An effective framework for sharing the Gospel
London City Mission (LCM) offered practical evangelism training over the weekend for Christians to equip them with skills and tools to "effectively and authentically" share their faith with their communities.
They were reminded of the example Paul set in the book of Acts as a launch pad for evangelism strategy.
"Paul engaged socially with a whole range of people," said Felix Aremo, LCM's Missiologist Field Director.
"It distressed Paul deeply that the people of Athens were worshipping idols. He stepped in and built relationships with them to share the gospel. He had deep love for people and God."
Also speaking at the session was Patrick Kangi, a missionary from Croydon who reaches out to senior citizens.
He advised, when sharing faith, to tell the story of creation in Genesis as this was the initial plan God had for the world before sin was entered.
"God's original plan was not for his children to be lost for eternity. He wants them to be saved," he said.
He added that the news of Jesus is a "gift from God that needs to be received".
Harrow Team Leader Emmanuel Gill advised that before delving into the message of the gospel, it is important to follow the 'ask, listen and share' approach.
Within this framework questions are to be asked, then Christians should proceed to listen and finally share the story of discovering the good news of Jesus.
"In John's gospel alone Jesus asked 34 questions," said Gill.
"Good questions are like a bucket that can draw water out of a well - questions that are not threatening or manipulative but build relationship."
Gill went on to highlight that storytelling is a very effective way of establishing emotional connections and Jesus himself told stories to engage with people.
"We can share our experiences. In a minute or so, we can tell people how our life was before we knew Jesus and how life changed when we came to know Jesus," he said.
Visitors were prompted to be mindful of language when starting conversations about the gospel as 'jargon' may be unfamiliar to those they wish to reach.
'Salvation', 'sanctification' and 'repentance' were some of the terms to be avoided in initial conversations, according to the LCM.
Aremo made reference to the evangelistic activity of the Holy Spirit in Acts, descending upon believers and enabling them to speak in languages understood by all on the day of Pentecost.
"Interesting when we think about why the Holy Spirit does that. He could have had them speaking in Latin or Greek, the language most would understand. Instead he allows them to speak in very distinct dialects and languages of the different places people come from."
He continued: "It's almost as if the Holy Spirit wants as many people as possible to hear the gospel and respond to it.
"That's what we want to do. We want to communicate it in ways that people can resonate with.
"There is one gospel and there's so many different ways to share it."