7 Nov 2013 by Jason Law CM –
When God created the cosmos, the very first commandment God gave to Man wasn’t anything radical like fighting against demons or going to the remote parts of the Earth. It was something simple and that all of us can do. That commandment was simply to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). The problem came in when the First Man, Adam, fell into sin, and set a spiritual battle into motion (Genesis 3).
When translated to contemporary life, this means that one of our greatest responsibilities as Christians is to share the Good News and evangelize for the Lord. It is within this context of being called to multiply the Lord’s Kingdom that many people are called to venture out of their comfort zones and travel to remote corners of the world if need be. However, many others are also called to start sharing the Good News from right where they are.
Many Christians today know this, but somehow find it hard and themselves being helpless to share the Gospel with other people. Many may not know how to start doing this. This is the aim of the Lifestory sessions conducted in DUMC on 6th Nov and 8th of November, to make sharing the Gospel easy and approachable.
Bro Jonathan Smith, the founder of LifeStory, shared that since the world was perverted by satan in the Garden of Eden, the commandment for us to be fruitful and multiply has taken on a spiritual context. It is no longer enough for us to multiply through natural birth. One clear example of this can be found through the story of Noah (Genesis 6-9). During the time of Noah, the world had become such a wicked place that God decided to start all over again. He destroyed everything except for Noah and his family, as well as two of each animal on Earth. Noah and his family were the purest and most holy people on Earth, and yet, not long after the Great Flood, people started to sin again through the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11).
In order to be fruitful to God’s Kingdom and extend His good influence, we need to multiply for His spiritual Kingdom. Bro Jonathan encouraged us that if we share the gospel to two persons, and each of them shares with another two persons of their own, imagine the exponential growth of the Church.
LifeStory Training Event
The LifeStory training classes was started about 4-5 years ago, after brother Jonathan found how effective it was in reaching and saving souls for Jesus. It’s a simple tool that enables us to evangelise the whole message of the Gospel within 5 minutes or less. This time factor enables us to start sharing the Good News anywhere, at any time, and with anyone effectively without the need for long periods of time. Another factor that is related to this is that through research, the attention span of most people with a continuous verbal narrative is about 5 minutes.
Bro Jonathan divided the participants into groups of three and we took turns to practice the 5 phases of the LifeStory, which were based on 5 mnemonic images:
1. Single Power Pole symbolizing Light for today’s broken world.
In the first phase, we tell people of the meaning of the year we’re in, the significant event that took place 2000 years ago, and the purposes of God when He set those events into motion.
2. Two Shoes symbolizing Adam and Eve and The Fall
In the second phase, we tell people of God’s original plan for the world, how that plan was perverted by satan, and the fall of the First Man and First Woman from Paradise as a result of that perversion.
3. Triangle (Three Sides) symbolizing The Pyramid and Freedom from Slavery
In the third phase, we tell of the events 2500 years after Adam and Eve, recorded in Numbers 21, when God called Moses to deliver the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. It also tells of man’s sinful nature, and gives a context of how God provides mercy even in those circumstances.
4. Square (four sides) symbolizing a Square Garden and the Meeting of Nicodemus with Jesus in the Garden.
In the fourth stage, we tell of Nicodemus meeting Jesus in the Garden and his conversation with Jesus (John 3). Through this phase, we share about the Identity of Jesus, the 2nd Birth, and the nature of those born in the spirit, and how they’re different from those born in the flesh.
5. Hand (five fingers) symbolizing Acceptance or Rejection
In the Fifth and final stage, we round up the significance of the four previous phases:
1. The Love, Hope, and Redemption proffered by Jesus 2000 years ago;
2. The Fallen Nature of Man;
3. God’s Mercy for Man despite their sins
4. The New Identity and Spiritual Birth through Christ
And extend the invitation for pre-believers to accept Jesus. Thus much of the major parts of the Gospel message will be presented, all within 5 minutes. Brother Jonathan shared that many people have been brought to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through his experience.
He taught the class how to do this in a cheering, encouraging, lighthearted manner. Part of the event involved personal exercise put into action and many of the participants found themselves enthusiastically adopting the practices. Throughout the session, Brother Jonathan also shared about how the lives of people have been transformed through the message of the Gospel. We were also taught how to lead new believers in a simple prayer, with nothing complicated about it:
‘My name is ————. I ask you, Jesus Christ to come into my life and forgive me for my sin. Stay with me forever. I will follow Jesus Christ. Amen.’
He also reminded the class that this was only the start of the journey, and the importance of training the new believers towards training other new believers.
Contextualize, Personalize, Utilize
Through this training, it was clear that the most effective way to evangelize the Gospel consist of three elements or Concepts; Contextualize, Personalize, and Utilize.
The first element, Contextualize, is important because in order for the story of the Bible to be impactful, there need to be the process of interpreting the cultural setting and environment of the story in a way that is meaningful to your audience. The world today consists of many different types of viewpoint, and we need to take these viewpoints into consideration and how the Gospel message would be pertinent and momentously life-changing to people with those viewpoints.
The second element, Personalize, is important because our walk with Jesus and growth of relationship with Him is a personal one. We need to teach new believers how the message of Hope, Love, and Relationship with Jesus matter to them on an individual level instead of just being an academic subject.
The third element, Utilize, is important because that’s the way the message of the Gospel is spread. God, in His graciousness, has given us the privilege and empowerment to carry out His redemptive vision for the world. It is people like you and me that carry the evidence of God’s presence with us, and the message of the Gospel with our mouths.
We don’t have to be somebody extraordinary to evangelise for the Lord. The Bible is full of simple people who grew to be effective servants of the Lord simply because they had faith and trusted in His guidance. In the same way, all of us are also called to the great privilege of serving the Lord.
And it needn’t be difficult. All we need is guidance through the Holy Spirit, faith in God’s direction, and the opportunities He places in our lives. Combine this with the great commandment to love the Lord and our neighbours, and our sharing of the Good News may even transform lives. The LifeStory method is a great tool to equip and empower us for our role as sharers of the Lord’s Word.
There will be another training session conducted in DUMC tomorrow, on the 8th of November 2013, at 7.30pm-10.30pm.
References For Pics