Lesson 5: Winning Friends for Jesus (Part 2)

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1 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) Intrductin Nurturing Relatinships Qute #1 Qute #2 Qute #3 In the last lessn we reflected n the imprtance f persnal relatinships t fulfill the great cmmissin. Each ne f us has a netwrk f relatinships cnsisting f peple that Gd has entrusted t us. This netwrk is ur best missin field. As we saw in ur last lessn the first step f bringing thse peple t Christ is t simply write dwn the names f peple we knw wh haven t accepted Jesus and/r the Adventist message yet. Making this list f names is very imprtant! It helps us becme mre aware f wh has been entrusted t us by Gd. When we review this list daily r at least 3 times a week, it helps keep the names fresh in ur memry, draws us clser t them, and has a psitive influence n ur assciatin with them. What d we d with the names nw? Of curse, we start t pray fr them. We can t pray intensively fr all these peple every day, but we can present these names t Gd and ask Him t bless these peple. In additin, we can ask Gd t shw us wh especially needs intercessin r help. The relatinships in this netwrk are like little plants in a garden. They have t be nurtured. And this is where many Adventists, wh are enthusiastic abut ur message, make a mistake. They aim at cnvincing the intellect that a certain dctrine is crrect. But we very seldm win a persn this way. Befre we can reach the intellect we must win the heart. Nurturing relatinships is really the secret t successfully winning peple fr Jesus. Yur success will nt depend s much upn yur knwledge and accmplishments, as upn yur ability t find yur way t the heart. By being scial and cming clse t the peple, yu may turn the current f their thughts mre readily than by the mst able discurse. (Evangelism, p. 483) The best example f hw we can win the hearts f peple was given t us by Jesus Himself. Please read the fllwing qutes and write dwn specifically what Jesus did t reach peple s hearts! Christ s methd alne will give true success in reaching the peple. The Saviur mingled with men as ne wh desired their gd. He shwed His sympathy fr them, ministered t their needs, and wn their cnfidence. Then He bade them, Fllw Me. There is need f cming clse t the peple by persnal effrt. If less time were given t sermnizing, and mre time were spent in persnal ministry, greater results wuld be seen. The pr are t be relieved, the sick cared fr, the srrwing and the bereaved cmfrted, the ignrant instructed, the inexperienced cunseled. We are t weep with thse that weep, and rejice with thse that rejice. Accmpanied by the pwer f persuasin, the pwer f prayer, the pwer f the lve f Gd, this wrk will nt, cannt, be withut fruit. (The Ministry f Healing, p. 143) At the table f the publicans He sat as an hnred guest, by His sympathy and scial kindliness shwing that He recgnized the dignity f humanity; and men lnged t becme wrthy f His cnfidence. Upn their thirsty hearts His wrds fell with blessed, life-giving pwer. New impulses were awakened, and t these utcasts f sciety there pened the pssibility f a new life. Thugh He was a Jew, Jesus mingled freely with the Samaritans, setting at naught the Pharisaic custms f His natin. In face f their prejudices He accepted the hspitality f this despised Page 1

2 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) Qute #4 Qute #5 peple. He slept with them under their rfs, ate with them at their tables, partaking f the fd prepared and served by their hands, taught in their streets, and treated them with the utmst kindness and curtesy. And while He drew their hearts t Him by the tie f human sympathy, His divine grace brught t them the salvatin which the Jews rejected. (The Ministry f Healing, p. 26) Jesus saw in every sul ne t whm must be given the call t His kingdm. He reached the hearts f the peple by ging amng them as ne wh desired their gd. He sught them in the public streets, in private huses, n the bats, in the synaggue, by the shres f the lake, and at the marriage feast. He met them at their daily vcatins, and manifested an interest in their secular affairs. He carried His instructin int the husehld, bringing families in their wn hmes under the influence f His divine presence. His strng persnal sympathy helped t win hearts. (The Desire f Ages 151.2) In face f their prejudices He accepted the hspitality f this despised peple. He slept under their rfs, ate with them at their tables, partaking f the fd prepared and served by their hands, taught in their streets, and treated them with the utmst kindness and curtesy. (Desire f Ages 193.2) Page 2

3 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) Be a Bridge Builder When we want t reach peple fr Jesus, we must first win their cnfidence, reach their hearts, and build a relatinship with them. Thus a bridge is created between yu and them n which the gspel can reach them. Nw hw can we build this bridge t ther peple? Let s examine 10 principles! Principle #1 Principle #2 Ask Gd t help yu win the hearts f these peple. Gd intimately knws every single persn in yur netwrk and knws the best apprach fr each persn. Ask Gd t give yu ideas f ways yu can reach peple s hearts. Be sciable and mingle with ther peple. Smetimes Adventists have the idea that they have t separate themselves frm the wrld s they wn t becme defiled. Of curse, there are things in the wrld which Christians shuld have nthing t d with. But hw can we win peple s hearts when we islate urselves frm them? Jesus is ur example here as well. We read hw He mingled with peple, accepted their hspitality and shwed sympathy. And this is exactly ur cmmissin! Jesus said, Yu are the salt f the earth. (Matthew 5:13) What value des salt have when it stays in the saltshaker? S dn t wait fr peple t apprach yu. Yu g t them and establish cntact with them. Be peple and relatinship riented! Thereby yu will nurture existing relatinships and get t knw new peple. There are s many pssibilities t mingle with peple. Here are a few ideas: Visit yur neighbrs. Jin a club. Wrk as a vlunteer in yur city. Visit peple wh need help. Get invlved in yur child s schl. Talk t peple while yu are shpping. Offer yur help. Ask fr help. G hiking r walking with thers. Exercise with thers. Attend funerals Remember special ccasins Page 3

4 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) What ther ideas d yu have fr mingling with ther peple? Qute #6 Qute #7 Principle #3 The example f Christ in linking Himself with the interests f humanity shuld be fllwed by all wh preach His wrd, and by all wh have received the gspel f His grace. We are nt t renunce scial cmmunin. We shuld nt seclude urselves frm thers. In rder t reach all classes, we must meet them where they are. They will seldm seek us f their wn accrd. Nt alne frm the pulpit are the hearts f men tuched by divine truth. There is anther field f labr, humbler, it may be, but fully as prmising. It is fund in the hme f the lwly, and in the mansin f the great; at the hspitable bard, and in gatherings fr inncent scial enjyment. (The Desire f Ages, p. 152) By persnal labr reach thse arund yu. Becme acquainted with them. Preaching will nt d the wrk that needs t be dne. Angels f Gd attend yu t the dwellings f thse yu visit. This wrk cannt be dne by prxy. Mney lent r given will nt accmplish it. Sermns will nt d it. By visiting the peple, talking, praying, sympathizing with them, yu will win hearts. This is the highest missinary wrk that yu can d. T d it, yu will need reslute, persevering faith, unwearying patience, and a deep lve fr suls. (Christian Service, p. 117) Treat ther peple with acceptance, esteem and respect. Jesus saw the value in every persn and saw them as a candidate fr Gd s kingdm. It didn t matter what circumstances they were in. Even if thers despised them Jesus always treated them with dignity, esteem, and respect. And if He were t live as a human amng us tday He wuld apprach peple the same way. We are ambassadrs fr Christ. Jesus wants us t deal with peple like He wuld if He were in ur place. Every persn has the need t be treated with acceptance, esteem, and respect. When yu give that t a persn yu will win their hearts. But exactly hw can we shw acceptance, esteem, and respect? In rder t answer this questin, first ask yurself hw yu knw when yu are accepted, valued, and respected. Nte yur thughts here! Page 4

5 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) Hw we see peple and what we think abut them has the greatest influence n hw we treat them. Acceptance, esteem, and respect start with us seeing peple as valued and lved by Gd. We have t see what they can becme thrugh salvatin. This view is essential fr the way we treat them. All the practical things we culd d t express acceptance, esteem, and respect build n this fundamental perspective. What can we specifically d t shw peple that we accept, value, and respect them? Here are a few ideas! Be friendly and curteus. Greet peple by name. Smile at them. Remember the names and cncerns f their family. Ask hw they are ding. Speak penly and freely with them. Be trustwrthy. Trust them. Frgive quickly, dn t hld a grudge. Let them see what grace is. Respect the religius beliefs f yur friends, even thugh they are different frm yur wn. Be sensitive t cultural differences. Give them praise and recgnitin. Encurage them when smething has gne wrng r they are in the middle f a difficult challenge. Ask them fr help. Qute #8 Qute #9 Principle #5 Qute #10 If we wuld humble urselves befre Gd, and be kind and curteus and tenderhearted and pitiful, there wuld be ne hundred cnversins t the truth where nw there is nly ne. (Testimnies fr the Church, vl. 9, p. 189) Nw that Jesus has ascended t heaven, His disciples are His representatives amng men, and ne f the mst effective ways f winning suls t Him is in exemplifying His character in ur daily life. Our influence upn thers depends nt s much upn what we say as upn what we are. Men may cmbat and defy ur lgic, they may resist ur appeals; but a life f disinterested lve is an argument they cannt gainsay. A cnsistent life, characterized by the meekness f Christ, is a pwer in the wrld. (The Desire f Ages, p. 141) Lk fr pprtunities t d smething gd fr yur friends. Jesus met peple where there were. His eyes were pen t their needs and He met them. Thus He wn their trust and He culd explain the gspel t them. They listened t Him because Jesus wn their hearts. Ellen White said that we shuld als get t knw peple s needs and help them. Read the fllwing qutes! G t yur neighbrs ne by ne, and cme clse t them till their hearts are warmed by yur unselfish interest and lve. Sympathize with them, pray with them, watch fr pprtunities t d them gd, and as yu can, gather a few tgether and pen the Wrd f Gd t their darkened minds. (Christian Service, p. 116) Page 5

6 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) Qute #11 Qute #12 Principle #6 Principle #7 Thse wh have been mst successful in sul-winning were men and wmen wh did nt pride themselves n their ability, but wh in humility and faith sught t help thse abut them. Jesus did this very wrk. He came clse t thse whm He desired t reach. (Christian Service, p. 117) Thse wh are fighting the battle f life at great dds may be refreshed and strengthened by little attentins which cst nthing. Kindly wrds simply spken, little attentins simply bestwed, will sweep away the cluds f temptatin and dubt that gather ver the sul. The true heart-expressin f Christlike sympathy, given in simplicity, has pwer t pen the dr f hearts that need the simple, delicate tuch f the Spirit f Christ. (Christian Service, p. 123) Ask Gd t pen yur eyes t the needs f yur friends and t give yu ideas hw yu can d smething gd fr them and smething that will please them. There is n limit t the pssibilities fr ding gd and making smene happy. Here are a few ideas. Can yu think f a few mre? Be hspitable. Cngratulate yur friends n their birthdays. If apprpriate give them a small present. Remember ccasins like weddings, birthdays, and tragedies in the family. Give them hmemade bread, rlls, r ckies. Give them a calendar with Bible texts fr the New Year. Write cards, s, r text messages. Jesus had n hme t which He culd invite peple. But He ften accepted peple s hspitality! Here is an imprtant key: Invite peple t yur hme and accept ther peple s invitatins. Use this time t get t knw them better and tell them abut yurself. Eating tgether cnnects peple. Shw hnest interest. Jesus shwed hnest interest in what was imprtant t the peple, even if they were wrldly things. If it was clse t smene s heart then is was reasn enugh fr Jesus t be interested in it. When yu talk with peple put yurself in their psitin and ask questins. Remember that every persn is unique! It is fascinating t discver this uniqueness. Fr sme f us this is natural. Others have a hard time keeping up a cnversatin. It helps t remember a few questins, which yu can ask peple. Sme f these questins are particularly gd if we dn t knw the peple very well yet. Family Are yu frm this area? Where did yu grw up? Hw lng have yu lived here? D yu have siblings? Hw many? D yur parents and siblings live in the area? Page 6

7 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) Jb Hbby Where d yu wrk? Hw lng have yu been wrking there? D yu enjy yur jb? What d yu d in yur leisure time? Are yu a member f a club? D yu play a musical instrument? Religin Did yu grw up in a Christian/religius family? Did yu g t church regularly as a child? D yu regularly attend church nw? Which church d yu attend? When speaking with peple it is imprtant t keep the fllwing things in mind: These questins are just the beginning. They shuld lead t a deeper discussin abut pinins, values, and feelings. Nt every questin is suitable in every situatin. We need tact and skill t see which questins are apprpriate. Hw deep ur questins can g depends n hw much the ther persn trusts us. We need t knw the bundaries and sense which questins are apprpriate. Sme questins are simply t persnal, especially if the relatinship isn t very deep yet. Dn t give peple the feeling that they are being systematically questined. It is imprtant that they feel cmfrtable giving us this infrmatin. When yu get answers respnd t them. Put yurself in their place and ask mre questins! Keep yur eyes pen fr things yu have in cmmn and emphasize them. Similarities build bridges! Ask questins abut things which interest them and which they are enthusiastic abut. Yur questins shuld g frm general t mre persnal (e.g. frm plitics, weather, and wrk t pinins and experiences.) When peple express their pinin it is imprtant t agree with them whenever yu can d it hnestly. And even if we have a different pinin it is imprtant nt t emphasize these differences. Otherwise there is the danger f creating a barrier between yu and the ther persn. Qute #13 Principle #8 Agree with the peple n every pint where yu can cnsistently d s. Let them see that yu lve their suls, and want t be in harmny with them s far as pssible. (Evangelism 140.3) Be a gd listener. Little else is s effective in winning a persn s heart than attentive listening. But hw can we be gd listeners? Page 7

8 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) Try t hnestly understand what the ther persn really means. Give the ther persn yur cmplete attentin. Maintain eye cntact. Pay special attentin t the nn-verbal cmmunicatin (facial expressins, gestures, vice) and try t sense what the ther persn is feeling as he is talking. React t what is said. Yu can d this with a nd f yur head, by asking fr mre clarificatin r with shrt statements like, I understand what yu mean. Mirrr back what yu understd. Dn t try t frmulate yur answer in yur thughts while yu are listening. Principle #9 Principle #10 Be pen, authentic, and natural. Be pen and tell abut yurself. Allw them t take part in yur life, yur histry, yur thughts. In s ding we shuldn t pretend that as Christians we are perfect r superhuman. Peple appreciate it when we are pen and authentic. It is nt a shame t admit that as Christians we als have challenges. As Christians we aren t better than ther peple, but we are better ff. Smetimes peple have the precnceptin that we are strange because we are Adventists. We have t refute this prejudice. Peple have t see that we are cmpletely nrmal peple. When peple think we are wrldly, ignrant, and detached, then they wn t accept anything frm us. But when they ntice that we are nrmal, sensible peple standing with bth feet n the grund, then they will listen t us. Als a healthy prtin f humr is helpful. It s gd when we can laugh tgether. Give them yur cnfidence. When smebdy trusts us, it mtivates us t nt t break this trust and t trust the ther persn. Be aware that it is the same fr yur friends. When yu give them trust yu encurage them t trust yu. A gd pssibility t shw trust is when we ask peple fr smething. Jesus als did this when He asked the wman at the well fr water. Thus He built a bridge t her and culd ultimately share the gspel with her. When we ask thers fr help, then we express the fact that we think they are willing and capable t help us. Of curse, these requests shuld be apprpriate. The ther persn has t feel cmfrtable in fulfilling this request. Think abut what yu culd ask yur friends fr! Remember! Remember! The key t winning a persn fr Jesus is by reaching their heart and winning their trust. These 10 principles were nt flushed ut exhaustively. But they are essential and make a big difference. Think abut these principles, internalize them, and use them! Yu will experience hw peple give yu their trust. In the next lessn we will g a step further and think abut hw we can help ur friends t Page 8

9 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) pen up spiritually. Page 9

10 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) Bible Study Please read Matthew 25:31-46 carefully and take ntes n the cntent, meaning, and applicatin! Page 10

11 Mdule 3 / Lessn 5: Winning Friends fr Jesus (Part 2) In light f this tpic what has becme imprtant fr yu? What has Gd made clear t yu? What decisin(s) wuld yu like t make? What wuld yu like t share with Gd in prayer? Yur hmewrk fr this lessn 1. Wrk thrugh this lessn carefully and prayerfully. Mark the statements that are imprtant t yu and write yur answers in the spaces given. 2. Study the Bible passage at the end f this lessn! 3. The memry verse fr this lessn is fund in Clssians 4:5-6. Write it wrd fr wrd n an index card and learn it by heart. 4. In the next cuple f days, speak with smene abut ne f the pints frm this lessn that persnally spke t yu and share with them what yu have learned! Page 11

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