Biblical Discipleship

Posted: November 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

I ran across an article this past week by Claude Hickman that I really liked, called Missions & Discipleship. Many times we see evangelism as one or maybe a few conversations where we share with someone what Christ did for them on the cross. After that we have no real plan or even any intention of taking them further. We focus of saving as many people as we can and once they are saved we drop them. Claude Hickman writes to uproot this idea and replace it with a Biblical model of evangelism and discipleship. He writes,

“If we look at the life of Jesus we see that he moved his disciples through several phases. The first is Evangelism, bringing them to believe in Him as the Messiah. The next phase is Establishing, grounding them in the basics of the Christian life. After awhile, some followers proved themselves to be faithful men and were selected for special training, or Equipping. Only after this filtering process did he Extend them to the nations on their own.”

“We also see that the early Church modeled this. Just read through Acts and see the pattern of developing believers, training them and then sending them to the nations.

 

Acts

Evangelizing – Acts 2:38,47 “Repent and be baptized…And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Establishing – Acts 2:41,42 “Those who accepted his message were Baptized… they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Equipping Leaders – Acts 6:3,7 “Choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them.”

Extending – Acts 10:34-48 “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”

Evangelizing – Acts 11:20-21 “Some of them went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus…a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

Establishing – Acts 11:22-26 “So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the Church and taught great numbers of people.”

Equipping Leaders – Acts 13:1 “In the Church of Antioch there were prophets and teachers (trained men).”

Extending – Acts 13:3-4 “So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”

 This was the Lord’s method, and the early church’s method: Evangelize, Establish, Equip, Extend.”

“The goal of discipleship is to multiply. Jesus could have lead large crusades to win thousands of people to the Kingdom, but He didn’t. Instead He chose to invest His life deeply into a few faithful men. He knew the result would be far more impacting for the future if He could train some disciple makers. The missionary Paul caught on to the same vision. In 2 Timothy 2:2, he exhorts Timothy to entrust the things he learned from Paul to, “faithful men, who are able to teach others also.” Four generations of discipleship in one verse; Paul to Timothy, to faithful men, to the others they would train. There is power in multiplication. If you lead one person to Christ each day for 33 years, that would be over 12,000 people. But instead, let’s say that you lead one person to Christ and discipled them in a year so that they could go out and win and train others, and that this process of evangelizing, establishing, equipping, and extending was built into each one. Even if it just started with you, within 33 years you would have reached over 4 billion people. Jesus knew that this was a powerful thing to give His life to. There are very few men and women out there who are reproducing themselves into others. If you find one, latch on to them. Do you want to see missionaries mobilized and sent out to the nations? Begin establishing, equipping and extending those around you. It is your greatest investment.”

Let’s go out this week living as true disciples of Christ, intending to multiply by evangelizing, establishing, equipping, and extending!

For a long time, I really struggled with the concept of reaching out to people that are in my life daily with the intention of showing them Christ. My relationship with Jesus was something private to me, and I could tell that to a random person I wouldn’t ever see again about Christ because they wouldn’t judge me for it later. This way, in my mind, I was still telling people about Christ, but not being “that obnoxious Christian” to my friends. There was an obvious gaping hole in this logic, but it was a comfort to me so I allowed myself to believe it.

When I was in high school, our youth minister Frank showed us a video of an atheist talking about Christians and sharing the gospel. He talks about how after a show (the atheist is a comedian) a Christian approached him, gave him a bible and had highlighted verses for him. This prompted him to make a video questioning why Christians who believe in a real place called hell, where people will go if they don’t hear the gospel, don’t evangelize. He says “How much do you have to hate someone to not tell them?” Frank put it like this; it would be like knowing the cure for cancer and deciding not to share it. The atheist suggested a great metaphor of not telling someone they’re about to be hit by a bus. As P.F. Bresee says, “We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it.” Frank then went on to stress the importance of evangelism of not only people we love and care about, but to others too. I, at the time, was completely on the others thing, but I had totally missed the mark with the people I value the most.

My brother is one of those people that I was afraid to share the gospel with. I love him with all of my heart and would never wish any sort of harm to come to him, yet I was holding back from sharing my faith with him. I was afraid of messing up, not knowing enough, the usual excuses. However, once I counted to three and just started the conversation, it was great. To quote We Bought A Zoo, “All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and something great will come of it.” You just need to get the ball rolling. You don’t have to have all the answers, but explain who the Lord is, how He moved in your life, what He has done. We actually need to speak up. Verbally. Not  only show Christ through your actions because who’s testimony have you heard that says, “I observed this one Christian who never spoke to me about Jesus, but their actions made me suddenly conscious of the gospel and now I believe.”  I think that John Piper explains it best in this quote on our role in sharing the gospel.

“We do two key things. We pray for God to open the eyes of the blind. And we speak words of truth about Christ so that when the people’s eyes are opened, there is something to believe. The Holy Spirit never opens the eyes of the heart until there is gospel truth in the mind to believe. That’s our job. We put the truth of Christ into a person’s mind with a testimony; we pray for the miracle of spiritual sight for the blind. And God in his time and in his way says, “Let there be light!” Don’t take on more than is your human responsibility in this process. But far more urgent for us is: DON’T TAKE ON LESS!”

I encourage you to pray for opportunities this week to share the work the Lord has done in your life. He is faithful and will give you opportunities; you just need to take them.

Revelation 12:11 says, “And they triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Ok, so aside from the general awesomeness of this verse, I think it speaks to the spiritual relevance of our testimony. Let me start off by saying that there is not one singular method by which evangelism is accomplished. There are so many aspects to sharing the Gospel, and each of them holds weight and can be used to demonstrate the Gospel in people’s lives. Some people are excellent at sharing the Gospel relationally, some are excellent in apologetics, and still others prefer proclamation to conversation. That being said, everyone has one tool that will always have power and relevance in evangelism, and that is our testimony.

Everyone has a testimony. Mine involves addiction and struggle and anger and a long time of searching for fulfillment in things that could never satisfy me. Eventually, those pursuits led to Jesus, who satisfies perfectly. My testimony has power, but not because I had this crazy past or a radical road to Damascus, blinding light conversion experience, but because Jesus saved me. Because of that, I moved from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light. There is power in that fact. Testimonies don’t have to be filled with darkness and pain. You need not have been an axe murderer by age 12 or have been to jail a few times for your testimony to be worth something, you just need to have been saved by King Jesus.

The beauty of Revelation 12:11 is that Satan has accused the people in the passage, yet they “triumph over him by the blood of the Lamb and the words of their testimony.” I mean, because of Jesus’ bloodshed and our words in testimony to such, we can dropkick the devil’s dorky self and then step on his horned head. Not because of our crazy past, or our cool conversion story, but because of what Jesus has done for us. This weekend I got to attend an all guy’s Bible study, and there was a high school kid there who got saved two weeks ago. This is what he said to our group, “So, I’m new at this. I don’t really know much, but this is what I do know. Jesus died for me to save me from death in Hell. I’m different than I was, and it’s because of Jesus and what He did.” It’s crazy to think that he thought this was an example of not knowing much of anything. In reality, he knew everything. That testimony alone is enough to triumph over Satan and to make a difference in someone else’s life. Your story matters, no matter what it is, so it’s time we told someone what Jesus has done for us, because it could mean eternity for them.

If we don’t, who will?

Posted: October 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

What if someone had never told you the gospel? What if you were not saved and you were simply waiting someone to share with you? You were broken searching for something, but didn’t quite know what you were looking for. Helpless waiting for someone to come and tell you news that would open up your eyes and change your life forever. How would you ever know unless those that God has called to proclaim the gospel told you?

Paul says in Romans 10:13-14, “ ‘Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on the one they have not believed in? How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? How can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

There are people around us daily that are hopeless and in need of a savior. It’s our job to share with them the grace that can be found in the Savior. It’s this simple, we must go, we must tell. If we don’t tell them who will?

I would love for you all to join me in engaging our campus tomorrow, Tuesday the 14th. We will be meeting in russell house, room 302, at 3pm. We will have a short training, prayer, and then splitting up; some people will be going out to share the gospel and others will be staying to pray. We would love for everyone to come out and participate in reaching our campus for Christ!

My First Time – Ellis Reese

Posted: October 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

The summer after my sophomore year of high school, I joined a discipleship group at Shandon. James, our leader, put a huge emphasis on evangelism. I had always been told to go out and share the Gospel, but no one really told me how to do this. However, James began to teach us how to actively share our faith with others, even strangers. James then asked us to go out with him to share the Gospel. My first thought was “oh crap I really hope no one goes so I don’t have to,” but everyone went so I did also. I was honestly terrified to talk to random people, let alone talk about something as important as the Gospel.

We ended up going to the Vista and James took us with him, as he shared the Gospel. He then looked at us and told us we were up. I was so nervous nevertheless, I went up to a random person and asked them if I could ask them a question; they said sure, so I asked them what they think happens to people when they die. They began to answer and we then had a great conversation on the afterlife, heaven, how you get there, and eventually Jesus. I was shocked, as soon as I asked the first question all of my fears went away. The hardest part of evangelizing was initially walking up and starting the conversation. Once the conversation began, God gave me peace and He began to work as I talked about what He had done.

For some reason we are initially terrified to talk to others because of rejection or messing up, when in reality there is no loosing when it comes to sharing your faith. You win EVERY TIME, even when we think it is a complete failure. Our job is not to convert people or change peoples’ hearts. Our job is to proclaim the good news, and the rest is up to the Holy Spirit working in their hearts and their response to that! This truth takes the pressure off of us, as we are simply given the task of telling them about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that y’all will join me in engaging our campus on October 14th. Trust me when I say this, if I can share my faith so can you! It is okay to be scared, I am still nervous every time, but Christ is worth it.

Why Engage? – Billy Judge

Posted: September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

You’ve invited them to tailgates.  You’ve invited them to coffee house.  You’ve invited them to church.  They just won’t come.  You’ve heard it all.  “Cool, but not my thing.”  “I want to, just not yet.”  They are the family member who doesn’t understand why you are different.  They are the friend you grew up with who doesn’t want it, but is glad that you found it.  They are the one who you will throw a party for when you hear that they have made Jesus their Savior and their Lord.  It is tiring to pursue them.  It is disheartening when they run.  Don’t give up on them. Engage them.

Engage because:

  • He commands us to pray and go.
  • He is not slow in keeping His promises as we understand slowness but patient
  • He hears your cry for their salvation.
  • He died for you and them.
  • Their joy will be complete.
  • They won’t always ask you about Him
  • You are to store up treasure in heaven.
  • You have tasted and seen that the Lord is good

I beg you.  Don’t give up on them.  Engage them.  You see, I had people in my life who invited me to church.  They invited me to the events.  I wasn’t interested.  They didn’t give up on me.  They engaged me with the gospel.  When first heard the gospel, my life changed.  When I later heard the gospel again, angels rejoiced.  I knew that Jesus was “the answer.”  Sometimes, invitations just don’t work.  This is why we engage. The gospel is “the power for salvation” (Rom 1:16).   Will you Join me, and Shandon College Ministry, in engaging “that one” person with the gospel on 10/14/14?  If you don’t, who will?

Worthy is the Lamb

Posted: September 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Welcome back Shandon College, I am excited to be posting the first Evangablog of the Semester. I hope everyone had a great Summer and beginning of the semester! This summer I went to the Philippines and did mission work in a local barangay near Butuan City. One thing that God continually taught me throughout the summer was “Christ is worth it.” John writes in revelation 5:

“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’” Revelation 5:11-12

Jesus is worthy of all glory and honor! He is worthy of all our worship, all of our devotion and all of our lives. We are called to be witnesses to the whole world for His glory. My prayer for our college ministry is that we would see Christ as the worthy Lamb and in response to that truth proclaim His name to those around us every day; that we would constantly be looking for opportunities to proclaim the gospel and relying on the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and to work through us.

This semester Shandon College Ministry will be joining with college students all across America in Engage 24. Engage 24 is a 24 hour period on October 14th when college students will make a coordinated effort to engage their campuses with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their mission is to promote a 24/7 lifestyle of evangelism and engagement with the gospel. Our desire is to see everyone in the college ministry will share the Gospel with at least one person that day. Will you join us in engaging our campus on 10.10.14?

More information on how you can get involved with Shandon during Engage 24 will be coming soon!