Summary: This is the third of a 4 part series adapted from Willow Creek's Contagious Christian Evangelism Training course.
BE CONTAGIOUS: WEEK 4
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church
(I was sick the week I wrote this message and didn't have time to write the full text, this is the outline I preached from).
INTRO: (title slide)
How are we doing so far?
God wired each of us with a unique personality.
STYLE #1: INVITATIONAL (slide 2)
Biblical Example: Samaritan Woman (John 4)
The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” (John 4:28-29 NLT) (slide 3)
Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42 NLT) (slide 4)
Review the power of an invitation
Everyone can & should do this, but some people are gifted at it
People gifted in this style of outreach tend to be…
o Hospitable—you enjoy opening your home to people
o Relational—very inclusive, ever-widening circle of friends
o Persuasive—like the Samaritan woman persuading the crowd
STYLE #2: INTELLECTUAL (slide 5)
Biblical Example: Paul on Mars Hill (Acts 17)
Athens was a city of philosophers and scholars
“It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas” (Acts 17:21 NLT) (slide 6)
These guys loved philosophical and theological debates, that’s why God sent Paul
Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about (Acts 17:22-23 NLT) (slide 7)
Paul went on to explain how nature reveals the existence of a Creator and how the resurrection of Jesus proved that the was the Messiah the Son of God—these are still the key apologetic issues today (existence of God, deity of Christ)
o If you enjoy listening to and participating in intellectual debates…
o If your heart starts pumping & adrenaline rushes when debating politics, ideologies, etc…
o If you find yourself getting into discussions about creation, evolution, etc…
This style probably fits your personality. People with this style tend to be…
o Inquisitive, Analytical, Logical
They ask questions like, “What do you think?” and “How do you know?” and “Why do you believe what you believe?”
We live in an increasingly secular world, where people are skeptical and need solid answers—so this style is very important in our culture today.
STYLE #3: ILLUSTRATIVE (slide 8)
Biblical Example: Blind Man (John 9)
“I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25 NLT) (slide 9)
His story breaks into three parts: (1) I used to be blind, (2) Jesus spit in my eyes, (3) now I can see—a compelling before & after story that’s almost impossible to argue with.
Our culture is almost obsessed with before & after stories (Extreme Makeover, Fit Club, Jared from Subway)—it’s also an effective, convincing way to illustrate your faith
Paul opted to share his conversion story on several occasions rather than engage in intellectual debate—and it always followed the same general pattern
o Who I used to be: “I am a Jew… thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of [Jesus] to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison” (Acts 22:4 NIV) (slide 10)
o How I came to Jesus: “As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me... ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, the one you are persecuting.’” (Acts 22:7-8 NLT) (slide 11)
o How Jesus changed my life: “I obeyed that vision from heaven. I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God” (Acts 26:19-20 NLT) (slide 12)
Personal stories are relatable & build a bridge that Jesus can walk across
Many who won’t accept the authority of the Bible will listen to a personal story.
CONCLUSION: (slide 13—title slide)
Other styles: Service (Dorcas), Direct (Peter), Interpersonal (Matthew)