[Jesus] told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations . . ." -- Luke 24:46, 47



Preliminary Exercise

Discussion I: Proclaiming the Gospel

Discussion II: Reaching People

Discussion III: Building Disciples

ENRICHMENT 1: Ideas for Effective Follow-up

Some useful Scriptures

Some useful Books

ENRICHMENT 2: Ideas for Evangelistic Meetings

ENRICHMENT 3: College Evangelisation Strategy

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[Jesus] told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations . . ." -- Luke 24:46, 47

In our hands, we hold the life and purpose of the Church, we hold the hope of the world.  That purpose, as Jesus put it, is to share his life changing good news with every man, woman and child in the world — opening the way for that gospel to transform the world as Christ fills it with his grace and glory.

Unfortunately, many -- perhaps, most -- of us simply don't know how to share this good news with another person, or to help him commit his life to Christ and lay a solid foundation for life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.  The reason is no mystery: most of us simply have never been trained in sharing the gospel.

The purpose of this course, therefore, is to supply this lack, so that we will be able to understand the gospel, experience its power, and communicate it effectively to other people.

1.         Instructions

This course comprises a set of basic exercises, group discussions and practical assignments, with optional material for enrichment.  To gain the maximum benefit in your study group, we recommend that you:

  1. Carefully go through the preliminary exercise.
  2. Prepare in advance for Group Discussions, and work thoughtfully through the guideline questions -- but don't be afraid to explore important points which crop up spontaneously.
  3. Do the practical exercises.
  4. Put into immediate practice in your life the things you learn.
  5. Take good notes: "the weakest ink is stronger than the strongest memory."


2.         Preliminary Exercise

[To be done in an introductory session for the course, or by the members on their own.]

There are four keys to being an effective witness to the gospel:

1.) The gospel must be working with life-changing power in our own lives.

2.) We must see that the mandate to witness to and disciple the nations is binding upon each one of us with "All authority" [Matt 28:18].

3.) We must long to see men, women and children set free from the chains and destruction of sin through the power of the gospel.

4.) We must realise that our task does not end with "The Sinner's Prayer"; rather, we must commit ourselves to the full task of helping to ground each new disciple.


The Gospel: Bridging the Sin Gap


Consider the following, individually or as a group, to clarify what we need to emphasise:

1.) Are you sure you are saved?  Why or why not?

2.) If not, what will you do?

3.) If you are, how has the gospel changed your life?

4.) Read Matt 28:18 - 20.  What is the extent and what is the purpose of the Authority of Jesus?  What are the tasks he assigned to us under our mandate to disciple the nations?

5.) If a Bible were put in your hand and you were asked to help someone receive Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, what would you do?

6.) How would you explain the key words you would use, such as: sin, repent, confess, faith, pray, Saviour, Lord?

7.) Similarly, how would you go about helping to ground a new believer in the Faith?

8.) Evaluate your strong and weak points.  What are the areas you need to stress as you seek to bear witness to Jesus and disciple the nations?


3.         GROUP DISCUSSION I:  Proclaiming the Gospel

PREPARATION:      Read Acts 3:1 - 4:22.  (It's a story.)  Write out short notes on how Peter and John presented the gospel in the Temple.


Some time after Pentecost, Peter and John were going into the Temple to pray.  At the gate, they met a lame beggar, and all Heaven broke loose:

1.) Jesus, through his representatives, healed the man at the gate, and a crowd gathered.  They seized the chance to share the Gospel.  What were their main points?

2.) Soon, they were arrested and taken before the Ruling Council.  What were their main points?

3.) What factors gave Peter and John credibility as they spoke to the crowd and to the Council?  What was the impact of Jesus' miraculous power?

4.) If we are to be effective in sharing the gospel today, we too must be credible.  What factors build or damage such credibility?

5.) In the light of what we have seen above, how should we, as individuals and as a group, go about bearing witness to the gospel?

6.) "Many who heard the message believed."  Based on what the Apostles said, what were the key steps involved in turning to Christ?  [Compose a Sinner's Prayer of commitment, and list supporting scriptures for the confessions and petitions in the prayer.]

7.) In the light of our findings, what are the steps involved in an effective presentation of the gospel?  What needs to be in place in our own lives?  What key points should we stress?  How will we help those who       respond as they commit themselves to Christ?

8.) In the light of Matt 28:18 - 20, Titus 2:11 - 14 and Acts 2:36 - 47, what should we do to help ground new believers?  How can we do it?


ENRICHMENT: Work through the Study "Justification, Faith and Salvation."  This will help you explore the most detailed outline of the gospel in the Bible, which is found in the letter to the Romans.  It will also help you deal with challenges such as legalism and baptismal regeneration.


4.         GROUP DISCUSSION II:    Reaching out to People

PREPARATION:      Read John 4:1 - 42 and jot down short notes on how Jesus reached out to this Samaritan woman and her town.  What was his attitude?  His strategy?

Our mandate requires us to reach out to all men, everywhere, with the gospel.  As we have seen, to be effective, the gospel's power must be at work in our own lives, and we must know how to present the gospel message, and to help those who respond as they commit themselves to Christ and begin to live as his disciples in the real world.

These things, however, are not enough.  We must also learn how to reach out to people where they are and as they are.  To do so, we will study Jesus' example.

On his way back to Galilee from Judaea, Jesus stopped by the well in Sychar at noon, and waited.  Soon, an outcast woman -- only such a person would try to fetch water in the heat of the day -- came to fetch water.

Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink:

1.) How did this act enable him to cross the barriers -- gender, religious, racial, moral -- separating her from him?  How can Jesus' example help us stop "cutting God out" in our day-to-day dealings with people?

2.) They went on to talk about "water."  The woman asked for some of his special "water," and he told her "Go, call your husband and come back." Why was this a sore point, and how did she react?

3.) How did Jesus counter her evasions?

4.) Why did he bring the gospel into the conversation by implication rather than directly and explicitly?

5.) In the light of Jesus' approach, how should we bring the gospel into our own conversations?  How should we respond to attempts to lash out or evade the sharp point of the gospel when it begins to bite?  (What about handling intellectual questions or challenges?)

6.) In the end, not only did the woman respond to the gospel, but she brought others from her community to listen to Jesus.  Was this partnership in ministry a deliberate part of Jesus' strategy?

7.) In the light of our findings, how should we reach out to our families, friends, acquaintances and neighbours in our own community? 

8.) How can we reach out to people in isolated groups (such as the Islamic, Hindu, Academic and Rastafarian sub-cultures) in our community?

9.) How can we reach out to people in other communities?


EXERCISE:   [to be done in pairs during the week or in a special session]

1.         Draft a simple outline for sharing the gospel with an individual and leading him or her to Christ.

2.         Practice in pairs, exchanging roles and discussing strong and weak points.

3.         Share the gospel with at least one person during the week, and report the results during the next session.

5.         GROUP DISCUSSION III:  Building Disciples

PREPARATION:      Read Matt 28:18 - 20, Luke 6:39 - 40, Acts 2:36 - 47, 2 Tim 2:2, Titus 2:11 - 14 and Heb 10:23 - 25.  Taken together, what do they say about Evangelism and building disciples?


Points for discussion:

1.) Read the following story:

Peter is a powerful preacher.  Each year, he leads a hundred new people to commit themselves to Christ.  However, he is so busy preaching that he doesn't take time to help them work through the basic points of Christian discipleship. As a direct result, most of his new converts are frustrated and ineffective.

Paul, on the other hand, is a trembling young believer.  He shares his new-found faith with his best friend, John.  John soon becomes a Christian too.  They are so excited and happy that they keep sharing with each other about their relationship with God, and, by the end of the year, both have grown tremendously.

Each year, Peter continues to lead a hundred new believers to Christ, but never takes the time to help any of them.  Paul and his friends each lead but one person to Christ per year; however, they do spend the time to follow them up carefully.

After ten years, who has led more people to Christ?  After twenty?  Whose approach is more effective?  Can they be combined?

2.) Compare the approach of the early Christians with the points brought out in the story.  What lessons can we draw out for our own work?

3.) Let us think back over our own lives as Christians.  What were the key insights, events, practical pointers, practices, teachings and examples that made a vital difference?  Why and how did they make a difference?

4.) Given the warning in Luke 6:39 - 40, what are some things we must deal with in our own lives before we can safely lead others?  How will we deal with these problems?

5.) In the light of the above, plan a follow up programme for working with a new believer.  (It may be useful to consult the following list of ideas.)


ENRICHMENT 1:       Ideas for Effective Follow Up

Follow Up, the work of grounding a new believer and helping him to grow and bear fruit, almost always seems to be an after-thought.  Even the name we use (unfortunately) suggests this.

Nothing could be further from its true importance.  Just think: what takes more time, effort and thought -- bringing a new baby into the world or helping him to grow and become a worthwhile adult?

The following should be useful:

1.) First of all, a new believer needs to be clear that he is in fact saved.  Lack of biblical assurance at this point cripples attempts to live as a Christian.

The best way is to sit down with the new believer and, together, examine scriptures which make plain just how he can be sure that he is saved.

For instance, we could use 1 John 5:13 and John 3:16.  Gentle but firm questions will help the new believer build up his faith and assurance as he sees for himself what God has promised.  (Imagine a typical dialogue.  Some role playing and discussion may be useful.)

2.) Second, a new believer needs to lay a good framework for living as a Christian.  Personal devotions and Bible Study (Psalm 1, Joshua 1:1 - 9), witnessing (Luke 24:46 - 48, Acts 1:8), involvement in the fellowship and ministry of the Church (Acts 2:36 - 47, Heb 10:23 - 25) and finding and fulfilling his role in the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:7, Eph 4:15, 16) are vital.

A series of dyadic (one-on-one) meetings which grapple with these and other related issues can be rather helpful.

3.) It helps to take the time to build up a friendship with the new believer.  In this context, a wealth of general sharing about life and its struggles can be handled, and the power of encouragement rooted in how God helps you with your own struggles can be brought to bear  (2 Cor 1:3, 4).  This is also the best way to help a young believer find a Church home and begin to actively work for God in the home, school, workplace etc.  Dyad is also the best context for passing on skills such as Bible Study, sharing the gospel, praying, leading a meeting -- and leading in general, etc.

4.) Introduce the new believer to good books and good authors.

5.) Pray for him daily, and guard him from the cults, deceptions, side-tracks etc.  Show how to pick up warning signs and help him escape, if that is necessary.  (See Acts 20:28 - 31 and Eph 4:11 - 14.)


6.         Useful Scriptures

1.) Showing our guilt:  Rom 1:18 - 3:20, esp. 1:21 -24, 28, 2:1 - 6, 21 - 24, 3:9; Eph 2:1 - 3; Gal 6:7, 8; 1 Tim 6:3 - 10.

2.) Showing our helplessness:  Isaiah 59:1, 2; Prov 28:13; Luke 13:1- 5; Rom 1:18, 19, 3:9 - 20, 22 - 24, 6:23.

3.) Showing who is the Saviour:  Matt 1:20, 21; John 1:29, 3:14 - 21 (cf. Num 21:4 - 9),    5:22 - 24, 14:6; Acts 4:8 - 12; Rom 3:21 - 24, 6:20 - 23; 1 Cor 15:1 - 11; 1 John 1:5 - 9, 5:9 - 13.

4.) Showing how to receive him:  John 3:14 - 16, 5:24; Rom 4:18 - 5:2, 10:5 - 13, esp. 8 - 10; 1 John 2:22 - 25, 3:21 - 24, 4:15, 5:11 - 13.


7.         Some Useful Books & Writings

Manley-Pippert, Becky.  Out of the Saltshaker,  IVP.           

Little, Paul.  How to Give Away Your Faith,  IVP.           

Torrey, R. A.  How to Witness to Anyone,  Whitaker.           

Peace, Richard.   Small Group Evangelism, IVP.           

Dyrness, H.  Christian Apologetics in a World Community,  IVP.

Green, Canon Michael. Runaway World, available online.

Mullings, Gordon. An Apologetics Primer, available in this site.            

Coleman, Robert.  The Master Plan of Evangelism,  Spire (Revell).           

Coleman, Robert.  The Master Plan of Discipleship,  Revell.

Mullings, Gordon. ABCD: A Basic Course in Discipleship, available in this site.           

Allen, Roland.  The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church,  Eerdmans.

Mullings, Gordon. Why not now?, available in this site.

Mullings, Gordon. " Fullness" and our Mandate, available in this site.