One of the things we want to do on this blog is to give you resources to equip you for ministry in all of life. So, this is our first Blog in a series called “How To…”
A little while back we had our friend Brad Sarian from Restored LA at our EQUIP Night to help us to think a bit more about Evangelism, and to Equip and Empower us to share about Jesus with others. So we wanted to share Brad’s notes with everyone as a reminder of his really helpful teaching, and to encourage us all to continue to share the Gospel, and to live as Missionaries in Durban.
1. DELIGHT IN JESUS’ GRACE
a. MAIN POINT: It is only out of an overflow of Jesus’ love for you that will compel you to share His love with others.
b. Our motivation in sharing the Gospel is the most crucial element of our evangelism.
i. Wrong reasons to share the Gospel:
ii. Best reason to share the Gospel:
1. Christ’s love capturing and compelling us toward others.
2. “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Cor. 5:14-15)
Question: How can you move into deeper intimacy and joy with Jesus on a daily basis?
2. DISCLOSE YOUR LOVE
a. MAIN POINT: No one has ever been saved by merely seeing a Christian’s good works. Salvation comes by seeing and trusting in Jesus’ finished work, so we must always explain the motivation and source of our good works.
b. We must explain how our good works are not done in order to gain God’s love, but because we already have His love.
c. If we wait too long to tell others about our greatest love, we may need to question whether or not He is our greatest love. We are all born evangelists who love to tell others about the things that make us most happy (movies, sports, restaurants, etc.)
d. How can we work this into everyday conversations?
i. Ask people questions about their weekends
1. Most people will ask you in response, and then you can tell them about your church gathering and something that you enjoyed.
ii. Ask people about their spiritual background
1. Most people have some connection to the church. They may have hated their experience, but this will give you the opportunity to help them see that their experience probably wasn’t truly Christian.
iii. Use current events to ask people their thoughts on it
1. If there is a tragic event or an amazing event that takes place, ask people how they are feeling about it. You will also have an opportunity to help them see how Jesus impacts your understanding of the event.
Question: What prevents you from telling others that you are a disciple of Jesus?
3. DISMANTLE MISCONCEPTIONS WITH JESUS’ GRACE
a. MAIN POINT: The Gospel is the most beautiful, but counter-cultural message in the world, so we must help others understand it.
b. We must love people enough to spend time learning how to clarify misconceptions, so that they can see Christ clearly.
c. Main Misconceptions of Christianity:
i. Christians are saved by their works
1. No. We are saved by grace, not any works.
ii. Christians are anti-gay
1. No. We love all people because Jesus has loved all people.
iii. Christians always feel guilty
1. No. We have been forgiven every sin and now live in freedom.
iv. Christians are impractical
1. No. Jesus’ teachings apply to every moment of our day.
v. Christians are anti-science
1. No. God created science and we love science.
d. Popular, but false worldviews:
i. All spiritual paths lead to God
1. No. Christianity completely contradicts all other religions and two things that contradict one another cannot both be true.
ii. Evil and suffering prove there is no God
1. No. Just because we don’t have a perfect understanding of why evil occurs, that does not lead to the conclusion that God doesn’t exist. It simply means we can’t comprehend the mind of God.
iii. You can be spiritual without being religious
1. No. That ultimately means you are your own god, which makes you as religious as everyone else.
Question: Which misconception do you need to spend more time reflecting on so that you can better articulate them to people?
4. DRAW INTO COMMUNITY
a. MAIN POINT: Jesus’ best work takes place when people see His glory and grace through His loving community.
b. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21)
c. We must not believe the lie that we alone can show someone what Jesus is like. It takes the entire body to show the world who Jesus is and what He has done.
d. Why is evangelism most effective in community?
5. DECLARE THE CROSS
a. MAIN POINT: It is essential that we know how to articulate the good news of Jesus and His grace.
b. We must learn how to boast in our weaknesses so that Jesus, not ourselves, would be seen as the hero.
c. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:8-9)
d. We must learn how to boast in the cross so that Jesus’ work, not ours, would be central in our evangelism.
e. “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:14)
Question: Which aspect of the Gospel do you have the most difficult time explaining?
6. DEMAND A RESPONSE
a. MAIN POINT: People need to be led into responding to Jesus’ Kingship.
b. After we have shared the Gospel, it is essential to ask the person if they would like to receive the love and forgiveness of Jesus through faith.
c. There is a weight that men and women will feel when they verbally reject Jesus rather than simply hear a Gospel presentation and walk away.
d. “Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’” (Luke 10:8-11)
Question: Who in your life may you need to ask to respond to the Gospel?
7. DEPEND ON THE SPIRIT
a. MAIN POINT: God is the only one who can save, so pray and ask the Spirit for boldness, assurance, power and love.
b. As we listen to the Spirit and walk with Him, He will lead us into conversations and glorify Jesus through our words.
c. “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31)
Question: Who will you commit to pray for daily for the next month?