- How did the witness of someone else play a part in you becoming a Christian?
Often, evangelistic methods involve only “on the spot” presentations, and they can be impersonal. They can simply allow us to check a box to appease our guilt, and then move on. But when you’re reaching out to people you see regularly, it requires genuine love, faithfulness and perseverance. You need to do the necessary pre-evangelism, answer questions, slowly and gradually watch defenses go down, and hopefully—by God’s grace—see your friend, family member, co-worker, or neighbor declare, “Jesus is Lord.”
- List specific names or abbreviations for people you’d like to witness to. If you’re stuck, thinking through these categories might help:
- Familial: people in your family
- Geographical: people in your neighbourhood
- Vocational: people at your workplace
- Recreational: people you play with or hang out with
- Commercial: people you see at shops
Read 1 Peter 3 v 13-17
- Why do you think honouring and revering Christ (v 15) makes it easier to avoid fearing others (v 14)?
- What results should there be from doing good (v 13, 14, 16)?
- As we engage with others, why is it important both to articulate a reason for our hope and to speak with gentleness and respect, as verse 15 directs us to?
- Do unbelievers see us as having a hope they don’t have? How would you explain the reason for it if asked?
- What does it look like to speak with “gentleness and respect”? In what kinds of relationships is doing so particularly easy or particularly challenging? How can we help one another to grow in this area?
- In what ways are you currently pursuing obedience to the call to make disciples (Matthew 28 v 19) individually, as a group, and as a whole church? How could we be most effective as witnesses to our particular community?
- Pick one of these ideas for each person you listed at the start.
- Get alongside
- Give books and resources
- Share the gospel
- Brainstorm a specific action you might take to ensure you follow through on witnessing to each person. Think about where you are at in the relationship (ie do you need to know a bit more before understanding how to connect – if so you might want to start with something that opens a conversation or establishes trust).
Loving Heavenly Father,
We want to be a church that loves you, loves each other and loves our neighbour. Please help us to witness to you with our whole lives – loving others practically and as we hold out the wonderful hope we have in the gospel. Please help us to do this individually and together as a body.
- Never stop praying (for the Lord to give us boldness to speak and for him to open blind eyes).
- Seek to live as someone whose true hope is beyond this world. Expect people to notice.
- Remind yourself that Jesus is Lord before you speak to someone about him
- Talk with gentleness and respect, but don’t be afraid of people’s disapproval.
- Book: Love Your Church (Ch 7) by Tony Merida
- Book: Stay Salt by Rebecca Manley Pippert
- Book: Honest Evangelism by Rico Tice
- Song: Rescuer by Rend Collective