Its Meaning

For starters No matter how often the group has met previously, start off with a getting-to-know-you activity like having the participants rule up a piece of paper into columns, one for each person in the group, and along the left side of the paper an extra column with the following items listed in it:  1. Fruit; 2. Ice-cream flavour; 3. Singer; 4. Sport; and 5. Biblical character. As they mingle ask them to fill in the blanks on their paper by getting answers from the other members of the group.

  • Spend some time praying for each person in the group.
  • Have one person read out the names giving time after each name for people to pray either silently or out loud for that person.

We have a problem Taxiing down the tarmac, the DC10 abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate. After an hour-long wait, it finally took off. A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, “What was the problem?” “The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine,” explained the flight attendant, “and it took us a while to find a new pilot.” You might think there’s a noise in the word evangelism. It rattles and grates. However instead of finding someone who will fly with a faulty engine, let’s repair the idea itself. That’s what we’ll try to do over the next few weeks. The Word The word is, for some people, a rallying-cry, while for others it is a real turn-off. Some get quite excited about the prospect, while others are left decidedly cool, even antagonistic about it. For discussion How do you re-act to the word evangelism: positively or negatively? Good News The English word has its roots in the Greek language, the language in which the books of the New Testament were written. To evangelize literally means to convey good news. It means to announce God’s good news to the world. As such, it is a basic task of the church. To try being the church without evangelism is about as sensible as trying to fly an aircraft with one of its engines missing. It was by means of evangelism that the gospel spread from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and even to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8)., even to us today. Read Acts 10:34-43 where we see the process of evangelism at work. Take Note and Discuss Who was the evangelist? Note the close connection between evangelism and witness – Which verse highlights this? – What’s the difference between witness and evangelism? Where did the order to evangelize come from? What was the content of the message (verse 36) God’s Good News Irrespective of what we might think about modern-day evangelists and evangelism, the whole Christian church is built on God’s good news centring on Jesus Christ This is sometimes called the gospel, and evangelism is the process whereby the gospel is communicated from one to another. Evangelism, in this sense, is an inescapable part of the church’s mission. The church is sent by God to proclaim the gospel to the world. For discussion What, in brief, is God’s good news for the people of the world? What does it mean to you? What difference has it made in your life? Prayer Ask God to lead you, in the course of these small group sessions, into a clearer understanding of what God wants of his church and of you in evangelism.