Week 5 - Sent to Testify
» WEEK 5 - SENT TO TESTIFY
This week in our groups we want to continue developing our testimonies for the purpose of sharing with others. Our goal is to help the church grow in their ability to share the hope they have in Jesus with those they already know.
In our family gathering on Sunday, we read through Acts 3:1-4:4. At the beginning of chapter 3 is an account of a lame man who is healed through Peter and John. This miracle is an act of God. The man, who was lame from birth, was now able to walk for the first time ever. In response, he leaps and praises God for the healing he received. A crowd then forms and watches in amazement. The man they had passed earlier that day, possibly with disregard, was now walking and leaping with joy. What a sight that must have been!
There is much to learn from this historical account as Peter preaches, he and John get arrested and many more believe. What stood out in the story above for me was how Peter and John refused to see this person as hopeless. Though they had no money, they had time. Though they were not physicians, they had the gospel and faith that Jesus could heal the man's body and soul. And just as Peter and John were a conduit of God's grace, we also have the ability to channel the grace of God to others. We, like them, have the ability to testify to the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15). To share the goodness of God and his glorious plan of redemption through Jesus! Amen?!
Thank you for the feedback this last week. For those that were able to go through the activity, it sounds like it was really impactful. I know some groups were unable to meet due to icy roads. If your group was unable to go through or finish the testimony activity please do that this week. If you are unable to meet this week due to weather then please feel free to cover either of those when you are able to gather again. For the next few weeks, we will be returning to our Bible study/ discussion format.
Praying for your safety and growth in Christ Jesus!
- Pastor Tim
» SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS ACTIVITY
(approx. time: 5 minutes)
Prayer - Allow time for the group to fill out a prayer card. Please take as many as you need from the bookshelf in the foyer. We printed hundreds for each group.
(approx. time: 65 minutes)
What Are Spiritual Conversations? (Feel free to read the information below or paraphrase)
These are day-to-day conversations that invite others to share their beliefs with us and potentially provide a way for us to share our testimony and faith with them. In our Wisdom for Relationship series, we talked about having intentional conversations which involve; listening, asking questions and speaking. Spiritual conversations are similar. It's applying those very skills in the daily conversations we have with non-believers. We want to listen to their experience and story, ask questions that help us understand them better and look for opportunities to point them to Jesus.
Here are some examples of how those skills can help;
Listening will help others feel valued, build trust with them and will challenge any presumptions you might have of that person. Questions to ask yourself as you are listening are; How are you empathizing with this person? What words are they using that might identify their spiritual beliefs? Is there anything they're sharing that relates to your testimony?
Asking Questions will help clarify your understanding of their experience will show them that you care. Some questions you could ask are; How did you end up coming to that conclusion? How did that make you feel? It sounds like you might have been feeling _____ during that time is that correct?
Speaking should then come last and be rooted in love and truth. This is now your opportunity to share your experience. Maybe your testimony relates and you are able to share how God led you through a similar situation in your life. You might even want to ask the person if it is okay if you share before doing so.
Part 1 - Review Your Testimonies
Now let's see how we can connect our testimonies to these conversations. In last week's activity, we identified ways that God has worked in our lives. Stories of how he changed us and made us more like Jesus. These testimonies are potential ways that we can share God's goodness with others. Let's take a few minutes to review those and if you need you can write out another example during this time. So let's take a few minutes to refresh our memory.
Part 2 - Consider How You Can Share
Now take a few minutes to discuss and consider as a group how you could share your story with someone. What are some aspects of your story that could relate to someone else's experience? How could sharing your story with someone give them hope? Is there anything you might need to change in how you present it to make Jesus the hero?
Part 3 - Spend Time Praying for Non-Christians in your life
Now that we have processed through that let's spend some time in prayer for those that are not following Jesus. Specifically, we want to pray for them asking God to give them faith in Christ and for Him to give you opportunities to share your testimony with them.
*This time in prayer should take up the bulk of your time together.
(approx. time: 5 minutes)
Vision Cast - To close your time together, recap the main ideas and thank those that participated. Encourage your group to continue praying for the non-believers in their lives and looking for opportunities to share their testimony with others.