Every believer sharing Christ through words, gifts and actions
As we progress as Christians and live out our earthly lives, we will have opportunities to share Christ and make disciples. Even though casual relationships do occasionally bring results, we know that engaging one in long-term relationships will bring more results. The call to engage in the mission of evangelism finds its roots in two key passages. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20) and “…ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
For a Christian to commit to engaging the lost people of the world, he/she must experience a missional conversion that causes them to want to fulfill the call of Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8.
A missional conversion causes Christians to take personal responsibility for sharing Christ in their Jerusalem (across the street, around the block), in Judea (across Alabama and to people of similar culture), in Samaria (to the other nations among us) and around the world.
The call for believers to engage with non-believers involves recognizing lostness, equipping laborers and partnering together with churches. John 3:16 gives us the basis for recognizing lostness in the world: “For God loved the people of this world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who has faith in Him will have eternal life and never really die” (CEV). Paul emphasized the need to equip laborers when he instructed us “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Eph. 4:12 NIV). The value of partnering together with churches in underscored in Acts 2:42: “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (NASB).
Bible study, discipleship training and especially missions education bring about an awareness of the lostness of the world. Through weekly missions education for children and youth, monthly meetings for adult men and women, surveys, people search events, and special studies, Christians acquire an awareness of the need of the people around them and around the world.
A. Preparing Witnesses for the Challenge
• Prepare to share. Prayerfully check your relationship with God and read Walking With God: 30 Days to Change Your Prayer Life, by John Franklin.
• Write your testimony. Begin with what your life was like before you made a commitment to follow Jesus.
• Tell how God changed you. Tell how Christ forgave you of your sin and is now your Savior.
• Share how your life is different. Give a recent example of how Christ has made a difference in your life.
• Participate in the GPS PrayerWalking event.
B. Personally Accepting the Challenge
Prayer Plan: Every church praying for every lost person.
• Adopt an intentional prayer plan. In what way will you actively pray for lost people? Challenge every believer to pray for two to six lost people by name every day.
• Study your community. How would you describe the demographics of the geographical area surrounding your church? Challenge your church to pray for the lost in your community, North America and the world. Coordinate with your association and conduct a community needs survey.
• How can your church identify the unchurched people? Challenge your church to select one or two unreached people groups in your community for focused prayer (people groups are those significantly different from your church members).
Engaging Plan: Every believer equipped to share.
• Ready to talk about Jesus. How many believers in your church are trained to share their faith? Conduct a “One-Hour Witnessing Workshop.” (NAMB)
• Understand cultural differences. What opportunities can your church offer to help believers learn about witnessing to other cultures? Put the “Iceberg Theory” into practice (i.e. commit to study the unseen parts of their culture). EPOCH materials and training and literacy missions/ESL training is available. PlantAlabama.org
• Form relationships. How can you seek relationships with non-believers in order to bring them to Christ, rather than staying in a “holy huddle” with other Christians? Personally invite a family of a different culture into your home. Start a ministry or literacy/ESL group. Study Perimeters of LIGHT: Biblical Boundaries for the Merging Church, by Elmer Towns and Ed Stetzer.
• Participate in Acts 1:8 Church Planting. Start an outreach group among those who cannot or will not come to your building. Partner in starting a new church to reach the unchurched. Pray for God to call and equip Church Planter Missionaries. PlantAlabama.org
• Increase giving through the Cooperative Program and SBC mission offerings. Conduct a stewardship study “Encouraging the Heart”: A Three-Sunday Giving Enlistment Emphasis that includes:
(1) Encouraging Givers’ Hearts
(2) Inspiring Christians to Give
(3) Giving from the Heart
PARTNERING TOGETHER WITH CHURCHES
The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions is the equipping partner who is ready to provide Alabama Baptist churches with the resources needed for fulfillment of the Great Commission through GPS.
Church events, associational events and state events are planned or will be planned through 2020, which will provide the opportunity for churches to partner in ministry on various levels.
The State Board of Missions is committed to providing Alabama Baptist churches with the resources to equip and encourage them to fulfill the Great Commission. One way to do this is through organized gatherings that teach, encourage and prepare believers to engage their world for the cause of Christ.