Fishers of Men


“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people” (Matt. 4:19 NIV). That day on the Sea of Galilee was like any other day for fishermen. It was a beautiful day, with fair seas and an opportunity to catch fish. Catching fish was something that Simon and Andrew understood. It was their livelihood. They understood what it took to bring in a great catch and also what it meant to strike out. They also understood that a fisherman’s future was not defined by one bad day of fishing. Those days would come and go; the key was to not give up.

Jesus called these two fishermen to come and follow Him. He said He would take their talents, abilities, and determination and use those traits to teach them how to catch something more valuable than fish—men. Jesus has a similar purpose for all believers. He wants His disciples to be witnesses for Him, reaching the lost and bringing Christ to them. For believers, this is not a momentary event, but a lifestyle.

The following chapters unpack what living a life on purpose, or on a mission, is all about. Read, listen to the Holy Spirit, and allow Jesus to add you to His crew that is fishing for the souls of men and women who are hungry for the good news of the gospel!




The Gospel and Evangelism


Imagine a new movie or TV show that is so entertaining that it stirs an overwhelming desire in the viewers to tell others about it. What about an experience at a new restaurant in town where the meal, service, and atmosphere are so great that patrons leave with a desire to share it with others? Or maybe an incredible, life-changing book has hit the market. Whatever the experience, all who partake of it agree it is too good not to share. This is how Jesus wants believers to feel about their salvation experience with Him.

Evangelism is the spreading of the good news of Christ. Salvation is an experience so good and so powerful that it is nearly impossible to keep it a secret—it has to be shared with the world! Jesus desires that all people be saved, and believers are part of His plan to see that happen. Imagine if the sharing of the gospel went from one person telling another the good news, to that person telling two more people about the joy found in Christ, to those two people telling three people, and so on and so on. That would be exciting, wouldn’t it? Seeing an explosion of the good news become a reality is possible, but it will require returning to the basics.

The Greatest News

So, first things first. Sharing the gospel obviously requires knowledge of what the gospel is. While there is no specific formula of words that constitutes the gospel, the overall teaching of Scripture provides a general idea of what is meant when people say “the gospel.” Let’s look at some major truths of the gospel and what Scripture says about them.

A Summary of the Gospel Message

The first great truth of the gospel is this: God created man for His glory; therefore, every person should live for God’s glory. This is clear in Scripture. In the Old Testament, in Isaiah 43:6­–7 (ESV), the Bible says, “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.” This is further confirmed in the New Testament: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31 ESV). God’s original intent was for all humankind to bring glory to Him. Because of man’s sin, however, all have fallen short of God’s glory, making everyone deserving of eternal punishment. Look at these verses of Scripture:

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 3:23 ESV


“Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him . . . and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images.”

Romans 1:21–23 ESV


“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23 ESV


Those who do not obey the Lord Jesus “will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might”

2 Thessalonians 1:9 ESV


“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 25:46 ESV


Face it—humankind blew it. Everyone has. The punishment for this is death, not just physical death but eternal separation from the one who created and loves all of humanity.

Talk about the good news—here is the really good news! God, in His great love and mercy, sent Jesus Christ into the world to live a perfect life, die on the cross as a payment for sin, and resurrect from the dead in order to provide sinners the way of eternal life. The Word states this quite emphatically:

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 ESV


“Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.”

1 Peter 3:18 ESV


God made a way back to Him through the life, death, and resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ. There is a way of escape for all! Therefore, eternal life is a free gift to all who repent of sin, trust in Christ’s work, and confess Christ as Lord and Savior. Here are some Scripture verses to back it up:

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

Acts 16:31 ESV


“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9: ESV


“By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV


This sums it all up:

“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Jesus Christ when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.”

Romans 3:22–25 NLT


The Bible states that people who do not know God suppress the truth about Him—truth that is clearly seen when looking at the natural world (Rom. 1:18–20). It is also easy to see that no one lives a perfectly “good” life. No one can live up to a self-defined standard of good, finding it difficult to even do those things that are good for themselves. On top of that, God’s standards are much higher than those set by man.

One of the reasons Christianity sticks out from all other faith systems is that it bases everything on faith in what Jesus has done, not on what man can do. If salvation were based on man’s ability, not even one person would measure up to God’s standard. Virtually all other faith systems attempt to run the hopeless race of overcoming bad by doing good deeds. This may seem plausible at first, but when sinful thoughts and morally challenging situations are taken into account, how can anyone be confident enough to bet eternal life on that premise? And that is just taking into account known sins.

The gospel just makes sense. The way to God is not through good works. If God is perfectly holy and man is not, then how can human effort make anyone right? Memorizing the Bible, getting baptized every year, not missing church for even one Sunday, or giving away all one’s money to the poor—as noble as those may be—cannot earn salvation. Good works are not the way to salvation, but rather, they are the fruit of a life that has believed the gospel message and been saved.

Evangelism

Evangelism is defined as sharing the gospel with people who have not yet believed or even heard the good news about Jesus. There are two ways that Christ’s followers can share the gospel: with words and with actions.

Why Evangelize?

As Christians, it is both a privilege and a responsibility to share the gospel with friends and family. The following portion of Scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:9–11, 14–21 (ESV), explains this clearly. Read it carefully:

9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. . . .

14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:9–11, 14–21 (ESV)


Christians are ambassadors for Christ. God has entrusted His church with the gift of the gospel and the mission of evangelism. It is not a believer’s responsibility to get people saved; that is between the individual and God. But it is a believer’s responsibility to share the gospel message.

Ways to Evangelize

With Words

Jesus Himself has commanded Christians to go into the world and make disciples. When a believer speaks the gospel and a person invites Jesus into their life, the believer experiences great joy in being obedient to this commandment. It is exciting to play a part in seeing people come into the fullness of God. Sharing the gospel with words means to verbalize the truth about Jesus Christ and what He did through His death and resurrection, and explain how that truth has personally impacted the lives of so many.

Through Actions

Believers can share the gospel not only with words, but also by the way they live out life. The everyday lives of Christians should be a representation of who Jesus is. One of the ways believers can actively do this is by showing love. As the Scriptures say, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34–35 ESV). People should recognize followers of Jesus by the way they express His love to others. The greatest example of what love is, is God himself.

It is important to note that while actions often speak louder than words, actions without words have no power. Yes, the gospel must be seen, but it also must be heard. However, efforts to evangelize frequently emphasize actions and downplay words. This could be because believers are simply afraid to speak up. Remember, it is not “preach the gospel with words or actions,” but “preach the gospel with words and actions.”

By Lifestyle

Evangelism is not an event—it is a lifestyle. After receiving Christ and stepping into a relationship with Him, believers’ lives are no longer about self and selfish desires, but about Jesus and His will. Galatians 2:20 (ESV) says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Since believers no longer live for self, they now live with a gospel mind-set. No matter the environment—whether it be at a grocery store, the mall, a gas station, work, school, etc.—believers should be prepared to share the gospel.

The beginning of this chapter opened with talking about experiences that are too good not to share. Imagine if no one shared with others about those things loved and enjoyed. Now imagine if no one told others about how Jesus changes lives—how He pulls people out of impossible situations, heals from terminal illnesses, gives a quality of life that people never knew existed. How devastating it would be for others never to experience the same “best thing that ever happened” to so many others. This is why evangelism is so important to followers of Jesus.

It is also critical to remember that the souls of people are on the line here. Where people will spend eternity is at stake. Believers have a free gift that could save and change the world forever! The Bible refers to it as a treasure in earthen vessels (2 Cor. 4:7). Let’s share that treasure with others.

Application:

Remember that evangelism is accomplished not only through words, but also through actions and lifestyle. Most of your opportunities to present the gospel will be brief and spontaneous, so you will need to be prepared to present the good news clearly and concisely. Practice presenting the gospel in 60 seconds. Choose a few supporting Scripture verses that the lost can easily understand. Practice with a friend, and then pray for an opportunity to introduce someone to Jesus. The lost respond to those who are genuinely concerned for them and do not just see them as a soul to conquer. There is nothing like the experience of leading someone to Christ. We look forward to hearing about all that Christ will do through you!




Praying for The Lost


One of the hardest things in life is realizing a need in another person and feeling powerless to bring about change. Adding to the frustration is that so often the need is so overwhelming that it outweighs the resources available to help. History records the accounts of many people groups that were oppressed and helpless. Upon hearing of their plight, the hearts of other people were burdened for their suffering and motivated to take action. Men and women were stirred to accomplish great exploits, resulting in rescuing the oppressed and setting them free.

There is a great need that plagues all of humanity—the need for a Savior. Believers understand there is a solution to humanity’s need, and His name is Jesus! In Matthew 9:36 (ESV), the Bible teaches that as Jesus was ministering through towns and villages, He saw the crowds of people, and “he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

The devil is an oppressor and targets all who are not saved. Seeing the lost bound by sin and victimized by the enemy should birth within believers a heart of compassion like Jesus’—a compassion that desires to see the lost set free from bondage and naturally leads to prayer. Though Jesus is the one who sets the lost free, as His ambassadors, believers can be part of that liberation through the power of prayer. Prayer is a great privilege and one of the greatest tools the church has in seeing people set free from sin and made alive in Christ.

The Power of Prayer

Never underestimate the power of prayer! James 5:16 (ESV) says it beautifully: “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” When believers pray, the power of the Holy Spirit—the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead—is at work. Christians can come boldly and confidently to the Father with their requests. As Romans 8:15 (ESV) says, “You did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” Prayer that is powerful is also prayer that is mixed with faith. It is not the eloquence of speech or impressive words that make the impact, but a heart that is confident toward God in faith. As Mark 11:23–24 (ESV) says, “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Jesus is not a genie on command, making wishes come true. He responds to Spirit-led prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit praying through believers in agreement with the will of the Father and in alignment with His Word. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14–15 ESV).

Since prayer is powerful and Christians are called to pray, whom should believers pray for? Prayer should be for all people! First Timothy 2:1–6 (ESV) explains it this way: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”

Pray for the Lost

Multiple examples in Scripture indicate that believers should feel compelled to pray for the lost because God does not want anyone to be separated from Him. Second Peter 3:8–9 teaches that God desires that none should perish without a saving faith in Him. He wants all to be saved and come to repentance.

When believers pray for the lost, they are praying in agreement with what God wants for His people and praying against the devil’s schemes to keep them away from Jesus. However, God has given each person the choice of whether or not to put faith in Him.

The Lost Are in a Battle

There is a constant battle between heaven and hell for the souls of all people. As members of the kingdom of God, believers fight for people to put their faith in Jesus and make Him Lord (see Rom. 10:9–10). It is the mission of the devil’s kingdom to convince people not to put faith in Jesus and to die in sin.

Ephesians 6 talks of this ongoing spiritual battle. The battle is not against people, but against spiritual forces of evil. These spiritual forces cannot be fought with fleshly or worldly weapons or efforts, but must be fought with spiritual weapons. This passage of Scripture provides believers with instruction on how to be protected and armed for this spiritual battle. In particular, verse 18 (ESV) teaches that Christians should be “praying at all times in the Spirit.” Prayer is a mighty weapon of warfare for every believer.

Second Corinthians 10 teaches that the weapons God provides for His church possess divine power to destroy strongholds. In this battle for the souls of the lost, believers must constantly pray for those who are being attacked and enslaved. Prayer tears down the strongholds that the enemy has built over people and enforces the victory won by Jesus.

The Lost Are Unaware of the Need to Fight

Another important thing to understand is that the lost are unaware of their need to fight (1 Cor. 2:14); thus, they expend no effort to gain freedom from the kingdom of darkness. The lost, who do not know Jesus, do not realize that a battle is taking place and are therefore easy targets and victims of the enemy. This is where believers must step in and intercede through the power of prayer. Knowing the power of prayer, Christians can confidently turn to it as a sure weapon to defeat the enemy. Believers should pray bold prayers that are full of faith and assurance. This kind of prayer can and will defeat the enemy in the lives of the lost.

Practical Keys When Praying for the Lost

Write Down Names

Begin by writing down the names of lost people. Jesus instructed His followers to look around and see the harvest, people who are lost (John 4:35). It may be friends, family members, coworkers, etc. who are away from Christ. Pray for those who do not know Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Pray for Prepared Hearts

The hearts of the lost are like soil. Pray that the Holy Spirit will break up the hard ground, deepen the shallow soil, and uproot the thorny ground of the heart so that there will be good, fertile soil for the seed of the gospel to grow (Matt. 13:18–23).

Pray for Conviction of Sin

Pray that the Holy Spirit would convict the lost of sin. Pray that He would create in them a desire for righteous living and an understanding that judgment will come to those who are not saved (John 16:8).

Pray for Laborers

Pray that believers would be sent to the lost to share the gospel in both word and deed (Matt. 9:38).

Pray for Revelation

Pray for the lost to have a revelation of who Jesus is. Pray that God would pour out grace and mercy and an understanding of the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross (Zech. 12:10). When the lost come to faith in Jesus, they need a revelation of the penalty of sin and a realization that Jesus bore punishment He did not deserve. There should also be an appreciation of all that Jesus has done because of His great love for the world. This should move the lost not only to repentance, but also to love for Jesus and devotion to His cause. It is God who gives all the opportunity to experience His truth through the gospel.

Pray for Protection and Breakthrough

Pray for protection of the lost until salvation comes. Pray that the works of Satan would be destroyed as the lost encounter Jesus and He reveals Himself (1 John 3:8).

Pray for Open Eyes

Pray for revelation and awakening. Pray that the Lord would rebuke Satan’s deception and the spiritual blindness that keeps unbelievers in darkness (2 Cor. 4:4). It is as if the lost are looking right at Jesus but cannot recognize Him. Pray that the enemy’s scheme to blind the lost would fail and that unbelievers would be able to recognize Jesus and have a revelation of who He is. Satan will accept the fact that unbelievers may possess limited knowledge about Jesus; he just does not want them to know Christ personally.

Pray to Be Sent

Pray to be used. Pray that God would create opportunities to share the gospel with the lost (1 Pet. 3:15). Ask for wisdom to know when to speak. Take on the responsibility to be a mouthpiece for Jesus.

Believers are called to go into all the world and to preach the gospel, to baptize and help new believers to become disciples of Christ (Matt. 28:18–20). Pray that God would highlight people to reach out to, perhaps a personal friend, an acquaintance, or even a stranger. Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit so that no opportunity is missed to share the good news of Jesus with other people.

In Conclusion

Simply put, the heartfelt, passionate prayers of believers are effective (James 5:16). Hearing testimonies that resulted from fervent prayers for the lost will stir up faith in believers to share the gospel. Since prayer is powerful, the church can boldly pray for the lost in order to accomplish God’s goal of leading each person to faith in Christ.

Application:

Write down the names of three people who need to be saved. Begin now to pray daily for the individuals, asking God “to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in [Jesus]” (Acts 26:18 NLT).

  • Pray that their eyes would be opened—They need to realize they are lost.
  • Pray that they turn from darkness—They need to turn from spiritual darkness.
  • Pray for them to become aware that they are bound by sin—Like a fish that does not realize it is hooked, the lost may not recognize that they are in bondage.
  • Pray that they may receive forgiveness of sins—They need spiritual redemption, an “I have been forgiven” moment.
  • Pray that they will receive their inheritance—The inheritance is spiritual adoption and identity in Christ.



Missional Living


“Go big or go home!” Have you ever heard that phrase before? What about, “Keep on the hustle and stay grinding”? Most people are motivated to accomplish a task and, better yet, love the feeling of achieving a mission or a goal. This explains why so many are drawn to movies, TV shows, songs, or even advertisements that depict a person with a purpose or on a mission.

The good news is this: every believer has a mission! God has given His church a valuable mission into which it can pour all its time and effort. God’s mission does not always mean quitting a job, leaving family, and going to a foreign land. The mission can start right here and right now. Jesus died for all, and it is now the mission of the church to spread the good news to all who do not know Christ. That purpose is achieved by living missionally.

What Is Missional Living?

Missional living is living a life dedicated to bringing the gospel to the people encountered in day-to-day life. Believers are assigned the task and motivated by God’s love to share the good news through their normal life activities and relationships. As Paul said in Acts 20:24 (NLT), “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”

Before Christ, most people’s focus is on career, education, jobs, finances, material possessions, and/or achieving status. After salvation, a new focus, living missionally, comes into play. When believers live missionally, they no longer focus on selfish gain, but rather have a new awareness of others’ needs. They now see unbelievers as people who need to be served and told the good news.

Living missionally may be costly, but it is worth the investment. In Matthew 6:31–33 (NLT), Jesus reassured believers that He is aware of their every need: “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Seeking first God’s kingdom means living missionally because the goal has shifted from personal gain to winning people for God’s kingdom.

Becoming a Servant

Part of living a missional life is living as one of God’s servants. The world has attached a negative stigma to the word servant. There is even a phrase going around that says, “You do you and I do me.” The world discourages believers from being servants and emphasizes caring only about oneself, but the Scriptures speak otherwise.

Living to Please Him

As stated in the first chapter of this book, in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul mentions the importance of the role of a servant. In verse 9, Paul states that the goal is to please God, not oneself. In verse 10, he speaks of accountability in the role of a servant and the responsibility to share the good news. Believers operate through Jesus’ love for everyone, and since He died for everyone, living for oneself is no longer an option (v. 15). The new life Christ gives comes with freedom, but this freedom should not be used to sin. This new life was bought with the blood of Jesus, so it must be used to serve others (Gal. 5:13).

Demonstrating Faith in Jesus Through Servanthood

Understand that salvation is by grace through faith alone and not through works (Eph. 2:8–9). Some may then ask, “Why is serving God necessary?” James 2:18 states that faith in God is demonstrated by a person’s good works. The work produced is the fruit of that person’s faith. In verse 21, James uses the example of Abraham to explain that works and faith together please the Lord. In verse 26, James explains that faith that does not produce fruit or good works is dead.

Putting Others First

Remember that Christ humbled Himself as a servant, so all believers should do the same: “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43–45 NLT). So what did Jesus mean by that? He was saying that believers no longer operate only to satisfy themselves, but should now put others first.

Setting Boundaries

When is enough, enough? Many believers ask this question once they begin serving others. Setting boundaries in missional living is necessary, wise, and healthy. Remember, Jesus is the one who is the Savior of the world; believers merely partner with God and a spiritual family to accomplish His mission. A Christian who is feeling the weight to get everyone saved is taking on too much pressure. Yes, believers play a part in the salvation process, but not every part.

Being Bold

Many Christians struggle with doubts and fears about living missionally, not knowing how or where to begin. It is natural to experience some discomfort when taking a step of faith to obey God. Is God going to show up? runs through the mind. Having God’s wisdom is helpful in all areas of life, like paying the bills, getting married, having kids, and living a good life. This same wisdom of God, coupled with His presence, will enable believers to walk in supernatural boldness to accomplish His mission as well. Use the following guides to stay on track.

Place Your Confidence in the Lord

In Deuteronomy 31:6, God reminds believers to be strong and courageous even when feeling weak and powerless. God gives comfort by allowing His children to know He is there. God is the one responsible for strengthening in times of need. He goes before believers to guide each step, and He will not abandon along the way those who put their confidence in Him.

Be Surrounded with Believers on the Same Mission

God uses godly friendships for mutual edification. Scripture uses the analogy of iron sharpening iron to communicate how friends sharpen each other (Prov. 27:17). When believers are surrounded by the right crowd, encouragement is present and shared.

Do Not Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Church leaders from each hub group are willing to sit down and answer any questions along the way. B-Group leaders are also ready to serve and guide as well. Asking questions is an indicator of a desire to understand and grow.

Pray for a Fresh In-Filling of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit empowers believers with boldness to be witnesses for Christ and to live missionally. A prayer for a fresh in-filling is a prayer the Holy Spirit loves to answer. It is exciting to see how the Spirit of God steps in when believers step out. Trust Him to move in every situation.

How to Live Missionally

The following steps are tips and guidelines to help believers live missionally in everyday life. Of course, this is not the only way or even the best way. People come to know Christ through many different strategies. Nonetheless, the following tips will help believers to begin living a missional lifestyle.

Be surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit and obedient as He directs your interaction with another person. Each individual is different. Be sensitive. There is no set formula to make someone believe in Jesus, but believers can play a part in helping the lost make that decision.

Start with Simple Conversation (John 4)

John 4:7 begins the story of the woman at the well. As she was drawing water, Jesus asked if He could have a drink. This story is a prime example of living missionally by simply engaging people in conversation. In everyday life, this might be grocery store cashiers, coworkers, classmates, neighbors, people at the gym, etc. Simply complimenting someone about something they are wearing or asking how their day is going is a practical way to engage with people that could open the door to so much more.

Get into Their Lives (1 Corinthians 9:20-23)

Believers are often quick to bring up Jesus or invite a person to church, but sometimes it is best to take time to get into the life of someone before immediately extending an invitation to church. For example, ask a coworker to lunch one day, attend an event with a classmate, ask a friend to go for a walk, or plan a time to meet a person from the gym to work out together.

A genuine love for people and interest in them as individuals will eventually lead to an open door for sharing the gospel. Be sensitive to the fact that some people may be cool to the gospel because of a bad experience with a pushy believer.

Be Vulnerable (John 4:7)

Do not be afraid to talk about a personal situation or a past struggle. Instead of trying to force other people to be open, lead the way and see what happens. If the person opens up and asks for advice, share wisdom about the situation, if possible, or simply be there and listen. Sometimes people just need someone who will truly listen and understand. If specific needs are expressed, try to meet those needs or pray for them to be met. Be the hands and feet of Jesus. Experiencing the love of God through a Christian’s actions speaks volumes to an unbeliever.

Get Spiritual (John 4:13–14)

After sharing vulnerable conversations, look for opportunities to engage in spiritual ones. A great way to start these conversations is to ask if the individual attends church anywhere or to describe what a typical weekend looks like. Remember, the goal is not to get this person to church, but to open the door to a conversation about religious beliefs. Most of the time, the person will offer an excuse about not going to church or will share if there is any belief in God at all. This is a great time for believers to open up about their own spiritual lives, as well as to answer questions about the faith.

Share a Personal Testimony (John 4:29–30, 39; Rom. 10:14)

Opening the door to spiritual conversations provides the perfect opportunity to share a personal testimony. Include any doubts or hesitations prior to your coming to the Lord, or talk about your personal walk with God in general. This allows the unbeliever to relate to your experience. This is also a great time to share the gospel and explain what it really means to be saved.

Invite the Person to Church (Titus 1:5)

If the conversation progresses and it becomes evident that the individual is open to the idea, it could indicate it is time to extend an invitation to church or even to accept Christ. However, if the person is not open, keep praying and consistently stay connected. Prayerfully, after a while, their heart may open to the Lord. If the person does come to church, meet them there and sit together. After church, take the person to lunch and ask how they liked the service. If they accepted Christ into their heart at church, begin the conversation about joining a small group and spending time with God. Give this new believer some Scripture passages to read or some resources to look into. The key for Christians here is to put themselves in the shoes of the lost and understand that people need direction on how to proceed after accepting Christ. Be that guide for a new Christian. Be sure to stay connected regularly as well.

Start Discipling (Col. 1:28)

After a new believer has been exposed to various resources and Scripture passages, it is time to begin the discipleship process. Take the believer through the Bible and study verses together. Just do life together and exemplify what it looks like to be an image-bearer of Christ.

All Christians have a mission! Taking steps to put the above suggestions into practice will produce a missional lifestyle that becomes a normal rhythm of life.




Tips on Missional Living


The first three chapters of this book are designed to equip believers with knowledge of what the gospel is, why it is necessary to share it, how to pray for people who do not know Jesus, and how to take steps in reaching the lost. The following tips are intended to answer the question, “How do I get started?” This chapter is a guide, providing practical tips and suggestions for setting up gospel conversations in day-to- day scenarios in various stages of life.

Being Missional at School

Being Missional on the Job

Being Missional in a Neighborhood

Being Missional in a City

Invite a neighbor to a local sporting event.




Resources for Evangelism


The following are resources that readers may find helpful for continued growth in sharing and defending the faith. While the following are helpful tools, Bethany does not necessarily share every view expressed in the following.

Resources

Books

Podcasts

Websites

YouTube

Conclusion

Picture this: A group of people have gathered together. The mood of the room is somber. The atmosphere is void of joy, void of life. The future is in question. In fact, no one knows what the next day will bring. Suddenly the door opens and a joyful, smiling face thrusts itself through the doorway and announces, “I have good news!” Suddenly the atmosphere shifts and the room is filled with excitement, relief, and activity as people congratulate each other and grab their phones to start telling others about this newfound hope for the future. A huge shift has occurred because someone shared good news.

This is what the gospel does in the lives of those who are lost and away from God. When they hear the good news, hope is restored and the future becomes bright. Scripture teaches that this good news is stored within each believer. It is a precious life- saving drink that only needs to be poured out on those who are dying of thirst.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves

2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT



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