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Open for Questions

Connecting others to the gospel.

In our post-Christian, postmodern world, the chances are high of encountering unbelievers who are disillusioned with Christianity or highly suspicious of organized religion. Plus relativism rules the day in our culture. Truth claims can be dismissed as personal choices that do or do not work for different people.

Given this state of affairs, many traditional approaches to evangelism will be unsuccessful at best and repugnant or ridiculous at worst. Simply laying out an overly tidy presentation of the gospel will probably not persuade the modern unbeliever. Asking the right questions has always been a good method to get to the root of the issue (thank you, Socrates), but this approach is especially helpful today, as the modern person's defenses are quick to spring up if they sense a whiff of overconfident proselytizing.

Additionally, telling stories is a popular and effective method to reveal the gospel's truth. An individual's experience is more powerful than dry propositions. Unbelievers generally perceive sharing an experience as non-threatening, as it need not imply, I'm right and you're wrong, making them more apt to listen to your message.

Jesus was the master of this method, as much of his teaching was in parables, such as Mark 4:1-20. And he was a pretty effective evangelist!

[Q] Read through one of the Gospels and observe how Jesus taught. What can you learn from him about how to share truth with others?

[Q] Not all of Jesus' parables come with as complete an explanation as Mark 4 does. Why do you think Jesus often let people figure them out on their own?

Make a Change: Think of someone who doesn't know Christ. What kind of questions could you ask to get her to think about spiritual things and to help you understand how she's thinking? What stories could you share about your own faith journey?

For an expanded version of this study, download "Missional Evangelism."
To download more studies like this, go to ChristianBibleStudies.com.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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Evangelism; Gospel; Outreach; Unbelief; Understanding
Today's Christian Woman, September/October , 2011
Posted September 1, 2011

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