The 80’s were an interesting time. Not since the 1960’s has there been a defining era of fashion, hairstyle and music. Big hair, mullets and parachute pants may have been popular but they definitely weren’t as cool as we remember. I am also pretty sure that music has yet to recover. The 80’s did teach us, though, that sometimes things need to change to get better.
In this series we will discuss some changes in methodology and redefining our core values to be more effective at reaching people with the Gospel. Helping people take their next step towards a deeper relationship with Jesus is the priority of The Fountains. This series helps us realize how we can be more effective, while having some fun reminiscing of days gone by.
It is impossible to be a follower of Christ and not be concerned about people who are far from God.
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
GOAL FOR THIS SESSION
To understand that evangelism is just a fancy word for sharing your story. As followers of Christ we must be passionate about reaching others with the gospel in our everyday lives.
1. Jesus found us and wants to work through us to find others. Christianity is about following Jesus, not following rules.
We did not find Jesus; Jesus found us. In our sinful state we did not seek God, but God pursued us. God now wants to use us as He pursues others, introducing them to life changing truth Jesus.
2. Who do we know personally that needs Jesus?
There is a world around us that needs Christ. By living attractive lives and sharing your story, you can make an eternal difference in other's lives.
3. How can God use us to reach those we know far from Him?
When we invest (by building relationships) and invite people to come and hear truth, Jesus can change them.
4. What if the same Jesus that changed your life was willing to change the lives of your friends and family?
We know the difference that Jesus has made in our lives. What if the person God used to find you had not stepped up to the call?
When we hear the word evangelism, our minds might wonder to yelling preachers or weirdo’s on the street. In this session, we want to cast aside that image by helping people understand that evangelism is just sharing their story of what Christ has done for them. God has always had a plan of reaching this world one person at a time. Why? Because once He changes your heart to be like His, you will seek to reach others with the good news of Jesus. Found People Find People!
This lesson will also give you the opportunity to help others affirm that they have given their hearts to Christ. Be prepared to present the gospel. Pray as you prepare for your group that every person attending will walk away with a relationship with Jesus and a passion to share their story.
Session 1: Found People Find People
Use the questions provided in each session to facilitate your group’s discussion and application of each topic.
- What image or feeling pops in to your mind when you hear the word evangelism?
- Would you say this word has become outdated due to the stereotypes it conjures up in peoples minds?
Read John 1:43
- According to this passage did Philip find Jesus or did Jesus find Philip? Why is this truth significant to our relationship with Christ?
Read Romans 3:1-12
- What was Jesus’ invitation to Philip?
- What is Jesus invitation to us? Be a good person? Attend Church?
- What’s your story? When did you meet Jesus?
Key Point One: Jesus found us and wants to work through us to find others. We follow Jesus; we don’t follow rules.
Read John 1:44-45
- What does this passage confirm about found people?
- Within your circle of influence, is there someone that needs Jesus?
- What steps are you taking to lead that person to Jesus?
Key Point 2: Who do we know personally that needs Jesus?
Read John 1:46
- What are some reasons people are skeptical when it comes to God, Jesus, and the church?
- In the last part of verse 46, what was Philip’s invitation to Nathanael’s skepticism?
- How many of you are a product of Invest and Invite?
Read John 1:47-48
- To often others see God as very distant. How better could we explain grace to people if they knew that God knows everything about them and loves them anyway?
- Is our goal in sharing our story to change people? Our goal is not to change them, but to get them to come see Jesus, and He can change them.
Key Point 3: How can God use you to reach those I know far from Him?
Read John 1:50-51
- What would your life be without Jesus? What incredible things would you have missed if someone didn't invite you to “come and see”?
Key Point 4: What if the same Jesus that changed your life was willing to change the lives of your friends and family?
Help your group identify and take their next steps with Jesus. Pray with them and for them. Ask them about their next steps later this week.
Are you 100% sure there you will spend eternity?
Today may be the day you need to take your first step by giving your heart to Jesus. He has been seeking you.
Can you share your story quickly?
Perhaps your next step is to learn to share your story.
Is there someone in your circle of influence that needs to be found?
Maybe your next step is to look around at the people you come in contact with everyday with the fresh perspective of the gospel. Live an attractive life and invest in that person or person and invite them to give their heart to Jesus.
Ask God to show you those you need to be investing in in your circle of influence. Pray that God will help your group boldly share their story as they have opportunity to help other come to Christ.