How to Lead a Soul to Christ Part 2
“Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain,
and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain,
and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth
and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:17-20
Intro: Today we continue the worship series on “How to Lead a Soul to Christ.”
The most important thing you can do as a Christian is to have a spiritual conversation with someone who is lost.
Soul winning is the greatest work in the world.
God has entrusted each of us…,
Every believer has this God given incredible privilege and responsibility to lead a soul to Christ.
We start by asking our self the question…
Do I really care? Am I concerned for where others are in their condition with God?
Do I have compassion and do I care that the world is lost.
What am I willing to do in order for me to be a condition so that I can Lead Souls to Christ.
Last week I began to teach you five simple steps to learn and use
when talking to someone about becoming Christian
The first one was can you take the bible and “Show The Need For Salvation?”
A few years ago I did a lot of Substitute teaching at a Middle School.
There was a student named Susan who came into school every day downcast and always complaining
about having a headache or stomach ache or some other physical illness.
By talking to her she began to open up a little more day by day.
I soon learned that that this girl’s mother had had a massive heart attack about a year earlier
and her father lived in a nearby town with a new girlfriend.
Susan had no contact with her father;
she said they don’t get along.
After several conversations,
I discovered that Susan was worried that her mom would have another heart attack
and that there would be no one left to care for her and her younger brother.
I spent a lot of time trying to encourage Susan.
There are many ways to share the Gospel.
Most people don’t want to admit they are a sinner.
Just saying you are a sinner and need Christ is harsh and critical.
Good presentation of the Gospel begins with concern and compassion.
There are all kinds of ways to have a conversation about God and eternal life.
Get out your sermon notes: write this down. Last week: “Show The Need For Salvation?”
Today we are going to talk about…
II. Share the Gospel
Can you take the bible and Share the Gospel?
Let’s start with the mind frame that we step into the world with everyday.
The word evangelism is scary.
Some people don’t like evangelism because they think it is too pushy.
The book of James emphasizes faith in action.
remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death
and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5
Belief is more than just reading the Gospel
The body of believers are the hands and feet of the Gospel.
Faith and trust are actions not merely something read and thought about.
A lot of people believe that you need seminary or some type of advanced training to do it.
There is general belief that there is a church on every corner
There is a pastor for every church
So some believe there is no need for activities, especially those of going out to spread Christianity.
But this is what United Methodist believe. This is our heritage. This is our Tradition.
This is what you sign up for by being a Methodist.
John Wesley teaches us four primary contexts of ministry:
Field preaching, Methodist Societies, Class meetings, and Individual Visitation.
Through field preaching early Methodist preachers and lay people took the Gospel to the people.
Field preaching was not limited to fields,
but also occurred in homes,
any place a non-church going crowd could gather.
Though John Wesley initially resisted the idea,
introduced to him by George Whitefield, it took on greater and greater importance in Methodism.
For Wesley, field preaching became the primary means by which
“God is found of them that sought him not.”
Think about what Wesley is saying. “God is found of them that sought him not.”
One of the challenges in the church today is how do we take the Gospel to those who show no interest in it.
How do we start small groups?
How do I do individual visitation without being too pushy but also without being too timid?
Last week in the District Evangelism Training the speaker Beau Crosetta
Talked about finding a balance between being “Patient and Bold”
We need to find the middle between “Timid and Pushy”
We discover the Bible teaches us that as a disciple it is just as bad to be too timid as it is to be too pushy.
Today is Accession Sunday.
How many days ago was Easter Sunday? 40.
Easter to Ascension is 40 days.
Jesus stayed on earth and taught his disciples 40 days after the Easter resurrection.
The last thing Jesus did was to give us the “Great Commission”
Matthew 28 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Disciple making was the last command that Jesus gave us before he ascended back up into heaven.
We must find the middle between “Timid and Pushy”
If you want to have a spiritual conversation you start by thinking
The Harvest is plentiful...RIGHT NOW...TODAY!
You are the person God is going to use, not your friend, not your pastor.
You are the person God is going to use today to lead a soul to Christ.
God will create the opportunities for you to share your faith
The best question you can ask someone to start a conversation about faith is
What do you do when you are not doing what you work at?
In other words: What is your passion?
What do you enjoy doing when you have time.
You will get answers like:
I love old cars. I love to play golf. I love to read a good book. I love to cook.
I love to watch my kids play sports.
All of these are things people really care about.
Now ask: Where is God in that?
You will get an answer something like: Yes, I see God in nature on the golf course.
Yes, I see God in the complexity of the mechanics of things working together.
Yes, I see God on the baseball field, in the team work, in the hope and prayers the game.
Or if they say no they have never seen God in any of that:
Then you say, Would you like to be able to see God with you in what you are passionate about.
That opens the door for conversation.
We must seek and find these open doors for conversation about spiritual things.
There is an urgency about sharing the Gospel.
This week I was teaching the youth confirmation class.
I was having them spell out words and the discuss the meaning of words like Baptism, Communion,
So I had two teams and gave a word to one person on the team
Who then gave clues to the word we were looking for.
So the clues for the word baptism were: water, burial, sprinkle.
The clues for the word Communion were: bread, body, wine, blood.
They got those: The one word that gave them trouble was the word “Potluck”
The clues they came up with were “Leprechaun” “Clover” Irish, green.
They got stuck.
So I tried to help. I said, food, fried chicken, plates, mash potatoes.
I thought they would get the word “Potluck”
But they could not get the word.
The team finally gave up.
I could not believe that we have a generation that no longer gets the word Potluck.
Later one of the youth told me that they thought that Potluck had something to do with weed.
Listen: We are just one generation away from losing the meaning of the word Gospel.
It only takes one generation to fail to teach the next generation for the church to die.
Is it possible…, that the church is dying today…,
because we are the generation…, that is failing to share the Gospel.
People today more concerned about does Christ work than Christ is true.
Your Gospel story is about where God has changed you.
How has being a Christian impacted you in life?
“Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain,
and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.
18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
That would be really cool wouldn’t it.
You pray for it not to rain and it doesn’t rain.
You pray again this time for it to rain and it comes a downpour.
But what do we do when we pray and our loved one dies anyway?
Where is God in that?
See Elijah was a human.--- 1. I have had enough. 2. Take my life. 3. I am no better than my ancestors.
It wasn’t that Elijah was some kind of super hero with super power of prayer.
God was the one who caused it not to rain or to rain. (Not Elijah)
How is God working in my life when my loved one is sick and dying?
Where is God when you lose your job and are out of work and the money dries up?
How does being a Christian work when my son or daughter has been arrested for drunk driving?
Take some time to thank about all the places in your life in your journey where God showed up in the middle of the struggle in the midst of the storms of life.
Where did Jesus come walking on the water when you were sinking and drowning?
Where is God in the middle of our circumstance?
You see I find God in the Gospel in John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV)
But I also find God in 1 Corinthians 12:26 "members should care for one another, and when one member suffers, all members grieve"
So what that looks like in the world we live in today
May be something like a Care and Hug Team
It is coordinated by Happy Seniors.
These Happy Senior Christians develop a plan for urgent attention to given to people in the hospital or in crisis response situations, or when a loved one is near death or dies.
You see that how we share the Gospel.
Or maybe we have a Good Samaritan Team
"But a certain Samaritan…, took care of him." Luke 10:34
This is group of trained lay people who do planned visits to shut-ins, and others with needs that are not emergencies or of major spiritual urgency. (Those persons are in the first group.)
I think that is how we live out transformation in the world around us.
Or maybe we have a Barnabas, Andrew, Mary and Martha Team
Barnabas means "son of encouragement"
Andrew means "Strength and Introducer of the Gospel"
Mary and Martha were focused on discipleship, hospitality and spiritual formation
This is a team of people in the church who focus on Encouragement and spiritual outreach and in-reach.
Teams will work in the community to reach new prospective members and new residents in our community.
Teams will also work in the church to reconnect members who are inactive and or live outside our community.
This is how we share the Gospel and it will promote the general welfare of our members through fellowship and sharing and communicate the mission of First Church
To Worship Prayerfully, Praise Joyfully, Serve Gratefully.
The Good News of the Gospel is shared throughout the community.
I am not introducing anything new.
Are we really doing the things that we say we believe in?
How are you spreading the Gospel?
On a scale from 0-10.
Ten being you are on fire. You are so hot.
You deserve the Evangelism award for the Kentucky Annual Conference of all the Methodist Churches in Kentucky.
I really never talk to anyone about believing or receiving Christ.
I never speak out.
I never don’t do anything beyond the walls of Sunday morning church.
I don’t take part in any small group.
I don’t have any people that I am trying to build a relationship with so that I can talk to them about Jesus.
Think about where you are from 0-10.
Now what are you willing to do to move forward just one number closer to 10?
Do you think that would be something worth coming to the altar to pray about this morning?
Someone showed me a picture this week.
You are only confined by the wall you build yourself.
I am convinced that the biggest obstacle to our friends coming to faith
is our lack of sharing with them the Gospel
and the absence of a real conversation and invitation for them to pray and accept Christ.
Is that something you are willing to pray about this morning?
How am I “Showing others the Need for Salvation”
How am I “Sharing the Gospel”