Wednesday, October 3, 2018

LIFT Bible Study on Evangelism (Part III)



Share  your Highs and Lows for the week or since your last meeting

Read  the Lesson (Acts 17: 16-31)

Talk  and discuss the following:

What image / person / situation stood out to you in the story and why? What did it make you feel or understand about God?

Pastor John Wertz, when visiting us on September 30, preached from this text and reminded us that in the 21st century, Christianity in America looks more like "Athens" than "Jerusalem".  We are not in "familiar" territory anymore.  We are now in a culture that we cannot assume knows about our faith and life. 

He gave us three "prescriptions" for how to be in "Athens" effectively, taken from our lesson:

1) Realize we are in Athens, i.e. name our reality and embrace it

2) Find a way to "build bridges" into this strange new land. What are the bridges we/you could build? Discuss together.

3) Begin at the beginning.  Instead of assuming others "know" the Christian story, assume that they do not.  How might this change the way we "do" evangelism effectively? 


Pray  with and for each other (you can use the Lord's Prayer or sing the Doxology)

Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other's forehead and saying "The Lord Bless You and Keep You!"

LIFT Bible Study on Evangelism (Part II)



Share  your Highs and Lows for the week or since your last meeting

Read  the Lesson (John 1: 43-51)

Talk  and discuss the following:

What image / person / situation stood out to you in the story and why? What did it make you feel or understand about God?



Some thoughts on how the church messed up evangelism?

“By presenting a false dichotomy between evangelism and justice.”

“By finger wagging.”

“The church has screwed up evangelism by aggressively beating people over the head with "the message” and forgetting to “love” people.  People won’t listen to people who they don’t believe love them.”

“By distorting the gospel; too much law and not enough grace.”

“Made evangelism a belief and set of rubrics rather than an action where we seek to live in Christ's likeness.”

“I think that evangelism in impoverished areas, specifically Africa, can lead to dishonest evangelism. Also, I don't think infomercial evangelism was what Jesus had in mind.”

“In trying to spread good news of great joy for all people, we've made it bad news for most people, especially people with whom Jesus would have hung out.”

“The "church" hasn't messed up evangelism, humans have. It seems that Jesus had a lot to say about the Holy Spirit, but the "church" doesn't seem to talk about the Holy Spirit very much.”


What might effective and faithful evangelism look like?


Pray  with and for each other (you can use the Lord's Prayer or sing the Doxology)

Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other's forehead and saying "The Lord Bless You and Keep You!"

LIFT Bible Study on Evangelism (Part I)



Share  your Highs and Lows for the week or since your last meeting

Read  the Lesson (Matthew 28: 16-20)

Talk  and discuss the following:

What image / person / situation stood out to you in the story and why? What did it make you feel or understand about God?


Is this Evangelism?

Evangelism can be defined as the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations; to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

What about this?

Evangelism is not a matter of converting someone to a different belief, it is a matter of welcoming those who are isolated and in need of a community; founded on the belief that people have a need for religious community, for deep relationships, for spiritual exploration, and for social involvement.


Some Definitions of Evangelism from others?

“IMHO evangelism is not about telling folks you're right it's about providing them something they want to be a part of

“Sharing the message and love of Christ to those beyond the household of the faith

“I love Brian McLaren's definition about participating in God's healing of the world.”

“A lived life of engaging with folks in things that really matter where relationships are built, and love is cultivated.”

“I would define it as bringing the love and message of Christ to others genuinely.”

“Evangelism is not winning converts but announcing to the world who the true Lord of heaven and earth really is, whether they acknowledge it or not. Evangelism is telling people that they ARE saved, therefore, BE reconciled.”

“Evangelism is more relational than confrontational, more communal than solitary, and is more a beginning than an end.”

“Evangelism is bearing witness to what God has done, is doing and will do in the world and in one’s life, engaging others in Spirit-led dialogue and inviting people to faith.”

Everything you do is evangelism.”



How would you define Evangelism?


Pray  with and for each other (you can use the Lord's Prayer or sing the Doxology)

Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other's forehead and saying "The Lord Bless You and Keep You!"

Monday, June 4, 2018

Parables of Jesus Study Guide #12 (Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard)



Share  your Highs and Lows for the week or since your last meeting

Read  the Lesson (Matthew 20: 1-16)

Talk  and discuss among the following questions:

1) What image / person / situation stood out to you in the story and why? What did it make you feel or understand about God?

2)  Do you empathize with the workers who were upset?  Why or why not?

3)  Consider the landowner.  Why didn't he give more to those who worked longer?  How might this relate to our lives of faith?

4)  Where do we get our ideas or what is "fair" and what is "unfair"?  Who defines "fairness"?   

5)  Does God's idea of "fairness" differ from ours?  If so, what would our world be like / look like if it modeled God's idea of fairness more fully?


Pray  with and for each other (you can use the Lord's Prayer or sing the Doxology)

Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other's forehead and saying "The Lord Bless You and Keep You!"

Parables of Jesus Study Guide #11 (Parable of the Prodigal Son/Waiting Father)




Share  your Highs and Lows for the week or since your last meeting

Read  the Lesson (Luke 15: 11-32)

Talk  and discuss among the following questions:

1) What image / person / situation stood out to you in the story and why? What did it make you feel or understand about God?

2)  Have you ever felt like running away from it all (even faith!).  What caused that feeling?

3)  Consider the older brother. Have you ever felt "righteous indignation" toward another when they received grace that you felt was unfair?  How might this be more dangerous to faith than running away and giving up?

4)  Consider the father.  What decisions did he make out of "love" for his sons?    

5)  Consider the prodigal son.  He showed courage to face his sinfulness and mistakes.  He was surprised by grace.  When have your "faced the consequences" only to be surprised by grace? How did this change you?


Pray  with and for each other (you can use the Lord's Prayer or sing the Doxology)

Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other's forehead and saying "The Lord Bless You and Keep You!"

Parables of Jesus Study Guide #10 (Parable of the Talents)



Share  your Highs and Lows for the week or since your last meeting

Read  the Lesson (Matthew 25: 14-30)

Talk  and discuss among the following questions:

1) What image / person / situation stood out to you in the story and why? What did it make you feel or understand about God?

2)  What are your talents? Don't be shy.  God gave them to you so claim them!

3)  Consider when and how you "risked" your talents for the Lord?  What is the difference between a "good risk" and a "bad risk"?

4)  What do you believe God expects from us and our talents?   

5)  Why might God be frustrated with one who buried their treasure? What might this say to us about discipleship?


Pray  with and for each other (you can use the Lord's Prayer or sing the Doxology)

Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other's forehead and saying "The Lord Bless You and Keep You!"

Parables of Jesus Study Guide #9 (Parable of the Unforgiving Servant)



Share  your Highs and Lows for the week or since your last meeting

Read  the Lesson (Matthew 18: 21-35)

Talk  and discuss among the following questions:

1) What image / person / situation stood out to you in the story and why? What did it make you feel or understand about God?

2)  Consider and share a story of forgiveness, either when you received forgiveness or when you offered forgiveness?

3)  Why do you believe it is hard to offer forgiveness to others?  Why do you believe it is hard to offer forgiveness to yourself?

4)  Why do you believe it is hard to ask for forgiveness?   

5)  There is great power in forgiveness.  How might your family, community, congregation, or even the world be better if there was more forgiveness?


Pray  with and for each other (you can use the Lord's Prayer or sing the Doxology)

Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other's forehead and saying "The Lord Bless You and Keep You!"