Archive for Evangelism Training

Tip #8: This passage (Mark 1:14-20) calls us to give up things to further God’s kingdom. What will you give up?

The passage referenced in this hint is foundational to understanding Christianity.  Two words must drive our focus:

1. Repent

Repentance is not feeling sorry for yourself, or feeling sorry about something you did.  Repentance is a change of mind, first and foremost.  As I think about repentance I think of asking God to help me think and make decisions like He would want, rather than the way I would want.  Asking for forgiveness for ignoring God is part of repentance, but it also involves giving Him everything as look to move forward.

In evangelism, we must challenge repentance.

2. Believe

But faith must accompany repentance. We must believe God is ultimately the one who will help us repent.  Otherwise, we’re back to the uselessness of trying to earn God’s favor.  Mark 1:15 doesn’t tell us to earn the good news, it tells us to believe the good news.  Do we have a core, transforming belief about who Jesus is and what He’s done for us?

If so, let that belief be coupled with repentance as we daily seek to live and walk in His ways, not our own.

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Tip #7: We can share a faith that isn’t wishy-washy if we know God’s the only one who gives the grace to live it!

We have to know this tip well.  Two reasons:

1.  We need to be firm and bold in what we believe about Christ.  As some of these other tips will point out, there is a lot of wrong thinking about Jesus and we must look into the heart of the Gospel message and always make sure our heart is as true as the message we carry.

2.  God is the only person who will give us grace to carry His message.  If we try to do it by ourselves, we’ll fail and we’ll mislead a lot of people in the meantime.  The message of Christ is specifically that – the message of Christ.  It’s about Him first, and second it’s about what He’s done for us.  So, we must realize He will give us the grace to share, and rely on Him every step of the way!

Keep praying, keep sharing.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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Tip #5: We can share a faith that isn’t wishy-washy if we know God’s the only one who gives the grace to live it!

As you read through Mark 1, think about the things you’re seeing and hearing.  It’s incredible.  The faith Jesus is calling us to is not for the faint of heart.

A lot of people think Christianity is wishy-washy.  You know, there’s no REAL substance to our message, just an individual achievement of recognizing Jesus and asking for forgiveness.

The things we encounter in the beginning of this Gospel do not permit us to think that way.  We see a lot of activity, we see a lot of challenge.  We see repentance, evil, and words like “kingdom”.  These are things which clearly indicate significant changes in values.

But none of it’s about us.  It’s about God’s Kingdom anyway, it’s not earned.  And repentance is only by God’s grace anyhow.  So why on earth would we go out sharing the truth of Jesus like we have another chance for success except in God’s grace alone?

It’s my hope and prayer as you are sharing (or being stirred to share) that you will ask God for the grace to share and trust Him fully with the results.  Be bold, share hard truths.  Pray lots!

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Tip #4: Will discouragement squash our desire to share?

So how about the appearance of Satan so quickly in this story of Mark?  Does it discourage you?

It shouldn’t.  I think we should do a better job of understanding that interference is a part of the Christian life.  It’s clearly a part of the ministry of Jesus.

Maybe interference is too soft of a word.  How about spiritual warfare? From our enemy, Satan?  There.  It is a war.  Difficulty does persist.  And if you do commit to sharing your faith as a part of your regular life, then warfare should be expected.

Ephesians 6 is a great read on warfare.  Galatians 5 also offers some good thoughts comparing life in the flesh vs. life in the Spirit. It’s when we allow the Holy Spirit to change our desires that evangelism as a priority in our day to day and week to week living will really take root.

Are you discouraged?  Have your efforts to share not seen much visible fruit?  Persist, friend.  God is in control, discouragement is part of obedience.  To God be the glory as lives are changed!

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Tip #6: This passage calls us to give up things to further God’s kingdom. What will you give up?

Priorities matter a bunch in this day and age.  Think this way with me for a moment.  If we asked the average Christian to name the best Christian priorities, some of these answers would surely make the list:

  • Bible Study
  • Prayer
  • Church attendance
  • Commitment to family
  • Fellowship
  • Good morals, public and private
  • Speaking out against political wrongs
To be clear, these are great things.  But do you notice evangelism isn’t on here?  Would it be on your list?  Let’s discuss the concept of giving things up to evangelize.  First, none of these things has to be given up to evangelize.  They just need to be realigned to make sharing the faith a regular part of living.  What must be given up?  Things we enjoy – free time activities, extra TV, perhaps some extra money.  Evangelism can take its place in the regular life of a believer with only a handful of hours in any given week or month. What would you have to rearrange or give up to make evangelism a part of what you do on a regular basis?

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Tip #3: Good luck sharing Jesus when we desire other things more

This tip strikes at the heart God’s glory.  We read early in Mark about John the Baptist’s faithfulness.  We see the glory of God at Jesus’ obedient baptism.  These things should stir our hearts and minds in worship, drawing us to God.  These should only add emphasis to the landmark verse of Mark 1:15.  In this verse Jesus includes the phrase “repent and believe the good news”.

Repentance involves turning away, turning our backs, changing our minds toward sin.  God can empower us to have a totally different view of sin – yes, it can become less attractive to us.  Repentance means putting God first in all things in all ways – changing our minds to think a different way.

This involves conversations we have.  We will be horribly inefficient in sharing the gospel if other things really matter more.  It’s my hope and prayer that if you’re reading this, God’s glory will draw you like a magnet and you’ll respond by beginning to stir up conversations about Jesus with those around you.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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Tip #2: Are you lovingly sharing hard truths in evangelism? Use your life to point people to Christ.

Evangelism can be hard.  What?

Yes.  It can be difficult.  People may reject you, laugh at you, hate you, or stop talking to you.  I was at a conference last May where personal evangelism was being challenged.  The question went something like this:  Are you willing to cross the pain threshold in a relationship with someone by asking about Jesus, heaven, and hell?

It can be painful to risk otherwise peaceful relationships to talk about Jesus.  But when we care about people that’s what we do.  When we believe there is a coming judgment, that’s what we do.

This can be seen in John the Baptist’s ministry.  He told people to repent – to turn away from their sin.  He wanted them to be awake to God’s truth and the coming Messiah, Jesus.  We DO want the same things.  Are we willing to ask people what they think about Jesus, heaven, and hell?  The realities are there.  We say we want these things.  Will we do it?

Tips:

  • Pray.  Seriously, pray.
  • Go bold.  Ask someone what they know about Jesus.
  • Tell them honestly that you care about them and want them to believe in Jesus, who forgives sin if we repent.
  • Be willing to have an open ended conversation and not limit this to a one time event.
  • Let them know you’ll answer questions.  Or, let them know you’ll find some helpful thoughts on questions you might not have an immediate answer for.
Be Bold!

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