Effective Gospel Conversations
Pocket Full of Quarters Journey 2015
Effective Gospel Conversations
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
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? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:14-15
Do you have Gospel Conversations? Do you have enough Gospel Conversations? Do you have effective Gospel Conversations? If the answer is no to any of those questions, maybe you need some equipping.
"I could never do that, a class member said. "I'm too scared."
"My job is to equip you to have Gospel Conversations," I said gently. "I can promise that if you rely on prayer, the Holy Spirit, and scriptures, you will lead people to Jesus but I can't make your fear go away. Fear is from the enemy. They only thing to do with anything sent by the enemy is to rebuke it. Only you can do that." I later received an excited message that she'd finally had her first Gospel conversation. Think about the spiritual victory in that!
"I've been trying to lead people to Jesus all my life but it hasn't worked. Now I realize I've been doing it wrong. I've been giving bad news instead of good news," another class member said. Gospel means good news. Can you imagine how much more enjoyable her Gospel Conversations are going to be?
I used to think my job was to give the Gospel - to evangelize. After all, I had the gift of evangelism. Then I looked up what the Bible said about the call of the evangelist and realized just how daunting this gifting and call really was. While it is true that evangelism is sharing the Gospel, the call of the evangelist is to equip the saints - the body of Christ - for the service of giving the Gospel. My call from God is to help those not necessarily gifted as evangelists to experience the joy of fulfilling the Great Commission and being a part of helping others call on Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Discovering my real call explained so much about my personal longings and behavior throughout my life. For example, it upset me when churches let people leave without telling them how to meet Jesus. The thought of the pre-saved wandering into church seeking something they couldn't define and leaving without knowing what they were seeking or how to find it sent me into weeping rants that my church family soon tired of. When a church suggested putting into our annual plan a goal for each member share the Gospel at least once per year, I literally threw a fit in that business meeting. My speech about making that goal daily, weekly, or even monthly didn't win me any church popularity contests. When the head deacon explained that most members never shared the Gospel even once in 12 months, I was aghast. The only impact that particular rant had was that they deleted all goals about sharing the Gospel. Epic fail on my part. Having a call from God without knowing what the Bible actually said about that call caused me to be the proverbial bull in the evangelism china shop and certainly meant I never equipped anyone.
Something eased in my spirit with this new knowledge. My frustration changed to compassion as I understood the sheer audacity of judging others for not sharing the Gospel when the only reason I was sharing the Gospel was because of a spiritual gifting I'd received. I was supposed to be making it easier for others to share the Gospel, not heaping evangelism guilt on their head. Now, my heart hurts for what Christians are missing when they are not part of leading people to Jesus.
There are many roles in leading someone to Christ, thus many types of "equipping." For example, my equipping the saints may be supplying bedding to sleep on floors and arranging transportation and other financial and administrative needs for a group of gifted evangelists. Some make the supplies we use to give the Gospel and equipping those saints may mean purchasing the materials or supplying models to copy. The Bible says some are called to send people out - to make going a possibility through their contributions. That means that as uncomfortable as it makes me, "equipping" those saints involves encouraging them and giving them a way to do that. Some saints are called to use their gift of hospitality to house those sent out, which means they need to be asked. Classes with practice sessions afterwards equip saints to give the Gospel and lead people to Jesus. Some are called to pray and equipping them involves letting them know what to pray about. Properly equipping people takes an understanding of the roles it takes to lead people to Jesus, the role spiritual gifts play in those roles, and what equipping is needed to play those roles.
Much of the 2015 journey has been about equipping the Saints - Christians - to participate in Gospel Conversations. Take Jose for example. We were pumping gas next to each other when he complimented me on the sign on my camper. I first confirmed that he was a Christian and then told him a little about what we did. I encouraged him to share his faith.
"Wow," he said. "I've never heard of Christians doing this sort of thing. I wouldn't know what to do."
"Hold on," I said stepping back in my camper. I grabbed what I call the evangelism cheat sheet and walked him through an evangelism process. He gave me his contact information and was excited about having Gospel Conversations and joining us for events. I've lost count of the number of times I've had those kinds of conversations.
As I've traveled across America this year, I've given many Gospel Conversation Workshops. Afterward, I take the groups out to practice. I end by encouraging class members to text me when they led people to Jesus. Imagine our shared joy as these texts have come in. One excited person texted that she had led 14 to Jesus in a weekend. Can you imagine what that has done for her spiritual life?
Are you happy with how well you are fulfilling the Great Commission? Allow me to ask you some questions and offer some suggestions that may better equip you:
1. Do you care people's salvation? When you pass people, do you wonder if they know Jesus? Do you support the work of evangelism? If the honest answer is that you need to care more, don't beat yourself up. We've all been there. Go to your prayer room and pray more. Pull out your Bible and read more. Work on loving God more with your entire heart, soul, mind, and strength and I promise, your love for your neighbors will overflow and you will care deeply.
2. Does having Gospel Conversations scare you? No worries - you are in good company. Fear is the easiest to overcome because at its roots is a lie straight from the enemy. He wants you to believe you can't do this. Don't argue with your fear or justify it. Simply rebuke the nasty lie.
3. Do you know how to have effective Gospel Conversations? If not, attend one of our Gospel Conversation Workshops. Watch our Gospel Conversation Moments on Youtube. Ask us for a free evangelism kit. Call or Skype me. We will help.
4. Do you wonder if having Gospel Conversations really makes a difference? Read your Bible and believe what you read. The harvest is ripe. Look around and see how many people are being led to Jesus through Gospel Conversations. Become a part of that joyous process.
Having Gospel Conversations will accelerate your spiritual growth in a way that nothing else will. They will change the culture of your church in a way that nothing else can. Statistics say that seeing parents have Gospel Conversations is the best way to ensure that future generations stay in church. I don't won't you to miss the joy of seeing Jesus enter a life. If you're not having Gospel Conversations, let us equip you.
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