As Christians we believe that God, in his love, offers us forgiveness through his son Jesus by bridging the gap that separated us from him on the cross. Yet as followers of Jesus we do not always experience this closeness. Rather, we sometimes feel guilty, defeated and alone. God’s desire is that we experience his complete love and forgiveness – to live under his grace.
The Bible, in 1 Corinthians 2: 14- 3: 3, describes three types of people.
Which circle best describes you? (See following pages)
Which circle would you like to describe you?
1 Corinthians 2: 14
“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
1 Corinthians 2: 15-16
“The Spiritual Man makes judgements about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgement: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3: 1-3
“Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly - mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?”
Just as we need to breathe out impure air, we need to breathe out (confess) our sins to the Lord.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Take a piece of paper. Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of those un-confessed sins that have come between you and God. Be detailed and honest with God. Write them down.
Then take the words of 1 John 1: 9 and write them over your page to cover everything you’ve written. Then destroy your piece of paper. Thank God for the daily forgiveness that He gives through Jesus.
How confident are you in explaining the gospel to your friends?
Discuss in pairs what you think are the important parts of the gospel.
It is a good idea to have a clear explanation of the gospel message in your mind. Using the Knowing God Personally (KGP) booklet can be one of the best things you can do to help you remember, simply, the main points of the gospel.
The gospel is too complicated for an untrained person to explain clearly.
In pairs, practice sharing the main points of the Gospel in a natural way. Try doing it without using any Christian jargon.
How could you use this tool?
It has been said that people won’t care what you think unless they think that you care. We need to make sure that we are engaging with the other person and listening to where they are at with God and not starting from where we want them to be.
In our postmodern society the most important evangelistic tool is listening.
Did you know?
Jesus asked approximately 300 questions. Jesus rarely asked the same question twice.
What does this say? Are questions better than answers?
Memorise the four points of the Gospel from the KGP and the pictures that go with them. Next time you’re in a conversation where the Holy Spirit is creating the opportunity for you to share the Gospel, try not to use the KGP booklet. Instead, naturally, drop in the parts of the Gospel relevant to the conversation and perhaps draw the diagrams for them yourself on a napkin.
The Christian life is not just difficult – it’s impossible! We cannot live it on our own which is why Jesus said that He would come by His Holy Spirit to live in us.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
John 14: 16-18
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.
Why did the Holy Spirit come?
“To convict us of our sins.”
John 16: 8
“To give us new birth.”
John 3: 5
“To produce fruit in our lives.”
Galatians 5: 22-23
“To give us gifts to serve.”
1 Corinthians 12: 7-11
What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Ephesians 5: 18
Do not be drunk with wine…but be filled with the Spirit.
Compare the idea of being drunk with wine to being filled with the Spirit.
When we are under the influence of the Holy Spirit we are able to live the Christian life as Christ lives His life in and through us.
How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?
“Jesus said: ‘If then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.’”
Follow God’s desire to...
“Be filled with the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5: 18
Believe the Promise
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”
1 John 5: 14-15
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a once off decision. Rather, it is an ongoing process. By faith we can choose to invest our lives in God’s purposes for the world.
Take a few moments to pray to God. Ask Him to fill you anew with His Holy Spirit. Remember that you can have confidence that God wants to help you; He does not want you to feel alone. Just as we need to breathe in air to live we also need to breathe in the Spirit of God.
The story of how you came to know Jesus (your testimony) is one of the most potent weapons you have in your utility belt. People may argue with matters of Christian belief, but no one can dispute your story because it happened to you! Telling your story doesn’t require you to remember lots of facts and, as such, is a really simple way of explaining how knowing Jesus makes a difference.
Read 1 Peter 3: 15
Do you have a way that you usually share your journey to faith?
Have you ever “prepared” an answer in the past?
Read Acts 26 for the example of Paul’s story.
Paul shares his journey to faith. We recognize three phases in his story.
His life before he met Jesus (4-11).
How he met Jesus (12-18).
His life after he met Jesus (19-22).
Take some time to work through the following three questions. See if you can answer them each in a couple of sentences. Stay clear of Christian jargon and any negative references to other churches, organizations or religions. Let the focus be on you and Jesus.
Go around the group and get others to give constructive feedback on your answers.
Ask the Lord to help you remember how He brought you to faith and for opportunities to tell others your story.
Next time will be an online training to put your story online.
So make sure you bring your smartphone or Ipad. It will be a practical exercise to record your story.
Our new life in Christ comes from the Holy Spirit. We are born spiritually into the family of God by the Holy Spirit (John 3: 5). But, it does not stop there. We need to “Keep in step with the Spirit”.
Galatians 5: 25
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
What does it mean to keep in step with the Spirit?
1 John 1: 7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
When we fail to deal with our sin then we stop growing in our Christian life. When we stop walking in the light then we stop enjoying God’s forgiveness. We will not feel clean. If we are to walk in the light then we need to confess our sins and experience God’s forgiveness.
Spiritual breathing allows us to keep in step with the spirit and remain walking in the light.
Confessing is like breathing out the impure air.
Being filled is like breathing in and asking the Holy Spirit to fill you again.
As children of God we need to be prepared for spiritual conflict.
Ephesians 6: 13
Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.
Where is this conflict coming from?
1. The enemy all around - the world
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33
2. The enemy within - the ‘flesh’
“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” Galatians 5: 17
3. The enemy outside - the Devil
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee.” James 4: 7
If we are to walk and fight in the spiritual world then we also need to breathe spiritually.
Begin to practise spiritual breathing: confessing your sin (breathing out the impure) and giving back control of your life to the Lord (breathing in the pure).
In order to write, record and upload your story go to www.training.mystory.me
When you have confidence and believe in someone, only then can you recommend them to other people. When we truly believe that Jesus is “The Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14: 6) then we will recommend him to others.
I need to wait until I’m really mature and then I'll have lots of knowledge and be able to introduce people to God.
Read John 9: 1-34
1 Peter 3: 15
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
You need to “respect” people and get their permission before telling them the Good News. Be “gentle”. Do not force your faith on people.
God loves you and what you bring to each spiritual conversation that you’re involved in. Because you know Him you can share Him and be confident that he speaks through you.
Jesus has called us to “go and be” with people each day instead of telling them to “come and see” us on a Sunday. Jesus promises to be with us always and he will be in your conversations.
Success in evangelism is simply taking the initiative to talk about Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.
So relax and enjoy your conversations!
I am praying regularly that the following people from my neighbourhood, leisure activities, family, work or studies will come to consider seriously what it means to know Jesus personally.
The Bible encourages me to pray for my five in focus...
1 Timothy 2: 1, 4-5
First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth, which is: ‘There is only one God and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God.’
1 Corinthians 9: 22, 23
I do everything I can to win everyone I possibly can. I do all of this for the good news, because I want to share in its blessings.
Often the hardest part in witnessing is getting started. Whether its a friend, relative or a stranger it’s requires boldness to take the risk. But, once the gospel conversation getting rolling then we enjoy the interaction until we have to bring things to a natural end. If we are a pilot who is trying to guide the conversation then taking off & landing can be a bit bumpy!
We should be looking for conversations, not conversions!
What have been your experiences in starting spiritual conversations?
Biblical example: Acts 8: 26-35
How did Philip start this conversation?
Tools that help you get started, e.g. Soularium & surveys.
Any other examples?
Ideas that create a relaxed environment, e.g. drinks & films.
Any other examples?
In pairs, practice how you would introduce Soularium or a survey to a friend or a stranger.
They say first impressions are lasting. So be natural in how you introduce yourself. Make sure they know what your agenda is i.e. to talk about spiritual issues in an honest way. State up front who you are & what Christian organisation you are connected to.
Biblical example: Acts 8: 36-39
How did Philip conclude this conversation?
All good conversations have to come to an end. Here are some tips.
Always leave them as friend.
Sometimes we may win the argument but lose the friendship.
Do not overstay your welcome.
When you sense the conversation has run it’s course conclude it.
Facebook, mobile or whatever they are comfortable with.
Commit the person you have been sharing with to God’s grace.
God will show up in your conversations.
Allow room for God to lead you.
Practice in pairs how you would conclude an easy spiritual conversation.
Practice in pairs how you would conclude a difficult conversation!
It’s a striking thing that Jesus did not give many commands. So, it’s all the more important that Jesus would give the same command 5 times. The Great Commission is recorded in all 4 Gospels & also in Acts 1. It seems that Jesus was giving us our marching orders!
What motivates you to go across the room to share Christ?
What motivates you to go across the world to share Christ?
Matthew 28: 18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Making converts is a good start. But the real deal is “making disciples” i.e. true followers of Christ. At the heart of the Great Commission is Christ’s desire to see multiplying disciples. You & I helping to make other disciples of Christ from one generation to another etc.
The Great Commission is more important than the Great Commandment.
What nations (ethnic groups) are you personally connected to through University?
What assets do you have that make it possible to go to the nations?
In an average day we generally relate to hundreds of different people e.g. friends, course mates, shop assistants, university authorities etc. God can use us in these everyday relationships to spread the gospel though our lives and conversations.
What has been your experience of sharing the gospel in everyday relationships? What are some of the encouragements and challenges?
The metaphor of thresholds. Based on the book ‘Once I was lost’ by Everts & Schaupp.When doing evangelism we need answers to two big questions:
The threshold metaphor is a tool that helps us answer these two questions. It helps us discern where a person is and how we may best help them into the kingdom. Most people pass through these thresholds (doors) on their journey.
1. Trusting a Christian begins. (Negative past experience can block their ears.) Simply love them.
2. Curiosity about spiritual things grows. (Going from complacency to interest.) Provoke this with questions.
3. Change is wanted in their lives. (Dissatisfied with their own status quo.) A postmodern paradox where they may love the idea of change yet it freaks them out!
4. Seeking after Jesus. (Hunger for Jesus is evident.) Can drill deep in the gospels.
5. Stepping into the kingdom. (Decision needs to be made.) Urgency should be shown here.
The people who are in your life, who are not yet Christians, have been placed there by God. He has made no mistake with the people that are in ‘my world’. Write down one or two names of people you know that are not yet Christians in as many boxes as you can. (Think back to your ‘five in focus’.)
This manual serves as an introduction of the ‘Living and ...’ series of workshops. The 15 sessions are bundled in 3 documents:
These documents can be downloaded individually.
The word ‘gospel’ literally means good news. In the student world it is almost breaking news as many have not heard a current & culturally relevant presentation of Jesus.
Living & Telling the Good News aims to help us Walk With God (5 Living messages) and Talk about God (5 Telling workshops).
Aims of Living and Telling
The Living part of each session is a bible study and will help you to enjoy Gods forgiveness and to learn to rely on the Holy Spirit.
The Telling part is a workshop and will help you to share your faith as a way of life with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.
In our evangelism we need to develop 3 skill sets:
Walking & fighting
Starting & stopping
Your action plan
Some extra reading
All scriptures are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version, NIV. Used by permission.
3rd edition, April 2014.
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