Conversation not Lecture Unscripted Part Two by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Welcome to week two of a new mid-week bible study series titled Unscripted. We explored last week, “Conversations about the gospel”.  We uncovered that sometimes talking about the gospel can be as simple as having an unscripted conversation where we allow God to lead us.To Listen To The Complete Message, Click HERE

Let us start this week’s lesson titled “Conversations, Not Lectures”.

These are stories of personal evangelism – conversations about Jesus as life happens, in the ebb and flow of birth, death, work, and trips on the bus. We are referring to the stories from last week of Ann, Cheryl, Larry & Todd. At least that is what personal evangelism is supposed to look like. Unfortunately, evangelism has a troubled image these days.  It’s become a dirty word for Christians and Non-Christians alike.  Unbelievers disdain evangelism- often equating it with dogmatic legalists winning heavy-handed, judgmental, presumptuous, religious arguments.

While most Christians don’t think of evangelism that negatively, they still perceive personal evangelism as an onerous, uncomfortable task to be avoided at all costs. They tolerate guilt-inducing sermons on the subject and may even feel some wistful longing to be more effective in telling others about Jesus, but rarely do anything about it. When they do muster the courage to try to witness to someone, they feel inadequate- spiritually and intellectually-often stammering through what they think they are supposed to say, rather than sharing honestly from the heart.  They wrongly think sharing Jesus is delivering a canned spiel or sales pitch.

How sad!

The word “Evangel” means “Herald of good news”. An evangelist, therefore, is supposed to be a “good news teller”.   Personal evangelism should be about “telling someone good news”, Simply put – it’s talking about Jesus!

How did such a positive concept – the privilege of reporting the best news of all (the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus with a personal invitation to follow him) – turn into such a distasteful experience? More importantly, if you have succumbed to such negative thinking, what can be done to change your image of personal evangelism?  How can you rediscover conversing about Jesus-as a normal part of life-as the essence of sharing the gospel?

According to the previous paragraphs, what is evangelism?

Evangelism is as simple as telling your personal devotional whether scripted or unscripted to be the person sharing the greatest news of the death, burial & resurrection of our Jesus Christ.

What do people mistakenly identify as evangelism instead?

I believe my wrongful image of evangelism would be the young men with black pants and white shirts with a tie going door to door trying to preach the word. Others believe evangelism is remembering scriptures. Those that don’t understand feel it’s anything from a scam to a cult. Even believers feel that it is bothersome to attempt.

Effective personal evangelism isn’t about memorizing answers to complicated religious questions, winning arguments with religious intellectuals, or convincing people to do something they really don’t want to do. Evangelism is about connecting people to Jesus and connecting Jesus with your community-spontaneously, joyfully, and honestly.  It’s not drudgery, some bitter religious medicine you must stomach occasionally to absolve false guilt for not being more open about your faith.  The joy of personal evangelism needs to be captured by believers as characteristic of our highest privilege-sharing the good news of Jesus with people we care about. We’ve got to rediscover what it means to talk with people about Jesus-conversationally, rationally, and sometimes incrementally over long periods of time-until we have successfully communicated the gospel.  Personal evangelism is supposed to be like that – unscripted – engaging people where they are, as they come, authentically connecting them with the gospel.  That is what this series is about.

To create evangelism that connects people to Jesus and Jesus with my community that is spontaneous, joyful, and honest I will …

Continue to reach out to those in need. I do this because God instructs us to do so but also without anything in return and want no glory for doing so as I will receive my rewards from Jesus.

Discussion Project

How do you suppose a positive privilege that can happen in conversation has become so feared? Ephesians 3:8

What are some incalculable riches and how do they change everyday life? How do they change the image of evangelism for you? For those you seek to reach?

The Greek word translated “unsearchable” describes something that cannot be fully comprehended or explored. In other words, there is no limit to the riches of Christ; they are past finding out. Try as we might, we can never plumb the depths of Christ’s worth. Knowing that God provides what I can’t builds my confidence while evangelizing. Two of the most important lessons I have learned is one from my days as a disaster relief chaplain where we are Jesus’ hands and feet.  The conversation will present itself. The second was by a mentor who told me that when you speak about God, it’s not you who is speaking but God using your voice.

To Listen To The Complete Message, Click HERE

Bible Reading Assignment

Book of Matthew, Chapters 1 – 5

 

 

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