Bringing friends to Jesus

Effective evangelism is usually begun without a film, chart or even without an open Bible at first.  It is a program that can be carried out in large or small churches without cumbersome programs, without large investments of church finances.
It begins with the assumption that Christians will have friendships outside their church fellowship who they can influence for the Lord.  We’ve seen that principle at work at Broad Street a lot in recent years.   Many of our brethren have been instrumental in opening doors of opportunity for teaching their friends, and in most of those cases, the friend obeyed the Gospel.
Our Lord was a Master in the use of “Friendship Evangelism.”  We should look to Him as an example. Through Zacchaeus, Luke 19:1-10, we see that Jesus was seeking for “the seeking.”  Jesus saw potential in every person, even in a rich, worldly (as perceived by the Jews) tax collector.  Jesus teaches us that no one is too successful — or too unsuccessful — to need the Gospel.  In this story we see how Jesus used friendship in His evangelism.
Zacchaeus was trying to see Jesus, but the crowds of “religious” people were preventing him.  We must be certain that we are not obscuring the view.  Out of this beautiful story came the famous words of our Lord:  Luke 19: 10 - “For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Jesus left the crowd and went home with Zacchaeus.  Why is it so hard for us today to single out one person and spend quality time with them?  Do we go through life with blinders on and overlook unlikely people like this “Publican”?
Evangelism begins as an attitude of caring in the heart.  The heart of the soul winner must be gentle, unselfish, service-oriented and full of joy.  If our hearts are pure and radiate joy, then we will be more effective in reaching out to people.  Jesus commanded the healed demoniac in Mark 5:19 to “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you.”
As we talk to the world, our sentences should begin less with “You should. . .”  and more with “God has. . .”  and share with others the beauty of what God has done.  We must adopt the spirit of Christ, Phil. 1:5-8, and allow genuine concern for others to move us to humble ourselves into a position which may be beneath where we think we belong.

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