Building Relationships

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1 Building Relationships Small Group Study Week 4 September 18, 2005 Review of Previous Weeks Why become a contagious Christian? People matter to God (John 3:16, Rom. 5:6-11) In light of God s grace and mercy, how can we choose to be anything but contagious Christians?! The formula for Contagious Christianity is: HP +CP + CC = MI (John 1:1-14) High Potency + Close Proximity + Clear Communication = Maximum Impact Be yourself. God designed us for the tasks He planned for our lives. (Psalm 139, Eph. 2:10) The six styles of evangelism: ways to share the Good News that match the personality and talents God gave us. Which style is most like you? Confrontational Intellectual Testimonial Interpersonal Invitational Servant Assignment Review: Read chapters 1-7, memorize Acts 3:20, pray for people on your impact list. PERSONAL INFLUENCE Question: Who was involved in helping you come to know Christ? Most people ( %) come to a personal relationship with Christ through the direct influence of another person, someone who has the heart of God in them and cares for others. Question: Why should I (we) attempt to build relationships with unbelievers in the world? II Corinthians 6:16b For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." John 14:23 Question: Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Why should we build relationships with others? What is the conclusion of these verses? II Corinthians 5:18-21 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. II Corinthians 6:2b I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. WAYS TO ENGAGE IN RELATIONSHIPS Question: What is the first thing we should do when considering whom we desire to form relationships with and how to go about engaging in these relationships? Ephesians 1:15-23 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that (God may give you) the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

2 WHO S ON YOUR LIST? Question: Whom do we form these relationships with? Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Question: Who is included in the term people and nation in this scripture? Revelation 5: 9-10 And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." The groups that we should be concerned with are the people that God puts in our. These should include the following; 1. PEOPLE WE KNOW Question: What are examples of people who would be included in this group? Question: What are ways we could involve ourselves with these people in order to establish a relationship which would enable us to share our faith with them? Luke 5:29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. B FIRST! Make sure you build relationships first when seeking to win people. We want to interact with them first before we strike up a spiritual conversation about their spiritual condition. 2. PEOPLE WE USED TO KNOW Question: Give some examples of people to which you can renew your relationship: 3. PEOPLE WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW Question: Give some examples of people in this category: 4. STRATEGIC CONSUMERISM This is simply an effort to be open to God s direction when we frequent a business or establishment and take notice of the people you interact with there. Many times you will be placed in a position of influence by being a familiar sight to people who are there all the time. Question: Give some examples of people in this category:

3 WHAT NOW? STARTING SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS 1. DIRECT METHOD This method fits the Confrontational Style of evangelism best. It is a method that usually takes on the form of a question or statement that goes right to the heart of the matter and requests an answer pertaining directly to a spiritual matter. 2. INDIRECT METHOD This method utilizes the direction or environment of the conversation as a bridge to introduce a spiritual topic that pertains to the conversation. The opportunities for this type of conversation are endless. 3. INVITATIONAL METHOD This method will naturally go with the people who use the invitational style of evangelism. The method takes the opportunity to invite someone to an event that pertains to a conversation and many times relates directly to the subject of the conversation. CHALLENGE: Here is our chance to show how authentic and real we are to these people we invite to these functions. Ask them to go with you! Show them you are willing to to be with them! CONCLUSION We can be a powerful instrument in God s hand that He uses to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the everyday relationships we have with people. It is just as important as being an evangelist who preaches the Word from the pulpit. Let s put our trust in God and ask him to lead us to those we should share his love with through our relationships with them. In The Book: Read: Becoming A Contagious Christian, Chapters 8-9. In Your Mind: Memory Verse: 2 Cor. 5:20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. In Your Relationships: Prayerfully consider different people on your impact list and make a note of which method is going to be most fitting in your relationship with them.

4 A Look At The Bridge Illustration I ve learned a helpful diagram for understanding the central message of the Bible, and if you are interested, I d like to show it to you. <If yes, then proceed, using a napkin, placemat, or scrap paper> We matter to God. He made us and wants to have a relationship with us. <Write us on the left and God on the right> We rebelled against God. Both actively and passively, we ve all disobeyed Him. And our sins have separated us from Him, and broken off the relationship. <Draw lines by both words, showing walls and a chasm separating us from God..> In varying degrees, most of us are aware of our distance from God. And so we start doing all kinds of things to try to get back to Him, like being a helpful neighbor, paying our taxes, going to church, and giving money to charities. There s nothing wrong with these, but the Bible makes it clear that none of them can earn us God s forgiveness or re-establish our relationship with Him. <Next, draw a couple of arrows, going over the Us cliff.> These signify our attempts to reach God that always fall short. <Write Romans 3:23 next to the arrows so the person can see the biblical source for what saying. > This verse says, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The sins we ve committed must be punished, and the penalty we owe is death, which means physical death as well as spiritual separation from God for eternity, in a place called hell. <Add the word Death, and sometimes Romans 6:23, at the bottom of the chasm.> This verse says, The wages of sin is death. The picture looks pretty bleak, doesn t it? There is good news, as I said at the beginning, and the good news is that we matter to God. In fact, He loves us so much that He did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He provided a bridge over which we can find His forgiveness and restore our relationship with Him. He built it by coming to earth as one of us, and dying on the cross to pay the death penalty we owed. Here s what the bridge looks like. <Draw a cross in such a way that it touches both sides of the chasm, and sometimes add 1 Peter 3:18 next to the cross.> That verse says, For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God That is a picture of what the central message of the Bible is all about. And that s what God wants each of us to understand. But it s not enough for us to just know about this or even agree with it. We ve got to act upon it. God wants us to move over to the other side. We do this by humbly admitting to God that we ve rebelled against Him and need His forgiveness and leadership. That simple act of trust and obedience results in our sins being pardoned and our debt being paid. Our relationship with God is firmly established, because we re immediately adopted into His family. <While explaining this, I draw a stick figure on the Us side of the chasm, and then from it an arrow over the bridge to another stick figure on the God side, sometimes adding John 1:12 :> This verse says, Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. Does the illustration makes sense to you? <Wait for answer.> Where would you say you are on this drawing? <Wait for answer.> Would you like to cross the bridge by making Christ your forgiver, leader, and friend? <Wait for answer.> <Many people need time to process the message, weigh its implications, and consider its cost, just as Jesus suggested in Luke 14: If they are not ready, then have a prayer with them and agree to discuss it later. If we push them, they may back out of the process. BUT if they are ready > Okay, great. I would like to lead you in a prayer to express to God what is in your heart. Do you mind repeating the words out loud? <Silent is fine if they are more comfortable.> Dear God, <pause> I know that I have sinned and need your forgiveness. <pause> Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross to pay the price for my sin. <pause> I accept that gift of forgiveness. <pause> I want to turn from my sin and follow Christ as my Lord. <pause> Thank you for loving me. <pause> A men

5 Full Scripture Passages Genesis 3:8-9 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" II Corinthians 5:14-21, 6: For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Ephesians 1:15-22 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

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