As we have already noted in earlier weeks, the discovery of individual or community felt needs will influence how we approach people and the programs and services that we make available to them. As we understand felt needs, we are better able to plan a sequence of programs that meets those basic needs, whether for an individual or a community.1
Read Luke 9:11. What does this verse indicate regarding Jesus’ desire to heal both physically and spiritually? In our spheres, how can [...]
Read for This Week’s Study:
Matt. 25:35–40, 1 Cor. 3:1–3, 1 Pet. 2:2, John 6:54–66, Luke 8:4–15.
“I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it” (1 Corinthians 3:2, NKJV).
In all evangelism and witnessing, it is important that we first present the simple truth of the gospel.
Sequential evangelism is a strategy based on the understanding that people will move from one church program to another when the programs are arranged in the right sequence. [...]
Discover where your ministry fits into your church’s overall plans.
While most local church departments may have a well-organized program and be quite busy, the chances are that those involved in each department may not know much about what is happening in other areas of church life. Furthermore, there may not be an overall church evangelistic plan of which each department group is aware and, therefore, can contribute toward. For the purposes of encouragement, support, and effective evaluation, it is best [...]
I was an absolute Atheist, a teacher of physics and astronomy on a mission to convince my students in Bulgaria that God doesn’t exist.
Then my brother became a Christian—an Adventist Christian! I wasn’t sure what he believed, but I was sure it meant trouble. My brother tried to convince me to study the Bible and give Christianity a chance, but I refused to listen. In fact, I refused to allow him to say one word about it in my presence.
While a searching soul occasionally may approach a Christian and ask, “What must I do to be saved?,” for the most part believers must go out in search of the lost sheep. Some suggest that the church acts too much like a fortress from which a few people go out on a campaign or mission in order to collect some converts who are then admonished not to get too close to the world from which they have been saved. Whether [...]
A QUESTION WITHOUT AN ANSWER
My doctor handed me some papers and asked me to read the radiologist’s report to him.1
I was stunned. I couldn’t fully understand the medical terminology, but it sounded like I had a terrible brain disease and was headed for the coffin. I just sat there.
“I don’t know how I can help you,” he said. “Live a good lifestyle and who knows?”
He wrote a prescription for a walker with wheels [...]
Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com
What was it that made Jesus so different from any of the other religious leaders of His time? Well, His message was clearly different – keeping the rules can’t save you, be a servant, love your enemies. That was all new stuff to the people of Jesus’ time. I think sometimes we forget how really different the things that Jesus was preaching were. We’ve heard it all our whole lives.
What Jesus was preaching was truly [...]
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 [...]