Thursday, September 21, 2017

Share the Gospel – With a Little Wrist Action!

Acts 8:4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.

There are countless ways to make the Lord part of your daily life and influence. Which way is best? The one that you will use, that works for you, that fits you. It may be a spoken word, a post on social media, an email, or a note. It may be a simple question about life, happiness, values, or destiny. Where there is a will there is a way. Once you and I determine to share our faith in Jesus Christ, the possibilities are endless.

One simple tool is a wristband you can wear at work, at school, at play, at the store, and wherever else you may be.

Recently my coworker arranged for all of us to have a wristband like the one you see in the photo. It graphically portrays the gospel, showing that Jesus came down from heaven, died on the cross, was buried in the tomb, rose again and ascended to heaven, and will return. Simple. Eye-catching. Intriguing. Silent.

The other night my wife and I stopped at a sandwich shop. We ordered a turkey sub on wheat, with lettuce, tomatoes, sauce, and … Sorry, I digress. It’s not what we got on our sandwich that I want to discuss, but what I had on my wrist.

We always try to smile when we eat out, to be friendly, and to engage those we meet in simple chit-chat. However, in this situation we did not make any direct comment about the gospel. We did not need to.

The sandwich craftsman was a young boy, a teenager. As I paid the bill and added the tip, he saw my wristband and asked, “What’s that on your wrist?”

He started the conversation! It was he who asked me!

I gladly explained the symbols and their significance. He was very interested. He said, “I need to get back to church. I haven’t been since last summer.” I pulled out a card and gave it to him. We both invited him to come and study with us.

But there’s more to this story. As I showed him the wristband and explained its symbols, the young lady working with him came over to hear. She called out to her mother, who was also making sandwiches with the two young people. She asked me to explain the wristband to her as well. The mother and daughter then told us that they are part of a Spanish-speaking church.

A conversation started, about the gospel and about the Lord, all because of a wristband.

My wife and I really enjoyed eating that sandwich. We will be going back for more. We’ll get the turkey on wheat again, and we’ll offer the bread of life – with a little wrist action.

Would you like to read more? Here's another post on evangelism.

Friday, September 01, 2017

The Best Bible Class Experience You Have Ever Had

What are the keys to exciting, faith-building, life-changing Bible classes? What causes people to anticipate each session? Is it the teacher? The subject? The setting? The others in the group?

One answer that should be obvious is right there in your own hands and mine. It is what you and I bring to the class each week that determines to a large extent what you and I get out of it. That is why the teacher may seem to know the text so well and present it with such confidence and excitement. The teacher has thoughtfully, carefully, and prayerfully prepared. The teacher cannot wait for class to start, in order to share “nuggets” mined from God’s life-changing Word. You and I can do the same!

You can effectively prepare for Bible class each week in advance by using a very simple yet powerful method. It is an inductive approach, in which you draw points, ideas, and applications from the text itself, rather than first simply receiving what others have put together.

We are about to begin studying the Gospel of Luke where we are, so let's use Luke as an example in this post.

First, get a spiral notebook, folder, or three-ring binder.

As you read each section of Luke before class each week, write down as many of the following items as you find helpful. This does not have to be perfect or complete. This is not for anyone else but you. It is not an assignment exactly, but more of an invitation. Please accept it!

Write at the top of the page the Bible reference (For example, Luke 1:1-4).

Ask and write - 
·     Who is speaking?  To whom?  About whom?
·     What is the subject?  The event?  The instruction?
·     When do or will events occur?
·     Where did or will this happen?
·     Why is some element mentioned?  Why now?  Why to this person?
·     How is it to be done?  How will it happen?  How is it illustrated?

Notice and write -
Key words and phrases - 
Connecting words (like "therefore") -
Words that are repeated -
Words that suggest themes for the book as a whole - 
Persons -
Places -
Questions that the text answers -
Questions that you want to ask about the text -
Questions you would ask (for your class to answer) if you were teaching the text -
Points you would make if you were teaching the text -
Bible characters, texts, and accounts that illustrate the teachings in the text -
What this text is telling you to do as a result (application) -
A title for the text -
How the text follows what precedes it -
How the text leads to what follows it -

Bring your spiral notebook, folder, or three-ring binder to class.
Use what you wrote to contribute to the class.
Add more notes as you hear what others contribute.

To start, try using the inductive approach with the beginning of Luke.

Lk 1:1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.

Think about it! Write it down! Bring it with you! Share with the class (if you wish) what you found most helpful!

If you want to take a bigger piece of Scripture, continue as far as you can through Luke 1, then work on 2. As a result, this Sunday's class experience may just be the best you have ever had.

You may also use this method in your family devotional times. We have done so. Read a paragraph of Scripture out loud. Then each family member may respond to any or several of the inductive ideas listed above. You may be surprised by the energy, interest, and growth that you witness.