[Thought questions for Equipping for Evangelism and Witnessing May 23, 2012]
1. Good deeds. If all that is good is of God, what do you make of the statement in the quarterly that good deeds can be performed apart from Jesus Christ? Is that possible? What about equipping someone else for a witnessing or evangelistic program? Can you do that? By the grace of God?
2. Job preparation. What are some of the job requirements you can think of for a job as a soul-winner in the Adventist church? Is there such a job? If so, does the job require skills in salesmanship? persuasion? management? If you had to choose between a professional evangelist with lots of charm and an ordinary preacher with no platform talent at all, what would you look for in making your choice? Why? What do your church members need more…Training in one-on-one friendship and witnessing? or training and experience in group evangelism?
3. Learn by Observing. What could you have learned about evangelism from watching Jesus feed the crowd of 5,000? Have you ever had 5,000 people over for lunch? Suppose this happened, and somehow you got the job done, and it was a great success. Would you give credit to the talents God gave you? How would you feel if, like John the Baptist, you’d been a great success but ended up in prison? Does God always reward the faithful with success?
4. Learn by Doing. If you study every move and then copy what a prize-winning golfer does, do you become a prize-wining golfer, too? Do you remember learning to swim? Until you plunged into the water, could you have been a success at swimming? Do you like going from house to house inviting the people to attend a special church program? Is it always a surprise, or can you know ahead of time if you are capable of inviting someone to participate in a program or activity?
5. Failure. Have you ever tried to bring up a spiritual topic with someone and been told to jump in a lake (or in some other way to disappear)? Would you consider that encounter a failure? If your goal is to bring everyone you meet next week into a saving relationship with Jesus, what would constitute a failure in your thinking? Did Jesus’ disciples ever fail? Have you ever observed well-meaning words drawing a wedge between the speaker and the listener? Can God help us turn our failures into steping stones? How?
6. Success. In God’s terms, what is success? How does God’s definition differ from that of most people’s? Do we have better success in winning people to our church affiliation when we follow tested rules and procedures? Will some of our mightiest successes in our church turn out to be disastrous failures in the end? In what way(s) does Satan succeed with his plans? Does God want us to enjoy success in winning souls? Is it a challenge to be both successful and unselfish?
7. Local church training. Does your church plan evangelistic or outreach programs a year in advance? If not, why not? Who is involved in developing your outreach plans? What are Satan’s specific plans for your church? Should we encourage our church’s children to develop their skills such as public speaking, music, and friendliness? What temptations come to us as we endeavor to prepare our church for a ministry that reaches far and wide?