Introduction: 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!
- Setting the Compass
- Read Luke 9:46. Is this how we should approach ministry?
Is our destination greatness?
- Read Luke 9:47-48. The point Jesus is trying to make is
not immediately obvious to me. Let’s work through this.
If you were a very important person, who would you want
to meet? (Other very important people.)
- Who does Jesus say we should welcome? (Children.
Meaning those who have no importance in society,
politics or business. A child cannot help advance
you in any of those areas.)
- Let’s test our last conclusion. Is the child Jesus
is pointing to of no help in society, politics or
business? (This child is of great help.)
- How? (Because greeting the child is greeting
Jesus. Greeting Jesus is greeting God, the most
important Being in the universe.)
- What destination lesson is to be learned about
evangelism? (No one is too insignificant. When we
evangelize unimportant people, we help those who are
friends of God.)
- Let’s revisit our fighting disciples. Why would they
want to be the greatest? (They would be given
special honor and access.)
- How does Jesus answer that? (Special honor and
access come from helping the friends of God.)
- Read Exodus 18:13-14. Why do you think Moses sat as the
supreme judge? (Perhaps it was a touch of the spirit of
the disciples. But, see Numbers 12:3 (Moses was the most
humble man on earth).)
- Read Exodus 18:15-16. How important was Moses’ work?
- Read Exodus 18:17-22. Probably Moses was not doing all of
this work because of pride, but I suspect many of the
current church leaders have pride as part of their
motivation. What does this text teach us? (That we need
to teach others to share the load. If we hold the
position because of the “glory,” we need to share it.)
- What does this suggest about organization in
evangelism? (Part of the goal is to be organized.)
- Evaluating the Help.
- Read Luke 9:49. Is this fellow an evangelist? (He is
advancing the Kingdom of God, because he does his
miracles in the name of Jesus.)
- What is the concern of the disciples? (He was not
chosen to be part of their group – the group that
has been arguing about who is the greatest.)
- Read Luke 9:50. What does this teach us about actual
evangelism? (Don’t be critical of the work of others.
Unless they are “against” the gospel, do not oppose
- Read Matthew 7:15. What warning do we have here about
some people who claim to be advancing the gospel? (Some
are false. Some are ferocious wolves.)
- Read Matthew 7:16-20. How does this help us understand
Jesus’ statement about those who are “against” the
gospel? (We can accurately evaluate those who are
“against” the gospel by the fruit of their work.)
- What was the “fruit” of the fellow who was the
target of the disciples? (Re-read Luke 9:49. He was
driving out demons!)
- What destination theme do we find so far in these texts?
(When we greet the least important, we greet Jesus. When
we try to do all the work ourselves, we are not sharing
opportunities. When we claim to have the only true
ministry, we oppose the work of God. Many are producing
good fruit. I think the overall goal is to not take
ourselves too seriously. Instead, focus on the work of
- The Directive
- Read Luke 10:1-3. Is this being released into ministry?
- How did they decide on their destination? (These
were towns Jesus planned to visit.)
- How would you follow this directive today?
(First, I would ask the Holy Spirit to lead me
to where God wanted. If I did not get a clear
word from the Holy Spirit, I would look to see
where God is working.)
- For what were they told to pray? (That God would
send other workers.)
- Read Luke 10:4. Some commentaries taught me that
greetings of this time were long and drawn out. Not the
quick “Hi” we use in America. Thus, Jesus tells us that
when we go on a specific mission we should focus on our
evangelistic work, and not get distracted.
- What about the other part of the directive: why
should we be completely unprepared? Isn’t it prudent
to take money, credit cards and an extra pair of
- If you could not take money or credit cards, what
would be the alternative? (You would have to depend
on God. You would have to depend on God influencing
others to help you.)
- Read Luke 10:5-7. Is Jesus’ instruction about not taking
money clarified here? (The primary point is that you
should not have to pay your own way. The people who
benefit from your evangelism should pay.)
- Have you ever said that you would like to go into
ministry, but you have to wait until you can afford
it? (These people, seventy-two to be precise, were
“appointed” by Jesus. Before you rush out to have
others support you, be sure Jesus has appointed you
- Why does Jesus tell them to eat and drink whatever
their host gives them? (This is a caution about
moderation. Yes, your host is supposed to provide
room and board, but you are not to have a demanding
- Why not move from house to house? (No doubt that
would waste time. The people who opened their homes
to these evangelists were blessed: “peace to this
- Read Luke 10:8-9. What is important about being welcomed?
(If you are welcomed, you first help the people and then
share the gospel with them.)
- Do you ever evangelize where you are not welcome?
If so, why?
- Read Luke 10:10-12. What happens to those towns who
reject you? (Bad things!)
- Right now I’m teaching a law school class called
“Religion in the Workplace.” We are reading court
decisions about Christians harassing other employees.
The Christians no doubt thought that they were doing
God’s will by evangelizing. But, the target of their
witness did not enjoy it and brought suit. What lesson
are these Christian witnesses missing? (We are not to
beat people up to try to convert them. If they do not
“welcome” our message, we need to stop. We have fulfilled
our responsibility to God.)
- Read Luke 10:13-16. Why can we feel peace even when we
are not welcomed? (Jesus tells us that the people are not
rejecting us, they are rejecting God.)
- Read Luke 10:17-20. What kind of attitude should we have
about our victories in witnessing? (We should not feel
pride in beating the forces of darkness, but rather we
should rejoice that we are doing God’s will as citizens
of His Kingdom!
- Friend, are you ready to go out there and share the
gospel? Why not start right now?
- Next week: A Love Response.