Posted by: Brian Musser | September 26, 2013

ENGAGE – A Practical Guide to Evangelism by threads from LifeWay

ENGAGE – A Practical Guide to Evangelism by threads from LifeWay

005560882This August threads by LifeWay produced a new Bible study resource intended to be a practical approach to evangelism with young adults as the targeted audience.  The book ENGAGE – A Practical Guide to Evangelism is designed to facilitate a four session small group discussion centered around sharing your faith.  Each session is written by a different author on a specific topic relevant to witnessing.

Session One: What exactly is “the gospel?”  is written by J.D. Greear.  The session is an extended conversation the ideas and concepts that make up the gospel.  Discussions include topics such as sin, grace vs. works, the resurrection, and the gift of the gospel.  It also, goes a step further than most gospel definitions to include the fact that the gospel is not just for the moment we come to Christ but it is essential for the everyday living of the Christian faith.  The chapter does well balancing the notion that its main audience has already committed to Christ but still offering an opportunist to those who may not have made that decision.  It is clear, precise, well thought out, and rather exhaustive within the given parameters.  An excellent one session comprehensive Bible study on the gospel.

The only negative comment I would put towards this chapter is that I would specifically choose to supplement it with an activity.  I feel an activity that would force my audience to express the gospel either verbally or written.  Being required to reproduce the gospel from memory instead of just agree with the gospel spoken by someone else is an absolutely necessary learning step in being able to share the gospel.  Too often within Christianity, we ask the audience to learn the gospel but do not facilitate that learning because we only make them recognize the gospel and not reproduce the gospel.  What is included in this chapter is excellent but I would recommend adding only an activity so that what is in the chapter ends up in the minds of the audience.

Session Two: Why should I share the gospel? by Rob Turner.  This session answers the title question fairly quickly and easily.  God, through Christ and scripture has commanded us to share.  That is why we should.  Then it spends the remainder of the time looking at ways to overcome fear and complacency so that we can be obedient to God’s command.  Although, I agree that a huge motivator for sharing should be faithfulness and obedience, I also believe that the question could be answered in multiple ways and deserves a more extended conversation.  At one time, on my blog I posted specifically about this.  “My Other 10 Reasons You Should Tell The Story of Jesus’ Life, Death And Resurrection.

The best part of the lesson is on encouraging us to stay closely connected with God.  Attaching our fervor in sharing of faith directly with the intimacy with which we are experiencing that faith.  Out of an intimate walk with God will come the desire to introduce our God to others.  Often we neglect to connect our evangelism to our spiritual intimacy.  This is a great reminder that all of the faithful need to hear.

Session Three: How do I defend the gospel?  by Derwin Gray.  This session was my favorite.  I enjoyed how the author divided barriers to receiving the gospel into three categories; emotional, intellectual and volitional barriers.  We always need to conscientiously try to understand the nature of our friends questions.  Some questions are produced by pain and can only be truly answered by a loving extended relationship.  Other questions are from confusion and need the right information organized clearly.  Some questions are just excuses and need to be faced by a challenge to act.  Often we are answering questions are friends are not asking in ways they don’t need.  In this session the book gets real practical centering on the major objections that a raised, answering them briefly and then recommending quality resources for more in-depth investigation.

Session Four:  How do I share the gospel?  by Ben Reed.  This is the most practical session.  It makes sharing your faith a simple idea.  Then suggests several popular methods.  Its recommends several places to share your faith that you may not have thought of before.  There is a list of tips for sharing.  I love bullet number four:  “Eat something…”  The session is an organized, succinct compilation of practical and useful information about specific ways to share the gospel.  This chapter makes the book absolutely worth it.  Although, most of the information is available elsewhere, this section outlines it in a one-stop shopping place that should be a quality reference point for minister and student alike.

You may already have your “go to” resource on evangelism.  You may have even designed it yourself to best fir your unique context.  Many of us do.  But you may be looking for something fresh.  You may be just starting out in equipping young adults in the area of evangelism.  You may be searching for a supplement to what you already use.  If so, ENGAGE – A Practical Guide to Evangelism by threads from LifeWay is a worthy resource to consider.

 

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