Sharing Your Faith - Lesson 1

By Stafford North

How Early Christians Shared Their Faith

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student will be able to quote the great commission according to Mark 16:16.
  2. The student will be able to cite stories from Acts that tell how early Christians readily shared their faith.
  3. The student will be able to tell about the growth pattern of the early church both numerically and geographically.


  1. Have a chalkboard, marker board, overhead, or PowerPoint ready. (You may download the PowerPoint to make overhead transparencies. When you do, click “Pure Black and White” on the print dialog box.)
  2. Have copies of the review sheet ready to hand out at the end of class.
  3. Be sure all students have Bibles.
  4. Have access to a map—on the wall, on a transparency, on the supplied PowerPoint.


Since the early church is our model for the church today, it is important to know the marching orders Jesus gave the early church and how they carried out those orders.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (about 15 minutes)

  1. Call the roll, welcome visitors, and make any necessary announcements.
  2. Tell the class the study for the new quarter is about how we can share our faith with others.
  3. Have one of the young men lead a song if that will work well for your group. The song should be about spreading the gospel such as Lead Me To Some Soul Today, Send the Light or a similar song. Ask someone to lead a prayer and ask him to keep in mind the theme for the new quarter: how we can reach out to others.
  4. Ask a few members of the class to tell how they came to know about Jesus. Most will probably say they grew up in the church. If someone didn’t, see if that person would share how another helped them to know the Lord.
  5. Let the students help you discuss the possible benefits of this study. Ask them such questions as,
    1. “How important is it for us to share our faith?”
    2. “What benefits come to us and others from sharing our faith?”
    3. “Have you ever talked with someone about coming to church or to class or to a Bible study?”
    4. “Should we be doing more of this?”
    5. “What would happen if we did?”
    6. “How important is this to the church today?”
    7. (From this point on, questions for you to ask the students are indicated by “Q” followed by the question) Be sure the students get a good feel for the good that can come from a study of how to do better in sharing our faith and how important this is to the church.

Learning Experiences: (about 24 minutes)

  1. Ask the students to open their Bibles to Mark 16:16. Explain the setting for this passage. Jesus was in that period between His resurrection and His ascension and was giving final instructions to his apostles.
  2. Q: What challenge does Jesus give here to the apostles? As students give the answers, write the words “into all the world” and “to every creature” on the board or on an overhead sheet or use the PowerPoint you have downloaded. (For future references to what to put on the board, on overhead, or in PowerPoint, the word “visual” will be used. Visual: Believe and be baptized to be saved.
  3. Now ask a student to read the parallel passage from Matthew 28:19-20. Q: “What additional information does this give us?” Visual: Make disciples (learners) of all nations, baptizing them.
  4. Now ask a student to read the parallel passage from Luke 24:47. Q: What additional information does this give about our challenge? Visual: repentance and remission of sins be preached—beginning at Jerusalem.
  5. Q: “What are the essential elements in these three passages that summarize Jesus’ message?”
  6. Q: “Why does Jesus wants us to share His message with everyone? Visual: remission of sins, be saved.
  7. Q: “What does Jesus ask us to tell people to do?” Visual: learn, believe, repent, be baptized, learn more
  8. Q: Where did Jesus say the apostles were to start this work? Visual: Jerusalem.
  9. Now ask someone to read Acts 1:8. Q: “What does it mean to be a witness? (testify, declare) Q: Where does this passage say they were to be witnesses?” Visual: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, ends of the earth. Point these out on a map.
  10. Now ask someone to read about the beginning of their witness in Jerusalem—the end of Peter’s sermon and the reaction to it—Acts 2:32-40. Q: Did Peter preach what Jesus had said? (Yes—believe in Jesus, repent, be baptized for remission of sins.) Q: What response did he receive? (3,000 were baptized.)
  11. Q: “Did the apostles and others have any opposition?” Have someone read Acts 4:1-4, 18-21, 29. Q: How did they respond to the opposition? Were they scared away? Q: Were they able to continue to reach others? Q: About how large is the church in Jerusalem now? (TEACHER: BE SURE TO SAVE TIME FOR THE APPLICATION EVEN IF IT MEANS NOT QUITE FINISHING ALL THESE POINTS.)
  12. Now have someone read Acts 6:7. Q: As they continue to spread the word, what happens?
  13. Now have someone read Acts 8:1b, 4-5,12. Q: Can you connect this with the great commission? (Point to visuals: Judea, Samaria, believe, baptized).
  14. Now have someone read Acts 11:19-21. Visual: Point out Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch on the map. Q: How are the disciples carrying out the words of Jesus?

Applications: (about 5 minutes)

  1. How important was it to early Christians that they share their faith? (So important that they would not be scared away by threats, by jail, even by death to their members. They were very determined.)
  2. Did they preach exactly what Jesus said? (Yes)
  3. What obstacles do we have to overcome to share our faith?

Assignment: (about 1 minute)

  1. Memorize Mark 16:16 and be able to write it on a piece of paper at the next class meeting.
  2. As we begin next class meeting, we’ll ask you a few questions about the start of the church. Here is a review sheet for you to study.
  3. Tell students that a written text of each lesson in this series is on the internet at They can use this for a review each week and when they miss a class, they can read this to catch up on what they missed and thus be ready for the quiz that will come at the first of the following class meeting. Encourage the students to use this statement. Sometimes this text includes more than there was time to cover in class.

Evaluation: (next class meeting)

  1. Ask students to take the quiz provided or make up your own.


Sharing Your Faith

Lesson 1

  1. Memorize Mark 16:16
  2. Fill in the blanks below from what you remember from the class. Look up the verse given if you need it to complete the blanks.
    1. Jesus told His apostles to take the message about him to __ __. (Mark 16:16)
    2. The message, as recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke is to include commands to do what three things?
    (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16 and Luke 24:47)
  3. Where were the apostles to begin their work? ______ (Acts 1:8)
  4. To what other places were they to go next? (Acts 1:8)
  5. What came that caused them to move to other places? _____ (Acts 8:4)
  6. What number would probably be the least to accurately describe the number of Christians in Jerusalem.
  7. What were the early Christians willing to endure in order to share their faith with others.? ________________


Sharing Your Faith

  1. Write below the words of Mark 16:16—
  2. Answer the following questions:
    1. Which of the following statements is correct about Jesus’ great commission?
      1. It appears in only one gospel.
      2. It challenges Christians in all ages to share their faith.
      3. Jesus spoke it just before His death
    2. Taking the complete record of Jesus’ great commission into account, what commands did He tell his disciples to proclaim?
      1. believe, confess, and repent
      2. repent and believe
      3. believe, repent, be baptized
      4. repent and pray
    3. The apostles were to move in what sequence geographically?
      1. Jerusalem, Samaria, Galilee, and Antioch
      2. Jerusalem, Judea, Galilee, and Samaria
      3. Jerusalem, Judea, Antioch, and Cyprus
      4. Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, other places
    4. Which of the following was a major factor in causing the Jerusalem church to spread elsewhere?
  3. famine
  4. plague
  5. persecution
  6. a powerful sermon on missions

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