Why Share the Gospel in Mercy Ministry?

DangerThe world is full of very real dangers  –  violence, poverty, broken relationships, poor health, emotional disturbance, disrupted communities…so many things.  All these things can hurt us and we spend our lives trying to avoid them or change them! But none of those things is as dangerous as failure to trust the only One who can provide our permanent hope and security – Jesus Christ.

The Bible describes the situation:

And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son of God has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  1 John 5:11-12

One either has eternal life in Jesus, called the Christ (Savior), or eternal life without Christ.  God Himself sends people to be carefully served by us in our ministries and provides the opportunity for us to partner with Him to show people the way to Jesus and eternal LIFE.

StubbornWe can help someone realize that when anyone leaves God out of their worldview, decisions, relationships, and actions it is called “sin” and causes the person to be separated from God, who is holy and cannot tolerate sin. Essentially the person is saying, “I can do this myself.  I don’t need God.”

As a result, the person operates at a terrible disadvantage every day!  He or she faces life without a relationship with the God  of the Bible — from whom all truth and good  comes!  He or she faces eternal life separated from God forever. But God provides a remedy for this condition because He loves each person!

Paid in FullA person can be rescued from this sin condition, and receive God’s gift of relationship and LIFE.  From the moment of decision to trust Christ alone as Savior, a believer is declared forgiven and adopted by God.  Christ, the Son of God, died as the substitute for their sins, rose from the dead, and was seen alive by hundreds of people, proving that death and sin were conquered forever. (2 Cor. 15:1-8)

For those who trust Christ as the One who paid the full penalty for sin, God gives the gift of eternal LIFE in relationship with Himself.  No one earns it.  God gives it once and for all! Eternal life includes all the work of God’s grace day by day, to help the person who has been made new – no longer estranged from God but now adopted by God into His family.

This eternal life gift extends out through all of life on earth as the Holy Spirit gives strength to a believer to resist sin and choose truth.  He provides comfort, teaching, and power as  Christ continues to intercede for the believer, all the way into joyful eternity.

The message of God’s grace to sinful men is not merely a proclamation of eternal condemnation [for those who do not trust in Christ]; it is rather that the chief of sinners may be saved through the Savior that infinite love has provided.” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Volume 4, p. 433)

In The Evangelism Study Bible, p. 1176,  there’s a note on 1 John 4:11 that helps us understand why to share the gospel with someone.  It’s entitled, “Love is Putting Somebody Else First.”  It says, “Through His death on the cross and resurrection the third day, Jesus Christ satisfied the wrath of God against our sin.  Now God freely extends eternal life as a gift to all who trust His Son.”  And, “Christians who demonstrate sacrificial love stand out like a lighted billboard on a dark night.  When others notice our love, we have a wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus.”

Prepare to help a new Christian to grow in their faith, to learn to pray, to become established in their understanding of Scripture — in short, help them find a home in a church that loves new believers and knows how to help them grow in their spiritual life.

Pray that God will cause  you and partners in your ministry to think of others first and share the gospel.  Be one of those “lighted billboard” people that God will use to both LIVE the gospel through your ministry, and SAY the gospel so it can be heard by a person who does not know Him.

Learn more here: Online evangelism training is available through EvanTell,  24/7, Free Online Evangelism Training.

Making the God Connection: Taking a Chance on Jesus

Who DO You Trust!

Adult members of the Millennial Generation have the lowest level of trust among all generations in America.  Only 19% of them felt that people generally could be trusted.  In their recent review of social trends, Pew Research offered this chart, Millennials Less Trusting of Others, which has implications for us as we try to Make the God Connection with anyone.

 SDT-next-america-03-07-2014-0-05

Source:  http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/  accessed 4/1/2014.

When we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with someone in the millennial age group, we have to face the fact that they are a pretty wary bunch, even when they are not confronting life-changing challenges.  As you share the gospel with them you might consider these three things:

  1. Remember Who’s in Charge!  This is not always easy.  Just pray for an opportunity to share the gospel.  Honor the Lord by learning to share the gospel clearly and simply with Biblical accuracy.  Then do the best you can to declare the gospel, with personal authenticity, in the context of a person’s current situation that they have revealed to you.  The Holy Spirit is in charge of whether or not the person trusts Christ.  So that’s good news.  Relax.
  2. Recognize that trusting may be really tough.  Your clients often have had a rough life and people around them may not be trustworthy at all!  This is why your demeanor of grace and the center’s integrity and care for a person may be so novel that she will later say to you, “You were so nice.  You guys really cared about me!  That’s why I came back.”  If she can trust you, that’s a good start!  Be ready for questions and, if you don’t know an answer, say so, and tell her you’ll get back to her.
  3. Gospel conversations are not abrupt!  You just can’t leap into the gospel from a conversation about unplanned pregnancy without first touching on some spiritual topic.  Sometimes, I ask a person, “Who or what do you rely on when times are hard?”  Maybe they know more about trust than you think!  Their answer often tells something about whether they have any spiritual beliefs.
    1. If the conversation is progressing, take the opportunity to share your testimony about how trusting in Christ for your salvation has changed your condition and your hope.  If you use the “Create Your Three-Word Testimony Worksheet” it will help you write your testimony with the gospel embedded in it.  You’ll be sharing how you decided to “Take a Chance on Jesus” and trust Him for your salvation.  Learn to create your testimony here:  http://evantell.org/Tools/Article-Detail/Article/11/How-to-Develop-Your-3-Word-Testimony#sthash.ukcpUSqo.dpbs
    2. Use a single verse, John 3:16, to share the gospel.  Grab the instructions here: http://evantell.org/Tools/Article-Detail/Article/67/How-to-Share-the-Gospel-with-One-Verse#sthash.1JEvDgxG.dpbs
    3. If you have a smart phone or iPad, you can link to EvanTell’s mobile site on which there is a video of the gospel presentation that you and she can view together! Just get on your mobile device and key in http://www.evantell.org and the mobile site will come up with the gospel presentation on it!

If a person trusts Christ alone for her salvation, there’s wonderful opportunity to help her know what to do next to grow in her faith.  We will be posting on “3 Crucial Steps for New Believers” next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing a Message of Grace

Guest Blogger
Elaine Ham, Plans For You
SMSC Master Instructor

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This the first in a series of guest blogs focused on Evangelism Basic Training for pregnancy center staff and volunteers.  Our guest blogger today is Elaine Ham, a SMSC Master Instructor. She has trained hundreds of volunteers over the years and has over 16 years of experience in working with pregnancy centers. We couldn’t think of a better person to write about the fear of offending an abortion-minded client in sharing the gospel.

Every client advocate who has ever counseled in a pregnancy center knows the sudden rush of fear that envelops us when a young, single client learns she is pregnant. We ask a question such as, “What are your plans for your baby’s future?” and pray that whatever she says will not include the word “abortion.” The bad news is that her response almost always does include the “a” word, whether she’s just thinking about it or she has already made the decision to abort. As Paul said in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Without a relationship with Christ, neither we nor our clients will ever make Godly decisions.

The good news is that no matter what has happened in her past, God loves her unconditionally and showed that love by giving His Son to die on a cross for her so that her sins might be forgiven. But how do we go about sharing that without causing offense or watching her make a quick exit from the counseling room? We know the comfort she is seeking and the answers she needs are found only in the loving arms of our Savior, Jesus Christ; yet we also have another voice speaking into our ear telling us not to go there, she would probably say no or think we’re a religious fanatic.

When God called me into the pregnancy center ministry 16 years ago, I heard that same voice and felt those same insecurities. The difference between then and now is that I didn’t recognize the source of the voice, and I spent nearly a year running away from God’s call. Thanks to the wisdom of a Godly pastor, I finally understood that those discouraging thoughts were intended to distract me from hearing God’s voice and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with those in need of God’s Amazing Grace.

As a client advocate, you have experienced the forgiveness and all-consuming love of God that can only be received through believing in Christ alone for salvation. You are in the counseling room because God has placed you there for the purpose of sharing that message with broken women who are looking for answers. You have been given the privilege by God to deliver His message of grace to your client and to lead her into God’s presence. In so doing, you have also given her the comfort and hope she is really seeking that will allow her to choose life for her unborn child.

Where do you start? How about with these words?—“May I ask you a question? Has anyone ever taken a Bible and shown you how you can know for sure that you’re going to heaven? May I?” You will soon find you are in for the most exciting experience of your life. Hang on and watch God work.

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Author Info:  Elaine Ham is a full-time on-site trainer and pregnancy resource center coach for the company she founded in 2000—Plans For You, Inc., creator of the Baby Bottle Boomerang. She has helped centers across the country raise over $75 million for their ministries. She also served as a PRC director and director of development at Piedmont Womens Center in Greenville, South Carolina for eight years and as National Consultant for the North American Mission Board/SBC and its 275 affiliates for seven years. Elaine is a SMSC Master Instructor for EvanTell/SMSC and a Licensed Life Affirming Specialist with Heartbeat International. Elaine Ham can be reached through her website, www.plansforyou.org.