In the increasingly hardened culture of today,
it’s easy to feel like this about evangelism
but by walking in the Spirit, it’s possible for this to change to this:
And truly, I am so excited about sharing with you what I’ve learned, for though our methods need to change with the culture, the power of the gospel remains the same. Even if you are an introvert, as I am, you can do this. For when you move with His Spirit, you are not alone, and you will experience power from on high.
This community is one I am so proud of, for you are living your faith, and I am truly, so excited at what might happen this fall.
This week we’ll begin with the vision for the fall.
It’s all about working with His Spirit,
stepping into where He is already at work,
for what is so exciting about evangelism, is that you are partnering with the God who has POWER
to absolutely transform a life.
With my friend Ron as an illustration, a man who came to faith at the age of 70, let me walk through the principles we, I pray, will practice together this fall.
PRINCIPLES FOR SPIRIT-LED EVANGELISM
1. EYES TO SEE. Ask God to help you see people in whom He is at work. Paul
Little said, “I’ve never met anyone God has used in personal evangelism who did
not have a sense of expectancy with the people in his path.”
I knew God was at work in Ron’s life when his wife Debbie (a seeker in our
Bible study) told me that when she came home from her 1st Bible study, Ron
met her at the door and peppered her with questions.
2. HEARTS TO LOVE. No one wants to be a target, another scalp for your belt. We
must love well, even if they recoil! The old method of door to door evangelism
is quite ineffective in our increasingly hardened culture. (It still works in
many countries — but not our western world.) We must truly love as Jesus did.
Ron was with FEMA at the time, and had to go away for three months. The best
way we could love Ron was by loving Debbie when she was alone, which was easy
to do. She told him about how that was helping her.
3. EARS TO REALLY HEAR. Rebecca Pippert says we must learn how to be the host in conversation. Paul Little says “Listen to hear what is keeping them from Christ.”
Ask questions that go beyond small talk — and really listen to get to know them. I
love inviting people over for a simple meal and e-mailing them some
non-threatening questions ahead of time to get to know them. When I invited Ron
and Debbie over for a meal, he was so ripe, and so willing to be vulnerable, it
happened very quickly. (It won’t always be that easy.) He said to me, “What you
have been teaching my wife is not what I have heard in church all my life.”
4. HANDS READY TO RAISE THE SAIL. This is the exciting part. When you sense
the wind of the Spirit has come up, be ready to raise the sail by asking more
questions, presenting the gospel, inviting them to an event, or to a seeker’s Bible
study to investigate Jesus.
As I shared, Ron was ripe. That very day we presented the gospel by showing him
Tim Keller’s list of the difference between religion and the gospel. Shortly after first
Debbie and then Ron trusted Christ.
5. FEET TO LEAD DOWN THE NARROW WAY. Disciple them by leading them into the Word, continuing to spend time with them, helping them mature in their faith.
But Ron has such a play-dough heart, that when he couldn’t obey the Ephesians
passage about letting no unkind word come out of his mouth, he went out in the
woods, fell on his knees, and cried out to God to help him. And He has. Ron is
becoming a godly disciple of Jesus Christ, and testified to God’s glory at his
baptism last month. He shared how grateful He is to know Jesus, to experience
both His presence and the tremendous change in his heart.
What I am praying is that together we will practice these principles of eyes, heart, ears, hands, and feet so that by November, you can begin to ask God to show you how you might invite a friend to a Christmas event — possibly a coffee in your home or a friend’s home with the women you have befriended!
But more about that later!
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- How do you feel about evangelism and why?
Monday-Wednesday Bible Study:
3. Read John 4:7-30 as an overview and share anything that quickens you.
4. We need eyes to see the people in our path in whom God might be working. How do
you see this in this account?
5. I’m going to suggest putting a little note in your car or near your front door that says:
“Open my eyes, Lord.” Pray, pray, pray that you will really see whom God puts in
your path. Come back and report answers you see this week — I will do it too.
6. How did Jesus demonstrate a heart of love to the woman in Samaria? Find
everything you can.
7. How did He hear underneath her words to her real need?
8. See if you can see a time or times when “the wind came up” and He used his hands
to “lift the mast?” (Hint — He doesn’t get side-tracked.)
9. What evidence can you see that her heart has been changed?
Thursday-Friday: Free Video on John 4 from Tim Keller
10. Share your thoughts or notes on the video.
11. Keller brought out how the gospel isn’t just to “get you to heaven.” This whole account really deals with idols. How might you share with an unbeliever how God has helped you deal with a heart idol?
11. What is your take-a-way and why? Application?