The Issue of Perspective

Lighthouse Leader Study Guide

Date: January 7, 2018

Series: Intentional Evangelism for Normal People

Acts 17:16


Overview of this Lesson

What should stir us deep down —“provoke” us— (this is what happened to Paul in Acts 17:16) is that God is yet to be worshipped among all peoples and that idols are “robbing” God of the glory, worship, and honor due his name. Our perspective and view should first and foremost be this!

Memory Verse for This Week

Acts 17:16 — Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.


Introduction

  • Have you ever thought about yourself as an evangelist for good news? Think back over something you’ve shared gospel-related on social media or with good friends or family in person. Was it stressful or was it natural and fun? Why?
  • Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?

Make sure you ask this question this week. It gives people the opportunity to discuss questions or issues that come up beyond the written questions. People’s responses can often lead into one of the questions in the “Digging Deeper” section. Also, some weeks this question will result in a lot of discussion, other weeks, not so much.


Digging Deeper

In this section, feel free to develop your own questions to help guide your group’s discussion. Below are some suggestions. Remember, if you are hearing from everyone in your group, chances are you won’t have to time to discuss every question. You may start with one that catches your attention so you don’t run out of time. For example, it’s not odd to start with Question #6, then go to Question #5 and if you have time come back to Question #4.

If you looked out over our city, what idols would you see being worshipped? How does that make you feel?

Should our view of evangelism start with our view of God’s glory or with our view of man’s sinfulness?

The easy answer will be “God’s glory,” but is that how we really operate? Do we really think about God’s glory first or do we simply see someone in need of the gospel? How does this priority change our thinking about evangelism?

What misconceptions do we have about evangelism?

In his message, Todd highlighted three misconceptions about evangelism. We think it is:

  • ONLY PRESENTATION of the gospel facts
  • ONLY OBSERVATION of a gospel life
  • ONLY PROCLAMATION of a gospel sermon

Todd argues that all three elements take place in a conversation. This means some type of relationship has to be in place. Evangelism is simply a natural conversation about supernatural conversion (Todd’s definition).

So OBSERVATION may occur, PRESENTATION may occur, and PROCLAMATION may occur, at some point; but none exist without an initial relationship that is founded upon a credible, natural, on-going conversation.

What is the difference between sowing seed and manufacturing something?

Throughout the New Testament, evangelism is compared to sowing seed. The gospel is not a product, it is a seed. There is a lot of mystery surrounding how a seed grows. We know the basic elements (soil, water, sunlight), but beyond that, how do you describe how a small seed can become a giant oak tree?

Yet, that’s the picture the Bible uses. Still, in modern-day evangelism, we often think of gospel work as “manufacturing” work rather than sowing. We “win disciples,” or “save souls.” This is a faulty understanding of evangelism.

The goal of this series is that we will become sowers of seed, not manufacturers of “fruit.”


Concluding Thoughts

These questions are given to prompt both reflection and learning on a personal level, and should likely be completed individually and apart from your regular group time.

Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, what’s the most important thing to remember?

    Chris Eller is a Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Pastor, Geek, Writer, Photographer, and Church Technology Consultant.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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