Step Four: The Process of Evangelism

Today we continue with Step 4 in the series: “Ten Practical Steps For Planting New Churches,” written by Rev. Manuel Molina Flores.

In this step we will cover how to introduce someone to the Jesus of the Bible.  The tool we choose to use to present Christ is not important.  The critical thing is to remember that your goal is to bring people into a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, our only Savior (Acts 4:12), and guide them to repentance and faith in him (Acts 20:21).  The evangelist will guide the contact through a series of meetings, conversations and Bible studies that will allow them to learn who Jesus is and how to believe in him.

  • Evangelism is a process:

Evangelism deals with guiding an unbelieving person to begin a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Many times, unbelievers lack correct information or have erroneous concepts of God and Christianity.  They need to be influenced – perhaps for the first time – by Biblical revelation. Through frequent contact, the evangelist should guide them through a process of redefining their concepts regarding God, humanity, sin, grace, etc., in order that they may begin to align with the truth of the Bible.  Never take for granted that another person shares your same understanding or definition of these terms!

  • Regeneration is an act—a new birth:

While evangelism is a process, regeneration is an instantaneous act, and God is the one who makes the change (2 Cor. 5:17).  We must be sensitive in the process of evangelism, but we must not ignore that there is a moment of decision when each individual must repent and believe (Acts 2:37-41; 4:4; 16:30-35).

  • Baptism

The external, visible testimony of a decision for Christ is water baptism.  To be consistent with Biblical patterns, the process of evangelism should culminate in the decision to confess faith in Jesus and put faith in him (Rom. 10:8-13). The individual gives testimony to this decision with water baptism (Matt. 28-19-20), publicly identifying with the triune God and the Church as the Body of Christ.

The goal of evangelism is to guide men and women in the process of beginning a personal communion with God through Jesus Christ.  It is not to simply to come to an agreement on theological truths.  It is to come to know a Person: Jesus (John 4:10; Acts 4:12). Discipleship classes should begin immediately after conversion.  These lessons will help the believer to know Jesus better.  Discipleship as a constant relationship between God and every Christian should continue until we arrive in heaven.

img.jpg

Use the Bible in such a way that the new believers are willing to seek God in the Word.  He will speak to them through it.  Avoid simply answering a question they can find for themselves in Scripture. Pray with them in a simple, direct way, demonstrating that you know God will respond in a definite, visible way. Remember that you are guiding them in a personal relationship with God who longs to reveal himself to them.  He wants to establish an intimate relationship and have fellowship with them for eternity.

***Watch for Step Five in the next post.

Advertisements

Youth in Mission and Genesis Collaborate to Impact Queretaro

Youth in Mission and Genesis Collaborate to Impact Queretaro

Lohuther René Gutiérrez Méndez

Two days ago, I wrote about the incredible things God did this summer through Youth in Mission in Mexico. One thing I omitted (on purpose, in order to share it here) is the following.

After several days of training and house-to-house evangelism, we came alongside the missionaries who are serving with the Genesis initiative in Queretaro.  That state is known for its lack of openness to the gospel, and it forms part of an area that has been named the Circle of Silence.Querétaro 2

The four missionaries there are doing a great job of reaching many people through classes or lessons on literacy, computer programming, football, and even psychological consultations.  It was a privilege for us to listen to them and see the deep desire they possess to be part of God’s mission.

The Lord allowed us to work with many children and adults, giving educational talks to the parents, which was a great blessing.  In the afternoons we presented dramas and free-style rap concerts that proved attractive to the kids and teens.  Our purpose was to make relationships and share the gospel with them, and we were able to do so by emphasizing positive lyrics and topics in our music.

What a wonderful time we had in Queretaro: 25 days in all.  We experienced so many beautiful things and witnessed the presence of God at work in the lives of the people in the community as they were being transformed.

The Lord gave us the opportunity to celebrate the first-ever congregational service in that Genesis site, which also included a marvelous time of prayer for healing.  The people present opened their hearts and, with tears in their eyes, were able to give their burdens to the Lord and receive the peace that only he can give.

Querétaro 1We were able to assist an elderly woman in moving from one house to another, and that opened doors for us to lead her to Christ.  After she was baptized a few days later, we all gave glory to God because his Holy Spirit always goes before us, convincing of sin within and guiding us into the light of his salvation.

During our final days on site, we held an activity in a large park.  We presented a sketch and shared the Word of God with all who were present.  Afterwards we formed groups of two or three and prayed prayers of blessing for all who had gathered.  The missionaries told us that this was the first service they had seen where all of their contacts came together; without a doubt, it impacted all of us.

When Sunday arrived, we were anticipating what would take place.  This morning was important: all the months of the missionaries’ hard work was about to bear fruit. Ten Christians were baptized that day and we rejoiced with them, knowing that there had been parties all over heaven because of their decisions!

We knew that God was backing us up at every step.  Our time in Queretaro was full of culture shock and moments when, as a group, we opened up and shared our concerns and conflicts.  God helped us to become united as a team, and our ministry began to benefit from it.  Out of the entire summer of Youth in Mission, our time in Queretaro was what impacted us the most.

*In our next entries we will share some testimonies that came directly from the young men who served as Youth in Mission missionaries this summer.

Querétaro 3

 

The Point of Pilot Point

By David A. Busic

It has often been said that the union of three different groups to form the Church of the Nazarene at Pilot Point, Texas, USA, was to promote the biblical doctrine of holiness as expressed in the teaching of John Wesley and the American Holiness Movement. While that is certainly true, what is less well-known is that at the very same time, nearly 30 other prominent groups in the U.S. held this same conviction. So why did these three groups merge to form our denomination, but not the many others?
 1908HallelujahMarch.jpg

The three groups that merged at Pilot Point held several common ideas that were essential to their unity:

  • The strong affirmation for the ordination of women
  • A baptismal theology that included infant and believer’s baptism and was not bound by a specific mode for baptism
  • The willingness to allow for freedom of conscience regarding eschatology. The early Church of the Nazarene included post-millennialists, pre-millennialists, and a-millennialists
  • A view of divine healing that did not exclude modern medicine
  • A shared believers’ church ecclesiology

While many other holiness denominations held exclusive and narrow viewpoints on these issues, the Church of the Nazarene chose to unite holiness people around middle-way (via media) practices. We have never been at our best as a church when we live in the extremes.
 
But perhaps the most extraordinary thing about Pilot Point was that the Church of the Nazarene was able to do what few other evangelical churches could in the divisive years that followed the American Civil War — overcome issues of regional politics, prejudice, and the lingering hatred that follows horrific conflict.
 
Names like Bresee, Jernigan, and Reynolds came together from north, south, and east U.S. to embrace a transformational idea: Christian holiness can break down any walls of separation. It was a movement of God unprecedented in U.S. church history.
 
Nazarene Historian Stan Ingersol powerfully summarizes the miracle of Pilot Point:

The union of churches at Pilot Point was a shining example of the social reality of Christian holiness. At the heart of the Christian message is a word of reconciliation: first between sinners and Divine Love; and second, among the members of the human family who are estranged from one another. Pilot Point signifies the reality that holiness heals hearts and unites people otherwise driven apart by sin, politics, and conflict. (Stan Ingersol, “Born In Hope, Borne Onward In Love.” A paper delivered 26 June 2017 for the Fraternal Delegates Luncheon in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

In such a time as this, in a world filled with great political strife and extreme polarities, can the Church of the Nazarene return to the spirit of our founders at Pilot Point? It was unlikely to happen then, but by the will and power of God, a union was formed. Our founders were not able to do everything, but they have given us hope that we can also deal with the issues that divide us today.
 
We serve the same God and have the same purpose. This is our holiness legacy. Let’s get back to the point of Pilot Point. 

*I am indebted to Nazarene Historian Stan Ingersol for these insights.

Another Stellar Report from Grenada

We continue to see the mighty acts of God in our new start church, the Content Church of the Nazarene. The month of November was filled with the spirit of praise and revival.  The owner of the community bar converted his bar into our place of worship, and he and his father, Mr. Mathlin and Kabir, were baptized on November 11.  We give God all the glory for adding to His church.  We also gathered November 14-16 for three nights of ministry, and saw five persons give their hearts to the Lord.

24740640_10215246251892478_1081723115_n.jpg

24819138_10215246252052482_1163838492_o.jpg

Our potential leaders were trained by “Come Up Higher International Ministries,” in a two-day workshop. This was made possible by the District Superintendent, Rev. Kelron Harry, and Dr. Cathy Norville-Rochester and her team from Barbados. The team worked with both Fontenoy and Content Churches of the Nazarene.

24740284_10215246252452492_640153612_o.jpg

Our site coordinator, Rev. Samuel Pile of Barbados, was present for our crusade and workshops, and he was a needed blessing and support to our team. Let us continue to pray for the others that will be baptized soon and accepted into membership. We continue forward in this ministry with your prayers, love and support.

24879094_10215246253332514_1590665822_o.jpg

– Cleon Cadogan, Genesis volunteer missionary.