Model the gospel part 1: Following Jesus’ Model

Part 1: Following Jesus' Model

In the previous journey, we took a closer look at what the gospel is. Truth is, even if you know what the gospel is, a lot of us simply don’t share the gospel.
 
Some of the hurdles include:
Avoiding, feeling paralyzed, or being stuck | “I want to be involved my teammate’s lives but it seems our worlds are so different ever since I committed my life to Christ. I’m not sure how to stay connected without compromising my own faith. What if I get pulled into my old lifestyle? I know I’m on God’s team now, but I’m not always sure how to relate to my ‘old team…’”
 
Being aggressive, debating, or judging | “When we’re together and issues come up, I’m afraid I’ll come across too harsh and judgmental or that I won’t know what to say at all. How can I stand up for Christ and Christian values without being a jerk? How do I appropriately get around to talking about spiritual things with my teammates and others without being seen as weird? And if I don’t say what I really think, am I just endorsing what they’re doing?”

ask yourself

Generally, which of the two would you say is your biggest hurdle to sharing the gospel? 

  • Avoiding, being paralyzed, or feeling stuck
  • Being aggressive, debating or judging

Would your friends or family agree with your answer? 

  • Some of them say I’m either too aggressive or too paralyzed, but I don’t agree
  • Some would agree; some won’t
  • You bet! They’d totally agree

respond

Answer the questions below. Consider sharing your answers with growth partners. If you’re completing the program solo, write your responses in a journal. 

  • Which of the options did you identify as your general tendency when it comes to sharing the gospel? (Avoiding, paralyzed & stuck vs. aggressive, debating, judging)
  • Why do you lean in this direction?
  • How about whether your friends and family might agree or disagree with your answer? Any insights you care to share?

watch

Initiating Gospel Conversations

To help you overcome some of these hurdles, watch this video and respond to the prompts that follow.

respond

Capture your insights by responding to the following prompts.

  • What is one thing that stood out for you from the video?
  • Thinking of specific interactions with fellow athletes, how might you model the gospel in Body Mode? Natural Mode? Ministry Mode?
Jesus set the example for us in how he shared the gospel with those around Him.
 
Body Witness | Jesus underscored the importance of the witness of the body. He indicated that our love for one another would be the evidence to all men that we are his disciples (John 13:34-35). He prayed for our unity, knowing that through it the world would recognize that he was sent as the Messiah (John 17:22-23). So when the early church devoted itself to one another in healthy Christian community, it enjoyed “the favor of all the people and there was added to their numbers daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47). 
 
Natural Witness | Witness among natural relationships was common in the New Testament. Among the first disciples, Andrew brought his brother, Peter, to Jesus and Philip brought his friend, Nathaniel (John 1:40-51). Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman was in a brief, but natural (albeit unusual) setting—at the watering hole. The Samaritan woman’s subsequent witness to her village was among those with whom she had natural relationships, though not particularly positive ones (John 4:1-42). The delivered demoniac was a witness to his people back home (Luke 8:38, 39). All of these examples underscore the importance of natural witness. God delights to work through his people within their web of natural relationships. 
 
Ministry Witness | Jesus is, of course, the model of ministry witness, par excellence. Fulfilling his mission involved going “to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come” (Mark 1:38, 39). He sent the twelve and then the 72 on ministry mode assignments, declaring the kingdom of God (Luke 9:1-610:1-17). After his ascension, the apostles led the expansion of the gospel through this type of ministry witness. (See for example, Acts 5:41-42). Philip engaged in a ministry mode of witness in a city in Samaria (Acts 8:5) and on a desert road with the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). Barnabas did so in Antioch (Acts 11:22-24) and then joined efforts with the Apostle Paul, as they engaged in ministry witness throughout their missionary journeys (Acts 13 and beyond). Ministry witness is the leading edge of gospel expansion. Through it, new audiences are penetrated and new communities of believers are established.
 

supplemental resources

In their conversation with Erica, Priscilla and Ashley used Soularium™ cards, Perspective cards as well as a spiritual survey. Below, you’ll find two other resources that you may find especially helpful in sharing the gospel.

More Resources:

thoughts

Respond to the questions below. As before, consider sharing your answers with a growth partner. If you’re completing the program solo, write your responses in a journal. 

  • Do you have any questions regarding the supplemental resources?
  • Which of the tools do you envision using?

live it!

 
As a reminder of this important truth, memorize the verse below, and meditate on it over the next several days as God.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
colossians 4:2-6 ESV

up next: An Abundant Life

Jesus said that He came so we can have an abundant life. What does that mean?

equipped

How to Model the Gospel is the second journey of the Equipped Disciples Curriculum from Athletes in Action. Learn about the whole five collection series and how the parts fit together.