First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Good News Notes - Week 8
I believe the single most important part in talking to a missing person about God (outside of the Holy Spirit's guidance) is your testimony. Your story cannot be refuted. Your experience with a loving God is the rock that cannot be moved. Someone can say they don't believe in the Bible but it is difficult to deny what a person has experienced.
Now just like I want you to look at the word evangelism in a different way, I also want you to look at your testimony in a different way. We have all heard someone stand up and give their testimony. But my belief is that we don't have a single testimony - we have thousands of testimonies. Everyday we see the evidence of God working in our lives and his love for us. The question "what has Christ done for you today?" is worthy of asking at the end of each day.
Researchers tell us that a person will need on average 8-9 what I call "touches in their lives" to help them see the value of being a Christian. A "touch" in a person's life may be an act of kindness, a friend who listens, a TV story about a church giving away backpack's of school supplies, or even a stop for a few seconds to watch a service on TV.
There is a scale called the Engel's scale of receptivity. This scale helps us see how receptive a person may be for salvation. A person who knows nothing about Christ is further away from receiving Christ than a person who has attended Sunday School for a few months. For us to know what kind of testimony to use will depend on where a person is on that scale. This is important to know when possible. If we share our salvation testimony with a person who knows very little about Jesus they may think we have lost our mind. (On the other hand we should never count out what the Holy Spirit can do in the life of a missing person) What your friend may need to hear more than anything at that moment is how helpful your faith is to you in day-to-day affairs.
My point is that we need several types of testimonies. A ten-second testimony to use in the elevator, a 30-second testimony while we are standing in line at the grocery store, and a full version of how God changed our life and gave us eternal life for the person who is genuinely interested in knowing God. Think about how many ways that God has met different needs in your life. Couldn't you share your testimony about a specific need you had in your life and how God brought you through that need with a person having the same difficulty? Yes, you could and that is why we have hundreds of testimonies.
Scripture - I Peter 3:15b - Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have (in Christ).
Action - This week take the time to write out a short one-minute version of your testimony. Think of how God has blessed you last week and write about that. Try your best to use neutral words. We are all accustomed to the meaningful words and phrases that describe our experience in Christ, but a missing person may not have a clue what you are talking about. Use words that would not be considered "churchy" words to tell of your encounter with a living God. Explore new ways to say how God has changed your life.
Prayer - God, help me to write down one part of my experience with you, one that could be used with a missing person. Help me to think about what would be important to missing people who need you. God, open my life to be ready to touch another person at any time. May I have your eyes to see.
Next Week -