As I encourage people to take the online "Relational Evangelism" course offered through Hope International University (HIU), I occasionally have someone ask why they should take a class in order to be equipped. Some people think that reading the Bible, listening to sermons, attending a Bible study, praying and being filled with the Holy Spirit is "enough."
First, let's look at what we're called to:
- To be Christ's ambassadors - 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
- To a ministry of reconciliation, reconciling people to God by using a message of reconciliation (again, 2 Cor. 5:18-20).
- For God to make His appeal for reconciliation through us (2 Cor. 5:18-20).
- And to GO into the world and make disciples - Matthew 28:18-20.
"Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ."
One of the key responsibilities of church leaders is to equip the saints for ministry, the most important of which is to carry out the Great Commission, which begins with the work of making disciples (evangelism). Yet, most churches today do nothing to train believers how to effectively share the Gospel with someone who doesn't know Jesus. Just because you're a Christian doesn't mean you're "supernaturally equipped" to know how to create opportunities to share the Gospel, and how to effectively communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ. Making disciples is a combination of real work on our part (which requires equipping), that is fully reliant on the power of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul described that blend this way ...
"So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That's why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ's mighty power that works within me," Colossians 1:28-29.
If you already have developed a method of creating opportunities to share the Gospel, and if you're already effectively and routinely making disciples, you don't need to take this course. But if you aren't, and if your church isn't, you and your church need this training!
If you had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a non-Christian right now, would you:
- Know what to say?
- Where would you start?
- Where would you end?
- What would be your content inbetween?
- How would you make sure that you share the Gospel comprehensively so that you don't leave out any of the essentials for salvation, yet concisely so that the person doesn't tune you out?
The New Testament isn't shy in imploring and encouraging Christians to be equipped, to get trained, to study, learn, grow, and mature --- not just in "spiritual" things, but also in the skills needed for our service to Christ. That's because we aren't just children of the King, we are His ambassadors as well, with the massive task of making disciples of all the nations.
Are you equipped for that?
If you're not routinely making new disciples from among non-believers, then I encourage you to sign up today to get trained. Here's the information you need about the online "Relational Evangelism" course; the next class starts this coming Monday, March 16, so sign up TODAY!
If you have any questions, you can write me at dr.scott@ScottFreeClinic.org or you can contact the professor, John Hendee, directly at email@example.com.