So you’re A Christian coming to Life?
Here’s some helpful things to take note of before Life this Sunday:
Introduction to Life
Life is a 6 week course, the main goal of which is to present the gospel in the expectation that this message is the instrument through which the Holy Spirit will bring to conversion those who not know him while strengthening those who do.
There is a secondary benefit to the course. Our desire is to build a church passionate about mission, and passionate in how to be both loving and skillful in their communication of it. Life presents a context in which we can interact with many genuine enquirers over a period of some weeks. This enables us to hear the objections, stumbling blocks and questions which enquirers voice, while learning and practicing strategies for how to help them through these.
To the end, consider the following.
“Evangelism is a process.”
It has been said that these days most people need to hear the gospel/have gospel conversations 30-50 times before they grasp it and, by the power of the Holy Spirit are ready and able to respond to it.
a. Our goal is to win people to a considered investigation of the gospel over a period of weeks and even months (more-to-life course after).
b. Each night presents one small step in developing a person’s grasp of the gospel message.
c. Many who think they have become Christians at the end of the course have not. Often they have become warmly disposed to the gospel and become Christians during the following conversations and Bible reading.
d. We must avoid impatience with unbelieving friends, not trying to force feed them the whole counsel of God during the opening weeks.
e. People will often come thinking they are converted but are not.
These considerations have profound implications for the way Christians should spend their time around unbelieving friends. Consider how the outsider feels when they come to Life. At first it will be very threatening for then. They will be wondering: “What have I let myself get into? Is this a cult? Will it be embarrassing? Will the people be weirdos? Will I enjoy it? Maybe my friend will be happy if I just come once!”
Knowing all this we need to take great care. Here are some suggestions:
The Ten Commandments
1. ...talk about “insider topics” that make the enquirer feel that they have come to a club which they are not a part of.
2. ...assume that those at your table are all Christians simply because they speak as if they are
3. ...think that this is the opportunity to ask all the hard questions you’ve had about the Christian life which non-Christians have never even considered.
4. ...consider that your role is to win them over by your apologetic arguments; not every question needs an answer.
5. ...be dominating, bored, dismissive or intrusive.
1. ...be positive, warm and welcoming.
2. ...seek to foster relationships at your table
3. …be patient and affirming of their questions encouraging them to ask them.
4. ...assist the table leaders to direct conversation at the table
5. ...seek to learn what you can about evangelism while at Life. This may be a matter of learning from our example or from our mistakes!
Remember: No need to bring your Bible. We’ll either provide them for everyone or have it on the screen.