TiO 45 – Alpha – How and Why Should I Tell People?
The Main Idea
Evangelism. From the time we first start going to church we are told that it is a good thing. No, it is not just good, it is an obligation to God, something we have to do. But it seems hard and often we end up just feeling guilty because we don’t do it enough or we don’t do it right. This weekend Dan Rutherford talked to us about they we should evangelize and gave us some tools to do it well.
Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)
Q1: What good news have you heard lately?
Q2: Where (to whom) do you go to hear good news?
Q3: When was the last time you had good news to tell people? What was it? Who did you tell? How did you tell it?
Dig a Little Deeper
Evangelism. It is a word that comes to us from Greek. In Greek, it starts with a noun:
We would pronounce that tos ew-angel-ios and that means the good news.
From there we get a verb which we translate into English as evangelism: telling, spreading, proclaiming good news. And from there we get another noun, evangelist: someone who tells, spreads, or proclaims good news.
And we’re told that we are all supposed to be evangelists, people who tell others good news.
Read Luke 10:1-20 together.
Dan presented this section of Luke as a template for all of the followers of Jesus to use as a model.
Q1: According to 10:1-2, what are the reasons for sharing good news with people?
Q2: According to 10:16, what is the primary means by which the good news is spread?
Before moving on from the why to the how, take some time together to discuss the what.
What is the Good News?
In his book Simply Good News, writer and theologian N.T. Wright describes the good news of Jesus in this way.
“Something has happened; something therefore will happen. And the way things are right now is different as a result.”
Something has happened: Jesus died to fulfill the covenant of God and to break the power of Sin in the world.
Something will happen: we, the people of God, will be resurrected along with the world and we will live with God forever.
Things are different right now: we live in an in-between time, God has taken his rightful place in the world as King but the powers of evil, both unseen and spiritual, and seen and human continue to assert their right to be kings in the world.
Evangelism is sharing this good news, that we can be different people because of, and through the power given, through Jesus death. That we do not need to live as slaves to sin but can live as people of God.
Dan moved on from “why do I share good news?” to “how do I share good news?”
Read Luke 10:1-2
Q3: According to Luke 10:1-2 what are we to pray for?
… and we are some of those workers.
Dan gave a helpful tool: make a list of three people who you know need to hear the good news of Jesus and pray regularly for them. This does two things: first, it asks God to act in the lives of those people we know; and second, it puts us in a place where we are attentive to the lives of other people and to the opportunities that the Holy Spirit provides for us to share good news with these people
Read Luke 10:3-6
Q4: Why is caring such an important part of helping good news to be received well by people?
Dan gave some helpful questions to show people you care and to determine if they are ready to hear good news:
- Invite: “Come with me to church service/event and then let me take you for lunch/coffee afterwards.”
- Belief: “What do you think about spiritual things? God? Jesus?”
- Personal: “Can I tell you how Jesus changed my life?”
- Prayer: “I can see you’re having a hard time/circumstance, can I pray for you?”
Read Luke 10:8-12
Q5: What were the disciples told to share?
Dan pointed out three characteristics of this sharing:
- It is about the Kingdom of God, not about a set of outward behaviours: Jesus changes us from the inside, it is counter-productive to ask people to change outward behaviour before God changes them on the outside.
- Be Persistent: Do not give up because it is hard or because you sense some resistance. Do not be irritating to people or continue to share once you have been told “no” but do continue to love and care for people even if they seem to reject the good news.
- Share the Message of Jesus: God loves, God gave, we believe, we receive.
Our ability to share good news begins with our own experience of that good news.
“Something has happened; something therefore will happen. And the way things are right now is different as a result.” – N.T. Wright
Jesus came to die to change everything about the world, we look forward to a new life with him in eternity, and in the mean time everything is different.
That is true for the course of human existence but that is also true in our own lives. And that truth is what fuels our desire to share good news. If we do not see it as good news then we’re not going to be very effective evangelists.
Q1: How is your life different because of the death of Jesus?
Q2: What good news do you have to share about what he has done in your life?
Q3: Who are the first three people on your list of people to begin to pray for?
Pray that you would fully embrace the good news of Jesus and that you would have opportunities to share it with others.
In this section we are provide the scriptures referenced in this study. Some are core to the lesson, others can optionally be read and discussed as part of your time together.
These are the scriptures referenced in the sermon.
Luke 10:1-20 (NRSV)
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
And you, Capernaum,
will you be exalted to heaven?
No, you will be brought down to Hades.
“Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Here is a link to the Alpha video from last week. It is about 30 minutes long and well worth watching as you prepare to study this Talk it Over together.
Here is a video on evangelism that technology prevented Dan from showing in the message: