“You mean, you mean I don’t have to go through religion.” That was the response of a lady who heard the message of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. She realized that she didn’t have to be in a church building, that God is present in all places, and welcomes us to come to Him on the basis of what Christ has done on the cross. She was eager to call on the Lord and trust Him to save her and come into her life. Many people have had those kinds of encounters with Jesus, as a result of a short conversation and a simple, understandable presentation of the Gospel message.
The Power of Prayer-Care-Share
In a recent effort to activate individuals to more intentionally reach out and share the Gospel, a group in a local congregation launched a prayer walking initiative. It’s actually much more than praying and walking. Cultivating a Prayer-Care-Share Lifestyle is one of the ways that can change the world. Equipping and activating followers of Jesus to identify God’s redemptive activity is a good starting place. There are opportunities we have every day to connect with people, have conversations, and introduce others to Jesus.
The Work of the Spirit
When followers of Jesus are properly trained with a few basic skills, and inspired by the Holy Spirit, they can simply make eye contact, smile, greet people, and watch how the Lord often opens up opportunities for life changing encounters. When it comes to communicating the love and message of Jesus, and making disciples, it is often better caught than taught. Observation, relational networking, group dynamics and participatory learning are more effective in most cases than lectures, books, text-based instruction or sermons.
How the Gospel Spreads
Those natural, spontaneous opportunities can happen regularly in our normal traffic patterns. We all live in a mission field, made up of our families, neighbors, co-workers or fellow students, and friends, as well as other connections we might have anywhere we encounter people. Consider how the Gospel spread throughout the entire populated world in the First Century, before the invention of radio, television, the internet, or the printing press. Think about how God preserved the accuracy of His message (His Word) in hearing dominant/oral cultures before it became a written text.
How Jesus Communicated
The more we understand about the Early Church, the better we can understand about what it will take to communicate the Good News of Jesus and make disciples among the least and last unreached people of the world. My friend Dr. Thom Wolf, a respected global missiologist, has said that the 21st Century Church may look a lot like the 1st Century Church. Consider how Jesus communicated His message and trained His disciples. How the disciples reproduced His message that has now resulted in more than 2 billion on the planet who identify with the Christian faith. (Recognizing, of course, that many identify themselves as Christians, but still are not true followers of Jesus).
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SOURCE: Assist News Service