Good News

 

Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Rocklyn Clarke

Contents


Good News Pages


Purpose

Please make sure you have used this Good News material to personally win someone to Christ before you use it to train others!


This Good News curriculum is designed to help you and the members of your life group develop your ability to win people to Christ. Some of you will have arrived on this page during your pursuit of our discipleship curriculum (e.g. Matthew 10 & Matthew 28). Remember that you can only disciple someone who has already made a commitment to following Jesus. In order to have someone to disciple, you or someone else must first win them to Christ.

  Evangelism > Conversion > Discipleship
  leading to Jesus   committing to Jesus   training to be like Jesus

 

You can pursue this material in a variety of ways:

  • Use it directly to train a disciple.
  • Use it to train your entire life group in evangelism. Talk to your life group leaders to plan this.
  • Participate in one of our Good News classes that we will offer from time to time.

Follow this link for information about these key aspects of our discipleship training:


Introduction – Good News

You, Good News, God’s Kingdom, and Disciples (Under Construction)

Lesson 1: Your Experience

Before we explore our approach to sharing the Good News, it’s important to take some time to review your personal experience with:

  1. receiving the Good News personally
  2. sharing the Good News with others

The following scriptures reflect a perspective on the personal role we play in winning others to Christ. We are part of the process of saving others:

Checkout the following:

    • ?

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • ?

Additional resources to check out:

    • ?

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • ?

Habits

    • ?

Lesson 2: Good News: What is it and why is it good?

You can find a great definition of the Good News in the following passage:

 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” – Mark 1:14-15 (NIV)

Notice the “sandwich” arrangement:

  1. Mark tells us in verse 14 that Jesus proclaimed the good news of God.
  2. Next, in verse 15, he quotes Jesus stating that “the Kingdom of God has come near“.
  3. Finally, he completes the quote of Jesus concluding his statement with the call to: “Repent and believe the good news!

Step 1 explains the good news by pointing forward to step 2. Step 3 points backwards to step 2, summarizing it as the good news. Thus, we understand that the good news can be defined as the message: “The Kingdom of God has come near”. We’ll have more to say about this later but, for now, you should understand this basic definition of the good news.

In the New Testament, the good news (i.e. the Gospel), at its simplest, is: “The Kingdom of God is at hand (i.e. within your grasp)”. The Good News of the Kingdom of God is such a huge concept, that it requires multiple perspectives to do it justice:

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • Before you read this definition, did you have a different understanding of what the “good news” meant? Discuss.
    • In what ways have you understood the gospel as “good advice” up until now? In what ways have you understood the gospel as “good news”?
    • How would understanding the gospel as “good news” affect the way you present it?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Watch the videos listed under “Checkout the following”.
    • Discuss the meaning of the “good news” with your life group members.

Habits

    • Plan your schedule so that you can work through this material at a regular pace.
    • Keep praying for new believers in your prayer partnership and in your life group.

Lesson 3: Evangelism vs. Discipleship

Evangelism and discipleship are related, but distinct.

Evangelism
Evangelism is the process through which we proclaim the good news of God’s Kingdom and people respond to the message by acknowledging Jesus as King and following him. The process of discipleship doesn’t begin until the process of evangelism is complete. In other words, you can only disciple someone who has been evangelized and made a commitment to follow Jesus.

Discipleship
Discipleship is the process of bringing a follower of Jesus to spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity is the process of reproducing in others the life of Christ that has been fully formed in you.

Trying to disciple someone who has not been evangelized doesn’t work!

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • What comes to mind when you hear the word “discipleship”? How does it compare to your reaction to the word “evangelism”?
    • Did anyone disciple or try to disciple you? Was that experience positive or negative?
    • What experiences have you had in the past discipling people? Were they positive or negative?

Additional resources to check out:

    • Life Church Discipleship Resources – YouTube
      • Paula Gooder – Session 1 – A biblical view of discipleship – YouTube (01:18:36)
      • Paula Gooder – All sessions, day two (01:15:35)

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Share your discipleship experiences with the members of your life group.

Habits

    • Keep praying regularly for the non-Christians you know. Ask God to show you those on whom you should focus.

What does it mean to share it?

Lesson 4: Why Share Good News?

The New Testament Book of Matthew concludes with the following words of Jesus:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  – Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

Jesus clearly expects his followers to make disciples of people from all over the world. Our word discipleship is simply a label for the process by which we do this.

The New Testament Book of Mark concludes with these words of Jesus:

  Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.  – Mark 16:14-20

The Greek word translated “good news” in this passage is the word from which we get our English word “evangelize”. Jesus clearly expects his followers to preach the good news, or evangelize everywhere.

We can’t fully understand discipleship without understanding evangelism. On this page we will explore what evangelism is and how we approach it at Life Church.

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “good news”, the word “outreach”, the word “evangelism”?
    • What experiences have you had in the past telling people about Jesus? Were they positive or negative?

Additional resources to check out:

    • Life Church Outreach Resources – YouTube
      • The Five Elements of Effective Evangelism – Becky Pippert
      • Evangelism as Incarnational Reality – Becky Pippert

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Share your experiences of telling people about Jesus with the members of your life group.

Habits

    • Start praying regularly for the non-Christians you know.

Lesson 5: Traditional Approaches:

If you’ve grown up in church or had any significant exposure to evangelical Christianity, you my be accustomed to hearing the gospel expressed in one of the following ways:

  • Believe in Jesus so that you will go to heaven when you die.
  • Believe in Jesus and he will straighten out your broken life.
  • Romans Road Map
    1. All Have Sinned – Romans 3:23
    2. The Wages of Sin – Romans 6:23
    3. God’s Free Gift – Romans 5:8
    4. Confess Jesus Is Lord – Romans 10:9-10
  • ABC
    • Admit you are a sinner. – Romans 3:23
    • Believe that Jesus died for your sins, rose from the dead, and that you trust in him alone for your salvation. – Acts 16:31
    • Confess your sins. – 1 John 1:9
  • Four Spiritual Laws
    1. God loves you and created you to know Him personally.
    2. Man is sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love.
    3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him alone we can know God personally and experience God’s love.
    4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally and experience His love.

Interestingly, although each of these captures a portion of the gospel message, none of them captures its full scope! These are not the approaches that we use at Life Church.

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • Discuss any experience you may have had with any of the above approaches to evangelism.

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Talk to at least 3 other Christians you know and ask them how they began following Jesus.
    • Talk with other members of your life group about the non-Christians you know that you think God may be directing you to focus on.

Habits

    • If you haven’t done so already, establish a prayer partnership with someone from your life group. Pray for the non-Christians that God is directing you to focus on.

Lesson 6: Proclaiming Good News!

As we said above, the word evangelize comes from the transliteration of a greek word used in the New Testament which means good news. The phrase “good news” was in common use in the New Testament era in two cultures:

Good News in Roman Culture

In 1st century Roman culture, the term good news was used to describe a new ruler (e.g. Augustus Caesar) coming to the throne, or even having a birthday.

Good News in Jewish Culture

In 1st century Jewish culture the term good news was used against the backdrop of God’s promise to reclaim our broken world by redeeming Israel from the sins which kept them from fulfilling their purpose and reigning over them as their King. This is the good news of God’s Kingdom that John the Baptist initially announced and that Jesus embodied. – Matthew 3:1-3; Matthew 4: 17; Mark 1:14-15

The Gospel is good news, NOT good advice!

In the New Testament, the good news (i.e. the Gospel), at its simplest, is: “The Kingdom of God is at hand (i.e. within your grasp)”. The Good News of the Kingdom of God is such a huge concept, that it requires multiple perspectives to do it justice:

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • In what ways have you understood the gospel as “good advice” up until now? In what ways have you understood the gospel as “good news”?
    • How would understanding the gospel as “good news” affect the way you present it?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Watch the videos listed under “Checkout the following”.
    • Discuss the meaning of the “good news” with your life group.

Habits

    • Keep praying for new believers in your prayer partnership and in your life group.

By now you should understand that following Jesus is closely related to cooperating with and pursuing God’s agenda.

How did they do it?

The Gospel Audience

In our day, the Gospel is often proclaimed in church settings:

Lesson 7: A Traditional Church Audience

If you come from a traditional church background, you are probably inclined to hear the biblical language proclaiming the good news from the following perspective:

  • Our mission, or goal is to go to heaven when we die.
  • Our sins are a barrier that will keep use from achieving this goal.
  • Forgiveness of sins allows us to go to heaven.

This perspective, while common in the American church world, is not the perspective of the early audiences who first heard the gospel proclaimed.

In the Book of Acts we see the gospel (i.e. the good news) proclaimed to two distinct audiences: Jews and Gentiles (i.e. Non-Jews). Here are two archetypal examples:

  1. Jews – Acts 2:14-47
  2. Gentiles – Acts 17:16-34

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • How was the gospel explained to you before you began following Jesus? Was it focused on going to heaven?
    • Can you find anywhere in the Bible where people are told to believe in Jesus so that they can go to heaven?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Talk this over with your life group members.

Habits

    • Practice sharing the good news without talking about going to heaven. Make use of the resources we’ve provided above.

Lesson 8: The Early Jewish Audience

The early Jewish audiences who first heard the gospel proclaimed had the following perspective:

  • The Jews understood themselves as God’s chosen people – chosen to be channels of God’s blessing to the rest of the world. They were heirs of God’s promise to Abraham:”all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” – Genesis 12:3b
  • As heirs of God’s promise to Abraham, the Jews were called to be part of God’s plan to “undo” the sin of Adam and Eve and reclaim our broken world. Adam and Eve’s sin resulted in their being expelled from Eden. Sadly, despite their covenant relationship with God, rescue from Egypt, and conquest of Canaan, Israel persistently disobeyed God and were themselves expelled to Babylon. Although God graciously allowed the Jews to return to the promised land during the reign of Cyrus, King of Persia, they were not restored to national sovereignty. Although their technical exile was over, they were still figuratively in exile.
  • For the Jews of Jesus’ day, the exile was the result of their sins as a people. They longed for the full restoration of sovereignty by which God would reign over them through their Messiah / Christ (i.e. the Anointed One) or King. This longing is addressed by John the Baptist’s announcement that “The Kingdom of God” is at hand – an announcement subsequently taken up by Jesus.
  • The Jews of Jesus’ day assumed that the Kingdom of God would be accompanied by a return to national sovereignty. We can see this expectation expressed in the following verses:
  • The Jews understood that their exile and sidelining from their calling to be a blessing to the world had been caused by their sins. Thus, forgiveness of sins is the requirement for a return to sovereignty and national calling. They weren’t sitting around longing to be able to go to heaven. They were longing for sovereignty, freedom from Rome, and a return to God’s purpose for their lives. The promise of forgiveness of sins through Jesus was therefore a promise of restoration to national purpose.

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • The Jews of Jesus’ day were longing for God to establish his reign over their people and over the world. What longings are you aware of on the part of people groups today?
    • Consider the following movements: “Black Lives Matter”, reparations, abolition. What longings do they express?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Discuss with your other life group members the various cultural longings that you have experienced and how they might compare to the 1st century Jewish longing for God’s Kingdom.

Habits

    • Practice identifying the cultural longings that people in your sphere of influence experience.

Lesson 9: The Early Gentile Audience

The early gentles who first heard the gospel proclaimed heard it from this perspective:

  • There are many gods and goddesses that exist in a hierarchy. They often display petty human emotions. Humans exist to provide the gods with sacrificial food and other services. The gods need to be appeased if you hope to have a relatively trouble-free life.
  • People don’t rise from the dead.
  • Some philosophers taught that every human being has an immaterial soul that escapes the body after death and goes to a place free from matter which was viewed more or less as evil.

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • How do the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology compare to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
    • How did Paul distinguish the God’s that the Greeks believed in from the God of Israel in his speech at the Areopagus?
    • How do you present the good news to people who have no biblical or church background?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Talk to your life group about sharing the good news with people who have no biblical or church background.

Habits

    • Look for opportunities to find out what unchurched people think about God, church, and spirituality.

How the Early Church Evangelized – A Detailed Look

Lesson 10: Acts: Gospel Encounters

It’s important to take a look at how the early church evangelized. Towards that end, we will go through the Book of Acts episode by episode to examine each occasion during which the gospel was presented.

Preparation:

Gospel Encounters:

Now let’s work our way through the various gospel encounters in the Book of Acts:

Good News: Evangelism In Acts

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • As you read through each gospel encounter in Acts, consider which stories from Jesus’ life are reflected in that encounter. What stories from Jesus’ life are reflected in your own day to day encounters?

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Take some time to read through the Book of Acts and note our analysis of each Gospel encounter.
    • Summarize in your own words the way the gospel was presented to Jews.
    • Summarize in your own words the way the gospel was presented to non-Jews.

Habits

    • Develop a plan for regularly reading through the Gospels on an ongoing basis.

How do we do it?

The Basics: Our Message and Approach

Lesson 11: Our Message

Now that we understand the key components of the message that the apostles preached, how do we adapt them to form the message that we will proclaim today? Keep in mind these basic elements of the way the gospel was presented:

Evangelizing Jews

  • Key audience:
    • 1st century Jews
    • Modern people who are familiar with the Bible.
  • Key truths presented:
    • Jesus’ Life
      • In Jesus, the God of Israel has become the perfect faithful Israelite who fulfills God’s covenant promises.
      • God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.
      • Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil.
      • God was with Jesus.
    • Jesus’ Death
      • The Jews disowned Jesus and handed him over to the Romans who crucified him.
      • Jesus’ death was part of God’s plan to redeem Israel and rescue humanity.
    • Jesus’ Resurrection
      • God raised him from the dead as Prince and Savior to bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.
      • His resurrection confirms Jesus’ status as Lord and Christ. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the Son of God.
      • God has appointed Jesus as judge of the living and the dead. Jesus is Lord of all.
      • After his resurrection Jesus was seen by chosen witnesses (including the Apostles).
    • Jesus’ Reign
      • Repentance and baptism in Jesus’ name is the proper response to Jesus. Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. For Israel, forgiveness of sins means Israel is out of the “penalty box” and “back in the game”. This will ultimately be understood to include all those gentile (non-Jewish) followers of Jesus who, by faith in Christ, are grafted into Israel.
      • God continues to act today by performing miracles and healings in Jesus’ name.
      • Jesus is the only name by which people can be saved.Apostles are called to teach people “all the words of this life”.

Evangelizing Gentiles (non-Jews)

  • Key audience:
    • 1st century Gentiles
    • Modern people who are not familiar with the Bible.
  • Key truths presented:
    • God
      • God commands everyone to repent of their idolatry.
      • Key truths presented: John’s baptism pointed the way to Jesus.
      • God has appointed a man through whom he will judge the world with justice.
      •  
    • Jesus’ Life
      • In Jesus, the God of Israel has become the perfect faithful Israelite who fulfills God’s covenant promises.
      • God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.
      • Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil.
      • God was with Jesus.
    • Jesus’ Death
      • The Jews disowned Jesus and handed him over to the Romans who crucified him.
      • Jesus’ death was part of God’s plan to redeem Israel and rescue humanity.
      •  
    • Jesus’ Resurrection
      • Jesus is Lord of all.
      • The Jews crucified him but God raised him from the dead.
      • He was seen by chosen witnesses (including Peter).
      • Jesus’ resurrection confirms that God has appointed Jesus as judge of the living and the dead.
      •  
    • Jesus’ Reign
      • All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
      • Faith in Jesus results in forgiveness of sins and membership among Christ’s people.
      • Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved – you and your household.
      • Apostles testify to their personal encounter with the resurrected Jesus.
      • Scattering Jews proclaim good news about the Lord Jesus.

Your evangelistic encounter with a person may happen over an extended period of time or all at once. Whichever way it takes place you should be prepared to share the good news of God’s Kingdom in Jesus with confidence. Unless the Holy Spirit directs you otherwise you should expect to include the following elements in what you share – whether that takes place over time or in a single conversation:

  • God’s desire to reclaim humanity and our broken world.
  • Jesus’ life.
  • Jesus’ death.
  • Jesus’ resurrection.
  • Jesus’ current reign and future return.

Of course you can do this in more than one way:

  1. You can memorize these exact words and share a canned and wooden presentation.
  2. You can meditate on these points and the associated scriptures and reflect on how they relate to your own life so that they become a part of you.
  3. Better still, you can do this with one or more partners from the congregation.

Decisions, decisions! The choice is yours!

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • What is the gospel or good news?
    • How did you learn about Jesus and come to a decision to follow him?
    • Are you comfortable or uncomfortable with the way that the gospel was shared with you?
    • How comfortable would you be using the same approach?
    • How do you feel about sharing the gospel with others?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Practice sharing the elements of the Good News with your life group members.

Habits

    • Pray with your prayer partner for the unchurched people you know. Ask God to give you opportunities to develop relationships with more unchurched people.

Lesson 12: Our Approach: Relational Evangelism (5 Thresholds)

We train the members of our congregation to do relational evangelism.

Five Thresholds

This approach is based on the research that done by Doug Schaupp and Don Everts in the 1990s while doing college campus ministry as staff members with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). Together, they wrote the book “I Once Was Lost” (available from the Life Church Discipleship Resources Amazon.com List). You can find an overview of InterVarsity evangelism resources here:

InterVarsity: Home Page | Evangelism

The Five Thresholds approach is based on the observation that postmodern students tended to pass through 5 stages in their ongoing relationships with campus ministry staff workers. This pattern is not limited to students – we can make use of it as we pursue evangelism whether on or off campus.

This method works because it reflects they way actual relationships between Christians and non-Christians progress over the course of 2 – 3 years of ministry. This isn’t the only reason for the method’s power however. It also works because it helps believers to do the following:

  • Understand how unbelievers progress towards following Jesus.
  • Understand how to start paying attention to the unbelievers in your sphere of influence. Understand what aspects of their behavior to focus on.

Understanding that people pass through a common set of thresholds on the journey to salvation does not mean taking a “cookie cutter” approach to evangelism. On the contrary, this approach forces us to pay careful attention to the people in our sphere of influence so that we can prayerfully discern what’s going on in their lives and where they are at on their journey to Christ.

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • Who are the unchurched people in your life who trust you? Discuss them with your life group.
    • Are there any unchurched people in your life who are curious? Discuss.

Additional resources to check out:

Habits

    • Pray with your prayer partner for the unchurched people you know. Ask God to give you opportunities to develop relationships with more unchurched people.

Your Testimony

Lesson 13: How To Develop Your Testimony

Now that you’ve seen our approach to evangelism, it’s important to master one of the key ways that you can contribute – your testimony. Your testimony is the story of how your life with Jesus got started.

Now read through our Testimonies Page to learn how to develop your own testimony.

Good News: Testimonies

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • What was your life like before you started following Jesus?
    • How did you realize that you needed to follow Jesus?
    • How did you actually begin following Jesus? Did it happen at a specific time or place, or gradually over time?
    • What is your life like now as a follower of Jesus?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Practice sharing your testimony with your life group members. Try to get to the place where you can share it in less than 2 minutes.

Habits

    • Pray for God to deepen your relationship with the unchurched people you know. Ask God to move them further through the five thresholds.

Lesson 14: How To Use Your Testimony

There are three basic situations in which you will share your testimony:

  • When someone asks you how you became a Christian. This might be someone at threshold 1 – 4.
  • When you encounter a “man or woman of peace” (Luke 10:1-7) – someone who is seeking God’s peace. This is most likely someone at threshold 4 – Seeking.
  • When the Holy Spirit prompts you to share with someone.

Checkout the following:

    • John 4:1-42 – Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
      • Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,  “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”  They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
        John 4:28-30 (NIV)

      • Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”  So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.  And because of his words many more became believers. 

        They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
        John 4:39-42 (NIV)

    • John 11:1 – 12:11 – Jesus raises Lazarus From the Dead
      • Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.  So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well,  for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.
        John 12:9-11 (NIV)

    • Acts 11:19-30 – The Church in Antioch
      • Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews.  Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.  The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
        Acts 11:19-21 (NIV)

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • Think about the non-Christians you know. Which ones have asked you how you became a Christian? What did you tell them? How did it compare with the testimony you’ve just written up?
    • Describe an occasion when you met a “man or woman of peace”.

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Share with your life group members the various opportunities you face for sharing your testimonies. Plan a new opportunity in which you might, once again, share your testimony.

Habits

    • Memorize your testimony and practice until you can share it in less than 2 minutes.

Building Relationships – Under Construction

Lesson 15: Basic Preparation

In order to systematically win people into the Kingdom it helps to have some basic things in place in your life. Here is a list:

Personal Preparation

    • Prayer – An active prayer life that includes listening to God, praying for yourself, and praying for others.
    • Bible – Regularly reading the Bible on your own and in community. It is important to regularly and systematically reflect on the life of Jesus as presented in the Gospels and on the Sermon on the Mount as a description of what Kingdom life looks like.
    • Your personal testimony – This is covered earlier in this unit.
    • Understanding of the five thresholds.

Connection to the Church

    • A Kingdom Partner – Someone to pray with regularly – ideally from our Kingdom Family.
    • A Kingdom Family – A small group that is safe, healthy, and effective for the Kingdom. It should be part of your Kingdom Congregation.
    • A Kingdom Congregation – A congregation that is safe, healthy, and effective for the Kingdom.

Roles Within the Church

    • Someone in your Kingdom Family who is committed to hosting social events. It need not be you.
    • Someone in your Kingdom Family who is committed to inviting and welcoming new people.
    • Someone in your Kingdom Family who is committed to welcoming and getting to know new people.

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • How is your prayer life?
    • How is your Bible reading going?
    • Who is your Kingdom Partner.
    • Who is your Kingdom Family?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Share your testimony with someone in your Kingdom Family.

Habits

    • Pray weekly with your prayer partner.
    • Meet faithfully with your life group.
    • Meet faithfully with your congregation.

Lesson 16: Joining Networks

This is an approach that should become part of a lifestyle for many of us. Do the following:

  • Identify networks that meet the following criteria:
    • They are involved in or are pursuing a significant area of interest shared by you and your Kingdom Partner.
    • They include a significant number of unchurched people.
    • They provide you with the opportunity to meet at least monthly and preferably weekly.
  • Pray for the organization, group or activity that represents the network.
    • Pray for God to open the right doors and allow you to have the right conversations.
    • Pray for wisdom in engaging the network.
    • Pray that God will use you and your partner to win people to the Kingdom.
  • Join the network together with your partner.
  • Develop relationships and stay mindful of the Five Threshold approach to relational evangelism that we discussed above.
  • As your relationships develop, invite people to social events sponsored by your Kingdom Family.
  • As the Holy Spirit directs you, share the gospel and welcome into the Kingdom those who respond.
  • Disciple new believers.

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • What organizations or activities interest you outside of church?
    • What activities are available to you through which you would be able to develop relationships with unchurched people?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Pick a local organization or group to visit together with your Kingdom Partner.

Habits

    • Pray regularly for the unchurched people in your networks.

Lesson 17: Games & Puzzles Party – Under Construction

Hosting a Games & Puzzles Party can be a great way for unchurched people to develop relationships with followers of Jesus in an informal setting where they are not being preached to. Remember that for people in the first three of the Five Thresholds, church services are not the most fruitful way to move them towards salvation.

The ingredients for a Games & Puzzles Party are pretty simple:

  • A date and time (not necessarily a “night”) that works for getting a good mix of people.
  • Safe space and a safe atmosphere.
  • A person or people who can effectively invite unchurched people.
  • Followers of Jesus who commit to attending and developing relationships.

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • Do an inventory. Does your group have the necessary committed people to hold a Games & Puzzles Party?
    • Does your group want to hold a Games & Puzzles Party?
    • Whom will you invite?
    • How did your last Games & Puzzles Party or other outreach activity go?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Work with your group to set up a sustainable schedule for outreach events.

Lesson 18: Change The World Meeting

Do you want to change the world or hear from people who do? A Change the World Meeting is a safe environment where you can share your hopes, dreams, and current projects with others. We provide a chance to hear different perspectives on what needs to change and how to go about it.

What aspects of your neighborhood, your city, your state, your country, or the world are you passionate about changing? Consider the following potential areas of interest:

  • Education
  • Crime / Criminal Justice
  • Healthcare
  • Poverty

Hosting a Change The World Meeting can be a great way for unchurched people to develop relationships with followers of Jesus in an informal setting where they are not being preached to. Remember that for people in the first three of the Five Thresholds, church services are not the most fruitful way to move them towards salvation.

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • Do an inventory. Does your group have the necessary committed people to hold a Change The World Meeting?
    • Does your group want to hold a Change The World Meeting?
    • Whom will you invite?
    • How did your last Change The World Meeting or other outreach activity go?

Additional resources to check out:

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • Work with your group to set up a sustainable schedule for outreach events.

Evangelistic Conversations – Under Construction

Lesson 19: Alpha

Alpha helps churches, ministries, and individuals create a space for honest and open conversations about life’s biggest questions. Everyone is welcome and no questions are off limits. 

At Life Church we plan to explore how best to use Alpha to achieve some of our evangelizing goals. Pray for us and stay tuned . . .

Checkout the following:

Lesson 20: Got Questions? – Under Construction

Got Questions is a limited-duration class that we plan to offer for people who have basic questions about Jesus, the Church, and Christianity. It is still under development. It will be patterned after Alpha, but will also draw on the “Why I Don’t Go” work done by the Jude3 Project. Stay tuned . . .

Checkout the following:

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • Think about the unchurched people you know. What questions do they have about Jesus, the Church, and Christianity?

Habits

    • Keep track of the questions that people ask you about your life in Christ.

Now check out our Got Questions Page:

Good News: Got Questions?

What’s Next?

Lesson 21: Following Up (Under Construction)

When we engage in evangelistic events, we need to take time to assess them and to be intentionally about following up with the people who attended. In this lesson we will learn ways of doing that.

Checkout the following:

    • ?

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • ?

Additional resources to check out:

    • ?

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • ?

Habits

    • ?

Lesson 22: Leading Someone To Christ (Under Construction)

Eventually, as a result of our evangelistic activity, people will come to the point where they are ready to begin following Jesus. How do we guide them into this new relationship? That’s what we’ll learn in this next lesson!

Checkout the following:

    • ?

Topics to explore in discussion:

    • ?

Additional resources to check out:

    • ?

Training assignment (do this yourself, and use it to help train someone else):

    • ?

Habits

    • ?

Evangelism Resources


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Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Rocklyn Clarke

Resource Lists (for your convenience)

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Acknowledgements

Please join me in acknowledging the key people who contributed to this material!

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