How can WE communicate the Gospel?
Bill Irving has been looking at some different Gospel outlines and resources for Evangelism.
As we were looking at some ideas for sharing the Gospel with children; I jotted some ideas for a starting point when we brainstorm and hammer out specific goals in our planning this year for the areas of discipleship and evangelism.
A good way, I've found to think about gospel outlines/presentations, is to fit the story to the situation and to regularly share the gospel in different contexts. For example if we did a sports or VBS outreach with kids, we may want to buy these bracelets and spend 30 minutes teaching and calling for a response; or if we are passing out Bibles we may want to also hand out a synopsis of the story of scripture and the Gospel with a Bible study guide on Jesus. In a sermon we may want to point out a key part of God's saving message, like "redemption" and spell it out and how it fits with the Gospel message when that idea is in the passage. If we had a seekers small group bible study for those investigating the faith, we may take them through 4-5 Bible passages over several weeks that help them see/hear and respond to Jesus (that would be our way of sharing the Gospel, and we ask for them to respond to Jesus in the context of that small group)
What can set this all up well in first doing a longer training that equips us and gives us time to really dwell on the message of the Gospel and get comfortable with "tools" in toolbox for witness. So a 8 hr Saturday training may include: looking at styles of witness in scripture, writing and practicing sharing our testimony in 2 minutes, looking at common pitfalls in discussions when we witness, practicing having a spiritual conversation, Identifying and praying for people in our circle of influence, learning a few ways to communicate the Gospel, Looking at how to answer common questions and objections, etc.
It's interesting when we look at scripture that there are very few times the entire message of Jesus is clearly explained in the way we tend to think of it. Often, as in scripture, we need to fit the message to the situation, and be able to communicate from that situation the Gospel. So in training we even do some case studies and discuss, "what would be some things you could do in this situation".
Evangelism is one of those aspects of the Christian life that is a challenge because we are learning to take risks, communicate with others, follow the Spirit, as well as continue to grow our own understanding of the Gospel. Lots of time we are served well to cycle back to times of training, prayer, and planning to refocus on this unusual task of being God's ear and mouthpiece.