Article by Todd Smeltzer
This post is a result of gathering people from our church who are currently involved in relational discipleship for a time of equipping. It came from discussing the following issue, “According to Matthew 28:18-20, if we are truly making disciples, baptisms will occur. Brainstorm ways the Lord could use your relational discipleship group to see evangelism increase.”
Initially a few people responded with, “Wait a second, I thought relational discipleship groups were for believers.” Which is true. However, if we are going to fulfill our purpose of seeing people mature in Christ, evangelism will be a vital part of the process. Here is a summary of the discussion notes:
- Pray – for people with whom the Lord would lead you to share the gospel. Once He reveals who, share the burden of praying for the names each of your group members mention.
- Accountability – hold each other accountable to building relationships with non-Christians, sharing God’s Word, and talking about what the Lord has done in your lives.
- Share Stories – take time to listen to each group member’s testimony of their salvation experience, along with how their attempts go at sharing the gospel.
- Create an Expectation – as you regularly pray and check in with each other about who you are reaching out to, there is a greater sensitivity to pointing more people to Christ.
- Make Arrangements – for your group members to meet the non-Christians you are praying for. It could be for a social event, to watch a game, or for some type of group outing.
- Serve Together – most people find value in helping others. Try organizing a serving opportunity that your relational discipleship group can do with or for non-Christians.
- Be Authentic – with wisdom and innocence, allow non-Christians to see some of your vulnerabilities. Let them know how much it has helped to have your relational discipleship group in your corner praying, encouraging, and challenging you.
- Meet in Public –use your typical meeting times or your unique times together to meet in public and ask the Lord for help in sharing with the non-Christians that cross your path.
- Ask for Help – if you have been stumped with what the next step is with a non-Christian you know, ask your group what they have done or would do in the same situation.
- Leverage Different Gifts – viewing evangelism through discipleship as a team sport could mean the Lord uses one person to invite, another to show the love of Christ, and another to share the gospel.
May the Lord use us to see evangelism thrive through discipleship!