Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bulletin teaching snippets: Evangelism involves.....(Jan-Feb '14)

The following Evangelism involves...snippets appeared in the Portland-Heywood Lutheran Church bulletin in January and February 2014

Evangelism involves sharing what is good about God’s church (His people)
Take some time to think about your conversations about God and the church over the last week or two.  Have they been dominated by positive, good news or negative, bad news?
One day two brothers Mark and Matthew who went to the same church left church and went to visit their mother who was sick in bed.  When they arrived their mother asked, how was church?   To which Mark replied…. not good…the sermon went for too long, the singing was dreadful, someone forgot to put on the heaters, there were some strange people there who sat in the Jones’ pew which upset them and the coffee was terrible…She then turned to Matthew who replied…..ahh the sermon was spot on Pastor made some great points and I was able to understand something a bit clearer I had been struggling with, it was great to have a couple of new songs, there were four new families and two of them said they would be joining us, Mr Rupert who hadn’t been at church since he had the argument with Joshua was back and I had a great conversation with your friend Ida over coffee.   Their mother said “did you both go to the same church?….Matthew can you pick me up next week and take me to your church?”
The reality is in church many things are happening….some good and some not so good…at times even the one event can be seen as good by some but not good by others.   God encourages us to speak what is good about His church, which means talking what is good about His people to others, because that is part of sharing God’s good news.  

Evangelism involves praying
Prayer is essential in the Christian's life.  Without it your witness will be far less effective and you will be far more vulnerable to the enemy.  When you witness, you need the blessing and support of the Lord.  You need to be in fellowship with Him.  Prayer makes this all possible.
When you witness you plant the seeds of the Gospel, but it is God who causes the growth (1 Cor. 3:6-7).  In prayer you ask God to give that growth.  In prayer you ask God to convict the unrepentant of their sin and by that awaken in them the need for salvation.  In prayer you, "...let your requests be made known to God," (Phil. 4:6).  Think about your own life, there have been many people praying for you .
What to pray for:
Pray for more people to witness.  (Matt. 9:37-38). 
Pray for compassion for the lost.  (Romans 10:1)
Pray for the desire to witness. 
Pray for boldness.  (2 Tim. 1:7-8).
Pray to the Lord to bind Satan and his angels.
Pray for your needs.  (Phil. 4:6)

Evangelism involves allowing God to use you today, as you are and where you are!!!
Sometimes we think we need to change and be better before we can evangelise and be God’s witnesses.   Bible studies and courses, especially in the area of evangelism and witnessing are good and helpful, they will help you understand God better and how better to be one of His disciples.  That is why we encourage everyone in our congregation to be part of a life group.  However to be a witness for God and evangelise on His behalf we can begin today.  1st Corinthians 1:18-31 reminds us that it is ultimately not about us….but about God.  So it is about what God is doing for us, in us and through us.  
Take a few moments today to consider what has God done for you, how has God changed you and how is God calling you to live differently.   Then be prepared to share with the other people in your life through what you say and do. 

Evangelism involves being influenced by God to be an influencer on god’s behalf
Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10 says For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  As Christians who worship regularly and study the bible frequently we are constantly being influenced by God.  We have the opportunity to see the world and our life differently, especially to have hope that extends way past our life on this earth.   God’s influence on us can also have an impact on others, when we understand that we are also called to be God’s influencers amongst the people we interact with.  Take a moment to think about who am I mixing with….what do they need to hear and know about God….Is there an opportunity to speak a word of Godly hope?  Is there an opportunity to show someone that they are loved even though they may not deserve it?  Is there an opportunity help someone see the church and other people differently?  Look for the opportunities for God to use you to influence someone around you this week. 

Evangelism involves being patient
2 Peter 3:9 reminds us that  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.   Patience is an important quality for everyone involved in helping others become disciples.  As we share and re-share the Gospel with people it can be easy to become disenchanted if people are not responding instantly.   But remember God’s Gospel involves change in attitudes, belief and behaviour.  And most people by nature struggle when it comes to change, especially change that involves acknowledging they didn’t have it right or all together.  However over time, God through people like me and you constantly sharing His word verbally and in action, will affect people and overcome their resistance to change so they can enjoy eternal life. 

Evangelism involves loving as God loves……
In Matthew 5:44-45 and Matthew 5:48 we hear Jesus say: But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven….. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.   This is a big call, to love like God loves!!!  The type of love we should aim to share with others, should replicate the love God has for us if we are aiming to live as God’s disciples.    Romans 5:8 clearly indicates what this love looks like… But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  In other words whilst we were living as enemies to God…God was still loving us….Now there are many situations in our lives where we will encounter people who will oppose us, who will act as if they are our enemies….God’s call for us is to keep  the mission he has given us in mind, to make disciples of all nations, when responding to them.  Ask yourself how can I show God’s love and grace to people so that I can help them be God’s disciples?   

© 2014 Pastor Richard Schwedes.....Congregations, pastors and those involved in ministry are free to use these to encourage others in mission...including as discussion starters, devotions, in bulletins and in church newsletters....acknowledgement is appreciate....you are welcome to contact Pastor Richard Schwedes richardschwedes@gmail.com 

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