Every disciple of Jesus Christ is commanded to practice evangelism. Jesus saves us, transforms our lives, and fills us with His spirit to send us into a lost world to proclaim His good news. God gives us power to be His witnesses in evangelism. Matthew 28:18 says that "All authority" has been given to Jesus, and Jesus tells us to "go and make disciples". This is the authority with which we go - Jesus' power. The message of the gospel itself is God's power to save those who believe. If we are faithful to share the gospel, we are successful in evangelism. Our job is simply to open our mouths; God's job is to open their hearts.
Read: 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 & 1 Peter 2:9
Discuss: Describe the responsibility and urgency entrusted to believers in these passages.
Evangelism is the communication of the gospel. Our aim is to tell people about Jesus, to help them understand the Gospel, and to invite them to accept Jesus as savior, but ultimately, to allow God to save them.
Key truths of the gospel:
God – God created us to love and glorify Him. He is loving and holy in His character. (Gen. 1:1, 1 Pet. 1:16)
Man - Humans are sinful, having rebelled against God. God’s holiness demands His just wrath towards sinners. (Rom. 3:10-11, 23, Rom 6:23)
Jesus Christ - Jesus is God in human flesh. God sent Jesus to save sinners by living a sinless life, dying on the cross as a substitute for sin, and rising from death. (1 Pet. 3:18, 2 Cor. 5:21, John 1:1-3, 14)
Response - The proper response to receive the gospel for the forgiveness of sins is repentance from sin towards God and faith in Christ alone as Savior. (Mark 1:15, John 3:36)
If we are to be faithful ambassadors for Christ, we cannot sit and wait for evangelistic opportunities. We must plan them and make it a regular discipline in our lives.
The right heart
Read Matt 22:33
Personal evangelism must primarily flow from a love for God and a love for people.
The love of Christ compels us to engage the lost. We are convinced that Jesus is glorious enough to share with everyone. We are also convinced that people are valuable enough to endure whatever persecution comes with getting them the gospel.
Discuss: Why is it important to make sure that we have the right heart in personal evangelism?
We must understand that no one will come to place their trust in Jesus without the Holy Spirit working in their heart and drawing them to faith. (John 6:44) (2 Cor. 4:3-6) So we must pray for opportunities to share, boldness to share, and that people would respond.
Personal evangelism should be intentional. It must be purposeful. We must be looking to engage lost people where we live, work, and do recreation with the gospel of Jesus. Begin by building relationships with people and showing them the love of Jesus. One great way to do this is by practicing hospitality: inviting people into your home, sharing a meal, taking them baked goods, etc. Make a list of names of people where you live, work, and do recreation that you could engage in this way. You could even set up a “gospel meeting” where the purpose of meeting together is to have a conversation about Jesus.
Evangelism is about conversation, not presentation. (John 4:7-26) We want to ask good questions to understand where people are and what truths they need to hear in order to effectively witness.
Consider this flow of conversation:
1. Their story (What’s your faith background?)
2. Your story (Share testimony)
3. His story (ask probing questions that get you to the gospel)
- “What do you think about Jesus?”
- “How do you believe a person is saved?”
- “Would you mind if I shared with you what the Bible says about Jesus and the good news?” Share truths of God, Man, Jesus, Response. Try to discern: Do they understand? Do they agree? How does it impact them?
4. You can use the 3 Circles, Life Conversation Guide to share the gospel. (offer invitation)
- “After hearing the gospel, are you ready to repent from sin and trust in Christ?”
- If yes, teach them a prayer of repentance to say in their own words.
- If interested but not ready to accept Christ, invite them to church and Community Group.
- If rejected, let them know you are always available to talk and you will be praying for them to put their hope in the gospel.
One to one bible reading and follow up
As you are able, continue having ongoing conversations with this person. Invite them to worship or ask them if they are interested in meeting regularly to read through one of the four gospels with you. As they are reading, you can answer questions that the Holy Spirit lays on their heart, all the while clarifying for them the God, Man, Jesus, Response. Rarely ever do people come to faith after hearing the gospel one time. So ongoing follow up and conversations about scripture is important.
Discuss: In what ways could you be intentional to have gospel conversations?
Who are some people in your in your life that you could meet with?
3 Circles Evangelism Tool
Have group members practice sharing with each other.
Finish by writing down 2-4 people with whom you will share the gospel.
Come back ready to share experiences weekly.