Q2 SS-2012 Lesson 1: Defining Evangelism and Witnessing (read Lesson 1)
So it’s your first “real” job and you are really excited or at least thankful - maybe about the benefits you’ll be offered or the location or prestige of the company. For some, it may be what you will be doing that is most important and exciting. But for most, you are probably just glad to be getting a paycheck. But what does your job really entail? What is your job description?
Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
If asked to explain the verse in 10 seconds or less, I would delineate these two points:
- Proclaim the message
- Make disciples of men
Yep, that is it. But wait - don’t think that this is a non-profit organization just because it seems religious in nature. The three board members are highly concerned about the bottom line. In one of their promos they specifically requested workers and not volunteers (1 Corinthians 15:58 and1 Corinthians 16:10). They give us the option to trade in fishes for a heavenly savings bond (Matthew 6:19-21) and fabulous “blinged out” mansions (John 14:2). We also have the option to take flight without a ticket; universal preventative health care is provided (Revelation 21:4); we receive just rewards according to our work etiquette (Revelation 22:12) and so on and so forth (wow, these benefits are kinda extensive). The eternal life part is a freebie. Imagine that! Eternal life is part of the deal - just for signing on, being faithful and incident free.
God offers us that dream job with superb benefits and with departments that match your skill set a.k.a gifts that match your spiritual experience level. Heard about it? Jesus Christ was here a while ago doing some recruiting for the God Fishery Corporation (GFC). No worries, He left some of the brochures compiled in a nice package; the Bible Guide. The really good news is that He is still hiring and needs all hands on deck. The best news is that the job description is clear and your rewards are assured.
So how do we actually do the job - what do we have to do? Our 2nd quarter Sabbath School studies tell us that our job is to evangelise and witness. Lesson 1 tries to define both words. Understanding both gives us two main approaches to completing our mission.
When we look at the relationship between witnessing and evangelism, we can say that they are each essentially different strategies for reaching the goal of winning souls for Christ. Witnessing is more spontaneous and short term, while evangelism tends to be more long term and intentional. Sometimes planned evangelism is enhanced by the personal witnessing of those involved, and sometimes spontaneous witnessing leads people into a more planned program. However it happens, both are vital components in the overall process. When we share what Jesus has done for us, those who are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit will want to know more. It’s easy for people to argue against your doctrines, your theology and your beliefs. It’s not, however, so easy for them to argue against your own personal testimony. ( Lesson 1).
Who is ready to Beast 4 the Kingdom a.k.a witnessing or evangelising? Are you ready to work?
Job Assignments - Week 1:
- What are the core similarities between the first Christian evangelists (Peter and the gang) and today’s? What are the differences?
- How long after accepting Christ should someone wait before sharing their testimony and getting involved with evangelism?
- What are some witnessing or evangelising techniques?
- How do you witness to someone who does not respect the Bible or the Christian God as the true God?
- How do you witness to others? Are you involved in evangelism?
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