Summary: We have 3 priorities – worship, small group, outreach. This week’s focus: OUTREACH. As the program states, “We are dedicated to reaching people who do not know Christ as their Savior.”
Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing
1. Loving Others Through Outreach
January 8/9, 2005
We have 3 priorities – worship, small group, outreach. My vision is for a congregation of people who gather weekly for corporate worship, come together in small groups for discipleship and fellowship, and are regularly involved in reaching out to others with the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ through community outreach.
The need – simple, applicable ways to make these priorities a part of our weekly schedule. This week’s focus: OUTREACH. As the program states, “We are dedicated to reaching people who do not know Christ as their Savior.”
How do we do this? What we don’t need is any more guilt. What we do need are some practical suggestions about how each of us can make outreach one of the “main things” of our life.
STEP ONE – Develop relationships with non-Christians.
We must build time into our schedules for building relationships with non-Christians. (They will never become a disciple of Jesus unless they see it lived out and explained to them in an understandable way. They will never hear the gospel unless someone tells them. The only way for you to tell them is to develop a trusting relationship with them.
-developing relationships with unchurched people through community service. Coach a team. Lead a boy scout troop. Volunteer at a thrift store. Be the salt of the earth and get out of the shaker! Volunteer at the school. Be influential on the PTA. Run for City Council or the school board.
-cultivate service opportunities in your neighborhood. Help that neighbor move in. Bring them a meal the 2nd night they are there. Give them a gift certificate to Solid Ground. Invite them to church. Start a small group in your neighborhood. Help cut up that tree that fell in your neighbor’s yard. Offer to watch the kids when the woman is feeling ill or hospitalized.
Here’s where you can be totally creative – and use the personality and gifts God has given you. For some, God may call you to help start a brand new church – whether in Kenya or in Coupeville!
Whatever it is you like to do – think and pray about how you can use it for developing relationships with people who need to know Jesus.
- pray before engaging in that activity for opportunities to meet people and for the courage to turn the course of conversation onto spiritual subjects. This is step two.
STEP TWO – Talk about spiritual matters.
You’ve heard the little saying “Witness for Christ wherever you go – if necessary use words.” It’s kind of cute – but I don’t know ANYONE who ever committed themselves to Christ without someone using words!
Rom. 10:13-14 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
• “So, do you go to church anywhere? Why not? Can I tell you about my church?”
• “Why do you think most people don’t go to church?”
• “What is your religious background? What are positive/negative aspects of your experience?”
• “What are some of the biggest issues you have with Christians today?”
• “If you could ask Jesus one question and knew he would answer, what would you ask him?”
• “What do you think is humanity’s basic problem? What is your philosophy of life? How does your philosophy of life address humanity’s basic problem?”
• “I’d really be curious to hear who you think God is and what He’s like.”
• “What do you think happens to people after they die? How have you come to that conclusion?”
• “Can I share with you why I’ve committed my life to Jesus Christ?”
• “Would you be interested in seeing a simple diagram that summarizes what the Bible says about how to have eternal life? It will only take about 3 minutes.”
• “Jesus has made an incredible difference in my life. Can I show you a brief diagram that shows how this change started?”
“Would you like to know the difference between religion and Christianity?”
STEP THREE: Explain the Gospel.
There are lots of ways to boil the gospel (good news) down and make it understandable. All of them have at the core the same basic “players”. If we can get a handle on the main truths, we’ll be able to use a variety of tools to share the gospel with people.
Overview: The players.
(Adapted from Becoming A Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg)