Evangelizing Your Community - Lesson 5
Attitudes of Doing Personal Work
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can list attitudes which characterize the effective personal evangelist.
- The student can demonstrate these attitudes in dealing with one he/she is teaching.
- Have access to a chalkboard or markerboard.
- Students will need a Bible.
Effective personal workers will exhibit attitudes that will make their teaching most effective.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
Introduction: (5 minutes)
- Call the roll and recognize visitors and new people.
- Remind the class of the importance of this study.
- Sing a song about evangelism.
- Prayer for the class and the efforts of the congregation to reach out into the community.
Learning Experiences: (35 minutes)
- Q: What is a New Testament story in which someone demonstrated a good attitude in dealing with another person? (Jesus and the woman at the well-John 4:27_44); Jesus and the woman accused of adultery-recognition of the sin but an acceptance of the person, respect, confidence that she will do better (John 8:3_11); Zacchaeus- interest and concern; Luke 19:1_9; Philip with the Ethiopian-sacrifice of time, encouragement (Acts 8:26_39); Paul and the jailor (Acts 16:25_34).
- Q: What are some attitudes you think we need to show when we are teaching someone? A: (List these on the board as they are given-humility, openness, good listener, kindness, not judgmental, talk softly, smile, patience, sacrifice, interest, generosity, eye_contact, etc.)
- Let's look at these one at a time. Kindness. Q: How would you show kindness when working with someone? A: Facial expression, tone of voice, answering questions gently, being careful not to use offensive words, helping them with a need.) Q: How would you show humility? A: Not acting like you are always right, being willing to say you don't know the answer to something but will find out, showing appreciation for what they say. Q: What would you do to be a good listener? A: Not interrupting them, looking beneath the surface of what they say to recognizing how they feel, repeating what they say to them to be sure you heard them correctly, looking at them, letting your body language say you want to hear what they say, looking them in the eye, responding carefully to their questions. Q: How would you show openness? A: Letting them express their opinions, not directly contradicting them, learning from what they say. Q: If you think a view they express is not in harmony with scripture, how should you handle that? A: Show kindness in your response. Find a way to compliment them on what they have said, such as- "You expressed that view very well" or "I appreciate your sharing that with me." Don't directly contradict them but say, "Let's look at another possible way to look at that and then compare these views with scripture." Q: In what ways would you express generosity to the person you are working with? A: Spending time, helping with a need for them and/or their family. Q: What does it mean to be "non_judgmental?" A: To avoid a condemning spirit and statements that might be seen a condemning someone else or their view. Q: But if someone has a view that is not in harmony with scripture, does this mean that we overlook that difference? A: No, but we find a way to discuss that issue with kindness and without a spirit of harshness. Q: Should we ever express that someone is wrong or that someone will be lost? A: Often we can find a way to let the person draw that conclusion without directly saying it ourselves. We can ask them, "Do you see a difference in this view and what the scripture says?" "What does the Bible say about those who do not accept Jesus?" Q: What if they ask if we think a certain person will go to hell? A:We can respond that it is not our place to pass judgment on individuals. God has called us to be teachers and not judges. So we teach what the Bible says will assure a person of going to heaven but since we can never know the complete circumstances of any one particular individual, we leave such judgment to God. We can, however, urge the person to do what the Bible says so he/she can be sure to do what God will approve in the judgment.
- Three qualities often suggested for those in a helping relationship with others are: empathy, warmth, and genuineness. Empathy can be expressed by saying "I understand." "I understand that it is hard to make a change." "I understand that this is a new view to you and that you need some time to think about it." "I understand that you have had some difficult experiences to deal with." Warmth comes from saying and showing that "I care." "I really care about you and your family." Do things for the person to show that you care. You can show "genuineness" by being open to your own faults and mistakes, by sharing your own conversion story, by expressing your own feelings about things in a kind and helpful way, and by showing that your interest in the person is real and not just an effort to convert them.
- Now let's practice. (Ask two from the class to come to the front to sit in chairs before the group. They are to have a conversation in which one is trying to reach the other for Christ. They will start the conversation when the one being taught says to the other one-"But I've always thought that one view was just as good as another." Let one pair speak just a few sentences and then let another couple try. Here are more sentences with which the conversations could be begun. You can use as many of these as you wish or can make up others. Possible opening statements for these conversations: (1) I disagree with what you have said about baptism; (2) My father was never went to church but he lived a good life and I don't think he is going to hell; (3) One of the members of your church works where I do and the other day I heard him use some bad language; (4) I'd like to study some more with you but I'm afraid we would have some disagreements and I don't want to lose our friendship; (5) Why don't you practice your religion and leave other people alone?
Application: (1 minute)
- How we treat those we are studying with will often determine whether they will continue to study and how receptive they will be. We should always show respect and kindness to those with whom we study.
Assignment: (1 minute)
- Before class next week, have a conversation with someone about the Bible, or Christ, or something happening at church, or something in your spiritual life , or inviting them to church or a church activity, or asking them to help you with some service you are doing. Next week at the beginning of class, we'll take a few minutes to hear reports of what you have done.
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