Must we establish relationships before preaching the Gospel?

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by Freshchicken, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Freshchicken

    Freshchicken
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    Hello. My church is starting a weekly basketball ministry for neighborhood kids where they will come and play at our gym. There are different opinions on how to handle it. Some think that we should share the gospel every week with the kids. And others think we shouldn't share it at all, and if we establish relationships with the kids then we will then further down the road we might have a opportunity to share the gospel(they cite Colossians 4:3). Is one of these methods biblically right? Thanks alot for the help.

    [ June 28, 2004, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: Freshchicken ]
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Who says you're not sharing the Gospel? You're providing a safe Christian environment for them. You're supplying a need. Sharing the Gospel isn't opening one's mouth. It's opening one's heart. You're already doing that.
     
  3. Freshchicken

    Freshchicken
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    We are doing that by letting kids play baskeball in our gym?
     
  4. Johnv

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    When I was hungry you fed me, when I was imprisoned you visited me, when I was naked you clothed me, when I was homeless you sheltered me.

    Actions speak the Gospel more than words. You're making a difference in a kid's life. Some may find that trivial and Gospel-less, but those same kids will remember the church that didn't turn them away later in life.

    The fact that you're expressing concern here on this board about these kids shows that, spiritually, your heart is in the right place.
     
  5. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Going back to the original question: "Must we establish relationships before preaching the Gospel?".

    Must you? No.
    Can you? Yes.
    Are you, in some way at least, sharing the Gospel? Yes.
    Are you hindering the Gospel? No.
    Are you acting in Christian love? Yes.
    Are yo doing anything unscripturral? No.
     
  6. JGrubbs

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    I agree with Johnv!! In my four years as a youth pastor, working with the un-churched kids, I found that "lifestyle evangelism", spending one-on-one time with these young people, was much more effective that the "Romans Road". Young people today want something that is real, they want relationships, not religion. We are trying to lead them into a relationship WITH Jesus Christ, not fill their heads with verses and knowledge ABOUT Jesus Christ.

    When discussing evangelism, a missionary in Austrailia, once asked me a question that seemed strange at first, he asked, "Have you earned the right to share the gospel with these people?"

    The proper translation of the "Go" in the "Great Commission" should be "As you are going". Evangelism should not be something that you only do once a week, knocking on strangers doors, "lifestyle evangelism" is something that we should do 7 days a week as we are going about our day to day life, developing relationships with other people, and letting them see Jesus Christ through our actions, earning the right to share the gospel with them.
     
  7. Karen

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    Verbally sharing the Gospel with them is great and needed. But I wouldn't turn it into a sermon they have to sit quietly through each week.
    There are sports devotionals books. Have a Bible verse, an anecdote in the life of a Christian sports star, and a short application, by an articulate speaker, lasting no more than 2-3 minutes. Serve juice packs and oatmeal cookies during that time. End with short prayer.
    Get to know the kids, be interested in them, be available to talk. Don't be pushy.
    It will bear fruit without dwindling numbers some other approaches might have.

    Karen (mother of two teen-age boys)
     
  8. USN2Pulpit

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    These kinds of ministry are great, because people will be rightly led to believe not only that you care for them, but God does, too.
     
  9. WallyGator

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    I agree with Karen. Bathe everything in much prayer; be sensitive to Holy Spirit's leading on an individual basis; be patient!
    WallyGator [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. gb93433

    gb93433
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    If you went to a car dealer to buy the car you wanted and the salesman pushed you to buy it, you would probably leave and buy the car from someone else.
     
  11. dave brauer

    dave brauer
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    Must we establish relationships before preaching the gospel?

    The young man that led me to the Lord established a relationship with me by sharing the gospel and living it on a daily basis. 24 days after we met, he led me to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

    He showed a personal interest in me first. I do the same with those I witness to. People respond differently, so we need to be sensative to that. Be patient, like a good fisherman, keep your line in the water. You'll catch fish, or "... ye shall reap if ye faint not."

    "One man soweth, another watereth,... God giveth the increase". God blesses His word like nothing else. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 & "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul..." Psalm 19:7a
     

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