TiO 45 – Grit – Obsolete Words (Week 6)

The Main Idea

Often the word evangelism causes us to cringe. It seems too hard. It doesn’t work. People are resistant r offended when we talk about Jesus. But followers of Jesus who have grit know that telling people the good news of how Jesus change the world and changed our lives can never be an obsolete message. What is necessary is to look at gritty evangelism in a different way.

Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)

Q1: Are there certain words that people would identify you with, words that you say a lot?

Q2: Do you keep the exterior light of your house on at night?

Q3: What was the last good thing that happened to you that you felt compelled to tell people about? Tell that story.

Dig a Little Deeper

In his message, Todd talked about some old and new ways to think about evangelism. Let’s start with a definition

εὐαγγέλιον: the Greek word that we get our English word evangelism from means good news.

Evangelism is, simply put, telling people good news. But evangelism was not restricted to religious talk nor was it restricted to talk about Jesus. In the first century, this word was used for any good news. It could be that you bought a cow or that you got married or that there was a new Emperor in the land. Any news that was good was considered evangelion and anyone who spread good news was an evangelist.

Read Colossians 4:2-6

Q1: In verses 3 and 4, what does Paul ask the Colossians church to do?

Q2: What does Paul anticipate will be the result of their prayers?

In verses 5 and 6 Paul seems to move on to miscellaneous commands. But they are directly connected to the Colossians participating in exactly the same task that Paul is doing.

Q3: What does Paul command in verses 5 and 6?

Q4: How do Paul’s commands relate to the task first, of simply interacting with people outside the church but second, in telling people about Jesus?

Optional: Watch these videos together if you are able.

Watch this video together with your group (Mike Gilmore): https://vimeo.com/187675767

At the beginning of this video, Mike explained what he meant by the words Gospel and evangelism,

Q5: How did he define these terms?

At the end of the video Mike talked about the changes to our understanding of evangelism and said that the proclamation of the good news of Jesus was not just about doctrine.

Q6: What else did he see as important?

Q7: What are your thoughts about Mike’s perspective on evangelism?

 

Watch this video together with your group (Dom Gibson): https://vimeo.com/187669836

Q8: What are some of the characteristics of current culture that make sales and marketing different today than it was 50 years ago?

Q9: How do the differences in communication today make sharing the gospel different than it was in decades past?

Watch this video together with your group (Dan Rutherford): https://vimeo.com/187669837

            Q10: Dan was asked, “Does evangelism work?” What ideas characterized his response?

Q11: Dan concludes with an idea which serves to focus our evangelism. What does he talk about?

Next Steps

Todd spoke of 5 reasons that Christians do not (or feel uncomfortable) tell others about Jesus:

  • We have an obsolete view of evangelism: the world has moved on but we we treat the good news as though we were still 50 or 100 years ago
  • Our own fear halts our attempts to share the good news
  • Many Christians are not convinced of the lostness of human beings: good news is not good if there is not also bad news
  • Culture’s highest value is tolerance: we have been taught that all opinions are equally valid and so hesitate to talk about absolutes
  • We’ve “gotten over” our salvation: it no longer excites us and so we feel the story is boring

 

Q1: Which of the above do you have the most trouble with as you think about sharing the good news of Jesus?

Todd concluded by talking about evangelism as different from what we generally imagine it to be:

  • Think of evangelism as “porch light” not “spot light”: create welcoming spaces for people to hear the stories of Jesus in the world and in our own lives
  • Think “hospitality” rather than “presentation”: we are to develop relationships with people rather than dumping a presentation on them and asking for a commitment
  • Think “team” rather than “solo”: realize that you are working with others, this is not you sharing Jesus all by yourself.

Q2: How do these ideas change your idea of evangelism and what practical steps can (will) you take in your own life to be a more consistent teller of good news (evangelist)?

The Depth (for optional study)

In this section we are providing an in-depth look into the scriptures that the message came out of. There are two critical steps in good interpretation of the Bible. First, we try to understand what the author meant when he wrote the words and how that would have been applied by the original audience. Second, we then take the principles that the original author was trying to get across to his audience and we apply those principles to our own lives. You may want to read some of these passages yourself and/or have people in your group read them together.

 Colossians 4:2-6

2Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 3At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, 4so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.

5Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. 6Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.

 

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