(Share A Meal, A Message, and A Meaningful meeting)
By Asst Ps Gift Daniel
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:31-32
As disciples of Christ, we follow not only Jesus’ footsteps but also his strategy in reaching out to the lost. Jesus intentionally ate with sinners and spent time communicating with them that repentance and forgiveness are available in him. Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost was done by spending time with the lost and the outcasts. Jesus often shared meals in the company of sinners and social outcasts. We who follow him must do likewise—go after the lost, not wait for them to come to us. As a church, we can reach pre-believers we know by sharing meals, messages and meaningful meetings with them.
ONE FOR ONE
Last weekend, we considered the need for us to search for ONE pre-believer. This lost one could be in your workplace, school, or hospital. I have encouraged you to think of that person you intend to reach out to before the end of this year. I hope you have a name by now, and if you not, pray and decide on ONE person to reach before the end of this year. You are of course welcome to reach out to more than one person, but let us, as a community of faith, each endeavour to reach at least one person by the end of 2022.
Once you decide on this ONE person, let us follow Jesus by sharing a Meal, sharing a Message and sharing a meaningful Meeting!
Share a Meal
Meet with this ONE person you intend to reach over a casual meal. Our desire during the first meeting is to connect with them or, if you already know this person, to reconnect with them over a meal or coffee. If possible, I suggest you go for a few meals as that will help you cultivate a better relationship. Nonetheless, try to share at least one meal with the person you want to reach. During that meal, do not feel compelled to share your faith (unless you have already established a trusted relationship with him/her). Rather, use the first meeting to listen to your friend’s story. Listen carefully, listen with empathy and listen to understand their life perspectives. (When we develop good listening habits in our conversations with our pre-believing friends, it helps us to connect better with them.) This will pave the way for the sharing of our message.
Share a Message
After establishing a relationship with the person, you can then share your message. This message could include your personal story of conversion and subsequent life of faith. Feel free to use evangelism tools you are familiar with or evangelistic Apps (e.g. GodTools).
Show utmost sensitivity when sharing your story, and actively seek an opportunity to transition to the gospel message. Should you not be able to share the whole message as you intended to, do not be bothered by it. Instead, follow up with a phone call or another meeting or perhaps invite them to an evangelistic meeting or CARE group (see the next ‘M’). The goal is to intentionally move from a general conversation to a spiritual one, whereby they hear your personal experience of the gospel message.
Share a Meaningful Meeting
After establishing a relationship through a meal and communicating the message, invite your friend for an evangelistic meeting where they will hear the gospel together with you. You should accompany them for this evangelistic meeting and do a follow-up after they hear the gospel, should they have any questions or doubts. This can be a small group meeting, such as the year end Christmas outreach event organized by your CG, or a meeting you organize with your Christian friends. In the weeks to come, we will be providing support, resources and a briefing for organizing such meetings in your small group. Alternatively, you can invite your friend to our church’s Christmas services on 24 and 25 December.
This “meaningful meeting” will give your friend the opportunity to hear the gospel one more time or perhaps from a different perspective. You are still responsible for reaching out to your friend with whom you have established a connection. If you cannot invite your friend to this year’s Christmas service or small group meeting for some reason, continue to follow up with them one-on-one.
Remember, the goal of personal outreach is to share the gospel with your friend(s) and bring them to the point of making the decision to follow Christ. Afterwards, we continue to pray for them and follow up with them.
Let us encourage one another to each reach ONE
Let us pray for one another as we attempt to reach the ONE friend God is leading us towards. And may we consider what a privilege this act of reaching out to our lost friend is! It is a privilege because we have undeservedly received salvation through Christ, and can now share the blessing of salvation with others too.
I realise an exercise like this can be very daunting and scary for some of us, but may we remember that when we make ourselves available to God, God will enable us to accomplish His task for His purpose. Towards that end, let us support one another by sharing the name of the ONE person you want to reach with your CG, that the CG may pray for these persons regularly. It would encourage the entire community if you take time to share your answered prayers and success stories of reaching that ONE person with others.
In all your efforts, be reminded that God’s heart for that ONE friend of yours is recovery. Your efforts in reaching out to them are important to God. All you do will make a difference in your friend’s life and in our community. If each of us in our church reaches ONE, we will significantly make a difference in our society. More than that, there will be great rejoicing in Heaven over that ONE soul we have reached.
Happy sharing, The Jesus way!
Note: To equip us for outreach, we have included study #10 in the church’s Bible Study guide. Please also visit our church website for more resources or contact any church staff for assistance.