How to Bridge any Conversation to the Gospel

“One of the most prevalent reasons that people who have been trained to share their faith fail to do so is that they are not quite sure how to bridge everyday conversations toward the gospel.”

As this idea likely resonates with many of us, take a few minutes to read what George Robinson has to say about bridging everyday conversations into gospel conversations.

Personal Testimony How To

Being good at evangelism often times begins with learning very basic skills that help us be prepared for conversation when the topic of faith comes up.  Perhaps one of the most basic skills every Christian should know is how to clearly, simply and quickly share their own personal testimony of conversion and faith.

While sometimes it is the case that our non-Christian friends are not yet interested in working through a Gospel outline, they very often are interested in hearing how you came to faith in Christ.

  1. Being able to tell them “clearly” focuses the emphasis in the conversation on our central need for faith in Jesus Christ.
  2. Telling your story “simply” keeps them from getting lost on important yet non-central issues related to faith in Christ.
  3. Having the skill to tell your story “quickly,” in 3 minutes or less, enables you to meet them where they are without forcing an awkward situation. It then allows time in the course of normal conversation to ask if they would be interested in talking further.

The following worksheet is designed to help you craft a version of your testimony that hits the highlights of faith in Christ while also personalizing the story.

personal-testimony-how-to

Once you answer the questions write out your testimony in less than 500 words. Once you do so, go over the finished product with an elder or a small group leader to help refine the ideas.

It will take some discipline, but the payoff in clarity, simplicity and quickness will be something that you will thank the Lord for many times over!

Mark Liederbach

Never Turn Down Tea!

From R & S – NWers living and working in a Muslim nation…

On election day, I took our new teammates out to look for their apartment. We struck out on finding an apartment at the first real estate agent’s office, but as we were standing up to leave he asked me about the U.S. election. So I sat back down just for a second to answer his question, but fully intending to get up soon. We had a lot to do to find and set up an apartment, leaving little time to sit around and talk politics.

But he lightened up a lot and invited us to stay for tea. I remembered a colleague saying one time, “never turn down tea,” as it is often an occasion to share the Gospel. So we stayed. The conversation quickly turned to religious topics and I read from Isaiah 53. While I was reading, he pulled out a book from his desk. I was not excited and thought, “oh great, here we go comparing religious books.” I have found such occasions here often unhelpful and either very frustrating or very boring. It is usually just a pretext for argument, not actual conversation.
So I was quite surprised—and happy—to see that this newspaper-wrapped book was a New Testament that he had ordered over 10 years ago. He had highlighted and underlined much, and written out a page or two of questions, which he asked genuinely (i.e., not looking for an argument). He said he had tried to get answers to these questions before, but could not, and he wondered if I might have such information that could help him understand. As you can imagine, we were happy to oblige. Pray for Ishak*, as I plan to see him again soon!

Tips on Loving Our Neighbors

Dear North Wake Family,

All of you should be familiar with our church mission statement to “reach the lost and equip them to join with us in the process of becoming mature and ministering worshipers of God.” If you’re a member of this family you have agreed to join us in taking ownership of that mission. Most agree that loving our neighbors through evangelism and disciple making is important. But unfortunately few know where or how to begin. I want to commend to you several resources that have been shaped/created (many by former North Wakers!) to help ordinary church members practice extraordinary obedience to Christ’s command to make disciples.

Following is a brief description of each:

www.yourpartinthestory.com provides a multi-lingual video and pamphlet presentation of the gospel framed around four universal worldview questions: 1) How did it all begin? 2) What went wrong? 3) Is there any hope? and 4) What does the future hold?  You can download the app (look for SpreadTruth Ministries) to help you in directing conversations toward the Bible, which alone offers the true story of the whole world.

Try the 3 Circles Evangelism approach for a simple and reproducible way of sharing the gospel message. Find it modeled here: https://vimeo.com/97258323 and make sure to practice, practice, practice!

What do you do when a person responds to the gospel by saying, “No!,” “Not yet,” “I want to hear more,” or “YES!”? The document entitled “Follow Up — What to Do Next” will help you know what to say and do.

Know someone who is interested in learning more about Jesus, but not yet ready to make a decision to surrender and follow him? Check out the documents below entitled “Relationship Story” for simple Bible stories of how Jesus interacted with all kinds of different people. All of them were changed by their respective encounters. Your friend can be changed as well! Get them talking about Jesus and looking to the Gospel for hope.

Relationship Story 1

Relationship Story 2

Relationship Story 3

Relationship Story 4

Relationship Story 5

Relationship Story 6

Relationship Story 7

www.noplaceleftrdu.wordpress.com provides a hub of resources to mobilize you to make disciples that reproduce. Included on the resources page is a document called “NPLRDU Handbook with Story.” This guide was put together by our daughter church, Oaks Church Raleigh. Their members use it to start “Discovery Bible Studies” with people who are currently far from God but looking for hope. Make sure to sign up for the email updates on our page there as well so that you can get info on prayer, training and outreach gatherings from our network of churches in the RDU area.

Seem like a lot of info?  What would you say if I could boil it all down to a few simple lessons the size of a post card?  Well, we have. Check out the document entitled “L1-2 Training Card” to see how all of the info from the previous documents is scaled down to make a simple tool to both evangelize and make disciples that reproduce. Want to learn how to use the tool or need help understanding it? Talk to me, Rob Craig, Greg Mathias or Noah Joyner. We’d be happy to help equip and mobilize you. After all, that’s what North Wake is supposed to be about, right? So join with us in the process of becoming mature and ministering worshipers of God.

Blessed to be a blessing,

George Robinson

The Fields are White Unto Harvest

Testimony from NWers Cheryle and Ray Atwater

Within the last week we have seen two glorious examples of the Holy Spirit’ s manifestation and the divine work of the Lord of the Harvest. On Saturday, we attended the wedding of a subcontractor who worked for Raymond when he was a home builder more than ten years ago. Gary and his girlfriend had lived together for more than 15 years and have a teenage son but had never married. We recall praying for them years ago to become lawfully wedded and to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We rejoiced a few years ago when Gary called Raymond and told him they had been baptized and they were seeking fellowship in a local church; and now we have seen our second prayer answered: their wedding. The wedding ceremony was replete with Biblical encouragements and a charge to create a God-fearing home and ministry together to the Glory of God. 

As happens in many cases, our prayer was not immediately answered: we planted the seed in faith and it remained in rich soil for many years. Another watered and harvested and eventually the prayer was gloriously answered.

On Monday, Dec. 5th, while we were awaiting an appliance repair man, I prayed that we would be bold and speak the Good News to everyone we encountered. Our dishwasher, less than 2 years old, died last Thursday and displayed a constant error message. We followed the manufacturer’s advice to cancel/restart and “reboot” by turning off the power source and then turning it back on. When these repair steps failed, we turned off the power to the machine and scheduled a repairman. Imagine our surprise when upon the arrival of the repairman, the dishwasher started and worked perfectly-void of the previous error message. When I asked the repairman if he was celebrating “the reason for the season,” he asked what I meant and confessed he was “trying” but was not perfect. Upon further discussion, it was clear he had very little exposure to the gospel but wanted to have a Godly home and care for his live-in partner and their 3 year-old twins. I told him he came to our home by “divine appointment,” since we actually had a fully functional dishwasher,  and that God was pursuing a relationship with him. After a brief discussion of salvation, redemption and how to be born again, he confessed that the gospel we presented was resonating with him. In this Christmas season, it is a natural metaphor to compare the free gift of salvation with the gifts we give our children. We stressed that God the Father wants us to come to Him as we are by faith, then he will forgive our sins past, present and future and help us live a more holy life.

Before he left, I told him he did not have to wait to be born of God at a church, but that he could make a decision today and asked him to “choose you this day whom you will serve”… and he did! Without  hesitation, he closed his eyes and said, “I choose Him!”  I led him in a prayer of forgiveness and salvation.

Undoubtedly someone else sowed and watered this seed of faith, but today God used us to glean the Harvest.

I gave him our contact information, how and when to attend our weekly church services, and encouraged him to visit. We also offered to discuss salvation with his partner, guide them in discipleship, and provide or arrange premarital counseling.

What a joyful Advent season!