be able to do it.
Why not use the prayer on the graphic as a prayer to start every day? If you keep it by your bed then you could pray it every morning and perhaps at night when you see it it would help you to reflect back on the day.
Imagine what it would be like if we started and ended every day this year praying for opportunities to speak to our friends and family about Jesus?
It’s easy to be paralysed into inaction when it comes to evangelism.
Perhaps we think that our aim has to be to explain the entirety of the Christian faith any time the smallest of opportunities comes up. Or we think we need to be ready to answer every possible objection or question that people might have. Or that we need to be able to explain how the gospel relates to every situation in life.
And because we don’t feel ready to do all that, we end up doing nothing!
So this tip is to aim low! Free yourself from the burden of thinking you have to say and do EVERYTHING to EVERYONE at EVERY TIME. Instead, look for a chance to say SOMETHING to SOMEONE at ONE TIME. Or to do one small thing that shows Christ’s love to another.
And at our growth groups each week, let’s be ready to celebrate these “small wins”.
This week we saw that one helpful way of thinking about spreading the good news of Jesus is the analogy of a virus. (Bear with us) For a virus to spread it needs people to be filled with it, in close proximity to a number of other people and having clear contact with them. Now we don’t like viruses spreading but we do long for the good news of Jesus to spread. So we saw that 1 Helpful Way of thinking about this is the following equation:-
High potency + close proximity + clear communication = maximum impact.
This will be expanded on in several of the other points, but essentially it’s arguing that people who are sold out for Jesus, who love him and who delight in him (HP) who also get to know a number of people around them from all sorts of different walks and backgrounds (CP) and who then communicate the good news of Jesus clearly to them (cc) will be best placed to spread the good news of Jesus.
- – That he has always been there
- – That he is all powerful – nothing he cannot do
- – That he is everywhere
- – That he knows everything
- – That he is life in himself
- – That he is all loving
- – That he is perfect beauty
- – That he is perfectly just
- – That he created all things
- – That he sustains everything
- – In humility Jesus became a man
- – In submission Jesus died in your place
- – In grace he reconciled you to God
- – In glory he will return to reign in righteousness
We spend time around people all the time when we do the pastimes we love. Whether it’s going to the cinema or watching fireworks, celebrating the Queens birthday or the end of university exams. Here’s the tip, plan ahead to use those opportunities to invite your friends to do them with you. Plan ahead so you know you will be available, have bought food ect and then invite. Its not rocket science but its amazing how putting it in the diary makes us intentional.
Have a look at Acts 17:1-4 below, and the different ways it describes the apostle Paul’s evangelism in Athens:
When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,” he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.
Even in those few verses we see him reasoning, explaining, proving, proclaiming and persuading.
And a quick look through the New Testament uncovers a lot more: people are bringing, telling, preaching, spreading, announcing, and confessing the gospel, and answering questions.
So here’s the tip: imagine yourself this week in one of the situations where you might have an opportunity for evangelism, and now think about each of these verbs – which one would be most appropriate in that setting? And what difference would each make if that was what you did?
When talking with people, here’s a great question to be ready to ask…
Because some people aren’t ‘awake’ to spiritual realities – and with an entertainment culture always ready to distract us, lots of people aren’t used to having a deep conversation about anything. And so being ready to ask “really?” when they say things could help the conversation to go deeper.
A friend says “you can believe anything you want” – we could ask “really?”. Do they really mean that? That you can believe anything you want? Anything? Is there nothing that people shouldn’t believe? Probably they do think that some things shouldn’t be believed by anyone – but if that’s the case then how do we determine which beliefs are OK and which aren’t? Simply asking “really?” could end up with a really interesting conversation!
“Would you like to talk about that sometime?”
Not every opportunity has to be taken straight away! You might be in the middle of a workday, or rushing to get kids in the car, or talking on the phone rather than face-to-face. So a great question is simply to ask if your friend would be interested in talking more some other time.
So if someone raises an issue that you know the gospel speaks into (i.e. any issue!), then you can offer to talk more about it at another time – and if they say yes, then be ready to coem back to them and say “you know we were talking about …, how about going for a coffee later to talk about it?”.
Of course, the other benefit of this question is that it will give you time to think about what to say!