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The Biggest Challenge?

The statistics are frightening: within two years of becoming a Jesus follower, a new believer will have lost meaningful contact with their previous not-yet-Christian friends.

It’s pretty obvious to work out how this happens. An enthusiastic new disciple attends church on Sunday, prayer meeting on Tuesday, house group on Wednesday, helps with the youth club on Friday and often attends conferences on Saturday. Result? No time or energy left to be a ‘friend of sinners’ which, ironically, would make the new believer more like Jesus!

So, how can we redress the balance if this is the situation we have ended up in? There’s a lot to say, but here are several things we could do:

 

  1. Be Prayerful

    Begin by talking to God about lost people and sooner or later you will start to talk to lost people about God! Pray for particular work colleagues, neighbours, old friends or brand new contacts.

     

  2. Be Intentional

    If you need to build relationship bridges, how will you do that? How will you start to get to know people? Join the gym? Start a Neighbourhood Watch? Attend the Women’s Institute? Start an evening class? A book club?

    Find something you’d like to get involved in and go along; even better if you can find another Christian to come with you!

     

  3. Be Prepared

    1Peter3:15 encourages us to be prepared to answer the questions of people who are far away from God. Would you know how to share the Good News about Jesus in, say three minutes? What about if someone asked you about all the suffering in the world, or why Christians are anti-gay, or why believers think they are right and everyone else is wrong?

    Don’t panic! There are plenty of resources out there to help equip you with great answers to these kind of questions! Contact me if you’re not sure where to look!

     

  4. Be Hospitable

    It’s the new evangelism! Can you make a decent cup of tea or coffee? Any good at making cakes (or buying some!)? Can you order a takeaway? Then, could you invite someone in? Excellent! Job done! You are being Good News and eventually you’ll be speaking Good News!

     

  5. Be non-Judgemental

    Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but to save it (John3:17). If we are not careful, we can come across as ‘holier than thou’ kind of people. Why should those who are not yet Christians behave as if they were? Try to keep giving off ‘accepting vibes’ to your new friends. It doesn’t mean that you have to agree with their lifestyle choices or actions, but they need to know that you accept them as they are even if you would disagree in an agreeable way with some of their views!

     

Between 70 - 90% of those who come to faith in Jesus do so, humanly speaking, through the strong influence of a friend. So, for you and I to step out and participate in relational evangelism is not compulsory; it is vital and literally a matter of life and death!

 
 
Prayer and evangelism are like burger and fries, writes Mark Greenwood.
Ignite Church, Lincoln, spent the summer seeking God – with amazing results, as Darren Edwards explains.
One of the challenges faced by the Elim Movement right now is 'church planting inertia', argues Gary Gibbs.
Once an atheist, Pete Verry is now a very active evangelist. He explains that churches can create excitement when they employ evangelism.
Once an atheist, Pete Verry is now a very active evangelist. He explains that churches can create excitement when they employ evangelism.

Additional Reading >

Future Events

Monday 18 March 10:00am
A time together for Elim’s recognised evangelists.
Wednesday 26 June
Take this opportunity to sharpen your preaching gift in the area of gospel preaching and response. Join Gary Gibbs and Mark Greenwood at one of these Evangelistic Preaching training day events in July and September.
Thursday 27 June
Take this opportunity to sharpen your preaching gift in the area of gospel preaching and response. Join Gary Gibbs and Mark Greenwood at one of these Evangelistic Preaching training day events in July and September.
Saturday 29 June
An event for anyone interested in planting a new church and for those who are already underway! Save the date - more details to follow.
Midlands
Wednesday 25 September
Take this opportunity to sharpen your preaching gift in the area of gospel preaching and response. Join Gary Gibbs and Mark Greenwood at one of these Evangelistic Preaching training day events in July and September.
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