Church-Wide Reading: Week 4
Chapter 6: Invitation and Responses
The authors address the next step of training disciples in gospel conversations, a gospel invitation and a person's response. The gospel is great news, power news, and news that demands a response. However, that response can only come when a person is personally invited to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.
After a disciple has used their transition question to move the conversation to spiritual matters and used a gospel tool, like the Three Circles, then they can give an invitation. Scroggins gives the following as an example of an invitation, “Is there anything that would keep you from repenting and believing the gospel right now?”
A person will respond to an invitation in one of three responses:
- Red Light – “No”
- Yellow Light – “I’m interested in learning more”
- Green Light – “Yes, I believe”
The ways in which we handle the different responses is incredibly important, because they reflect how we both display the gospel and how we make disciples. Here are some next steps for each response.
Green Light – Lead the person to confess Jesus through prayer. Paul tells us in Romans 10:9 “if you confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This means there is no magical prayer for salvation, but prayer does allow a new believer to confess what they now believe. You could lead them to pray, “God, I know I’m a sinner and I’m broken. Please forgive me of my sins and make me whole. I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. I’m asking Him to come into my life right now to help me recover and pursue God’s design for my life.”
Yellow Light – If a person is interested in learning more then our goal is to continue the conversation. This could be as simple as inviting them to a worship service or a small group meeting. “You mentioned you need to think about this some more, and I think that’s a great idea. I get together with some friends once a week to talk about life and God. We would love to have you join us.”
Red Light – Receiving a no response can in some ways be hard and/or deflating, but it is a great reminder that we are not responsible for a person's response but merely the invitation. Our goal here is to continue to display the gospel through gracious words such as, “Thank you for listening to me. If you ever find yourself in a place of brokenness, please remember our conversation and that God has made a way out through His Son, Jesus.”
Here some encouraging statistics. Ed Stetzer found that 42-61% of non-Christians would be willing to study the Bible with a friend, and that 75-89% of non-Christians would listen to someone share his or her faith.
Chapter 7: Rapid Obedience
Rapid obedience of new believers being trained and sent out to proclaim the gospel is not only a key to a multiplying movement but a biblical example. The book of Acts records how the first Christians, who had no formal training, or specialized professions in evangelism and ministry, used their daily interactions with friends, family members, and co-workers to have gospel conversations, sowing gospel seeds, and people repented and believed in Jesus Christ.
As Scroggins puts it, “new believers were immediately trained, discipled, and released to win and disciple those who are far from God.” Some may think that sending out new believers to evangelize is “risky” because they may not have the most solid theological footing or be the most articulate. But new believers are convinced of the power of the gospel to transform lives, and their role as God’s ambassadors. This is the example we see throughout the New Testament and the early church.
To model this same method of discipleship and mobilization, Scroggins asks his church members to:
- Pray for those they know are far from God
- Look for opportunities to transition to the gospel
- Share the 3 Circles and offer an invitation to repent and believe
- Share with the church and staff their opportunities
- Celebrate their stories to encourage others
Everyday we have two opportunities presented before us. We can train disciples to make disciples and we can tell people far from God the good news of Jesus Christ. A multiplication movement “happens when we train ordinary, everyday missionaries to generously sow gospel seeds in the places they live, work, and play.”
1) What is your transition question and gospel tooling?
2) Why is the invitation so important? Does offering an invitation scare or excite you, if so why?
3) What responses have you heard from people invited to believe in the gospel? How did you handle them?
4) What opportunities have you had this week to either disciple a believer or tell someone far from God about the good news of Jesus Christ?
More in Renewal Blog
July 25, 2018Students on Mission: Summer LINK Prague reflections
July 25, 2018Church-Wide Reading: Week 4
July 17, 2018Church-Wide Reading: Week 3