Today's activity – Read Romans 5:6-11.
If you are of the evangelical persuasion, then you recognize the call that we believe God has put on the heart of all believers – to be sharers of the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. In a survey conducted by the Nevada Baptist Convention, they discovered that even among Southern Baptists in Nevada, only about one-third of them could adequately explain the gospel to the interviewer. How could this occur in an evangelical denomination?
There is not one smoking gun, but multiple reasons of how this could occur (and not just in Nevada). But a major reason is that we are not as direct about the gospel as we should be with our small groups or Sunday School classes. As a teacher or small group leader, it is vital that you regularly (weekly) share the gospel in your group. Remember that there is a difference between a lesson about evangelism and an evangelistic lesson!
Here are some suggestions that may help make sure that your group is regularly engaging the good news of the gospel:
- Regularly enlist a group member to share their testimony in class;
- When you do have an evangelistic lesson, make sure you teach it in such a way that you are encouraging lost people to come to Christ, and not just dispensing information about the gospel;
- Learn how to share your own story of how you came to Christ in two minutes or less;
- Call attention to parts of your Bible study that relate directly to the gospel, such as: grace, sin, redemption, the cross, the resurrection, Jesus' humanity/divinity, atonement, and repentance;
- Lead your class to adopt mission trips, especially mission trips where they have opportunities to witness;
- Encourage your group to learn the gospel;
- Go to websites such as www.my316.com or www.mostimportantthing.org and put your testimony online.
On occasion I meet group members who are discouraged that people who do not know Christ personally are not attending their group. May I point this out: People in need of healing do not need a school, they need an ambulance. Groups that do not have a gospel-centric focus are functioning as a school. Pray your group becomes an ambulance bringing the gospel to your community.