Want to learn more about Evangelism and Witnessing? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
Sharing the gospel is something that all Christians
can do. The question is, “How do we do it well?” Normally, I think
of evangelism and witnessing as being the same thing. However, when
viewed from the lenses of a lawyer, the two are much different. In
most legal briefs, the facts of the case are discussed first. Next
comes the legal argument. The first section is about the witnesses
and what they say happened. The second is about persuasion. When I
write the facts in a brief, my goal is to persuade. However, no good
lawyer would be confused about the difference between stating the
facts and making the legal argument. Is that true for Christians who
want to share the gospel? Should we be sure we understand the
difference between the facts and persuasion? How much of a persuader
role do we have? Let’s dive into our Bibles and see what we can
Last week we considered the difference between
witnessing (the personal story we have to tell) and evangelism (our
explanation of the gospel). We discussed the idea of “nudge”
evangelism – that we should pay attention to every situation and
every word we say so that we nudge people towards the gospel and not
away from it. It is hard to get our own story wrong, but some of us
are not too sure about how to explain the gospel – or even our
proper role in the explanation. Since we could get it wrong, should
we leave the “tricky stuff” to the experts – the people we pay to do
ministry? Let’s dive into our Bible and find out!
Is it true that we all have at least one spiritual
gift? We said, “yes,” last week. But, are we making an unwarranted
assumption? To have a spiritual gift you would have to first receive
the Holy Spirit, right? The more I consider this, the more I am
troubled by this issue. This week our study is going to be a bit
different. Instead of us reading the Bible, and me suggesting a
conclusion I’m pretty certain I have right, this week we are going
to be exploring the answers together. I have a great deal of
uncertainty on this issue. Let’s jump into our Bible study and see
what we can learn about what it means to receive the Holy Spirit!
Anyone who looks honestly at the world and at God’s
standard knows that there is a huge gap between the two. As a
witness, as an evangelist, you stand between those two. You are the
connection between the world and Christianity. Between the world and
eternal life. There is at least one substantial problem with where
you are standing. Jesus tells us in John 17:14 that the world hates
us. How are you going to be a proper connection when you are dealing
with hate? How do we connect with hate? Let’s race into our Bible
study and see what we can learn!
How complex is this witnessing stuff? Last week we
learned that the demon-possessed, naked, crazy guy was sent to
witness to his town after Jesus cast out his demons. That guy did
not have an advanced education in witnessing, yet Jesus sent him out
right away! The title to our lesson indicates there is an order
(sequence) to evangelism. Let’s jump into our Bible study and
explore this idea that math and order have something to do with
Of all of the people you would like to win to Christ,
which one is most important to you? My bet is that your answer is a
member of your family! Sometimes I observe that people are nicer to
those outside their family then they are to their family. Does that
make any sense? In this lesson we will look at how we can be a
witness to our family, and then consider whether those principles
are the same for personal witnessing to those around us. Let’s jump
into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn!
Adam Smith was born about 200 years ago. He began his
life as a minister, but ended up writing one of the most important
books on modern economics: the Wealth of Nations. His thesis,
bluntly put, is that your selfish desire to make more money improves
the economic standards of those around you. Isn’t envy, greed and
covetousness sin? While I have no doubt that Adam Smith is correct,
I’ve often wondered how his theory can be reconciled with faith.
What complicates the issue is that God, who told us not to covet,
continually puts rewards in front of us. He does it with our
money(Malachi 3:10)and He does it with our actions (Matthew 25:34-36). Should envy, greed and covetousness be part of successful
corporate evangelism? What place does pride of opinion about our own
religious convictions play in evangelism? Let’s dive into our Bibles
and learn more!
Have you ever made a spur of the moment decision to do
something? How did that work out? Often, last-minute decisions are
a bad idea because they give us little time to prepare. If we go
for a hike, we need to consider what kind of clothes to wear, what
kind of shoes we need, and whether we need something to repel bugs
or the sun. We might even need a GPS! If we have a work project, we
find the tools and supplies that we need to accomplish the task. If
we decide on a certain career, we go to school to prepare for it.
Is witnessing and evangelism any different? If we want to be
effective, we need to prepare. Ephesians 6 is a great chapter about
how to prepare. But, this week we will look at other ways to
prepare. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and see what we can
Last week, we discussed preparing for evangelism.
This week we start moving our thinking forward into evangelism. I’ve
noticed that when I take a journey it is helpful to have a
destination in mind. When our family used to travel by motor home, I
liked the destination to be a bit fuzzy – so that we could enjoy
every day and not feel pressured by time. I’m not sure fuzzy
thinking is helpful when it comes to evangelism goals. Let’s plunge
into our study of the Bible and see if we can sharpen our vision
about God’s directions for evangelism!
After going through all of the lessons so far, you
likely feel that you need to witness to others. You need to do
something to advance the Kingdom of God. But after you come home
from work (or school) and you fix a meal and eat and do some other
chores, you feel like just sitting down and resting. Day after day
is just like that. Finally, you feel guilty because you look back
and see that you have done nothing! Is guilt bad? If we are to be
motivated by love instead of guilt, how can we change guilt to love?
Let’s dive into the Bible and see what we can learn about our
motivation to witness!
When I was a very young adult, the Sabbath School
would start with reports. Reports on how many articles of clothing
had been given away, how many Bible studies given, how many studied
the Bible lesson each day, and how much money had been raised for
various causes. Then someone read a “mission report” about a mission
project. It was all deadly dull. The reporting never inspired much
in me, except guilt, if I was unable to raise my hand that I had
studied every day. Most members decided to skip the reporting and
sleep in a little longer. When the church gave me authority in the
matter, reports ended and the Sabbath School was devoted exclusively
to study and discussion of the Bible. My experience as a youth gave
me a bias against reports. What role did reports play in the early
church? What role should they play today? Does the nature of the
report matter? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and find out!
At work you have annual leave (vacation) and annual
review (evaluation). Which do you prefer? Which is most important?
Our world is filled with evaluations that start in the first five
minutes after we are born (Apgar score)! How does this work with
witnessing and evangelism? Should the approach and standards of the
world apply to evaluating the work of the church? The work of God?
What about your personal witnessing and evangelism, should that be
evaluated? Let’s jump right into our study of the Bible and see
what we can learn!
Now that we have come to the last lesson in our study
about witnessing and evangelism, we should be asking ourselves,
“When do we start?” Instead, it looks like we are studying “When do
we stop?” Does “perpetual ministry” mean that we never stop? My
habit, every morning I’m in Virginia Beach, is to walk the beach.
One fellow I often see on my walk is retired. He spends every nice
afternoon with his wife sitting on the beach. Would you like that?
I could not stand it. What does the Bible teach about retirement
from ministry? What should we do about those who have retired from
being a part of the ministry because they are unhappy? Let’s plunge
into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn!