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Thoughts from an Organic Evangelism Seminar

A few months ago I went to a seminar on evangelism by Dennis Pethers.  Below are some thoughts from that seminar.  You might like to download a pdf of these thoughts, mark which thoughts are challenging and/or helpful and then make some plans about how to apply them in your life.
  • When we are serving or providing we are in a position of power or of control but when move to a faith conversation we then lose some control as there is the possibility people may not be interested or like us any more.  So lets just acknowledge that and press forward - after all it happened to Jesus as well!!!
  • Evangelism is leaving the person I have met with a better understanding of God than they would have had if they had never met me.  If we don't put seeds in the ground I won't get a harvest.  In the same way evangelism involves sowing seeds that help people get a better understanding of God, and not just reaping when they make a decision for Christ.
  • We can develop our passion for lost people by getting to know them and listening to their stories.
  • We should be friends with people because Jesus told us to love our neighbours.
  • Sometimes we think we need to try and be bold but that usually leads to failure, instead we need to trust.  Faith sharing conversations are things we do WITH God not for God
  • Evangelism doesn't mean we have to have 20 verses memorized and pat answers to questions.  Rather it is about us sharing the story of what God is doing in our lives.  Sharing these things in discipleship triangles, huddles and missional community gatherings is a great way for us to get used to doing this.
  • When we share our lives with people, don't leave the faith part out, people find it interesting and it doesn't need to be sanitized, leave in the difficult bits.
  • God doesn't want any of us to be other than who we are.
  • For every shy Christian there are lots of non-christian shy people who may often be better reached by shy christians!!!
  • When we talk with people about faith, it is almost inevitable that people will ask questions - not because they are being difficult, just because they don't know.  Sometimes fear of not knowing how to answer questions prevents us from starting conversations in the first place.  We will address this by helping you with information, so please let me know of questions that you would like some information about.  The point of this information is not to equip you to win arguments (that is largely counterproductive) rather it is so you have the ability to give an explanation and reasons for what you believe.
  • Evangelism isn't a solo effort, we need to support and encourage each other, pray for each other, and cooperate with each other.
  • We need to have a variety of gatherings in different places where we are comfortable to invite non Christians.  If you have ideas about these sort of gatherings, please share them with each other, you probably have the best idea about what would work for the people you know.
  • Of the 132 interactions Jesus had with people as recorded in the gospels: 4 were in the temple, 6 in the synagogue, and 122 were in the market place, street, home or outdoors!
  • There are different kinds of people who haven't responded to Jesus:
1.  Those who have no idea about Jesus (this is by far the biggest group)
2.  Know a little but are confused.
3.  Thought about it but aren't convinced
4.  Have researched it and are antagonistic/opposed (we can think this is the biggest group but it is in fact the smallest)


David Wanstall, 10/10/2013