Author: Ron Graham
Final Pointers on Outreach
—What are we trying to do?
We have completed our study of the outreach process. In this final lesson we look at some pointers reminding us of what we are trying to accomplish in the process of Christian outreach.
In the outreach process...
- There is a constant "renewing of the mind" (Romans 12:2).
- We are trying to enlighten people more and more with "the knowledge of the glory of God" (2Corinthians 4:16).
- We are trying to help people to "put off the old person" and to "put on the new person" (Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:10).
- We are trying to bring people into the "washing of rebirth and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5).
- We want folk to plead sincerely with the Saviour, "Create in me a new heart O God" (Psalms 51:10-13).
- We are trying to get the person's agreement at the end, to change his (or her) position, and to accept and conform to the word of God in the matter in which he (or she) has been disobedient. We are trying to bring about "the obedience of faith" (Romans 1:5).
Summary of the Outreach Process
Use what passes between you and another, in natural day-to-day contact, to open a conversation about God's word, and to uncover genuine interest and spiritual attitudes.
2. THE INVITATION
Ask the person to come to a Bible study (usually a home study). Make a definite time-and-place appointment, but don't be tied down to a specific topic or issue.
3. THE REASSURING
Immediately make the person feel comfortable with the commitment. Use the God's word, not your own sentiments. Use the pronoun "you" and avoid using "I" statements. Answer doubts and objections, build trust and agreement.
4. THE UNSETTLING
Disturb the person by confronting him or her with God's word on a relevant matter. This will usually be the main or critical matter in which peopl are in error. Awaken their conscience, test their honesty. This step is uncomfortable, but let it run its course.
5. THE CLOSING
Get the person's agreement to change his or her position and accept and conform to the word of God in a matter in which he or she has been disobedient.
Here is one more story. (Yes I know, one too many!) Use this story to help you consider the outreach process that we have been learning about. Discuss whether Mavis was wise in the approach she took.
Mavis and Iris
Mavis is a new Christian. She meets up with Iris, an old girlfriend she hasn't seen for three years.
Mavis discovers that she and Iris are near enough neighbours. It's a small world!
They are pleased and excited to renew old acquaintance.
Catching up on the news, Mavis learns that Iris is living with a defacto.
"Oh, Iris! I can't agree with that!" Mavis remarks, "According to the Bible fornicators will go to hell."
That wipes the smile off Iris's face. "Don't call me a fornicator," she retorts, "And go to hell yourself!"