“I thought evangelists were Billy Graham or door-knockers, and that was not me! … But there’s a part of my heart that is awake and alive to people that don’t know who Jesus Christ is.”
Sitting in a darkened room several years ago, I nodded vigorously in agreement with this statement made by a young woman in the Becoming a Contagious Christian video my cell group was watching. Evangelism seemed to be a scary minefield littered with traps at every turn, only to be ventured into by the very brave after being well-armoured with apologetics and Bible knowledge. Yet, I felt a sense of duty to venture into it, knowing that the peace and joy I experienced in Christ was not to be hoarded but shared with others.
It was a great relief to me, therefore, when I discovered that evangelism did not have to look like my image of intrepid warriors clashing swords and fencing words in endless debates. Instead, I learnt that there were several ‘styles’ of evangelism, drawn from the Bible itself, of which one or two were so natural to me that I was probably doing it already.
My epiphany came through using the Becoming a Contagious Christian (BACC) material developed by Bill Hybels, Lee Strobel, and Mark Mittelberg, a practical course for helping Christians learn to share Christ in ways they had been uniquely created to by God.
Bill Hybels is well-known as the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in the USA, and Chairman of the Board for the Willow Creek Association (WCA), which runs the annual Global Leadership Summit broadcast in 125 countries. Lee Strobel is best known for his conversion from atheism and his resulting books The Case for Faith, The Case for Christ, and The Case for a Creator. Mark Mittelberg is an author, speaker, and evangelism strategist who previously served as evangelism leader for the WCA.
Perhaps you might be thinking: “Can such material developed by Christians in different cultural contexts be relevant to situations we face here in Singapore?” Well, apart from a couple of culturally-specific examples or situational re-enactments, I found the principles to be sound and translatable across a variety of circumstances – which indeed they were intended to be. The course does not aim to prescribe scripted “lines”, but rather to encourage Christians to explore responses that would be natural for situations they commonly face.
Kampong Kapor Methodist Church (KKMC) recently ran a BACC training for 80 of its members over two Saturday mornings in March 2017. Ms Eunice Kng told KKMC’s newsletter, KK Focus: “After attending the BACC training, I realised that sharing the Gospel isn’t that difficult after all.”
Ms Christine Tan also shared: “The BACC training was great! Every Christian would benefit greatly from attending this training, as it equips one with the tools to share the Gospel in a natural way. I’ve always feared sharing the Gospel, because I didn’t know how to! Through this training, I learnt that relationship-building is important before we share the Gospel. When we care for our friends and get involved in their lives, we know more about them and their needs.”
“As I talk with them, I can incorporate sharing about God in the conversation, telling my story of coming to Christ in a natural way that fits me and the person I’m sharing with. And if there are areas I’m not confident in, I learnt that I can bring in other believers to help share the Gospel, whose style or personality will be a better fit for the listener.”
Learn more about the BACC material at zondervan.com/becoming-a-contagious-christian
Have you found courses or materials that are helpful for your spiritual growth and development? “Good things must share” – write in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you could help other Methodist members or churches grow in their faith. Let’s grow “Together as one in spirit and purpose”!
Grace Toh –
is the Editor of Methodist Message and a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church (KKMC). Excerpts of this article were drawn from an article in KKMC’s newsletter KK Focus, March-May 2017 edition, P10-11.