Train everyone in everyday evangelism
Confidence in evangelism comes through training that equips people to talk about their faith in the mission fields they go into each day. There are many evangelism training resources available. Here are seven handy hints you can teach people about being an everyday evangelist.
Step 1: Knowing we are sent
Everyday missionaries know they are sent each day by the Lord Jesus into a mission field he has already prepared for them.
Something to consider: What is your mission field? Do you love it? Are you content and glad that God has chosen you to go into this particular harvest each day?
Something to try: Start each day with this prayer: ‘Good morning, Lord. This is a day you have made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it. Please send me into your mission field today and give me opportunities to speak to people about you.’ It’s a prayer that the Lord of the harvest loves to answer!
Step 2: Investing in our people of peace
Everyday missionaries recognize that they are called to invest their time in their people of peace—listening to them and spending time doing life with them.
Something to consider: Think through the ‘people of peace’ in your life—that is, the ones who are open to talking about faith and life. God has given you these specific people as part of your mission field! Are you investing time in sharing your life with them and praying for opportunities to share your faith with them?
Something to try:
• Follow the 50:50 rule
– Invite at least as many unbelievers as Christians to a social event.
– Ensure you spend at least 50 per cent of your time talking to unbelievers.
• Add another person to your day
If you’re already doing an activity, why not invite others along?
• Take up a sport, volunteer activity or hobby
Pick an activity that involves interaction with people.
• Be a strategic consumer
We all have to eat food, get dry-cleaning done, and so on. When we use particular shops and service providers we build relationships with them, and as we do that those people will get to know we’re Christians and opportunities will naturally arise for us to share the hope within us.
Step 3: Understanding our culture and responding with an alternative
Everyday missionaries understand what messages people are hearing that block out the fullness of grace and truth found in Jesus. As missionaries our role is to say ‘it doesn’t have to be that way’ and then to give an alternative view of reality framed by the gospel and shaped by what we’re learning from Scripture and applying in our lives.
Some questions to consider:
• How could what you’re currently learning in Scripture speak into the lives of your ‘people of peace’?
• What are these people’s struggles, hopes, and fears? With what presuppositions do they view the world?
• How can you respond with an alternative view that is good news of great joy to all who believe and receive?
Step 4: Learning the art of asking questions
Everyday missionaries learn the art of asking questions. We can use questions to deconstruct people’s beliefs. Questions that help us do that include:
• What do you mean by that?
• Where do you get your information from (or what is the basis of that)?
• How do you know that to be true?
• What if you’re wrong?
Asking questions can reveal the inconsistencies and arbitrariness of people’s logic. Questions also help people see the limits of their beliefs and give an opportunity to demonstrate how much more is found in Jesus by comparison.
Something to try: Try asking questions of people you talk to today. Use questions to help you understand some of their objections to faith and to point out the inconsistencies, presuppositions, and false assumptions in their arguments.
Step 5: Replacing idols with the grace of Christ
Everyday missionaries challenge people who are holding on to created things for their source of security, identity, and purpose rather than the creator who made us to know those things through him. An idol is a good thing, such as a career or a possession or a relationship, that has become the ultimate thing and has taken God’s role of providing worth and salvation. Everyday missionaries learn from the expulsive method that rejects an idol by taking hold of something far better. They are walking, talking, living adverts for God’s goodness. Because they know the unsurpassing greatness of Christ, they show it in their lives and tell others about it.
Some questions to consider:
Think about your ‘people of peace’
• What are the some of the idols that they are holding on to?
• What identity, security, or sense of purpose do these idols seem to offer?
• How do you see that these idols will ultimately fail your friends?
• How does God’s grace in the gospel far exceed what these idols seem to promise?
Step 6: Explaining your soundtrack
Everyday missionaries explain their gospel-driven soundtrack.
They are always prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks about the reason for the hope they have (1 Pet. 3:15).
Something to try: Why are you glad to be a Christian right now? Be ready to explain your hope to people in three ways:
• I know who I am: a dearly loved child of God.
• I know what I’m here for: to live for God’s eternal purposes each day.
• I know where I’m going: toward the new creation with God forever.
Step 7: Telling the story of salvation to a world in darkness
Everyday missionaries let the light of the gospel shine among their friends, neighbours, and co-workers by telling the story of God breaking into our world, identifying with us, bearing the penalty for our sin, adopting us into his family, and redeeming us along with the rest of creation. Everyday missionaries are able to explain sin and counter the assumption that we’re ‘good enough’ with Scripture.
Some questions to consider:
As you talk with your ‘people of peace’, try to ascertain which of the four great truths of Scripture they seem to misunderstand:
• The foundations of God and creation
• What sin is and how it causes separation and death
• The story of redemption through grace, not good deeds
• The future dawn of the new creation and being home at last.
How can you help shed light on truths that your friends are misunderstanding?