Channeling Contacts from Seeker to Disciple
In your time in God’s Word, you may find the old saying to be true: “in the Old Testament the New is concealed, in the New the Old is revealed.” Against the dark backdrop of dramatic human failures like the Fall or the Flood, you still see the promise of the Woman’s Seed and the Ark with its “atonement” coating of pitch and skin “tabernacle” covering. Among the Old Testament children of God (Romans 9:6), there was very likely a deeper understanding of the Good News in each heart than we know.
What is the Gospel?
The gospel as Jesus declared it (Matthew 4:23) had to be broader than just the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus, (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), since He had not yet completed His work. Keith Johnson, Cru’s Director of Theological Education, has completed a presentation outlining what he calls the “essence of the gospel” and the “fullness of the gospel.” The fullness of the gospel includes the Good News about the Kingdom and God’s future redemption of all things.
“The gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ—namely, that through the life, death, resurrection and enthronement of Jesus Christ and regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, the Father is gathering a community of redeemed people, establishing his long-promised kingdom and finally will restore all creation” —Keith Johson, Director of Theological Education, Cru
What is a Clearly Articulated Gospel Presentation?
The “essence of the gospel” has more to do with what we call a “gospel presentation” or, more specifically, what an individual needs to obtain a relationship with Christ. We need to give them enough information and at the same time not overwhelm them with too much to read. Have you ever wondered why the evangelistic messages in the book of Acts are so short? It’s because the Jews already had all the information. All they needed was for someone to put it together for them. The message, “the Messiah our people have been waiting for all these years? It is Jesus of Nazareth. He’s the One recently crucified, and He is now risen from the dead.” (See linked examples)
What is good follow-up?
How do we determine the basic understanding on which we may build? Even in America, polls tell us over half do not believe Jesus is God. In our ministry we like to interrogate the seeker, in a friendly manner, if it is possible to do so. One way to do this is to use some version of the “Share Jesus Without Fear” method:
• Do you have any kind of spiritual belief?
• To you, who is Jesus?
• Do you believe there is a heaven and a hell?
• If you died right now, where would you go?
• If what you believe were not true, would you want to know it?
There are several methods to share if you do get an invitation at the end, but we do recommend that our volunteers use an outline to help. It’s from a ministry called “Dare 2 Share,” and it spells out the acrostic GOSPEL. (see graphic)
We want our Online Missionaries to understand that if they share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, using a well-prepared explanation of the gospel (Ephesians 6:15), it’s the Spirit’s job to bring conviction and repentance. We answer their questions, pray for them, try to provoke the questions they should be asking, and give them an opportunity to respond.
We recently launched a new gospel presentation on our recently-acquired Explore God website. Among the members of the team responding to these Contacts is my friend Shane, who was himself discipled by our mutual friend Dave in 2010 through Global Media Outreach. Recruited as an Online Missionary himself in 2012, Shane now works with a small, specially-selected team of Online Missionary evangelists prepared to compassionately interrogate the seekers who come to us through this site. We’ve had several “second-generation” Online Missionaries like Shane over the years and we’d like to see more.
We’re so blessed to have a team of financial and prayer supporters like you making it possible for us to see the “seeker’s journey” become more and more refined as we gain technological tools and ministry experience! Thank you for your investment in God’s Kingdom through us!
Love, in Christ,
One Day Closer!