Lights in Every Street - Christian Fellowship in Your Street
3) Evangelism: Seek to win many people for Christ – in your street and at your work – (Mark 1:17; 16:15; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Suggestions:
a) Encourage all Christians in your street, including children and young people, to win people for Christ.
b) Make contact with people:
i) Be a real friend to them, showing the true love of God, helping them in their problems and praying for them.
ii) Visit people (at first it may be best not to stay more than half an hour – people respect those who realise that they have other commitments).
(1) You could pray especially for five or ten neighbours. You could visit them to say hello, and ask if there was anything they would like prayer for, explaining that some of you meet to pray for people on your street each week. You could leave your names and ‘phone numbers. Do not give the impression that you are superior because you are praying for them – you could suggest that they too pray for the neighbourhood – and for you - you too need prayer. With their permission, make a brief note of any request.
(2) Encourage and pray for the sick, bereaved and lonely.
(3) Ask for help in some sort of activity in the street.
(4) Take round an invitation for a coffee evening or other activity, giving you opportunity to meet people personally.
(5) Have a walk of celebration and singing in your street or sing carols at Christmas.
(6) Ask people where they are in their spiritual journey – and just listen.
c) Share the Gospel message with people. Suggestions:
i) Talk to them about the Lord Jesus Christ, lend them Gospels, etc.. Have Bibles, New Testaments and portions of Scripture to give away.
ii) Use your imagination for novel ways to communicate such as storytelling, poems, songs, pictures, dramas, etc.
iii) Go through Mark’s Gospel, e.g. asking them to read two chapters before each session using one of the Bible Study methods in Appendix 1.
iv) Use the Alpha Course, Christianity Explored, or some other introductory evangelistic course.
v) Learn to briefly tell your own testimony of how you became a Christian and what Jesus Christ means to you (about three minutes). You could use a Bible verse as a key theme. (Examples of personal testimonies: the Gerasene demoniac - Mark 5:18-20, the Samaritan woman - John 4:28-30, 39; Peter and John - Acts 4:18-21; Paul - Acts 9:1-22; 22:3-16; 26:9-18).
(1) What your life was like before you became a Christian.
(2) How you realized your need for Christ.
(3) How you turned to Christ.
(4) What difference Jesus has made in your life.
vi) Use questions to help bring up spiritual matters in conversation: “What do you think about spiritual things?”, “What’s the most important thing in your life?”, “Could I share the most important thing of my life?”
vii) Use the “Roman Road”. Let the person to whom you are witnessing read it for themselves if they can. Ask them to explain each verse in their own words and make sure they understand each verse before proceeding to the next one.
(1) Romans 1:18-20, 28-32 God’s identity and role
(a) Who is God?
(b) What angers God?
(2) Romans 3:23. Man’s need for salvation.
(a) What is man’s spiritual problem?
(b) Who has sinned?
(c) What is sin?
(3) Romans 6:23. The results of sin.
(a) What is the wage/penalty for sin?
(b) Who will receive this wage/penalty?
(c) What is God’s plan for man’s salvation?
(4) Romans 5:6-10. Christ died for our sins and rose again to give new life.
(a) When did God love us?
(b) How did He pay for our sin?
(c) How did he save us and give us new life?
(5) Romans 10:9-10. How can a person receive this salvation God offers?
(a) What two things must a person do to be saved?
(b) What does it mean to believe?
(c) What does it mean to call Jesus your Lord?
(6) Ask them if they would like to become a follower of Jesus. Pray with them to accept the gift of life and commit their new life to God.
(7) Rom. 10:13. Assurance of salvation.
(a) What does this verse promise?
(b) What did you just do?
(c) What did God do for you?
d) Take advantage of existing relationships such as family, friends and common interests. It is good to find someone who seems to be open to the gospel and have him gather his family and friends together before he becomes a Christian. This is usually better than winning just an individual to the Lord – and letting that person tell his family and friends. Comments:
i) Working with the whole group lessens the fear of letting those people know they have converted.
ii) In areas of persecution, new Christians will feel freer to witness to others if they were exposed to the truth in a group setting.
iii) A low-key witness in a group setting can help remove suspicion among family members, and may open up the way for all to follow the Lord.
iv) In a group setting, submit to the family authority, focusing much of your attention on and direct the conversation to that authority figure, especially when the time comes for a decision to follow the Lord.
v) Some individuals become Christians apart from their family. As part of their early steps in following the Lord, help them put their family relationships right, asking forgiveness for wrong actions or attitudes. Help them seek reconciliation with family members with whom they have strained relationships. Help them to submit to their family authorities. These actions help cement their decision and are a testimony to other family members.
e) Form those who respond positively into seeker groups to meet together to go through a Gospel. When people understand what it means to be a Christian, challenge them to follow Christ and be baptised (if they are not already baptised). Baptism shortly after conversion cements decisions, preserves zeal and communicates to new believers full responsibility and participation in the church from the very beginning. Put these new Christians into a new group to do Bible studies. They are the nucleus of a new house fellowship.
f) Encourage those who have just come to faith. As a person says ‘Amen’ in a prayer of faith and commitment, rejoice together in this life changing event – and begin spiritual nurture right away. Your purpose is to set the course for his service of Christ. Give a little information and ask for obedience to God. A new believer is a babe in Christ, born again, indwelt and led by the Holy Spirit, a child of God. He does not have all the answers, but he can obey what he knows, and what he knows is that he has become a child of God – an eternity changing event. He should share that.
i) Immediately start new Christians with No 1) above “Personal Discipleship: Loving God and living in holiness and humility” and work your way through this booklet with them. You could give them a copy of the booklet. Most important is helping them in their Bible reading as outlined in that section.
ii) For some useful studies for new Christians, see Appendix 2 - Discipleship Studies.
g) Baptise those who have not yet been baptised. (Mark 16:16), laying hands on new Christians and praying that the Holy Spirit will fill them (Acts 8:17).
h) If you are not sure where people are spiritually, it is a good idea to go through a Gospel or other course with them before they start participating in the main meetings of the group. This way you can assess where they are spiritually and help them advance in the knowledge of Christ and commitment to Him. This is a “holding” period. If you think that they would disrupt the group for whatever reason, you might decide not to incorporate them. This is easier than trying to extricate someone from the group once they have joined.
i) Incorporate new people into the street fellowship or, better still, begin another street fellowship with them. It is often better start new groups whenever you have new converts rather than incorporating new converts into existing groups, because smaller and newer churches grow faster than bigger and older churches. (There are exceptions when a group is very new or very small, but as a general rule, take every opportunity to begin new fellowships.)
Help new Christians to immediately pursue the conversion of friends and family members. You can also send some of the members of one group (including whoever led the new people to the Lord) to join the new convert or converts to form a new church. Seek to start as many new groups as possible. The more groups there are, the greater the possibility of contacting new people, and the faster they can grow. Each person can actively maintain only a limited number of significant relationships. Christians tend to saturate their relationships with other believers. This is a greater problem in large and older churches. In the New Testament, even in places which had many believers, they did not primarily meet as a large group, but daily house to house.
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