Week 1 Story

Week 1 Story

• Overview
The focus of this module/week is learning to listen. The following story offered by Dave Wheeler is a good example of what you will be learning.

Kyle recently came up to me after class expressing concern for a good friend in his dorm. Evidently, they had known each other for several months before either of them surrendered their lives to Christ. Kyle had recently become a Christian and now desperately wanted his friend to make the same decision.

At first, his passionate gospel presentations overwhelmed his friend. Frustrated he came up to me after class and told me that he was close to giving up. He said, ” I have tried everything, but he still will not respond to Christ. He seems indifferent and turned off. What can I do to help him?”

My answer surprised the student. I did not teach him another way to share Christ, nor did I hand him a gospel tract. I did not give him a slick DVD presentation or direct him to a helpful Web site. I simply told him, “Learn how to listen to your friend.”

In this module/week, you will learn the importance of learning to listen as it relates to evangelism.

Module/Week 2 — Being Vunerable by Sharing Your Recovery Testimony

The focus of Module/Week 2 is sharing your story. The following story offered by Dave Wheeler is a great example of what you will be learning.

One Sunday at my church, the Bible passage we were teaching addressed the privilege and responsibility of evangelism. A Christian lady came up to me and said, “Would you pray that God would send some Christians to work in my office and witness to my coworkers? I am the only Christian who works there; the rest of the people are lost.”

“I certainly will not,” I smiled and said. She looked at me as if I were and absolute nut. “But I just heard you say that God loves the lost people.” Her mouth dropped open. She gulped and blinked a few times. Then she stammered. “I thought you would be happy to pray that God would send a Christian to witness to the people in my office.” “I definitely will not pray that God will send a Christian to witness to the people of your office,” I repeated. “But why not?” she gasped. “Because God has already sent a Christian to witness to the people in your office.” Her eyes got large. “Who?” she asked. “You!” I said.

Often we look at the needs of lost people and ask, “God, who are You going to send? What are you going to do?” In Matthew 5:13-16 God has already answered that question. He said, “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.” God’s answer to this hurting, lost, world is you!

God will do whatever we cannot do, but God will not do what we can do. God’s method is mankind. His plan is people. His strategy is you and I. We are the only Jesus the world will ever see. Making a difference is up to you and me. If we do not do it, it will not get done. If it is not getting done, it is because we are not doing it.

Module/Week 3 — Being Visual through Servant Evangelism

The focus of this module/week is servant evangelism. The following story offered by Dave Earley is a good example of what you will be learning in this module/week.

In his book, Safely Home, Randy Alcorn tells the story of a fervent Christian named Quan. He was unjustly thrown into jail for publicly proclaiming his faith in China. Alcorn paints a portrait of the nature of evangelism through Quan’s humble servant evangelism. Alcorn shares.

The guard peered into Quan’s cell through the little, barred window, which was two handbreadths across. Quan could see the contempt in his eyes. “Stop smiling!” he yelled. “I am not smiling,” Quan said. ‘Yes you are!” shouted the guard. Suddenly Quan stood and pressed his face against the bars. ‘Guard!’ Quan called. When he didn’t come Quan called louder. “Su Gan!’ The guard came back and rattled the door violently. “Who told you my name? Be silent or I will come in and make you silent.” ‘Su Gan sir, please wait, I have a request for you.” “Unless you can pay me, I have no time for requests.” “Can I do some labor for you?” Quan saw the jailer’s eyes fill with surprise mixed with contempt. ‘This prison is so filthy,” Quan said. ‘There is waste everywhere. The rats and roaches feed on it. I can help you. Let me go into the cells one by one and clean up this filthy place. Give me water and a brush and soap and I will show you what I can do!”

For a few weeks, Quan cleaned up the cells. One day a Christian visitor named Ben came to the jail.

Ben stood in the chilly winter air. Someone was being led out of the building now, a frail older man with a pronounced limp and yellow skin as if he had jaundice. Ben felt his heart freeze, “Quan?” he tried to disguise his horror. They touched right index fingers through the fence. ‘You smell like soap.” “Yes,” Quan beamed. “This is better than I smelled last time, yes?” “I have wonderful news. I go from cell to cell bringing Yesu’s message. I went to 12 cells and left 6 of them where the men will not be alone. They now have Yesu with them. The prisoners are excited to realize that even if they die here they will have eternal life.”

In this module/week you will learn of servant ministry.
Module/Week 4 — Being Verbal through Sharing Jesus Without Fear

Are you a missionary or a mission field? In its nontechnical sense the term missionary is simply “a person with a mission.” A Christian missionary is a person with a mission of positively impacting others with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.

A “mission field” is “someone needing the ministry of a missionary.” A mission field is a person or persons yet to be impacted by the life-giving message of Jesus. So that returns us to the question: Are you a missionary or a mission field?

You are either one or the other. There is no middle ground. If you have been wonderfully impacted by the message of Jesus Christ, you are obligated to live as a missionary sharing the truth of Jesus with others. If you are still sorting Christianity out, you can’t really be expected to act as a missionary because in a sense you are still a mission field.

In this module/week, we will explore what is meant by personal evangelism.

Module/Week 5 — Being Verbal through Sharing The STORY

In a day when crime is high and trust is low, busy people tend to isolate themselves from contact with others. This can make sharing the gospel challenging. While there are no easy solutions, creative thinking and subsequent approaches can open doors. In this module/week you will encounter a collection of best practices of activities that create witnessing opportunities.

Some of these include creating opportunities through intentional relationships, evangelistic events and ministries, evangelistic block parties, sports evangelism, seasonal and gender-related events, and special needs ministries.
Module/Week 6 — The Life of a Witness: Spiritual Warfare

The focus of this module/week is spiritual warfare. The following story offered by Dave Earley is a good example of what you will be learning.

I understood that evangelism involves spiritual warfare, but I am not sure how deeply I believed it. One day that all changed. When Cathy and I and a team of young adults moved to Columbus, Ohio, to plant a new church, we started with 12 people and saw it grow in just a few years to several hundred who met with us each Sunday to worship. Best of all, we were reaching lost people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. All was going so well. Then it happened.

I woke up on Tuesday morning in intense pain—sharp stinging pain. I got out of bed and looked down at my arm. Every painful area was marked with an angry red welt. My legs and back were worse with burning red welts everywhere. I went to my doctor who was stunned. “Twenty two!” The doctor exclaimed shaking his head. “Twenty two boils.” “I have only had 1 boil in my life.” I said. “How could I get 22 at the same time?”

He proceeded to quiz me on everywhere I had been recently, everything I had done, and everything I had eaten. He sighed, shaking his head. (I don’t like it when doctors shake their heads.) “I have never seen anything like it…so many boils so fast,” except in the book of Job. The light of insight flashed in his eyes. “This is a long shot but is worth asking. What are you preaching on Sunday?” ( My doctor is a believer)

“Spiritual warfare,” I said. I am preaching on the devil and demons.” “Bingo!” he said. “This can only be spiritual warfare!”

Effective evangelism is spiritual warfare!
Module/Week 7 — Becoming a Family on Mission

Content Overview
One of the areas we will focus on in this module/week is leaving a legacy. The following story offered by Dave Wheeler is a good example of this concept.

My dad was a master at building an outreach legacy for future generations. I will never forget a lesson he taught me at Christmas 1968. I was only seven years old. Mom was ill with a near fatal kidney disease. Dad was working an extra job at Western Auto to try to pay off nearly $30,000 of medical debts. It was Christmas Eve and I was at the store where Dad was working when I was called to the back room. He instructed me to load up our car with a large stack of toys he had received permission to take from the showroom.

A short time later I rode with Dad back home still wondering about the toys. As we arrived in our subdivision, he bypassed our road and ended up at a house on the street behind ours. I will never forget the look on our neighbor’s face when Dad went to the door and informed this young mother who had recently been abused and deserted by her husband that God still cared for her family.

The look on her face was priceless. Between the tears and the chorus of “How did you know that I could not afford toys?” the mother realized that she was not abandoned by God.

Many of today’s parents are experiencing incredible frustration. They are busy and on the go. They are running from work to school to church to ball practice to cheer leading practice and then there are recitals, rehearsals, business dinners — well, you get the idea.

Sadly, in the midst of all this endless activity, 88 percent of those who grow up in our evangelical churches leave at age 18 and do not come back. How do families get off this maddening activity—driven merry-go-round and on to God’s best?

In this module/week you will discover what it meant by creating a family mission statement and leaving a legacy.

Module/Week 8 — Where do We go from Here….Establishing a Vision for Evangelism

Content Overview
The focus of this module/week is methods of sharing your faith. The following story offered by Dave Earley is a good example of what you will be learning.

After graduating from seminary, Cathy and I led a team of 4 young men and their wives to Columbus, Ohio, to launch a new church. Unlike the church I served in as a 22 year old, this new church had no building. We had no budget. Instead of 120 people, we had 12. But we had something the other church did not have; we had a vision and a commitment to launch the most biblical, Spirit-led, healthy, evangelistic church we could.

Our first month in Ohio, we met nightly for 1 hour of corporate prayer for jobs and the new church. The second month we began to advertise and knocked on 400 doors in the community, taking a church interest survey. At the end of the second month, we went public in the music room at a middle school and were thrilled when 54 local people joined us. We grew every week for the next year and a half to an attendance of more than 200.

Our church grew every year for the first 20 years of our existence until our average attendance was nearly 2000, with more than 100 small groups for adults and teens, plus dozens of groups for children. We owned 66 acres of property, had 70 percent of our members in ministry, and averaged more than 100 people baptized annually. We also planted 4 daughter churches and had several others on the way.

As a pastor, the one constant that kept me going was the never disappointing honor of working with God to help people come to Christ, and the always fresh privilege of birthing a new church.

In this module/week you will discover church planting.

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