What steps should we take when it comes to investing the gospel of Christ in people? So many of us do not know where to start—and if we figure that out, we do not know where to go! Here are some steps:
Ingest. We need to know and nourish ourselves on the things of God. If we are to invest, we will only invest what we ingest. We can’t lead people to the things of God if we do not know where we’re going. Just ask one of my members, Chris Marshall, about our trip back from Eric and Sarah Masters’ wedding rehearsal in December of 2009. Just because two people are helping each other navigate back from Point A (which, in this case, was Danville) to Point B (Lexington), does not mean that the road will be easy. One wrong turn, lots of back roads, no lights, and you’re in for an adventure. You will ingest sound doctrine so you know where you are going and can take others along!
Initiate: Help them Know About Christ
We need to be ones who know about Christ to help others know about Christ. And it starts with simply planting a seed—initiating the conversation. If you are talking to a FRAN (friend, relative, associate, neighbor), then hopefully you already have some sort of relationship with them. Ask them about their spiritual belief? Ask them what they think of Jesus Christ?
If you are in a place a business you frequent (restaurant, bank, gas station), ask them if there’s any way you can pray for them. If you’re at a restaurant and leave a tip, leave a tract with a generous tip.
Invite: Help Show Them Christ
Two types of evangelism: go and tell evangelism, and the come and see evangelism. Invite them to listen to your hope in Christ. Use a tract or the Romans Road to walk them through the gospel (and to help keep you on track). Invite them to church so they can meet other Christians and see what a body of Christ is all about. This will help all of us “get ready for company” in making God’s house inviting and welcoming. (A word here: invite them not only a special service, but also to regular services so they see how we are from week-to-week.)
Increase: Help Them Grow in Christ
We must not be concerned about growing numbers in the pews, but by growing the people in the pews—notice the difference.
Disciple them by meeting with them over coffee, chat over the Internet, call them on the phone. But how?
Go back to Titus 2:1-10. Older Christian men, you’ve got to grow, but also help the younger men grow. Older Christian women, you’ve got to come and train the younger women. God has provided two venues for that to happen: the home front and the church front.
Have a system: Bible reading plan, go through a Bible study, read a Christian book together about a specific topic.
Go over what I preached on this past Sunday—take notes. Find out what I’m preaching in the weeks ahead and begin looking over that, so you’ll be ready for the sermon and the ensuing discussion with your friend.