Summary: Prayer, preparation, preaching, practicalities, pre-evangelism and post-evangelism.
Redeeming the time- how to make best use of the Breakthrough John’s Gospels
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15, 16).
Prayer, Preparation, Pre-evangelism
Read Acts 4:23- 3
1. Reported and shared their needs with one another (v. 23, 32, 34-37).
2. Raised their voice to God together in unity (v.24).
3. Recognised the sovereignty of God in all things (24, 28).
4. Remembered what God said (25).
5. Read their Bibles (25, 26).
6. Recalled the odds against Jesus (27).
7. Requested boldness to preach (29).
8. Realised the possibilities of signs and wonders (30).
9. Received God’s blessing and power (31, 33, 5:42).
10. Regular meeting together (2:42,44,46,47).
Application: set aside a regular time when you can meet to pray together about your evangelistic efforts and give them up to God.
Preaching the Word
1. Do we know what the Gospel is?
2. Do we really believe it?
3. Why evangelise? What are the consequences of not evangelising?
4. What holds us back from witnessing to our friends and people in college?
5. What are God’s responsibilities/ our responsibilities?
Practicalities in Evangelism
1. Personal. What not-yet-Christian friends do we have? Choose, say, 3 friends that you can give a Breakthrough to and commit to praying for. Get into a prayer triplet and pray for your 3 x 3 friends. Make sure that you keep up good social contact with your mates- coffee/pub/work/going out with them. Do not always talk about Jesus, but certainly don’t avoid the subject. Give them a Gospel, then still see them but don’t mention it for a bit (say, a week) and then ask them whether they’ve had a chance to look at it.
2. Planned meetings. Discuss as a CU the following:
• Subjects- what kind of issues will interest your friends? The average Southbank student? Are there any people groups you are keep to reach, e.g. Afro-Caribbean, Muslim, Chinese-Asian, Indian-Asian, LBG, Socialists, Feminists, Debating. Subject examples, ’Isn’t Christianity arrogant?’, ’Why does God allow suffering?’, ’Isn’t Christianity a white man’s religion?’, ’Jesus and sexuality’.
• Speakers- do you know where to get hold of the most appropriate speakers, e.g. Islam specialists, apologetics specialists? Are there any Christian lecturers you know who could come and speak?
• Setting- meal with a message/dialogue supper? round someone’s flat or on campus in central meeting room? what time of day? when are most students available? what is the most strategic location and time?
3. Promotion & publicity
• Posters and fliers- good, eye-catching design with clear details of title, venue and times; co-ordinate who and where you are going to give them out- e.g. one person does Union, another does Halls, another does subject blocks.
• Publicity table- see if you can arrange with the Union or college to set up a publicity table somewhere round college at a regular time each week. You could use this as a base to give out tracts, sell Christian books, promote events, serve free tea and coffee, talk to people about Jesus, collect money for homeless & invite a speaker from LCM/Centrepoint, etc. to explain where the money’s going. See City for help with this.
• Placing. You could target specific friends, or spread the net wider: ask hall wardens for permission to take Breakthroughs round halls. Take a clipboard with you and note down the names/room numbers of people who say they’re willing for you to come round a week later and discuss the book with them. You could also use questionnaires as an ice-breaker, and have the last question as a ’follow-up’ question (e.g. would you like to come to a small discussion group about this/ a meal with a message?) and then give them the Gospel book. An even wider distribution would be to put the Gospels on tables in cafeterias, common rooms, union bars and other public places- but follow-up is difficult there. It’s definitely worthwhile making up some little stickers with all your contact details onto them and sticking them on all the Breakthroughs so people can get back to you if they want to.
• Personnel. If you would like some backup in terms of human resources, do not hesitate to get other CUs (contact Wanyecki, LSE, King’s, Imperial, etc.) to send some people over to help you. Or you could get Agape over for a day to do some training and evangelism with you. Or you could get OM to bring some resources for a book table. Open Doors will come and show some amazing films which you can invite pre-Christians too (especially Muslims).
Now you’ve given Gospels to your target individuals and groups, you’ve invited them to a meeting (big, small group, dialogue supper, etc.), they’ve heard the Gospel and discussed it with you afterwards. What next?