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6. Cycle of Evangelism Overview- Part 3

Mark Howard

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Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

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  • June 12, 2016
    2:00 PM
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Father in heaven we thank you that we can be here at the Michigan Avenue meeting twenty teen father we are here because we want to know the Gospel commission we want to see the coming of the. Lord we pray that you would be with us as we spend this time together today to your names honoring glory we ask it in Jesus' name and for his. You know I want to start out just touching on this can be a little confusing because some time ago if you look at page six you see the evangelism funnel and some time ago my brother Jim and I both used this funnel Well he got into this new funnel interpretation and so he got to finals going on he really I need to talk him out was hoping to be in here and I was going to get on him about trying to moving this to a bottle because this is bottlenecked illustration and he talked about how you know up up here this is the funnel that funnels people into becoming baptized members of the church and up here you talk about you know all the different types of things you do initially when you're working with somebody to prepare the soil like we talked about yesterday but ultimately they're never going to come into the church until they have Bible studies in some way or another and I've had people say oh I know people came in the church nobody but bible study with him they just watch pastor Doug on three and that's right Pastor Doug Bible study with him you know bottom line is somebody studied with them for them to be able to receive those things so he was pointing out that you know this this funnel it illustrate that my brother Jimmy is more of a bottleneck where you're a strict in the flow and so you're not getting as much and result here because of the restricted flow well that's not how amusing this in the in the manual so I thought I ought explain this when you look at the evangelism on page six The concept is this in terms of the cycle of evangelism. At the top of the soil preparation OK what kind of methods can we use to prepare the soil of somebody's heart. What are the things you can do to prepare the soil of somebody's heart to soften them to build that friendship with them that relationship to make them more open to receive the truth throw something OK like what meet their needs health throw some things out. OK buying groceries right Dylan feed them if they're hungry. I'm talking anything that you could do to build a relationship. Babies is showing an interest how the reason this is a hard question to some degree is because there are infinite ways to show friendship to somebody I mean you can just we could go on all day bake them a loaf of bread go to a ballgame with them go to the kids' ballgame you can just go right on down the list. Now when it comes to sewing and this is an important distinction when it comes to sewing in the parable of the Sower What did Jesus say the seed represented. The Word of God So if I'm baking a loaf of bread for my neighbor and taking it to my neighbor can I say I'm just sowing seeds within Not really now is not a bad thing I've told members this sometimes of talk classes of people oh woe I'll K.-I get it and then they think WA put a Scripture verse inside the loaf of bread which my wife has done actually before we've done that kind of thing but that it's not necessary that everything be seed sowing but you need to know the difference if a farmer goes out until the field then scratches his head and says Me I don't get it nothing is growing out here we need to plant some seeds but the fact that he needs to plant seeds doesn't take away from the fact that he also needs to love them but we need to understand that when it comes to sowing we're not sowing unless somehow the word of God is in that part of whatever you're doing so how would you sow the seed with somebody. OK you could have a you know some kind of program like of U.B.S. what else. How would you sow the seed to somebody. OK Go track. What else. OK have motor for worship so when you're talking about sowing the seed the word has to be in it so let me ask you this question are there as many ways to sow the seed as there are to prepare the soil. No. No because the thing is there are a lot of things you can do to prepare the soil but the word isn't in it when you go to sowing the seed you're limited to some kind of literature or globe track a book inviting him to a spiritual meeting or cetera but I can add to that OK so if I want to sow the seed with my neighbors my vitamin over for family worship can I do the same thing and just invite him over for our family hanging out and call that sowing the seed no and so that's where you can you have there are more ways to spread pear the soil but you'll see that as you start to come down to making members the amount of things that you can do to do that narrows. So we're preparing the soil as a lot of things you can do there sowing the seed lower more limited now cultivation I want to cultivate the seed which is the Word of God tell me how I can cultivate the seed. OK personal bible studies how else. Evangelistic series we just about hit it there's just a handful of things so you see that up on top of the funnel lot of things people can do to prepare the soil but when you go to sowing the seed we narrow it down when it comes to cultivation there's a very small there's a handful of things you can do to cultivate that seed and then finally the harvesting of the seed you're either going to ask personally for a decision or you're going to have a public campaign where they're asked for a decision and called to make a commitment that kind of thing OK And now the way that this illustration works in the manual is it the point that's being made here is similar to what my brother Jim touched on with his bottleneck because there are so many ways to repair the soil there are a lot of church members that want to prepare the soil preparing the so. Well for one is easier it's not as invasive it's not as requiring as much self-denial going to be nice to my neighbor there it's going to it's awful it's going to be awful difficult for me to get my neighbor real mad at me because I went and did something nice. But when I crossed their beliefs you know I'm not worried to go over to my neighbor's house and say Would you mind if I shoveled your driveway the snow out of your driveway How dare you you know I'm not worried about that happening but when it comes to me sharing my faith that that's where we get a little more nervous and so what happens is when you have church members the laity getting involved and even the ministry in in trying to reach souls there are a lot more volunteers up on the top of this particular final than there are the bottom because you there you know yes well you know cultivating a BY I'm not a preacher and I don't you know I can't do an evangelist series and I feel awkward about you know kind of invading In fact I've had church members ask me this before the pastor why neighbors are good Baptist people they're happy being Baptists Why would I go in disturb their. Life by sharing the Sabbath with them and put them in all that turmoil and everything else you know something the devil has done to us is convince us at the truth is is a burden instead of a blessing and that's not to say that my Baptist friend may not have a challenge that they're going to have to wrestle with that challenge is going to bring forth an experience that they're going to thank me for over and over but anyway I just wanted you to see if you look back to the man you look at this funnel this funnels a little bit different and the reason this fall is different is it's highlighting that we need more volunteers when it comes down to the. Cultivating and reaping portion and that's where we have a limit and and so similar to that the bottleneck picture there that I want to go to the Gospel of Matthew Chapter Nine try to remember if I was in Matthew or Lou And you know this verse but I want you to see it Matthew nine verse thirty seven. Matthew nine in verse thirty seven the Bible says then he that is Jesus said to His disciples the harvest truly is was plentiful but the laborers are few therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest and we're going to touch on this a little further this week but I don't want you to miss something that a lot of people have missed when reading this and let me put it this way yesterday we didn't have lights in here OK that's because the lights have been put in but not wired up now let's say that I call which I did and I say hey I need you guys can't can't can't meeting you know crew to send over us some elect an electrician the lights up an electrical crew now let's just say that a plumbing crew shows up. What am I going to say Oh fantastic You guys are right right on time this is great I need. Is that what I need know not to say the plumbing crew great we need plumbers but I don't even hear what I need electricity no no no no the wrong crew could you guess another crew over so they sent over a painting crew. Now what I mean the same boat because I need electricians what does Jesus say need. What kind of labors harvesters he needs people who know how to harvest. And the Bible what the Bible saying is the harvest is plentiful and it's great that we have a lot of church members who want to go out be friendly and do friendly things make friends with their neighbors that's great but I need harvesters as Jesus can I clip it here and I turn my head and I messed him up. Ugh Ladley clipped my mike here as long as he doesn't give me one of those headset things. I have a hard time with the so Jesus needs labors harvesters and we're going to talk about that in the distinction of that but we need in that's where we have a shortage and that's what Jesus is saying in that passage. I want you to take in your manual now and I want you to go to page nine. Pastor cameras not in here that's good because Pastor Cameron always gets on me this is grammatically and from an English standpoint incorrect from friends to face but I still like it from friend of Faith this is the challenge we talked yesterday about the preparing the soil and we could talk about that more about have I'll briefly touch a little bit on the idea of conversations some of us make better conversation with people than others some of you are more naturally. Just chat with people you're just chatty people and you like to chat with people and you know how to me to tell you how to strike up a conversation with somebody you know like are you kidding me others of your like listening really intently and saying I need to know how to do this because I had provided talk to people and there's merit in going over more detail of that type of thing but the reality is what I find you know making conversation with people is less difficult to learn how to do just from the standpoint of. It's not generally offensive to people to make conversation the sticking point for most people is how do I switch now from my friendship with somebody this year. And we started to touch on that yesterday but we were we're out of time and so we didn't really I want to take a little more time with that this morning. If you look in the chapter there chapter five you notice the very first section there talks about the soil being the human heart we find that in the parable of the sower. I'm going to find my. Here now we touched on some of the she can read through these things. If you look across the page. Letter D. ask where do we look if I'm looking to cultivate a friendship. What did what did Jesus say in Acts Chapter one eight he says the Holy Spirit is going to come upon you says I want you to wait in Jerusalem till the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be witnesses on to me and as any Remember in Jerusalem in all Judea and some area and to the uttermost parts here there's anybody catch what's happening there where's the star. Home and then what. It widens out does it stop at the borders of home is a stop of the borders a family and the reason I'm asking that is for a lot of people it's right for us to have a burden for our families for loved ones but here's I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this this morning where you get to it when we talk about understanding conviction better but there's a lot of. A lot of success in soul winning I got to be careful to use that word and this is what I mean by that. The Lord is going to make him the Lord makes himself responsible for works in fact one of my favorite statements and it's in the manner but I don't I don't it's not right in front of me it's. In desire of ages no no no Christ object lessons. I want to say. Three sixty three A C three sixty three ninety three I was getting this deck's it there a little bit so it's says when we give ourselves holy. HOLY to Christ and in our work follow his directions he makes himself responsibly for the success of our honest endeavors press object lesson three sixty three. And Ellen White goes on that statement to say he would not have us conjecture I'm sorry if I missed that I mix it up a little bit because it's not our honest endeavors because it goes on to say he would not have us conjecture as to the success of our honest endeavors. Not even not once should we even think of failure. We are to cooperate with one who knows no failure. And that's a powerful statement so when I say success there are things that look like failure in our eyes that our failure at our is nothing you do for Jesus is going to be a failure because he's going to make that work OK So when I talk about successes I'm just saying there are things that we can do that are you know God's given us principles that will help us to know how to labor more effectively and one of the key things is learning to categorize your interest know where people are spiritually and how open and receptive they are so that you can prioritize your time in the right way and and an illustration Cameron touches a little bit but I want you to imagine that I have two trees here I have an an apple tree here with shiny written in there let's say they're both Red Delicious trees OK because otherwise I get mixed up on it because I'm going to talk about the other tree and green apple and you know what could go Melissa's or something like that so you get a red delicious treat two of them this one here has the bright red they look so good apples and then over here we have a tree with the little green apples that sometimes are good because they grew up around apple trees but they can make you sick of you to make it OK so you've got the tree of the green if you get through the red apples now let's just say that you have your heart set on this one green apple just sitting there and you're just like I want that Apple is not ready to pick yet but I want it so bad and all your attention is focused on that green apple so you're just going to wait on the green apple you going to work on that green apple you're going to wait for that thing to ripen so you can pick. What is happening while you're doing that. These are ready to be picked. But you're so myopic and focused on this green apple that you're missing the other opportunity that's what we often do with our families. Our loved ones are so dear to us that we sometimes let them shut out from us the rest of the world that is without right. Now what would happen if I were to just say look that green apples not ready I'm going to go over here and pick some apples in my neglecting that Apple and my turning my back on that apple and I being insensitive to that Apple know it's just not ready yet and if I can discern that then I can increase my productivity because I can come over here and get some of these apples and I can go back over here look it's getting a little pink right it's starting to ripen not red Yeah I'm going to go over here some more pick some more apples now I don't lose these apples and soon this one all right and then I can pick it and we've got to learn how to work with different classes of people or see we should say class of people that we're people of different interest levels of people and we're going to talk about that a little further as we go so that we can we can maximize our. I was going to say success I'm looking for effectiveness in soul winning not not neglect and the reason I'm touching on this little bit is. When I talk about focusing your attention on let's say a person over here who's making you know a lot of leaps and bounds really responding to spiritual things versus a person over here sometimes I have people say well that's mean mean you're to that person you're going to let that person be lost no no no no you don't understand that when a person is at a low interest level or a disinterest level you don't lose ground very fast because you're not making decisions anyway I don't want to get into too much of that now just to say that's going to be a benefit we're going to talk about that as we go on but where do we look on the bottom of. Page ten family friends coworkers neighbors great missing members number two church visitors I'm going to tell you there are so many people who visit our church let me tell you something that this is a little secret that I want to clue you in on. If you become intentional about connecting with church visitors the Lord will send your church more visit. I guarantee it. The Lord in charge of the work and there's a statement in. I want to say is and counsels on health. I know you want to reference and I might help you out with that but Ellen White says the Lord does not now work to bring many souls to the truth because those of because of those who have backslidden and those who have never been converted talking about those injures In other words the word Guards people outside the church and people inside the church and you might have noticed that sometimes he brings the people into the church where the bullet proof ones they're tough they can withstand it because the Lord knows the church isn't perfect but he would prefer the preachers would at least you know press on toward the goal and seek to be more Christ like so what happens is church visitors I mean church visitors a great. Potential interest to study with and I've had people say Well Pastor I don't know you know they're visiting from another church people tell you funny things people come into my church and I say I have you here today where you're from oh I go to the Mount Pleasant church reality is they have been in Mount Pleasant church and in eight years. But that's where their name is registered so you never know I'm not talking about trying to steal people from other churches but if you have a visitor visit with them go up and say I'm not on the I'm not a greeter. You don't have to be a greeter to say I did somebody in your church right hey glad to have you here today my name's you know Mark I know you know it where you coming from and in and ask them. Get in a conversation and a lot of times you can get a Bible study that way would you be interested like my brother Jim said about this person in Sabbath school that is sad you have to be a Sabbath school teacher you have to hold a position in your church to do what I just said but church visitors Church interests people who come to your different church events. Let's say your church has a supper club I'm going to tell you something about supper clubs OK supper clubs and you know what a separate club it maybe you don't notice of a club is some a club is like an ongoing health. Healthy Cooking outreach or something along those they help if it helps them and where typically a church will have one once a month or something like that and they'll invite community people who are interested in health right and typically a supper club is tied to healthful cooking and as a rule your supper clubs are more women than men who attend. And so. Especially the male church members will say Why am I going to waste my time want to supper club that's where all the ladies are going to get together and talk about cooking and we get we give this mindset like oh we're meeting this need for people who have healthy Yeah in part but I'm going to tell you what those church events those are things the church is doing so that you as a member have a place you can come and find like you're going to go knock on doors of somebody you never met Hey why don't you come somebody you can meet somebody at the Supper Club they're coming to your church for something and it's a great you're church events are a great place to find interest that's Church interest it could be a summer club could be B.B.'s could be anything you may say well I don't even have any kids I don't know about B.B.'s It doesn't matter show up and meet somebody that's right. That's right so all of these types of things and you know I list a few of them but you can read through that the next number five door to door in gathering literature distribution that's another way you can find interest mailings social context somebody you golf with somebody you fish with somebody you go to ball game with community events and all of these and then of course divine appointments we heard about last night from a lot of roaster all of these are good places to find interest and I want you to go to page eleven and look at where it says preparing the soil for reception of the seed. I want to see the second part there you know the very first quote. Following Christ method you see that. Now you're familiar more like you're familiar with this is one of the most quoted the statements from the pen of Ellen White from ministry of healing one forty three she says Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mean gold with men as one who desired their good he showed his sympathy for them ministered to their needs and won their confidence then he bade them follow me. And now I'm going to erase this. Dr Phillips I'm on who happens to be here. Teaching a seminar this week has a fantastic book. I'll tell you why I'm laughing I'm in Christ method alone as a way of seeing this book Christ method of reaching people is that right. Cameron is that the original title. No no no price yeah yeah he has a few books and they're similar title so I mean it was at a press method of reaching people anyway. Something like that anyway Christ's method alone is what Ellen White says here in So Dr Simonton wrote this book about that but when it got to our publishing house they said you know Dr Samadi Christ method alone sounds so restrictive and narrow like it's the only way and so he had to change the title so he republished the book recently but by that alone that's what it says so anyway you'll find the book going to both titles but it's a fantastic book if you don't have Christ method alone get that book and it breaks down that the different parts of this but what Dr some on how he breaks it down is into these categories. Socializing sympathising. Serving I'm trying to I'm trying to blank down for a minute and and I'm going to do this this way OK and you'll see why in a minute and saving people he breaks those down into these four things. Jesus. What's the first thing it says. He mingled with man he socialized with people and you'll read in the Spirit of Prophecy it talks about how Jesus met people all over the place he met them at work he met them in their secular activities he met them anywhere he could meet them. So that he could make a connection and start to develop this. Relationship with them now sympathizing I like these two go together you can't sympathize with somebody you don't socialize with in other words when you don't in fact here's a quote for you this will be in your reading you get a reading assignment and I have a group reading assignment is in the boat you may have read this before but I think I don't know how many times I've assigned this chapter and it's good to read and reread and reread it in the book education a chapter thirty one and it's called the life work and it's about the life work of everybody who's a follower of you phenomenal chapter some in fact you're reading it make oh I've heard that quote before for that quote I've got these great quotes and one of them is this one. Acquaintance awakens sympathy and Sympathy is the spring of effective ministry hey you can't sympathize with somebody you don't know how many times have you met somebody and you begin to talk with them and you were you start to realize wow that I don't know people in your own church and like man this person's really been through it. I do You didn't even have an idea that ever happened any of you and your heart starts to do what you start to go out to them right wow I didn't realize you can't sympathize with somebody you don't know so you socialize as you mingle with people and really mingle with people not to say how you did it in a nice day isn't it nice whether in fact I tell people. I mean it goes for all of us you know how many people in our churches we don't even know we go to church with them every week and ask about seven Hey how you do this ask. Go to somebody this is typical We say Hey how are you doing today and what something if it good well find something like that ask him twice. You get a different answer you know we say five because if you're going to ask me how you doing today I know you're just asking because you're supposed to ask me it's a social thing to do I'm going to tell you fine I don't want to take up your time and want to waste your time how you did it. Jerry how are you today. How are you doing today Jerry and then you might say Well and you'll find that when people say well because now you're all you're actually you're not going to be like How are you like if I'm doing this and this is more how it goes and how you do in day charity Now if you don't you know we're passing each other somewhere I can't you know that they just want me to say fine or something like that and so when you stop and ask again anyway the point is as you get to know people you begin to sympathize with them. And when you see and when you begin to sympathize this is a sympathising you're finding out where their needs are now what happens now I know how to serve you because I've discovered what your needs are OK. Now the reason I put saving over here is that all of this is easier to do than this and not that we save them of course you but you understand Octomom is just kind of breaking down the statement in Jesus' method before he went here he went here he wanted to let them know he cared about them but the point is that ultimately ultimately you always have to go here if you're a disciple of Jesus. And that's where a lot of people don't want to go this I can talk through this and we can spend the whole day on that and we'd be like yeah I feel good about it and we could probably Kariya that out because again you're not going to do much offending of people to try to find out how you confirm better. But man to get over here in a spiritual things that's that's where it gets tough. And I wish I could tell you I was going to tell you last night I told you would be a lie to say hey look I've got this silver bullet way. That Here's the one thing that you you know need to know this you do this and it's going to work for you every time you're going to find your way into I was talking. And there are all kinds of ways to share this different method now you were talking. About peeling the onion yesterday that's just for this just mark family's way of doing forty duck peeling back the layers of the young and what do you do if you're starting on the outside with things people are more likely to talk about easily like family and there's another acronym besides fort we talked for yesterday the shirt S H I R T That's self hobbies interests religion testimony but the point is you talk about things that people like to talk about themselves and use if done with family you know whatever it's easier and you're getting toward the center OK. And I think somebody mentioned to me that. Well feel him and had done the new words for witnessing that went back to two pastoral feel not richer to feel but his father. And I've heard so many things being in this field that oh do this all. If you do it this way all of you do it this way look at all the same there's no silver bullet to this there's no you can do this and this is going to cut cut it for you every time and when it comes down to moving from the the secular to the spiritual it's always going to be hard it's going to say ninety eight percent of the time it's going to be hard you'll have those times when somebody comes up and just ask you what church you go to their home interest in the Bible you know something about the Bible charity when you study with me that kind of thing happens but it happens rarely usually if you need to make this transition and for most of us it's uncomfortable to do. I wish I could tell you otherwise but in Iowa here's the message you do this and it's not going to be uncomfortable for myself it's all going to move in there is like. OK now I've got to go into the somehow at some point you go here and I'll tell you something else I had people say oh well. You got to be careful sharing that you got to really build a relationship with somebody first which is good but for some people that means you got to know a person ten years before you ever share Christ with let me ask you this question How long does it take to build a relationship with somebody anough of relationship to share spiritual things there's no one answer is there is no one answer the Holy Spirit is always working on people it varies I like to bring up the story of the woman at the well Jacob's well because Jesus build a relationship with that woman at the well but all in that's a course of time he built a relationship with her and then share the gospel with her right there boom and so you don't need a life time to build a relationship some people take longer than others a lot of times as a duration of building a relationship not because the person needed it but because we were so scared to do anything different Pastor Tom harbored just got ordained here worked with US A to Man us a to and off and on still does some things for us but Pastor Hubbard is. He was. When he came to him in your program and initially got involved in the ministry there was this neighbor friend that he knew for years I want to say it was like ten years or something. And finally he felt like man I just got it I got to get interested I got to just I've got to get into spiritual things with them and the approach it took was that they were started to talk about what was happening in the world. And Tom thought wow this is a great opportunity and so he took that opportunity oh wow look at the crazy things going on you know this is what Bible prophecy talks about and he says when he got into it he said this guy just really responded right away like I've been waiting for you. To bring something like this up for years and he realized it was his own fear that kept him back. Sooner or later you make the transition when the farmer goes and so when the farmer goes and plant rototilled ground. It whether it's you in your garden or farmer in his field how long does that farmer kill the ground until when what's done. Until it's ready for the seed Don't miss this the only reason he's telling the ground is to plant this. Farmer doesn't fill the ground just fill the Ground Zero until the ground again he's only trying to find that way to plant the seed and so when you're here now some people get on this is say oh you can't you're that you need to have a disinterested benevolence which is it is a term for profit you but you get you can't. And this is when you're trying to build a relationship I've had people say you shouldn't be you shouldn't just be wanting them in the church why not why would I want to mean I mean that I want if I can do all of this here is just like stable truck or ever told you about yesterday I can do all this here and the guy can still be laws. Is the late pastor Jonas are going on I used to say you know if we do all of these great things that we do over here with the preparing the soil if we do all these things for people we never share Christ with them all we're going to have is a bunch of healthy well adjusted people who like to fire one. Right not those things aren't good but there comes a time with a song The farmer has to plant that seed plant he's telling the ground because he has a desire to plant that seed and Ellen White says that when Jesus was talking with that woman at the well he had an ulterior motive you read it into their ages. You love your soul he wanted her saved and so the whole time in the conversation he was looking for a way I think she worked at this way to find a way to her heart and so it should be with us a desire to share so how do we make this which I want you to look at. And you can read I've got a lot of examples in this particular chapter we talked a little bit yesterday about testing the soil and I just want to show you some. Some of the things that are outlined here on page thirteen. Page thirteen if you look at letter C.. Testing the soil Now let me ask you this and this is listed out here some going to. How does a farmer know when the soil is ready OK how does he know it's warm enough what's warm enough mean because it's very OK so you hit on it there without. It isn't warm enough that we're looking for what are we looking for what is determining the readiness of the soil. What happens to the seat how the soil receives the seed when the soil receives the see the right way then the soil is ready How do you know that in soul winning how you're going to know when that person's heart is ready you threw out some test seeds and that's what we're looking at here testing the soil noticed number one this is on page thirteen of section two letter C. number one when Jesus told the parable of the Sower he made a point we can't afford to miss the success of the harvest was dependent on the type of the soil the seed was planted in OK you know what we put the emphasis on today. To sow or oh we're always talk about methods of oh let's try some new method of planting the seed that wasn't the point of the parable and you know what the problem with that is when we say oh well you know I don't know if we maybe didn't do it right the speaker doesn't you know I hear this a lot being in an academy you know the speaker has to be able to connect with the youth. We put all the emphasis on the human being instead of the Holy Spirit in when we do that. And we do that in the ministry and say oh elder booster he was a great we're going to have people you're going to flock over the weekend here Doug bats or no that's great I'm glad people like Doug Gansler but we have created among us a mindset that you've got to have this special built I mean I listen to Ella boozer I can't preach he brings up the way he brings up stories and illustrations I'll never do it that way I'll never do it that way it's just not me I won't do it I'd like to be able to I mean he connects with people but the bottom line is we do that and then we say I can't do that why bother. Because we put the emphasis on the human being Jesus when he talks about the perilous sower he says nothing about the sower except for that he sowed scene he doesn't tell us he threw it in this way this way this way it's got it it doesn't it's irrelevant in his parable what was relevant is the soil. And I'm going to tell you something when the soil is ready you'll be surprised how it will take the seed I mean I remember in my conversion. Which my brother Jim was in here we had the this there was a preacher the preacher we went to this preacher to hear this preacher this guy was an old guy I mean I was twenty six years old. I mean I was just coming out of M.T.V. And in Miami Vice and all this business here's this old guy with corny jokes was not dynamic and I was I was on the edge of my seat because I was hungry for the Word of God. Don't allow yourself to get caught up in in the in this this climate that we're in now and think that well I just can't say it well do it well enough. The Lord just needs you to do with what you have and he will bring success. It wasn't the I'm in the middle of this this statement here a sentence or paragraph it was not the farmer the type of seed or the method of the planning that determine success if the soil wasn't ready for the sea there was no lasting harvest number two because we don't know the heart it is impossible for us to determine with absolute certainty when a person is ready for truth however there are ways we can test the soil. That can help us be relatively sure. OK The first one there letter A A person may begin opening up talking more personally income fighting in you those are the ones we like that's great because they're just. They're the ones who they come to you and you see that there's an interest in their asking you hey you know I'm the church you go to tell me about all that's fantastic but that's a Stetson that's a. Small percentage of the time and that happens so letter B. You may want to try to some test seeds by throwing out something spiritual and seeing how they respond that is how they take the seed this is very easy to do. Look at the support there you can you bring up something spiritual you don't you're not given a Bible study here all you have to do is say anything spiritual Like I mentioned as church prayer meeting Bible any word that elicits something spiritual and see what they do with that if you say yeah I was just a church if they roll their eyes at that you know they're not ready. People respond one of two basic ways but notice Let's continue on here. Either bring up something spiritual or respond to something they brought up in a spiritual way so like Pastor Cameron said if they're talking about a man a crazy weather or having you know hey you know the Bible talks about this and you can say something like your pastor just brought something like that up at our prayer meeting this week. Very simple to do you're not going to offend somebody by doing that. Ninety nine percent of the time. And if the other one percent is if they're if this somebody gets upset that there's a little conviction action going on and we're taught We'll talk about that later on but in most cases nobody's going to get on you because you brought something oh yeah we were because you're having a conversation you know just having a hard time with my teenage daughter she's such a hit she's sometimes she's such a handful. That's an illustration by the way and be honest with you. And she actually my daughter just turned thirteen so I think she thought she was a teenager for a long time before that. This movie knows a little bit about that anyway Jagger's it in so many ways. Of somebody may something like say something like that you say you know Archer sometimes you do parenting seminars I think you'd be maybe interested in that. Nobody's going to get mad at you for bringing that up they just say something like yeah probably not or they may say OK thanks or whatever but your what are you doing when you say that when you say something what do you what are you looking for after you put that out there. What's their response right is there readiness for the C OK so let's say a person says something about the crazy weather having difficulty with a teenager here's some things that you can say you know I was just reading something in the Bible about that or our pastor was talking about that last week in church or a prayer meeting or something like that oh we brought up in our small group or whatever I was just watching this video about that OK. For example just reading on down the page if they comment about the weather like what crazy weather we're having you can respond something like I know it reminds me of something I read the Bible about weather going crazy in the last days now they're going to respond want to two ways which you'll see they're under some point three Now either say something like Oh really what church you go to or it's something that's open interest or interested or they'll change the subject. They're either going to engage you on it or they're going to dismiss you OK but it's as simple as that it's not a difficult thing that helps you to know whether they're ready. OK Because you can't again you can't read the heart and then. What you want to do over time let's say that they just kind of spurn you and they're just like nominate fine you keep your friendship going with them and you'll throw a test CD and that you just keep telling right it so as not ready you keep filling and then you throw the testee Then later and soon that's going to be ready for this. And I'll tell you something it's not just your telling that gets it ready for the see the Lord yes in heaven gets things ready for the seed I had a house I move into in cold water I was in cold water Michigan had a Arn I used to think when I was I did Bible work I was an electrician before I did Bible work for a while when I was bible work I used to wish I was a pastor I mean it would be so easy but a lot of people don't even know what a bible worker is a pastor people know what a pastor is and I thought this would be so even as a pastor but you talk about people you always talk about what you do right what do you do for a living Janell's you say I'm a teacher and I say she say you know naturally. She should say what what do you do for a living and then I'd say I'm a pastor and bam there we all write in the spirit of conversation right I thought that would be so easy not so people are intimidated by pastors that shuts down more conversations than anything I just I don't even I don't even tell people I'm a pastor because that I don't I can't witness is easy when people know I'm a pastor so. Well I do tell them if they ask what I do but I'm not real you know before I thought I just throw it out there I am a pastor No It's all if they ask and this is what happened in cold water we move into this neighborhood people across the street. This nice couple my wife and I just move then and Jeff and Molly Well we we went over and talked with Jeff and Molly a little bit Would they were moving in wells one of the days we're moving our stuff in and they were out in their yard and so we went over to mean omen you know what you do for a living JEFF Oh I drive a truck What do you do I'm a pastor. You know another polite never thing else was just kind of like it just felt like this one and from then on it was definitely across the street are you doing that's just. Ahead no real interest in getting real close to a pastor. And it and it come for the complicates things sometimes when you're not just a pastor but you're a seventh Oh what church oh great your pastor A My brother in law is a pastor a church the pastor some of the administers. So you know he wanted interesting things like that anyway that's how it was with Molly for a while but they knew I was a pastor and I don't want you to miss this listen I'll finish up this this section of West isn't easy get started but the bottom line of making this transition there are things you can do during the test season whatever but we are far too afraid to be your OK if you work in a secular job your coworkers have no problem coming in and telling you the movie they just saw whereby his guts were blasted out by the hero or the enemy or this and that your take given all the details you didn't want to know and they don't care at all about offending you why are we so worried about offending them with Christ. There's nothing wrong with being overtly a Christian and they may not be Christian they may not like Christians or whatever else but you want them to know you're a Christian I'm not talking about preaching at them but be who you are don't be afraid to be who you are as a Christian. It's a two quick stories. I've got to remember both of them now where is the I'm thinking of the second story and trying to remember the first row Jeff Molly because I. So anyway they knew I was a pastor Well Molly got pregnant and Molly ended up losing her baby I was out doing visits and my wife called me and she said yes she said Molly came over today and she lost the baby she wants to know if you can go by and pray with her. Oh we had no connection before that but I'm going to tell you the Lord directs things in people's lives that you can be praying for somebody maybe a loved one it may be somebody who started witness through work or whatever else you're getting nowhere with them and you're wondering what's going on the Lord has ways of reaching people and we need to understand this God does not God is not the author of tragedy but God allows tragedy that will save a soul God's far more interested that a person goes in to Heaven save for eternity. Through that crippling car accident than be lost with all their functions. OK And the Lord will do that for people and so. You know we had gave me an opportunity go home I went straight to Molly's prayed with Molly had an opportunity and then obviously changed our relationship but the Lord was able to work that out now one more story and again this is just that this is on the idea of being. Openly Christian to people one of our students who came to our program name Andrew Andrew came through had been an atheist had a Christian background but just kind of decided there was no God was going to me I miss you right in you and. He said in all of his group of friends there was one guy only one friend he had that was a Christian knew as a Christian because the guy was over the christian I mean he might have had others that he didn't know about your alias some of us are just afraid to be Christian but this guy was always like how's it going to do. Oh God has blessed me to you know praise the Lord just little things like that that he never got into a Bible study priest a sermon to him but he was always talking about God I was talking about Jesus and he said this one situation came up where we are Anderson and this is. His name is escaping me right now his Christian friend but his Christian friend there was a they had a mutual. Couple that was mutual friends of theirs. And he said the situation came up where they got in a fight this couple. And he said the guy. Got mad it is girlfriend and he raised his hand he was going to hit her. And he said his Christian friend walked up and he just put his hand on his shoulder. And he said you don't want to do that and he said he watched his hand in anger he said it he watched anger and everything is going to put his hand down and Anderson when I saw that he said I knew there was a guy. He was a Christian friend he'd always been over the course never present sermon but in that moment he said I watched this transformation and this guy was going to hit the girl and everything just change and he put his hand on the. And that stuck with him and that made the difference for him and he ended up obviously becoming a Christian everything except the evidence Christian and Pastor Dan are baptized so you are David he was baptized Yeah and Eastlands a church so. God don't be afraid to be Christian the ultimate. Switch to spiritual things. There's no silver bullet way to do it there's no oh this is the way you going to do it can be easy you know you can feel comfortable you may feel uncomfortable about it but the reality is you've got to understand that you may be the channel Jesus is using to win a soul or bring somebody the kingdom you might be only a channel that he has or puts us in in where we are for specific reason don't be afraid to be the Christian that God's called you to be you don't have to be preachy to people throw out those tests and don't be ashamed of who you are in the Lord will arrange things so that you will want to make those connections and you'll be able to witness for Him Now Pastor Wess is going to talk more about kill revisit some of this from the from the perspective of not just you know starting initial contact but just inviting people to Bible studies and he's going to give you a lot of real good practical ways to do that how many of you called anybody last night after our class yesterday and ask them if they would do you a favor. That was your you had a break last night not tonight I want to ask how many of you how many of you yesterday thought about calling somebody and thought of somebody to call how many of you are willing to do that tonight OK I'm going to be asking tomorrow Pastor Tony did that I'm doing this because Pastor Tony did this to me. How many years ago was that seventeen years ago I still remember that and I remember people getting Bible studies it was a camp meeting was a Pennsylvania can't mean what we're going to get you're going to leave here I want you guys to leave here with Bible study you can do it so you're not just taking classes and now it's good I want you leaving here and you're doing it a man a pastor Wess is going to give you I mean when you're done with Pastor West today and tomorrow you're going to be you're going to probably try to skip out of his class and make those calls he's going to have. 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