EVANGELISM PART 1
ANYONE CAN DO IT
You can share the gospel in Christ's strength
ANYONE CAN SHARE THE GOSPEL
We conducted a survey of our church last year and more than 70% of people said we should prioritise training on sharing the gospel. And given that sharing the gospel is the end goal of all we’re doing at Christians Engaging Culture, we thought it was a fitting first topic.
Now, most of us know the gospel and most of us know we should be sharing it. It’s often just an issue of how. So that is largely what we’re focusing on in this topic.
For this part's podcast episode, we got together a group of regular members of St Thomas’. We’re going to hear their experiences of sharing the gospel so we can see that it’s possible for all Christians to share the gospel (with Christ's strength enabling). The podcast episode is a shortened version of our panel discussion. The video includes the full-length version.
Further below you will find a number of other resources that will help you share the gospel, including an article and a video on overcoming fear in evangelism.
PODCAST - PANEL DISCUSSION
You can subscribe to the Christians Engaging Culture podcast here (or by searching for it in your favourite podcast app). Please help other church members to subscribe too.
Duration: 18:48 (podcast); 57:23 (video)Publisher: Christians Engaging CultureAccessed: 21/5/19
SOME HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS FROM OUR PANEL
- 'Underneath every single story of sharing the gospel, there is a lot of prayer.'
- 'As well as prayer, underneath every story is a deep love for Jesus.'
- 'Living authentically as a Christian is a very important first step … And then when you speak, that’s more powerful.'
- 'Jesus’ life is the best story to tell.'
- 'If you are someone who lacks conviction to share the gospel, go back to Bible passages where Jesus makes absolute truth claims and ask yourself, "Am I convicted of that?"'
- 'If you get a friendship out of the office, it becomes a real friendship.'
- 'We are often small links in the chain of a person's journey to faith.'
BIBLE PASSAGES TO HELP OVERCOME FEAR
2 Corinthians 5:14–15 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 2:22 Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?
Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
'The problem is fear. We just don’t fear enough.' In this article, Glen Scrivener turns some of our fears and misconceptions on their head.
'As the old saying goes, “What grips the heart wags the tongue.” Or, to put it the way Jesus does, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). We speak out what we are “full of.” This is an inescapable fact of human psychology. We are always evangelising.'
Estimated read time: 5:20Author: Glen ScrivenerPublisher: Desiring GodAccessed: 21/5/19
In this video, Dr. Timothy Beougher of Southern Seminary addresses three common fears: not knowing enough, the fear of failure and the fear of rejection.
Duration: 3:33Speaker: Dr. Timothy BeougherPublisher: Southern SeminaryAccessed: 21/5/19
PRAYER FOR EVANGELISM
We praise you for the gospel of Jesus, the evangel. We praise you that you have sent your precious Son, that he humbled himself and was obedient even to the point of death. Thank you for his sacrifice for our sins. And thank you that you raised him to new life. Father thank you for sending us. We pray for great joy and boldness as your messengers in this world. Please give us courage to speak up, give us wisdom to know when to speak and give us lives transformed by your Spirit in true holiness that stand out as a light for Jesus. Please use us Father to make Christ known wherever you have placed us.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
GROUP OR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Share (or think of) opportunities God has given you to share the gospel. Did you take the opportunity or miss it? What gets in the way of us talking about the gospel?
- Were there any stories or suggestions in the panel discussion that you found helpful? Are there any you will put into practice?
- In his article 'Evangelism Made Simple: The Key to Overcoming Your Fear' (above), Glen Scrivener notes how easily we talk about our favourite sport or Netflix series, yet how hard we find it to talk about the gospel. Is this a case of the mouth speaking out of the abundance of the heart? How does leaning into a love for Christ change our approach to evangelism?
- Read the Bible verses in the 'Bible Verses to help overcome fear'. Is there one you could commit to memory to help you when you're feeling weak?
- Pray for a person in your life who you would like to share Christ with.
WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?
During this module on evangelism, we are focusing more on the how of evangelism and less on the what. Most members of St Thomas' know what the gospel is, but may not feel equipped to get out and share it. But it's always good to be reminded of the gospel, so here are two very brief videos giving an overview of the gospel, along with a sermon by our own Simon Manchester that explains what Jesus has done very clearly.
The videos below will inspire and equip you in evangelism. They are both the first videos in separate playlists. If you keep watching each playlist, there are many more helpful videos there.