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                       "RELATIONSHIP EVANGELISM"

              Letting The Traffic Flow (Sharing The Gospel)


1. Up to this point in our study of "Relationship Evangelism," we
   a. Noticed various forces that hinder our effectiveness in evangelism
   b. Defined "relationship evangelism" and considered its value as a
      method of sharing the gospel of Christ
   c. Discussed the value of a "prospect list" and offered suggestions
      for developing one
   d. Offered recommendations for developing meaningful relationships

2. It was in the last lesson that we examined the four stages of forming
   substantive relationships, what I call "building bridges."  These
   stages are:
   a. Making the initial contact
   b. Getting better acquainted
   c. Serving them
   d. Becoming a friend

3. If this material is being used in a class-like setting, then before
   proceeding with this lesson...
   a. Spend a few moments sharing with others in the class:
      1) The names of prospects you have on your "Flow Chart"
      2) What you did during the past week with any of these individuals
         to either strengthen the level of relationship you have with 
         them, or to move up to the next level
      3) Feel free to relate and discuss any failures or successes you
         think might prove beneficial to others in the class
   b. As a group, take time to pray in behalf of the souls with whom you
      are working:
      1) Asking God to be with them
      2) Asking God to bless your efforts to forge stronger 
         relationships with them in order to reach them for Christ

4. In this final lesson, we shall offer suggestions on how we might use
   the "bridges" we have built to "let the traffic flow" (i.e., to use
   the opportunities provided by our relationships with others to share
   the gospel of Christ)

[As indicated on the "Evangelistic Prospect Flow Chart" (see sample),
there can be four stages in this process as well.

The first one being called...]


      1. You wish to make a clear identification that you are a 
         Christian in the course of natural conversations
      2. Conducting yourself in such a way that people are aware of your
         faith - cf. 1 Pe 3:15
      3. Don't try to say everything at one time
      4. Ask questions - seek to understand first, then to be understood
      5. Be sensitive to their reactions; place yourself in their shoes
      6. As you share your faith, seek wisdom from God through prayer 
         - cf. Ja 1:5; Neh 2:4

      1. In daily conversation, interject your beliefs that are based
         upon God's Word
      2. Don't hesitate to speak of the special benefits and blessings
         of being a Christian
      3. When appropriate, give God the glory as you discuss good things
         that you experience (but avoid excessive praise, for it can 
         sound artificial and hypocritical)

[Bear in mind that at this point your purpose is not to convert; rather,
you are simply communicating what your faith in Christ means to you or 
has done for you.

The next stage will involve introducing your friend(s) to other 


      1. People may at first discount your "individual" faith and 
         lifestyle, but the "corporate" example can be a powerful 
         witness and influence - Jn 13:34-35; 17:20-21
      2. At this stage, then, you are wanting to introduce your 
         friend(s) to the love and unity of other Christians

      1. Around the NEIGHBORHOOD...
         a. Include Christians in your social, recreational and work
            activities with your non-Christian friends
         b. Have your prospects over for dinner, and invite some 
            Christian friends as well
         c. Invite your prospects to functions of the local church 
            (regular assemblies, gospel meetings, etc.)
         d. Invite them to "pot-lucks" or other social functions 
            organized by Christians
         e. Invite them to home Bible studies with a mixture of
            Christians and non-Christians
      2. At WORK...
         a. Introduce them to other Christian associates
         b. Invite them to attend weekly Bible studies at places of
            employment, or with other businessmen outside of work
         c. Invite them to church functions
         d. Invite them to lunch or dinner where other Christians will
            be present

[Again, the purpose at this stage is not to convert, or to "gang up" on
the prospect, but to simply let them be around other Christians where
they can see the faith of others being demonstrated in their lives.

At last, we come to the point where explicit teaching begins...]


      1. You want to expose your prospect to a full and clear 
         explanation of the gospel
      2. Your goal is not so much to convert, but to create 
         understanding of the gospel and its implications
      3. With those who are already firm believers in Jesus, but 
         mistaken in their understanding of the gospel...
         a. You should not be trying to convert them from "their church"
            to "your church," but leading them closer to the Christ they
         b. Like Aquila and Priscilla, you seek only to help them learn
            the way of God more accurately concerning salvation and the
            Lord's church - cf. Ac 18:24-26
      4. If you do not feel you are capable of teaching what they need,
         ask someone else to step in and take over

      1. With those who believe they are already saved...
         a. You might appeal to their interest in learning more about 
            the Bible:
            1) Offer to show them Jule Miller's "Visualized Bible Study
               Series," or Robert Harkrider's "How To Understand The
               Bible," both of which are five lessons on video tape
            2) Encourage them to study on their own, with the aid of a
               Bible correspondence course (e.g., Gene Tope's "Know 
               Your Bible")
            3) Invite them to study with you one of the Gospels, or the
               book of Acts
         b. Or you might be more direct with a "one-lesson" approach, 
            like that found in Field's "Test Your Salvation" booklet
      2. With those who are not sure of their salvation, or who know 
         they are not saved, you can use the material above, or more 
         "one-lesson" approaches, such as:
            1) Charles Goodall's "In The Same Hour Of The Night"
            2) Bob Danklefsen's "Are You Ready For Your Journey To 
            3) Bristow's "Something Christ Asked Me To Share With You"
[At this point, our primary responsibility is to teach the gospel and to
make sure the person has a proper understanding of what Christ has done
for them.

The last stage of "Letting The Traffic Flow" involves encouraging the 
prospect to obey the gospel...]


      1. Be sure they grasp the personal implications of the gospel
         a. Trusting faith in Jesus Christ...
            1) As the Son of God
            2) Who loved them and gave Himself on the cross for their 
            3) As the only way to forgiveness of sins, fellowship with 
               God, and the hope of eternal life
         b. True repentance...
            1) A decision to turn from sin and turn to God
            2) A willingness to obey Jesus Christ in everything
         c. Confession of faith in Jesus Christ...
            1) Both now in obeying the gospel
            2) And throughout their life as Christians
         d. Baptism into Christ...
            1) To be united with Christ in His death
            2) To be "clothed" with Christ
            3) For the forgiveness of sins through God's grace and 
               Jesus' blood
            4) By faith in the working of God
         e. Faithfulness as a disciple of Christ...
            1) Who observes ALL that Christ commanded
            2) Who remains faithful throughout life, even to death
      2. You want them to understand:
         a. The purpose of baptism into Christ
         b. The importance of being simply Christians, members of the 
            Lord's body
      3. It is important to ask them if they wish to obey Christ; some 
         times we never get around to actually asking!
      4. While there is a place for persuasion (cf. Ac 2:40), we need
         to avoid pressuring someone to do something they really don't
         want to do
      5. If feasible, continue the relationship even if they say "no"
         - some people take longer than others to make the decision to
         say "yes"

      1. Approach a person privately after a Bible study or presentation
         of the gospel and ask them if they have considered obeying the
      2. The following questions may be helpful after a study:
         a. "Does this make sense?"
         b. "Is there anything I (we) have said that you do not 
         c. "Have I (we) been teaching you anything other than what the
            Bible teaches?"
         d. "Would you like to obey Christ and be baptized for the 
            remission of your sins?"
      3. Give them time to make their decision - some people need to 
         study and pray about it for awhile
      4. Let them know you are always available:  any time of the day,
         any day of the week; when they decide to obey Christ, you will 
         be glad to assist them
      5. After obedience to the gospel, follow up with a Bible study 
         designed to help them grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus
         Christ - cf. 2 Pe 3:17-18


1. "Relationship Evangelism" is really quite simple, and can be summed
   up in this way:
                    "Be a friend - share your faith!"

2. Even for those who feel they are unable to teach, "Relationship 
   Evangelism" can be used to lead others to Christ:
   a. Be a friend, and let your faith show by example
   b. When it comes down to the point of explaining the gospel, let 
      another Christian do the actual teaching

3. Many Christians (especially those new in the faith) have led their
   friends to Christ in this manner

4. If other methods of evangelism do not appeal to you, or are beyond 
   your present abilities, why not apply yourself to this approach?

5. I am convinced this can be one of the most effective ways to lead 
   others to Christ, and we might be surprised to see how many people
   could be saved if more Christians applied themselves to this approach

One Last Point

For an approach like this to work, it is imperative that Christians 
constantly encourage one another to carry it out.  One way this could be
done is for a group of interested Christians to meet weekly for the 
purpose of:

   1) Encouraging one another to implement suggestions in this material
   2) Helping each other make definite goals for things to do each week,
      that they might...
      a) Make contacts
      b) Proceed along the various stages of the relationships
      c) Make certain the relationships evolve to the point where the
         gospel is shared and the invitation is given
   3) Sharing successes and failures in meeting the weekly goals, in an
      effort to learn from them
   4) Praying together for souls being sought for Christ, and for those
      involved in the search

   "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord
   may have free course and be glorified, just as it is with you."
                                           - 2 Th 3:1
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