Hi there. Thanks for joining us for more helpful tips for effective evangelism.
Our final Planter Session for 2015 was devoted to Evangelism for the Summer-Soaked Australian. City Bible Forum evangelist Sam Chan and Salt Church Wollongong's pastor Dan Godden spoke with Scott Sanders about how to bring the good news to Australia during the Christmas holidays.
We had so many questions being sent through for Sam and Dan that we ran out of time to answer them all. So, below are Sam's answers to four of those questions. They cover a wide range of topics yet are united by the critical concern of how best to share Jesus with those around us (whoever they might be).
Chris – I am keen to hear more about HOW you help people make the 'lifestyle change’ to embracing evangelism (during summer, and beyond)?
It's not so much about a method, or even running extra events. But a lifestyle change.
1. Merge our universes. Typically we have two separate universes – a 'Christian friends' universe and an 'other friends' universe. We need to merge our universes by getting our Christian friends to hang out with our other friends and vice versa. That way our friends will end up in a community where a significant proportion of their friends believe in the Jesus-story. That way the Jesus-story won't just be true but also more believable. But this takes at least 1-2 years. Like I said, it's a lifestyle change.
2. We need to go to our friends' events. That is, we need to be hanging out with them on a regular basis. That way when we invite them to a Christian event, it won't be so weird because it will be one of many things that we naturally do together.
3. Work on a coffee-dinner-Gospel sequence. Invest time in inviting our friends for coffee. And then invest time in inviting them for a meal. And then gradually our friends will feel more comfortable talking about 'worldviews'. This is because we are gradually moving from 'public' space to 'private' space. And our conversation topics will gradually move from 'interests' to 'values' and, finally, to 'worldview' topics.
4. Our church itself needs to have a 'lifestyle' change. It's no longer just a 'sacred' space for Christians to gather to be edified. It's also a 'secular' space where our other friends can come and hear the Jesus-story. That is, our churches also need to 'merge their universes'.
Tabitha – What recommendations do you have for evangelism to Muslims during the Australian summer?
SAM: Wow, muslims can be from anywhere, ranging from Asia to Africa! OK, here are some general tips…
2. They might resonate more with the idea that we are 'unclean' and that Jesus can make us 'clean'. Or that Jesus gives us 'peace' and 'shalom'.
Norm – What have you found to be effective when it comes to engaging tradie and blue collar workers in gospel issues?
SAM: We keep using the wrong tool! We make tradies and blue collar workers sit down in rows of chairs while we lecture them. Tradies and blue collar workers like to be involved in a project together. Doing stuff together. Men typically don't like to look at each other – they like to work side-by-side on a project.
So, we can either put stuff on where we can hang out for (1) fun stuff or (2) purposeful stuff.
For example: Put on a day where our church services the cars of some needy people in the community. Or a day where we just do fun stuff for the sake of fun, such as charter a boat and go fishing, and then hang out afterwards for a BBQ where we cook the fish.
It's in the hanging out that meaningful conversations will gradually happen.
Dan – Any tips for communicating gospel truths to Grade 3-6's in the course of summer activities/events?
SAM: Kids learn through fun, games, quizzes, competitions and stories.
The Planter Sessions will return in 2016. Get excited.