Keep the Faith! Being a Follower 4a

Keep the Faith! Follower 4a Being a Friend

After self-examination ("in right"), fellowship ("out right"), and worship ("up right"), the fourth area of growth while being a follower is evangelism (“down right”).

In order to effectively reach down to those who have not yet found a relationship with the Savior you must be a friend, share your witness, and have a message.

Reaching Down (Evangelism)
1. Being a Friend

During the last day of Vacation Bible School, the five-year-old class was interrupted by the arrival of a new student. This little boy had only one arm and all the children stared at him as he took a seat. The teacher looked nervously around the room and prayed that no one would comment about the little boy’s handicap. She hurriedly continued with her lesson and successfully diverted the attention away from the new student.

Time passed quickly and, just before the bell was to ring ending class, the teacher asked all of the students to stand for their closing activity. “Okay, young people, let’s build our churches. Everyone put your hands together and repeat after me. Here’s the church and here’s the steeple...” 

Suddenly she stopped. Awkward silence gripped the room. The teacher had done the one thing she most wanted to avoid. Everyone was again staring at the little boy who had only one arm. 

From across the table, little Susie broke the silence. “It’s okay, Teacher. Johnny and I can work as a team.” She then walked around the room and reached out with her left hand. "You use your right hand, Johnny, and I'll use my left. We'll build the church together!"

Oh, how effective the church could be if every Christian was like Susie. Everyone has a handicap and, therefore, everyone needs a friend. Soul winning should be simple because making friends is simple. Just reach out.

In Luke 19:10, Jesus said that the reason He came into the world was “to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Before ascending back into Heaven, He passed along the same assignment to His followers. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16)

Make a Friend

It is an awesome responsibility to learn that the world is eternally lost without knowing Christ and that we are the ones assigned with the task of introducing them to Him.  It is estimated that every 21 seconds someone on our planet dies without knowing Jesus.  In some areas of the world, people recognize the brand name Coke, but have never heard about the Christ. There is much work to be done and many friends to be made.

You have heard it said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  No other subject known to man is more personal than the discussion of his eternal soul. To engage them in such a conversation, you must first prove your friendship.

Consider the following quotations about making friends.

1. “You can make more friends in a month by being interested in them than you can make in ten years by trying to get them to be interested in you.” (Charles L. Allen, Readers Digest)

2. “Friends are relatives you make for yourself.” (Eustache Deschamps, Readers Digest)

3. “The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” (Elisabeth Foley, Readers Digest)

Make friends and then introduce them to your best friend, Jesus.

Helpful Suggestions for Being a Friend

Actions speak louder than words. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Go out of your way to show a caring attitude.

“Don’t play the expert over all, ‘cause no one likes a know it all.” Sometimes the best way to make a new friend is to ask for advice.

Look for people who are new to a setting or seem uncomfortable. 

Look for those who seem to have no friends.

Set a goal to make one new friend every month. From this collection you will find a wealth of opportunities to tell them about your best friend, Jesus.

Personal Assessment

Acts 2:44-47

“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” 

Make a list of 3 evangelistic opportunities that often come to a friend (Example: casual conversation during relaxed moments of friendship) and how you might use that opportunity to draw a person toward God. 

Perhaps the greatest soul winning opportunities come when a person is faced with difficulty in life. Christians are asked to share the peace that they have found in Jesus with such people. Make a list of 3 difficulties that friends can help solve (Example: advice about marital conflict) and how you might use that opportunity to draw a person toward God. 

Study Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and list one soul winning application from each verse.

Missed the beginning of the "Keep the Faith!" series? Check it out! 
Keep the Faith! Being an Observer

Also, don't forget the first nine lessons in the "Being a Follower" section!
Keep the Faith! Being a Follower 1a: Study
                                                     1b: Prayer
                                                     1c: Meditation
                                                     2a: Attendance
                                                     2b: Involvement
                                                     2c: Belonging
                                                     3a: Being Like Him
                                                     3b: Being in Awe of God
                                                     3c: Express Feelings for Him

Want to continue this study? Go to:
Keep the Faith! Being a Follower 4b: Being a Witness
                                                     4c: Providing a Message
Keep  the Faith! Being  a Leader  -  Introduction
                                                     1: Self-examination
                                                     2. Fellowship
                                                     3: Worship
                                                     4: Evangelism
                                                         Conclusion: Becoming a Complete Christian

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