There is a saying that is often voiced when we speak of reaching people for Christ. It goes like this: “People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.” The point is that we can teach and preach all we want, but if people feel misunderstood, unloved, and unaccepted, then our witness will be severely hampered, no matter how eloquent our preaching or how reasonable and true our teachings.1
This leads to the simple idea of [...]
Here’s an important point: rather than providing what we think people need, we must learn what they see as important priorities. What are they concerned about? What are their problems? What do they feel that they need?1
Read 1 Corinthians 9:20–22. What do these verses tell us about Paul’s approach to different peoples and his desire to identify with their needs and concerns? What can we take from this for ourselves in our attempts to reach out to those around us? See also Heb. [...]
Each day we all fleetingly brush past people we don’t know. We pass them on the street, sit near them in cafes, and wait with them in lines. Sometimes we even acknowledge their presence with a nod or smile as we move past them. Although we could never personally contact everyone we see each day, God’s desire is for all these people to accept Him into their lives. For someone, somewhere, we can be a part of God’s plan to [...]
How would you have recognized the followers of Jesus back in the first century? You could recognize the priests and the Pharisees by the way they dressed. Likewise, you would recognize a fisherman, a peasant, or a Roman soldier by their clothes. But, again, how would you recognize a Christian?1
Read John 13:35. According to Jesus, what is one special way His followers are identified? What does that mean in practical terms?
Jesus said that if we love one another, others will know [...]
Read for This Week’s Study:
2 Cor. 3:2, 3; Matt. 9:36–38; 1 Cor. 9:20–22; Mark 5:1–19; John 17:11–19.
“At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did”(Acts 9:36, NKJV).
Whether we acknowledge it or not, all believers preach a message by the example of their lives.
It has often been said that Christianity is not just an adherence to a set of beliefs; it is also a way of [...]
Discover (or organize) local training opportunities.
If you have decided upon an area of witnessing and evangelism and have discussed it with your pastor and evangelism leaders, it is time to consider your readiness for the task. You will want the best possible chance of influencing people for Jesus; thus, training is important. Remember, working as a team rather than individually will ensure encouragement, support, and success. The following are this week’s key areas of focus.
In consultation with your pastor and [...]
Eddah watched the activity in the Masai camp nervously. It seemed that the whole clan had come to help her mother prepare for her wedding feast. But Eddah didn’t want to marry; she wanted to continue her studies. She is a bright girl and had completed several years of primary school several miles from her home. Then one day she was attacked and raped on her way to school. Even after Eddah realized that she was pregnant, she continued her [...]
Spiritual gifts are not discovered just to satisfy our curiosity but rather to indicate what the Lord would have us do and to show where we fit into the church body. This, of course, brings great responsibility as we seek to fulfill that for which God has especially equipped us.1
Compare Romans 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12, and Ephesians 4:16. What do these verses say about spiritual gifts and the body?
It is significant that the three main chapters that list spiritual gifts all do so [...]
When we think of spiritual gifts and witnessing and evangelism, we tend mostly to focus on the gifts of evangelism, preaching, and teaching. Though not all gifts are overtly evangelistic, if ministered within the church body they will have varying degrees of impact upon the church’s evangelistic mission.1
Read Acts 6:1–4 again. People were given similar responsibilities to those we would expect of deacons today. What reasons did the disciples give for not wanting to do this work? How are we to understand the principle being revealed [...]
Discovering our gifts is not difficult. You will be able to recognize quickly the gifted ministry areas of your pastor and other key leaders in your church. All you have to do is observe what they are doing and notice how people respond to their ministry. However, it is another matter when it comes to considering what one’s own spiritual gifts might be.1
The process of discovering an individual’s spiritual gifts has sometimes been presented as rather simplistic: fill out an [...]