MINI-COURSE - EVANGELISM
Evangelism training in one hour
MINI-COURSE IN EVANGELISM
In July 2019 John Mason provided the members of St Thomas' with an encouraging, insightful and practical short course on evangelism, over two separate weeks. In particular he has addressed the theological reasons why we should share the gospel of Jesus with others and the importance of prayer as our starting point. In the second talk John challenges us to be partners in the Lord's work, to live a lifestyle that encourages non-believers to be interested in why we are salt and light and how we can create and take advantage of opportunities to share the gospel with others.
John helps equip many evangelical Christian churches in the USA and, as founder of Anglican Connection, supports the growth Christians in their faith. Anglican Connection is "committed to developing churches to that offer a fresh and authentic expression of Christianity for the 21st century. Grounded in the Bible and framed by the rich heritage of reformational Anglicanism, its ministries are committed to touching minds and hearts with God’s good news in a clear and relevant way."
John is the Chair of Anglican Connection, a canon of St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, and Commissary to the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney in the USA. He spent most of his professional life as a senior minister of two large Anglican Churches in Australia - one in Canberra, ACT (which he founded), the other in Mosman, Sydney, NSW. He was the Founding Rector of Christ Church New York City and Minister Pro Tem at Emmanuel Anglican Church NYC.
GOD'S PASSION AND THE UNFINISHED TASK
The two podcasts are provided below. You can subscribe to the Christians Engaging Culture podcast here. Descriptions of the content of each podcast is provided with the videos further below.
Week 1 - God's Word and Work
GOD'S PASSION AND THE UNFINISHED TASK
The following two videos provide compelling reasons as to why we should share the gospel with others and practical advice in how to do that as partners with the Holy Spirit in His work of converting hearts, minds and wills.
Week 1 - God's Word and Work
Using 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, John explains how people are blinded to the gospel because they are absorbed in this world and themselves; humanity's dilemma is its lostness and pre-occupation. He explains that God has not kept the gospel a mystery; people choose unbelief. Conversion is the greatest of all miracles today. God takes the veil from our hearts and lets the glory of God shine. We don't lose heart sharing the gospel because it is God's work and we are partners with Him.
Using Paul as an example he explains how people come to believe and what we might say as we talk about the work of Jesus and what he has done.
Lastly, John explains two practical starters for sharing the gospel with others:
- prayer - we are totally dependent on prayer. "Revival is always accompanied by bold, persistent prayer. If we have a passion for the lost we will pray that God whose nature is to be merciful will, through his Spirit, open blind eyes, unstop deaf ears and soften hard hearts - turning their hearts towards their true home in the Lord."
- your personal testimony. John provides a practical method for writing a 2 minute personal testimony of how God has changed your life.
Duration: 31:58Speaker: John MasonDate Accessed: 20/7/2019Publisher: St Thomas' Anglican Church, North Sydney.
Week 2 - God's Partners
This week focuses on how we partner with the Holy Spirit in the work of the Gospel through:
- our lifestyle - which draws people to God, although it does not necessarily convert
- our opportunities. - Acts 8:4
John uses Luke 10:2 and Colossians 4:2-3 to demonstrate how prayer is integral to our work of outreach. John asks "Do you pray and when you pray do you pray with confidence?" Can God be trusted to hear our prayers? Do God's answers have our best interests at heart?" He answers these questions using Luke 11:1-13. We can be confident that the nature of the Lord is always to have mercy.
John provides some practical suggestions on how to share the gospel
- 20% of the non-church going population in Australia would respond positively to going to church at the invitation from a friend. Identify 5 friends who live nearby your church and invite them
- we need to understand the worldview of our neighbours
- think about how to start a conversation about the large issues of life - eg how do you find purpose and meaning in life?
- regularly read / listen to the news to find interesting conversation starters that could lead to a conversation about the big issues of life - the larger existential questions
- read scripture with your non-believing friends. John Ch 1 provides the big biblical framework. You will find an excellent resource for reading the gospel of John with a friend in Digging Deeper.
- talk about Jesus - his death and resurrection. Paul mentioned the resurrection in all his sermons in Acts.
Duration: 28:27Speaker: John MasonAccessed: 20/7/2019Publisher" St Thomas' Anglican Church, North Sydney.
ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE BIBLE
2 Corinthians 4:1–6 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways;we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” and made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
Luke 11:9–10 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
Colossians 4:2–3 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.
GROUP OR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- How can you pray more effectively as a partner with the Holy Spirit in the work of sharing the gospel?
- John said that humanity's dilemma is its lostness and self-preoccupation and that Christianity is a religion of the heart. Using these thoughts and John's approach write a 2 minute personal testimony that shows how God has saved you and changed your life.
- Try John's approach of scanning the news for interesting items that could lead to a conversation about the bigger issues of life. Start a conversation with a friend.
- Make a list of non-believing friends who live nearby. Invite them to join you at church.
PRAYER FOR SHARING THE GOSPEL
We thank you for saving us and bringing us into your family. We acknowledge that we were saved when you performed a miracle in our lives and that we could not have been saved without your undeserved grace, love and mercy. With thankfulness we ask you to equip us to work as partners in your work of salvation. Help us to have hearts for the lost and a sense of urgency to share the good news of Jesus' death and resurrection with others. Help us to think through how we can best share this news with others. Guide us as we write and share our personal testimonies of how you have transformed us. Help us to live out our lives so that others will see how salvation has changed us. May we take this work of sharing the gospel seriously, knowing that we have been called as partners with the Holy Spirit in sharing the gospel.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.