When the apostle Peter was seeking to describe what it means to be a Christian, he gave us insight into God’s motive for saving a people for His own possession. In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter tells us that God has redeemed Christians so that we “may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light.” We serve a magnificently gracious God who has forgiven our sins and has satisfied our souls. And because we love Him, we desire to “proclaim His excellencies” to all who will listen—to share with others the good news of the miraculous birth, sinless life, substitutionary death, and undeniable resurrection of Jesus Christ—the message by which we have been saved.
However, as we all know too well, that desire can often be eclipsed by a number of things. Perhaps we fear being thought of as strange, naïve, or narrow-minded. Maybe we feel unprepared to articulate the gospel clearly. At work, we desire to have gospel conversations with co-workers, but we may struggle to find the right words or the right moment. At home, we want our families and neighbors to receive the gospel, but so often we shy away because we lack the ability to share the good news in a clear and natural way.
These are some of the compelling reasons why Grace Church desires to strengthen, equip, and encourage the members of our church family in the ministry of personal evangelism. Aside from the books, tracts, and other resources available at the Local Outreach table on GraceWalk each week, we pursue that goal through a class called “Grace Evangelism.”
Grace Evangelism is an eight-week, interactive training course that equips believers with a clear, understandable, and faithful gospel message. Each lesson is designed to help students think through the vital components and implications of a God-centered message, while also providing practical applications and guidance regarding actual, “boots on the ground” evangelism. Our faithful instructors will teach you how to start and end a gospel conversation, what to say when presenting the gospel, and how to respond when rejected. The class also includes guidelines for evangelizing children, as well as practical pointers for moving from evangelism to discipleship with those who respond positively to the gospel.
Our hope is that each member of our church family would be ready, equipped, and committed to taking the opportunities the Lord gives us for telling others the wonderful news of forgiveness of sins through Christ. If you believe Grace Evangelism can help you do that, and you desire to grow in your knowledge of the gospel and what it means to evangelize, I encourage you to take the next class, scheduled to begin in September. If you are interested in signing up, or just have some questions, please visit the Fundamentals of the Faith (FOF) table on GraceWalk after either morning service.
As followers of Jesus Christ, all Christians have been called to the joyful pursuit of the Great Commission by taking the gospel to our communities and beyond. Just as Peter tells us that we are saved to proclaim His excellencies, in a similar way Paul says that the gospel message was entrusted to us “so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10).
As the church, it is our joyful mission to spread the good news. We pray that Grace Evangelism will be a valuable tool in equipping us to follow our Lord’s command.