This second of the four fields is all about communicating the gospel in a way that is culturally relevant and will result in many coming to faith. In this series of lessons on sowing you will learn many strategies for sharing the Gospel. This lesson is an overview.
There are many strategies for bringing the gospel to the world around us. Some work really well while some don’t. Once again, Jesus was our model so we look to him for guidance. Each time you share the Gospel, a testimony of salvation, answered prayer, a word of knowledge, pray for a person, show unconditional love etc, we call that a gospel seed. The idea is to increase dramatically the number of seeds being sown.
More sowing, more harvest.
Do you know how to share the Gospel message? Jesus knew so he is our ultimate guide in how to do it. In these lessons we will learn many Biblical methods of sharing the Gospel in ways sensitive to South Asian culture. Paul’s summary of the Gospel message is found below.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
A basic gospel message will articulate the following:
- God made everything perfect and had a perfect relationship with Adam and Eve.
- But we all now separated from God because Adam and Eve rebelled against God.
- This rebellion, called sin, is destroying us and we see it all around us.
- Nothing we can do can fix it: religion, lifestyle, relationships. Nothing works.
- But Christ freely paid the price for our separation from God.
- We can reconnect with God only by accepting Christ’s free gift.
- Because he loves us he leaves it up to us to accept or reject this free gift.
- Reconnection with God will last forever, no strings, and it’s awesome!
This is what we proclaim, in as many different ways as a diamond has facets!
2. WHO IS BEST TO SHARE THE GOSPEL?
Compare Billy Graham’s life with the woman at the well:
|Billy Graham||Woman at the well|
|Male, westerner, educated, talented, used preaching model, expensive mass evangelism, formalised presentation, an army of helpers, many converts fell away||Female, outcast, rejected by her own people, wrong religion and ethnic group, no education, lots of enthusiasm, simple and personal, message of transformation, immediate, knew lots of people|
3. TOOLS FOR SOWING SEED
Jesus is our example. Read up on his methods and ask for wisdom to reproduce them. Nothing beats his methods. But before beginning the task of sowing Gospel seeds here are some training ideas that will help you to maximise your results:
Here are a few random ideas:
- Learn to hear and understand the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Follow them!
- Pray for the lost, for you family, for your contacts, anybody God puts on your heart.
- Pray for divine opportunities to share. The Holy Spirit always answers these prayers!
- Expect something to happen every day. If your antenna is up, you will be more effective.
- Stop thinking about yourself all the time.
- Try to see lostness in the eyes of everyone you meet.
- Face your fears. Even Paul had to do this (1 Corinthians 2:2-3).
- Know that the Holy Spirit is already touching the lives of many you will share with.
- Any believer can and should be sharing the Gospel.
- Gospel seed: Anything that lifts up Jesus as Christ.
- Don’t profile or judge people, you never know who will be the most effective.
- Evangelism immediately after salvation is powerful.
- Don’t look to western models of evangelism. Look to Jesus and New Testament methods.
- Keep it very simple. That way it is reproducible in a new believer.
- Always be culturally relevant.
Some Biblical instructions on Gospel sowing:
Prayer for workers!!!!! (Luke 10:1-2)
Look for a person of peace (Luke 10:5). This is super-important
Love one another (John 13:35)
Share your testimony (Acts 1:8)
Pray for miracles and healings (Luke 9:2)
Obey the leading of the Holy Spirit (John 5:19)
Some practical ideas for sowing that have worked for others:
1.Offer to pray for people needs. This is one of the best ideas of all.
2. Start a discovery Bible study with inquisitive non-believers. This is also very effective, but more on this later.
3.Talk about the joy of your changed life: before, salvation, then changed life. Make sure you only take 2-3 minutes maximum with strangers. Then ask if they would like to know more.
4. Prayer for your Oikos!!!!!
5.Invite people in for meals.
6. Become a friend. “Can I help?”
7. Feed people, go for coffee.
8.Meet people’s needs.
9. Use the internet in areas where evangelism is very dangerous.
10. Become a family to those without family.
11. Do life with people, offer to up-skill them for free.
12. Use the three circles evangelism tool. More on that later.
13. Meet community and village needs. The Bhojpuri Movement in India uses this method to great effect.
14. Avoid methods that cost money or use technology.
15. Many salvations and new simple churches follow from a miracle or healing. In India it is as high as 70%. So pray for healings as much as possible.
16. Share stories of answered prayer.
17. Use the CAMEL method with people who only accept the authority of the Qur’an. There is a whole lesson coming up on this technique.
Lift up Jesus, Don’t pull down other religions
Never attack or criticise other religious beliefs or practices either. Proclaiming the greatness, goodness and love of Jesus Christ, and the blessings to be had in life with him, is all that is needed. Allow people to make their own comparisons and come to their own conclusions as the Holy Spirit guides.
1. Usually one in twenty people with whom you share will want to know more about Jesus
2. You will get better with experience.
3. For every 20 trained in these seed sowing methods some 12-15 will do nothing, 3-5 become active, and 1-2 will become superstars.
4. If you are successful and someone gives their life to Jesus, get them sowing Gospel seeds as soon as possible.
5. Almost everyone will say yes to an offer to pray for their needs and this can lead to a great discussion
1.Count how many times you have sown a Gospel seed in the last week. What about in the last month?
2. Set a target for the number of Gospel seeds you will sow this week. Start low and work up with more confidence.
3. Choose five methods listed above and experiment with them.
4. Step out of the boat like Peter did. Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel (Luke 9:26)