ENGAGE – That is, take the initiative to make small talk with folks. Get into their world by asking questions and expressing interest in their interests. At the health club yesterday I met a man who went to great lengths to tell me about a multi-million dollar project he had piloted. When he was finished I asked him if we could get together so that I could hear about his project in more detail. He gladly obliged.
Over the past several weeks I have been receiving physical therapy on my arm. Consequently, the 31year old therapist and I have gotten to know each other. Gently, I probed him about where he was spiritually. As he has opened up, I planted the seed of the Gospel. Yesterday we had lunch together, and he eagerly accepted Christ into his life. So, at the super market, in the office, and on the road, make the effort to engage people. Play sports together, have them over for a meal, visit them in the hospital. But become engaged in their lives.
Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, Please give me a drink The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink? Jesus replied, If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water." (Jn. 4:7, 9, 10 NLT)
MODEL – That is, give them access to your life. Yesterday I had breakfast with a gentleman, who along with his wife is reaching the under belly of society. He told me that when his sister-in-law visited them for several days, they purposely said nothing to her about Christ. Yet, she was exposed to their ministry to the down and out. At the airport, as they were seeing her off, she burst into tears, proclaiming, I have learned so much about Jesus from you these past few days. It was only a matter of time before both she and her husband came to Christ.
My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angryIf you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. (Jms. 1:19; I Pet. 3:15b, 16 NLT)
INSTRUCT – That is, teach them the truth. Graciously, simply, and with great compassion and humility inform them of the truth of the Gospel. I have yet to see a book on Jesus Principles of Sharing the Gospel. The reason is that there simply was no set pattern to His bringing the Gospel to people. Each situation warranted a tailored approach.
Lord’s servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people. They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will believe the truth For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of GodRemember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. (2 Tim. 2:24, 25; Act. 20:27, 31b)
DISCIPLE – That is, once they have embraced Christ, help them grow. Discipleship involves getting down and dirty into their lives. Assisting them in building the disciplines of prayer, bible study, scripture memory and witnessing into their lives. Dealing with character issues, helping them put their marriages on a biblical footing, assisting them in working through past wounds; addressing the issue of trusting God for their business, etc., etc. In a word continue to help them to the next level of commitment and spiritual maturity.
So naturally, we proclaim Christ! We warn everyone we meet, and we teach everyone we can, all that we know about him, so that if possible, we may bring every man up to his full maturity in Christ Jesus. (Col. 1:28 Phillips)