Go & Tell: Dynamic Gospel Conversations

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Think back to how you heard the best news ever.
The news that God loves you…
That He gave His Son, Jesus…
That He made a way for you to believe and be saved. 
You may have heard it from a parent or a teacher. You may have read it in a book or heard it on the radio. You may have heard it from someone standing on the stage or from a friend sitting next to you. But someone told you, and it was the Best News Ever.
Who are you going to tell?

How do I share the best news ever? We’ve posted about the best news ever, why we share it, some wisdom in how to share it, but what do we say in a conversation?

“Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”  Colossians 4:5 (MSG)

We put too much pressure on ourselves when we go to share our faith. We forget what our responsibility is and that God is in control.

“A successful witness is sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and then leaving the results to God.”  Bill Bright

Our responsibility is to go and tell. 

Their responsibility is to respond.

God’s responsibility is to save.

We don’t do high-pressured salvation moments in our weekend services. We make the gospel clear. We say there’s one truth, one way to be saved, one way to God the Father, that’s Jesus Christ. We don’t try and manipulate or talk people into believing it. We do that because if we can talk you into believing in Jesus, someone else can talk you out of it. God is the only one who can open blinded eyes. God is the only one who can free a soul from the bondage of sin and transform someone’s life.


 

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Take a look at the timeline above. In the center is a cross that represents salvation, when someone believes in Jesus for eternal life. That’s not where we start, however, we start on the left side, far from God. There’s also space to the right, because salvation isn’t the end of the line, it’s the beginning of the line. The goal after salvation is to become like Christ and fulfill his purposes for your life and the church.

These three things don’t happen overnight. We don’t grow automatically, we grow in steps. So there are positive and negative numbers to illustrate that people are in different places. We all want the salvation conversation. The one where we pray with someone and they walk across the line. We should want that. It should be a goal. But maybe you’ve been gauging your success on the wrong thing or maybe you’ve even given up, because you’ve forgotten there’s a lot more to it.

People will need to be challenged and encouraged several times before they cross that salvation line. Our responsibility is to just have the conversation. You don’t have to move someone all ten steps. You don’t have to move someone all five steps from far from God to salvation. But maybe because of you, someone will move one step closer to the cross.

A gospel conversation is anytime you encourage someone to take ONE STEP from where they are, to where God wants them to be.

How do we have the conversation? What do we say? Here are three primary ways you can have a gospel conversation and share your faith. These can work in your everyday relationships.


Three Ways to Share Your Faith

1. Share the hope we have.

People are dying for hope. Share your hope.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16

Share your story with someone. Here are three elements in telling your story.

  • Tell how you realized you needed Christ

You needed someone who was strong enough to save. No matter what the situation or how old you were, you have a story to tell.

  • Tell how you committed your life to Christ

Before you point out what people should do, show them what you did. Tell them how you’ve committed to building your life on God. Share your life with them in such a way that they want what you have.

  • Tell the difference it has made in your life

This is the hope part. Share the difference and the hope you have. One of the best ways you can do this is to do it such a way to where they are hungry for what you have.

2. Share my church.

We have designed parts of our church for people who are far from God. We work very hard to provide ways for your kids, students and for you that move you to your next step. We create weekend services that believers would enjoy and unbelievers would want to come and see. A place where lost people could come, we want to make people feel welcome, serve them and add value to their life by answering their questions on how to live.

“Go out into the country…and urge anyone you find to come in, so that My house will be full.”  Luke 14:23 (LB)

God says, He wants churches full because the need is so big. How can you share your church?

  • Pray for them

Pray for the lost people in your life. In our small groups, we write down the names of the lost people in our lives and then, as a group, call out those names before God. The Lord is going to have to stir their heart before they will make a step toward God.

  • Show them I care

Before you invite them, show them you care. People don’t care what you know, they want to know that you care. So don’t even share your faith with someone until you’ve  added value to their life. People want to know if you really care about them. When you gain people’s trust, you gain their hearts.

  • Invite them to join me at a service.

When you invite someone, don’t just say, “Hey we’ve got five services, good luck!” Ask them, “Which service do you want to go to? I’ll go to the one you like.” Sit with them. You can pick up an invite card at the info table in the lobby and give to someone.

3. Share Christ.

We’ve made sharing the gospel too hard. If you know John 3:16, then you can share the gospel with someone.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 (NIV)

That’s the answer to have eternal life. Every person is on a spiritual journey trying to connect with God. Tell them, God loves you, and the reason your life is so messed up right now is because…

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10 (NIV)

Now just because you become a Christian doesn’t mean you stop having problems. It doesn’t make life easier. It does mean fulfillment. It does mean strength. It’ll bring a fulfillment that you cannot explain. If they say no, they don’t want that kind of relationship with God, say, “Well if you ever think you do, if you ever change your mind…God’s love does not change and the invitation is always there.”


Three Simple Ways to Explain the Gospel

Here are 3 common misunderstandings that people have and ways we can clarify the gospel for them.

1. DO vs DONE

So many people make their spiritual life all about DODo this. Join that. Get on this path.  It’s only about what He has DONE. He lived a perfect life we could never live, He died in our place on the cross because of our sin, He rose from the dead and gave us eternal life. It’s no longer about what I do to be acceptable to God. it’s about what Jesus did to make me acceptable to God.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

2. Good/Bad  –  Dead/Alive

Some people think being a good person is enough or they are too bad to be accepted by God. Sin isn’t about being a good or bad person. It’s about being dead and Jesus making us alive.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23 (NIV)

3. System – Savior

Some people will tell you a list of things they have completed from church attendance, Christian school to Bible classes…that all sounds like a system. Jesus isn’t a system, He’s a Savior.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)


Three Things to Remember

1. Rely on the Holy Spirit.

You might have a conversation with someone on a lunch break. The Holy Spirit was talking to them before that lunch, empowering you during the conversation, and will continue to talk to them long after you walk away. You played a role in the story God is crafting in their life. You don’t know what’s happening under the surface.

2. Reverse the question.

Almost every time you share your faith the other person will ask you a strange question. They go down a completely different path and ask a question about religion or things they’ve heard from the news.

The best thing you can do in that moment is to reverse the question and ask them how they explain whatever they just asked you about. You can even ask them, “Is getting that question answered really the thing that is keeping you from deciding who Jesus is?” Once you reverse the question, the conversation settles down into the realization that you weren’t trying to make them do something, you were just telling them some good news. All they need to know is that you met Jesus and something changed in your life, and now you have hope.

3. Remember your brokenness.

Brokenness is the biggest open door in sharing the good news. When life is great we give thanks to God, but it’s in the low points that we have a great opportunity to give an answer for the hope we have. When you share your story how out of grief or brokenness, God has given you hope, you will will rarely lack a listener. This is the message of hope that people are dying to know.


Today, we handed everyone a ping pong ball as they walked into church. Each ping pong ball represents someone we’re going to have a gospel conversation with. We want a fun way to track how many gospel conversations our church will have in the next 90 days.

As you have a gospel conversation, share your story, invite someone to church, explain the gospel or tell someone you’re a Jesus follower, write the name of the person you talk to on the ball and drop it in the wall display in our lobby.

Set a goal for yourself. How many gospel conversations can you have in the next 90 days? We believe everyone can have at least one conversation. Even if you’ve never shared your faith before, one conversation is a great goal. Watching other’s drop a ping pong ball in the wall will spur all of us on. We’ll rely on the Holy Spirit together.


Check Back

Check back and review what we talked about last week. Have you begun being intentional with any of the seven ways from 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcast or Google Play Music

Hear the Word

“Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”  Colossians 4:5 (MSG)

Application

  • Talk about times you’ve shared your faith with others. How did those go?
  • Of the three ways to share your faith, which one do you gravitate toward? Sharing your story? Inviting to church? Sharing Christ and explaining the gospel?
  • Talk about the sequence of events leading up to the moment you believed in Jesus as your Savior. Who introduced you to God? What kind of false perceptions did you have of God that changed when you encountered His presence?
  • Have each person in the group give their two-minute testimony to the group. As everyone shares their testimony, be sure to point out God’s role in each story.
  • What do you remember from the message? What stood out to you?
  • What do you find difficult when you are having a conversation about Christ with someone far from God? Based on what you’ve learned, how can you overcome those difficulties?

Tell Someone Else

This is week four of this series. You now know what, why and how. Now, WHO do you need to tell? How would you tailor the sharing of your story where the people involved might have different levels of belief? Write a name down and ask the group to pray for you and that person. To share our faith with others, we must rely on God’s word. Read through the Bible verses in the outline. What Bible verse can you look to for strength as you share your faith with others?

 

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4 thoughts on “Go & Tell: Dynamic Gospel Conversations

  1. I truly enjoyed reading through this. Sometimes we put the pressure on ourselves when it is ultimately up to God. Remembering our brokenness hasn’t to be the best point. I have found that I was able to monster to several people of my hope in Christ in the most challenging times. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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