Friday, February 09, 2007

gone fishin

"Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Mt. 4:19

How do I do a gospel presentation? There are many tools that are available and I have found one that I like a lot. The method I use most is taken from a book called Share Jesus Without Fear, and the two men who I consider mentors in this area each use different material, but the outcome is basically the same.

The program called Evangelism Explosion begins with two questions. One of those questions is, If you died today and stood before God and He asked you, “Why should I let you into My heaven?” What would you say? I find that the answer to this question gives me an idea of what I have to work with.

But, essentially, the message is the same:

God is perfectly holy, but none of us are. Our unholiness (sin) disqualifies us from eternal life. It’s a death sentence and we can’t fix it, but God can. So Jesus Himself provided the only way by becoming man and dying on the cross so that all those who believe in Him would be saved.

Using questions and Bible verses, I make sure they understand what that all means, (for example, believing in His existence is not the same as saving trust in the Lord) and then if we confirm that they understand and are in agreement, I invite them to tell God what they just told me. I’ll lead them in prayer and then point them in a good direction on how to live the Christian life.

This topic will come up on this blog in some form or other every once in a while.




Just before talking to someone, I will pray the “three-open-prayer,” which I learned from Ron Hutchcraft.

Lord, open an opportunity; open their heart; open my mouth.

Well, that’s the way I usually go about it. Nothing spectacular, but everybody who is saved is also appointed to be God’s ambassador and empowered by the Spirit to obey this command. After all that, I don’t completely understand why I hem and haw until God gives me a divine nudge…


L.L. Barkat said...

Interesting. What do you usually view as an opportunity?

Anonymous said...

your last posts are stroking alot of your ego. must be nice. you name yourself mostly but not others.

Anonymous said...

etc..., do I detect a bit of jealousy?
Craver was asked questions and he simply answered. So, etc..., if you wouldn't mind enlightening us, what do you do for your community to advance the kingdom of God?

Anonymous said...

etc - I don't think you've been reading the last few posts with an open heart. They aren't about Craver but about what God is doing through him. I am thankful that he shares what God is doing in/through his life. It is an encouragement to get in the game! His passion for the Food Pantry and the people he ministers to is clear. That is not an "easy" ministry to consistently be a part of. Keep up the great work Craver! and keep sharing what God is doing!

-I will agree that the spider post was all about Craver!

Llama Momma said...

I was just going to post the same thing, but For Now beat me to it! Maybe you don't realize that Craver was actually TAGGED with this task and ASKED to share. And then someone gave him a hundred bucks for the Kingdom project...and we've been tirelessly asking him questions ever since!

I, for one, have been greatly encouraged.

Craver Vii said...

Yes, etc... is right about something. I'm an egomaniac; I have never done anything with perfect intentions. Yes, I'm a filthy sinner and there's no way I can impress God. The blood of Jesus is sufficient to cover all my sins... and yours.

Please try not to pay attention to my shortcomings and stay on topic. After all, we're talking about the gospel, and it's Jesus who saves. Not me.

Wait. If you really want to talk about me, stick around. It won't be long before I steer us back on that subject. ;-)

jazzycat said...

Great response to the etc. response. I am not surprised that you would answer with solid teachings from the Sermon on the Mount. Now Jazzy she has been known to growl when things don't go her way.

Even So... said...

It can become quite an illuminating scene when someone's true colors are showing...Rock on, Craver...

2 Corinthians 13:5 etc...............................

Anonymous said...

Could the "divine nudge" be a partial answer to LL's question about what an "opportunity" is? I find if I am vigilant and open-hearted toward the person I am with, the opportunities or nudges seem more obvious. When I am distracted or self-conscious, as is too often the case, the divine "nudges" would have to involve a sledge hammer or taser before I notice.

Craver Vii said...

Charity, perfect.

Sometimes, the opportunity is the little argument (I use the term VERY loosely here) I have with God that goes like this:
- Go talk to him.
- He's busy. It would be rude.
- Go talk to him.
- I'm not sure how I should start.
- Go talk to him.
- He doesn't look like he's in a talking mood.
- Go talk to him.
- Okay, okay. (inhale deeply)

Get the idea?

More often than not, I recognize missed opportunities and then say, "Man, if I could do that over again..."

Jen2 said...

Thank you for sharing Craver ~
Thank you for obeying the command to "encourage one another every day as long as it is called today"

The same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay.

You ever listen to Mr. Ray Comfort?

Anonymous said...

Psalme 18:25-28
"To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
To those with integrity you show integrity.
To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.

You rescue the humble,
but you humiliate the proud.
You light a lamp for me.
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness."

Anonymous said...

you don't mention other people and what they do. you don't mention your wife and kids and what they do. but you do mention you and you and you and so are your friends on the blog...stroking your ego.

my big mistake for stopping in.


Anonymous said...

i'm going back to the opportunity question...

awhile back i had a certain change in thinking about what an opportunity is. after reading "experiencing god" i realized that an opportunity is actually seeing where god is at work instead of creating an opportunity. it's a subtle difference but very powerful because what god is doing, he accomplishes. what we do in our strength doesn't guarantee any results. so, if someone seems open or is sharing about some vulnerable place in their lives, i take that as the holy spirit at work in their lives and share honestly what god can do in their situation. so instead of forcing my way, i now ask, "what is god up to here?" and sometimes, it's nothing at all. but sometimes, sometimes, i get to join in on some wonderful things he's already started.

Craver Vii said...

Well, Etc… I don’t know if you’ll be back to read this, but I am disappointed that you chose again to talk about my ego problem over the message of the gospel.

For the record, I thought the point of the last few posts is really what God did with the $100. Other people, including businesses, volunteers and my wife WERE mentioned. The contribution of these volunteers is quite significant. People like Mrs. Craver put in something like 12-hrs/week. But it’s not done for accolades. I was hoping people would look at the posts and say, “Wow, I wonder what I would do if God gave me such an opportunity for investment.” It’s too bad you didn’t see that.

No more off-topic comments from you. If you want to continue this discussion, contact me via email.


Craver Vii said...

Something happened and I am no longer receiving email notification when a comment appears at this post, so please bear with me if longer times pass before I respond.

Thanks for your comment, CLC.

That was an excellent book. I have a different take on “opportunity.” Yes, as it relates to ministry or discerning the will of God, we shouldn’t take the initiative and then, as an afterthought, ask God to bless our efforts. That much, I agree with. But being His witnesses is different, because He has already taken the initiative, and given a command to make disciples of all nations.

When training people to share the gospel at the food pantry, I like to describe it as testing the doors, to find out whether God has opened or closed them. We must not wait to go forward until we see all green lights, but being brave does not give license to bulldoze the gospel message, either.

At what point would we draw the line between stepping out of our comfort zones and forcing an opportunity?

L.L. Barkat said...

I'm going to slow down for Etc. for just a minute and say, "I hear you." I'm not sure I agree, but that's not the point.

Here's the point...

What are you concerned about? Do you think that maybe Craver (or who he represents in the world, say, a certain faith persuasion) is harmful? Have you been harmed in some way, or seen someone harmed? Maybe we could talk more generally about the issues and put Craver aside for a minute (sorry Craver!).

I guess I'm wondering what you are trying very genuinely to add to the conversation, because I think it's probably worth hearing.

Every Square Inch said...


This conversation is fascinating! I'm sorry that I don't stop by more often. Everyone is usually so positive and encouraging that when we get a comment like "etc", the contrast is stark.

I don't know you, Craver but I've learned more about you by the way you responded to 'Etc'. Your response, especially your initial response was humble. It honors God and takes the focus off yourself which was the charge first leveled at you. The other thing about your response was that it focused on the gospel - on what Christ has done for us. We are all to some extent self centered...the remnant effect of sin at work in all of us. It's not something we're glad about but something we battle daily until we enter eternity.

'Etc'- here's the thing - Craver's not the only one self centered - I am too, so if you'd like to have more fun with this, you should stop by my blog. Really.

Llama Momma said...

Look...buttons! Very cool, Craver!

And I agree with Andrew. ETC...if you want to see self-focused, come take a look at the llama momma's blog. ;-)

L.L. Barkat said...

No, come to mine! Me, me, me! (sorry, couldn't resist a chance to be self-focused)

Anonymous said...

This is a great thread. For me, it is the essence of evangelism--the joy and the complexity.