Nine Principles of Relational Evangelism

Nine Principles of Relational Evangelism

And all of them great items for discussion in your group.
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To see a friend come to Christ, you must speak to the person about what God is saying to you and what you are talking to God about each day. When you openly share how you and God relate to one another, your lost friend will quickly see a spiritual contrast between their perception of God and your relationship with God through Christ.

Discussion questions:

  • Do you find yourself guilty of withholding spiritual struggles or challenges you face from your unchurched friends?
  • Do you see the power in sharing the same things with unbelievers, even if they don't initially understand what you're talking about?

5. Give and Take Refrigerator Rights with Unchurched Friends

Many Christians claim to have friendships with the lost, but they rarely have the person in their home or spend time in the home of the lost person. If you want to legitimize a friendship, invite your lost friends to your house frequently enough for them to freely take "refrigerator rights" and grab a can of pop out of your fridge without feeling like a guest.

When they reciprocate, you have reached a level of relationship that few unrelated people achieve in our world. This is the depth of friendship required to reach someone for Christ with relational evangelism. (If group members say they are too busy for this, challenge them to rethink their priorities. Being too busy to relate to others is not Christ-like. Jesus spent a lot of quality time with people!)

Discussion questions:

  • If we were to look at your refrigerator door, would we find an unchurched friend's fingerprints on the handle?
  • Are your fingerprints on his or her fridge door?

6. Pray for Yourself

When you pray, don't spend all your time asking God to bring conviction to your lost friends. It's just as powerful to petition God to show you how he sees your lost friends so you can treat them differently.

Discussion questions:

  • How often do you pray for yourself as it pertains to being shaped by God to see people the way he sees people? (If the answer is overwhelmingly "not enough!" then stop and pray this way in groups of three right now.)
  • Challenge the group members to pray for themselves daily, asking God to show them how he sees the people all around them instead of how they view them.

7. Refuse to Engage in Gossip

Christians are often heard saying things about others such as, "We really need to pray for Frank's salvation. He's an alcoholic and is just plain nasty to the support staff in my office." Think about that for a minute. If I were in your small group, and you told me this about Frank, why would I want to get to know him and make him my friend?

When you talk about your lost friends, brag about their accomplishments, interests, hobbies, goals, and areas of expertise. Sharing attributes of a potential friend will attract others. Sharing negative things pushes people away. Plus, if anyone meets Frank, they can say, "Your friend has told us so many great things about you!"

Discussion questions:

  • Have you been guilty of gossiping for the sake of a prayer request in the past?
  • Let's all share one or two things we love about an unchurched friend to practice edification.

8. Share a Relevant Message

If your lost friend is minutes away from death or fearful of his or her afterlife, talking about going to heaven by accepting Christ is definitely relevant.

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