Summary: Keys to Effective Interpersonal Relationships In Evangelism and Church Planting

Keys to Effective Interpersonal Relationships

In Evangelism and Church Planting

Learning Objectives

1. The students will explain what we can learn from Moses about accepting ourselves as God has made us.

2. The students will explain what Romans 14:15 teaches us about accepting ourselves and others.

3. The students will write a short paper on how good interpersonal and cross-cultural relationships are developed.

Introduction - Many missionaries struggle more with relating to other people than knowing what to preach from the Bible. Sometimes, relations become so difficult that missionaries must leave their fields, return to their homes, and go back to farming. There is a story of one missionary family who got in a big fight with the people in a village that he was forced to pack his bags.

Apparently, the missionary preferred eating food from his own area rather than locally grown food. At first this did not bother the indigents, until one day when the missionary was offered food by the people. Even though the evangelist graciously declined the people’s kind generosity, the people felt offended. Rumors began to spread throughout the village, that the missionary thought he was too good to eat the food of the local people. Naturally, the people became so angry with the missionary that they quit attending his prayer meetings, only a few children would turn up for his Bible studies, and hardly anyone would listen to him preach the gospel any longer.

Finally, after, several months, the local supervisor advised the missionary to eat the local foods of the people, even if it meant he could get sick. When the missionary started to eat the foods of the people, a wonderful thing happened. The people started to attend his prayer meetings again, everyone seemed to have a renewed interest in his Bible studies, and for the first time, several people received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord!

The Lord even protected him from illness. The message had not changed, the meetings did not change, but the missionary’s methods of inter-personal relations had changed!

Let us asked the Lord for wisdom in discovering the keys to effective inter-personal relationships!

I. Begin By Accepting Yourself As God Has Made You!

A. Moses had to be taught to accept himself. Ex. 2-4

1). Moses had to learn that he was important because God made him and He would be with Moses. (Ex. 3:11)

2). Moses had to learn not to doubt God’s abilities to help him accomplish His will. (Ex. 3:12)

3). Moses had to learn that the Lord would lead him to success because it would bring great glory to God. (Ex. 3:12)

4). Moses had to learn confidence in God, in himself, and in God’s will despite the criticisms, rejections, or scorn from his enemies. (Ex. 3:13)

5). Moses could go with authority, power, and assurance of support because the great ``I Am’’ had sent him. (Ex. 3:14)

6). Moses learned to be content with the way God made him.

7). Moses learned that his competence came from God not from himself. (Ex. 4:11)

8). Moses learned that God’s blessing were sufficient for him. (II Cor. 12:9,10)

9). Moses learned that the battle was the Lord’s not his. (I Sam. 17:47)

B. New Testament Christians must learn that they are given the power to do everything God asks them to do with the help of Christ who gives them the strength and power. (Phil. 4:13)

C. Missionaries must realize that their own prejudices may hinder the reception of the gospel.

D. Missionaries must remember that the Lord loves them unconditionally whether they have immediate success or not.

E. Missionaries must remember that God loves us as much as He loves Christ. (John 17:26)

F. Missionaries can take confidence in the fact that even though our earthly father might have disciplined us out of anger, God always does it in love. (Heb. 12:7-12)

G. Missionaries can rest assured that God knows every part of us even before we were born and yet He still loves us perfectly. (Psa. 139:15,16)

H. Missionaries can take great pride in the fact that we are His workmanship created in Christ! (Eph. 2:10) God does make any counterfeits or defective creatures.

I. Missionaries should not look at hardships as difficulties in life that have not been allowed without the approval of God. James 1:12-19 tells us to accept our temptations, sufferings, and hardships. God allows difficulties to come into our life so that we will become more like Christ. Everything God does is for our good!

Example - One woman was named ``worthless things’’ by her parents so that the evil spirits would not pay any attention to her as her sister before had died. As a result the girl learned to be shy, withdrawn, and prone to argue with other children. When the girl became a Christian, she realized that

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