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 [...]
Key Thought : The work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts is shared by the ways in which we live in loving and compassionate service to others.
[Teaching plan for "Evangelism and Witnessing as a Lifestyle" April 23, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read John 13:35.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Does loving one another in the church mean that we don’t have differences of opinion, politics, [...]
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. [...]
Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com
Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. 2 Kings 13:21 NIV
There was no magic in the prophet Elisha’s bones. The Israelites were in distressing times, and hope came to Israel that God was not dead and could revive them if [...]
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 [...]
Once upon a time, in the land of Gifted, lived some very miserable people. They trudged through the streets of Gifted every day carrying huge burdens on their backs. A visitor to Gifted once asked why the people of Gifted carried these heavy burdens with them day after day. The answer was surprising. The visitor was told that the townspeople were not carrying burdens but gifts from their King.
The visitor was shocked by this answer. He had to know more, [...]