In Using the Worldview Survey, Part I: Sharing the gospel when time is short, we shared how the Worldview Survey questions can be used as a springboard to sharing the gospel when you only have a short time with an individual (perhaps in a waiting room, interacting with a door-to-door salesman, or in a street evangelism context). In this second article, we share more specifically on how you can use the questions to discover the beliefs of the individual before moving on to share the gospel.
The conversation was going so smoothly. The young woman in front of me seemed to be eagerly digesting each point I made as I walked her through the gospel message. She was nodding her head, agreeing with me when I’d ask her questions and assuring me she understood. Great! Next up, the sinner’s prayer, right? We’d been conversing for some time when she finally began to open up more about her own worldview, extinguishing my optimism. Apparently she was exploring a pagan religion. She worshipped the earth. She wasn’t terribly bothered by her sin. Surely God could be expressed in many forms and there were many ways to seek him.
It was surprising to me that she could both agree with what I’d been saying, while at the same time hold to these very opposing viewpoints. She was, by definition, a post-modern thinker.
As she walked away from me a little later, I realized that I’d spent a long time sharing the gospel to a woman who did not have the foundations in place to understand it. While I knew God could still bless and use my feeble efforts, surely I could be more effective if I’d had an idea of the worldview of my listener before I dove into sharing the Bible’s message.
I realized I needed a method of quickly determining one’s worldview and finding a way to discern their true understanding of the Bible’s message, so that I could know how to proceed with the truths of the gospel
The Worldview Survey (originally published in the book And Beginning with Moses), a list of nine simple and objective questions, is designed to give a person a good idea of what their student believes. It’s a helpful tool for many situations, but especially handy if you’re not sure how to approach sharing the gospel with an individual or what tool would suit them best.
Continue reading “Using the Worldview Survey, Part II: Discovering your friend’s worldview”
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Kaoru* learned about the upcoming Bible study at a local church. The elder explained that the course would be good for everyone: experienced Christians, new Christians, non-Christians and Christians who wanted to share the good news with their friends.
Her thoughts turned immediately to Bronwyn, her housemate. Yes, I want to learn how to share the gospel with her, her heart sang. So, Kaoru signed up for the course and dutifully attended it. The course used the book The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. During the course, one leader read the commentary, while the second leader read the Scripture verses. They also showed video clips that helped explain the Bible’s story. This way, the leaders explained, those attending the course were already practicing the teaching style so the participants could also lead a study on their own.
Kaoru had been in Australia only a short time on a working holiday visa. Searching for a place to rent, she ended up as housemates with Bronwyn, a local. As a believer, Kaoru also sought a local church where she could worship God with other believers. “It’s pretty rare in Japan to be brought up in a Christian home,” she explains, “but I am from a Christian family and I myself have been a Christian for 15 years.”
Continue reading “Reaching out to an unbelieving housemate”
Five full days of street evangelism! Under normal circumstances, if someone had suggested this idea as a potential evangelistic pursuit, my response would have been, “No thanks! Not for me!” However, here I was in a large van heading to the big city. My husband, Troy, and I were the designated leaders, no less, for a dozen or so college-aged students. And we’d be standing on a street corner in no time at all, attempting to get into deep spiritual conversations with all kinds of scary strangers.
The first day went by much as I expected. Many were closed to hearing about the Lord, a few were willing to get into a discussion and most walked by completely indifferent. That week on bustling city streets was quite the adventure, arming us with stories and experiences that still effect our approach to sharing the gospel when time is short.
Even if you never participate in street evangelism, it’s good to be prepared for the moment when you have a quick opportunity to share the Bible’s message with a passing stranger. Your brief opportunity may come while sitting in front of your hairdresser, or with the salesperson at the door, or while you’re passing time in a waiting room. No matter the scenario, there are certain common obstacles that brief interactions present, as well as good ideas to navigate those obstacles.
Continue reading “Using the Worldview Survey, Part 1: Sharing the gospel when time is short”
It’s an idyllic village nestled in an out-of-the-way corner along the north Atlantic coast. On this early spring evening, a group of about 15 people, ranging from teenagers to middle-aged, have just completed a weekend retreat. They are eagerly anticipating an upcoming missions trip to Central America. The weekend has proven to be pivotal in their preparation as they have spent two and a half days together, getting to know each other and being established in the message of the gospel.
“I wanted to join the mission team to increase my faith in God. This weekend has done that for me.” This comes from Vicky, one of the teenaged participants who is typically very reticent about expressing herself in public.
Samuel, a man in his 50s, is even more enthusiastic: “This weekend was literally the best weekend of my entire life.”
What made this weekend so special? For one thing, it was a great group of people. It was also a well-planned event. But the backbone of the weekend—and the highlight for everyone—was what they studied together: the gospel itself, from creation right through to the Cross.
Continue reading “The best weekend of my entire life!”
When Barry* called the GoodSeed office to order resources, he asked if he could pop in for a visit. “I want to share with you what I’ve been doing since the TERM Seminar,” he said.
A short time later, he dropped by at lunch time. He had driven for over two hours but was eager to tell his story. Barry was a busy businessman but with a big heart for evangelism. He had been looking for a simple way to share the gospel but struggled to find the time to train himself to be an effective teacher. But after attending TERM, he realized that the Dynamic Leading-Reading-Modelling method that had been taught was something he could do.
“The first impact [of the seminar] was how it helped me. I’ve been a Christian for many years but never seen it put together like this. The whole concept of atonement, the tabernacle, Adam and Eve, the covering, all coming together is remarkable,” Barry shared with the GoodSeed staff around the lunch table.
He went on to say that, as he sat through the three days of TERM, his level of enthusiasm grew. He saw how easy it was to lead a group with the leader’s guide and after the seminar wrapped up, he asked to buy the curriculum.
Unfortunately at that time, the By This Name leader’s guide had not yet gone to press. So he waited. And waited. In the meantime, he bought copies of By This Name to give to others. When his first case of books arrived at his doorstep, he pulled them out of the box and started handing them out. He ran out before long. When he called to order more books, it happened that our proof copy of the By This Name leader’s guide had just arrived that day. When he learned that there was a physical copy in the office he asked, “Can I buy that one?”
Our office staff sold him the one copy we had. When he received it, Barry wasted no time in organizing groups to teach.
Continue reading “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist in evangelism to do this!”
Time for a pop quiz. Look at the following statement and ask yourself if it is biblical:
Love means being tolerant, accepting and non-judgmental.
Would it surprise you to learn that… it’s not!
You may be inclined to think there is an element of biblical truth in that statement and therefore the whole statement is valid. But that’s not the case. It’s actually a mixing of non-biblical ideas with biblical truth. This is called syncretism.
Syncretism happens when someone mixes what they think the Bible says with their inherent culture-influenced worldview. Combining these two very different views leads to them adopting a third, mixed belief system that is unlike the first two. As believers, we need to recognize that syncretism is a very real problem. Not only does it trip up our spiritual lives, but when we try to share the gospel with others, we can also unwittingly contribute to syncretism in our listeners by how we explain the good news.
Because it is so pervasive, it’s important to examine syncretism’s causes and how we can battle it in our own lives and when we share the gospel. To help you do this, we have produced a 32-page ebook entitled, “The Hidden Danger of Syncretism.” We trust you will benefit from reading it.
Download The Hidden Danger of Syncretism
(Download this article in a handy PDF format for printout and sharing.)
When Cheryl began a study with three women, she dismissed the notion of just sitting down and reading By This Name together. To her it seemed so basic and uninteresting. Surely a lecture format with some good discussion thrown in would be a more compelling method for teaching the same material.
Cheryl was not alone in her thinking. GoodSeed staff are often asked:
“Why do you just read the book together? Isn’t that boring? A turn-off to well-educated students? What about breaking things up with times of discussion? Why not just give it to them to read on their own?”
Continue reading “Dynamic Reading-Leading-Modelling… What is it? How does it help me?”
“Ming Wei, you need to come home urgently. Your grandmother might not last long!”
When he received the phone call from his parents, Ming Wei’s* heart grew heavy. Not only was he concerned about his grandmother’s health, he had a much deeper concern—he was worried about the spiritual state of his grandmother.
As an overseas Chinese student, Ming Wei had the opportunity to learn about Christianity and had become a believer just a couple of years ago. Now as he packed to go home to China, he was anxious about how to broach the subject of the gospel with his ailing grandmother. Since coming to Christ, he hadn’t found himself in this position before and he was at a loss as to how to talk to her about Christ. One thing he did know—time was short and this would be his one and only opportunity to address her eternal destiny.
Continue reading “This can’t wait! There are only hours left”
Betty Scott Stam, a young wife and mother serving as a missionary to China in the 1930s, didn’t just know the gospel in theory. It was her life. And it ended up costing everything. She and her husband, John, were martyred as a result of their witness for Christ. Years before this happened, she wrote,
“Nobody can force a single soul to turn to Christ. All that the followers of Jesus have to do, all they can do, is to lift up Christ before the world, bring Him into dingy corners and dark places of the earth where He is unknown, introduce Him to strangers, talk about Him to everybody and live so closely with and in Him that others may see that there really is such a person as Jesus.” *
What Betty understood is something that each of us is called to. We are ambassadors for Christ. This is not a part-time job that we somehow “fit in” to our busy schedules. All believers are given the biblical mandate to live a lifelong lifestyle of being ready to share the gospel at a moment’s notice.
Continue reading “New year, new opportunities to share the gospel”
I realized how much the world really has changed… we really can’t just assume people are biblically literate—even those who attend our church every week. I’m going to talk to church leadership about how we can use these tools for outreach… and also with everyone who is already in our church.” – Fletcher, 2015 TERM participant
Fletcher was enthusiastic as he shared with us his evangelism plans. Having finished the one-day TERM Seminar in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, he had caught the vision of how it was possible for an ordinary believer like himself to reach the people in his community with the gospel. He had come to see that in today’s world, believers needed to rethink how to share the unchanging gospel in a way that makes sense to people with little or no knowledge about the Bible.
Fletcher was among 100 attendees who were at the first of our seven seminars being held across the USA this fall. Some of the participants lived right in town. Others came from as far away as Libby, Montana and Seattle, Washington. But the ones who travelled the farthest were those of a church group from British Columbia, Canada!
Continue reading “TERM Seminar: I realized how much the world really has changed”