Evangelism & Everyday Discipleship

Posted: September 24, 2011 by keystoneyouth in Special Events, Training Lessons
Tags: , , ,

This is a training session taught on 9.24.11 at an area Youth Worker Training Day for youth ministry volunteers.

You can access the complete outline in PDF form here:  Youth Worker Training Day Lesson Evangelism & Everyday Discipleship.

Youth Worker Training Day

Evangelism & Everyday Discipleship

Brandon Fisher




  1. Break down the false dichotomy of evangelism and discipleship from a sequential understanding.
  2. Equip you to evangelize and make disciples in the course of everyday living.

Why Important:

  1. When some people thing of evangelism, they think of someone on a street corner with a bullhorn, or someone passing out a track, or someone with an “evangecube” or colorful bracelet, or someone with a scripted Roman’s road, or someone with a clever “Way of the Master” question to stump people.
    1. A lot of people feel a little uncomfortable around evangelists.  They feel a little slimy, like a used car salesman ready to give his pitch.
    2. As a result, people don’t like doing the work of an evangelist,2 Tim. 4:5, because they don’t want to be THAT guy…or maybe they think they CAN’T be that guy.  They’re not smart enough, quick enough, outgoing enough.
    3. This is a problem because the Bible calls us to proclaim the gospel, to do the work of an evangelist.
    4. Even though you may not have the GIFT of evangelism, you still have to do evangelism—just like those who may have not have the gift of generosity still have to give.
    5. I want to say, you can be an evangelist.
  2. When some people think of discipleship, they think of reading a book with someone, doing inductive Bible studies of 1st & 2nd Timothy, asking check-up accountability questions.
    1. They think disciple people are like Paul who discipled Timothy.
    2. As a result, people don’t make disciples because they don’t think they’re qualified to lead a Bible study.
    3. This a is a problem because the Bible commands you to make disciples
    4. I want to say, you can be a disciple-maker.

False Dichotomy:  Evangelism or Discipleship?

  1. Which is more important to you?
    1. I notice some people are all about evangelism and they push outreach events.
    2. Some people are discipleship driven and push theology and Bible study.
    3. They want to divide the two into two groups—you either have to be doing evangelism OR you have to be doing discipleship.
    4. Sometimes ministries will say that evangelism is the goal on one particular event and discipleship another.
  2. Some think it’s a sequential thing:
    1. I do evangelism until someone gets saved, THEN I start to do discipleship.
    2. I preach the gospel until they get saved, THEN I start to teach them about the life and holiness.
  3. Bible never actually uses either word.
    1. Evangelism and evangelized are used.
    2. Discipleship and the word ‘disciple’ used as a verb are not used.
    3. No one is “discipling” or “being discipled.”
  4. How do you define these terms?
    1. Evangelism—preaching the gospel.
    2. Discipleship—spurring others to become more like Jesus.

What is the mission of the church?

Matthew 22:16-20

16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • Our mission is to make disciples.
    • There is ONE imperative command in that paragraph—make disciples.
    • The “Go” actually isn’t a command—it’s the idea that “As you go,” or “When you go,” make disciples.
    • The command is to MAKE DISCIPLES as you live your life.
    • Your life should be lived in such a way as to make disciples.
  • I don’t think anyone is going to argue me on this point, so we can move on.
    • We should be about discipleship.

What is a Disciple?

What is a disciple?

  • We could probably define this term in several ways.
    • A disciple is a follower—someone who want to become what his leader is.
    • A disciple wants to think, speak, act exactly like his leader.
    • People will differ on what that looks like.
  • Three pieces of a disciple:  (From Jeff Vanderstelt)
    • Knowledge—of the gospel.
    • Belief—in the gospel.
    • Action—based on the gospel.
  1. Disciples KNOW Stuff:
    1. To be a disciple, there are certain things you need to know.
  1.                                                               i.      If I said I followed the Phillies but couldn’t name one player on the team, you’d have serious reason to believe I wasn’t a real follower.
  2.                                                             ii.      Same goes with Jesus.  If you say you follow Jesus, but you don’t know what he said, don’t know how he lived, don’t know what he did for you; you’re not a follower, no matter how many times you show up for youth group.
  3.                                                               i.      And I don’t mean that they can just retell the facts that Jesus died on a cross and rose again to save us from our sins.
    1. It’s not less than that, but it’s so much more.
    2. So what?  Why is that good news?  How is it relevant?
  4.                                                             ii.      I’ve started to use language that our youth need to be fluent in the gospel—they should be able speak it, explain it, defend it, apply it.
    1. I use the example of a parrot.  We don’t want our youth to be parrots.
    2. Parrots can be taught to repeat back certain words.
    3. Parrots don’t KNOW what they’re saying, they’re just repeating something they heard someone else say.
  5.                                                           iii.      I wonder how many parrots we have in our youth ministry—teens who’ve heard the gospel explained to them hundreds of times.
    1. They’ve heard dozens of illustrations.  But they don’t know it.  They know about it.
  6.                                                           iv.      You can know if someone knows the gospel by whether they are able to tell it to others.
    1. Teachers know this…there’s a difference between hearing something and being able to teach it.
    2. Have you ever listened to someone tell a story when they really didn’t know the story well?  It’s sad…and painful.
    3. If you ask me if I know Harry Potter, I’ll say of course—I’d probably say something about witches and magic and Ron Weasley.
    4. If you ask one of our youth workers, Becky Cox, about Harry Potter, she’ll say of course—Then she’d probably talk for an hour.
    5. All I know about Harry Potter is because I’m just repeating back something I heard someone else say.  It’s not something I’ve experienced first hand.
    6. After hearing me tell you about Harry Potter, you’d be fair to say, “Brandon, you don’t know Harry Potter, do you?”
    1. Specifically, disciples need to know the gospel.
    1. Do our youth KNOW the gospel?  Can our youth share the gospel?
  1. Disciples BELIEVE Stuff:
    1. It’s not enough to know something is true, you need to believe it.
  1.                                                               i.      It’s not what we KNOW that impacts our actions, it’s what we BELIEVE.
  2.                                                             ii.      Our beliefs determine our actions.
  3.                                                               i.      Our schools have done an excellent job of teaching truth.
  4.                                                             ii.      Why do youth do drugs?  They chose not to believe what they know is truth, and instead believe a lie—drugs will make you acceptable, cool, free.
  5.                                                               i.     Galatians 2exposes the heart of sin.
    1. Paul is inAntiochand hanging out with Gentiles, a social faux pas for serious Jews.
    2. When Peter came, Peter joined Paul with the Gentiles—he knew the gospel that God’s love, grace, and mercy extended to all types of people; and that Jesus came to die for Jew and Gentile; and through the blood of Jesus all men stand before God as righteous, not on account of their righteousness but apart from their works.
    3. When Jews came toAntioch, Peter chose to separate himself from the gentiles—today we’d call that a racist or bigoted move—deciding to avoid certain people on the basis of race.
  6.                                                             ii.      In chapter 2 of Galatians, Paul confronts Peter to his face.
    1. How does he do it?
    2. Does he point to the Law and tell Peter he’s not following the rules?  No.
    3. Paul tells Peter that his conduct, his actions, were not in step with the truth of the gospel.
  7.                                                           iii.      For Paul, Peter’s actions were a direct response to his belief or disbelief in the gospel.
    1. Youth know drugs and smoking are bad for them.
    1. Failure to believe the gospel is at the root of every behavior sin.
    1. Disciples are people who believe the gospel.
    2. Do our youth BELIEVE the gospel?  Are their actions based on belief?  Could our youth lead others to Christ?  Or just good deeds?
  1. Disciples DO Stuff:
    1. The easiest way to know if our youth believe the gospel is by looking at the evidence of their lives.
  1.                                                               i.      Scriptures are loaded with passages referring to fruit.
  2.                                                             ii.      James says faith without works is not true faith.
  3.                                                               i.      I can tell you all day long that I believe in the sovereignty of God, but if you see me in a constant panic of fear and anxiety, you should question whether I truly believe God is in control.
  4.                                                               i.      There are a million reasons for people to do the good things they do.
  5.                                                             ii.      Just because you see a youth serving, doesn’t mean he believes the gospel that Jesus came not to be served but to serve and give his live for others thereby freeing us from the idea I need to have others serve me in order to find identity and value.
    1. Maybe he’s serving because there’s a cute girl serving as well.
  6.                                                           iii.      Just because a teen isn’t having sex, doesn’t mean she believes her body belongs to God and trusts Jesus for her ultimate acceptance and self-worth.
    1. Maybe she’s really annoying and unattractive to guys.
  7.                                                               i.      More important than doing the right thing is having the gospel be the reason for our actions.
  8.                                                             ii.      There are a lot of youth group kids to know how to talk the talk.
  9.                                                           iii.      There are also a lot of kids who can walk the walk.
  10.                                                           iv.      I want to see youth who are walking the talk.
    1. Beliefs are tricky to see until they are manifest in actions.
    1. BUT we are NOT just looking for good deeds.
    1. Actions are necessary, but not necessarily indicative genuine belief.
    1. Are our youth LIVING out of the gospel?  Can they lead others towards godliness and obedience?

The Problem with a Evangelism & Discipleship Dichotomy:

  1. The gospel is not just for unbelievers.
    1. The gospel isn’t just the instrument in the hands of the evangelist, it’s the only tool a disciple maker has.
    2. A Christian doesn’t come to faith in Jesus through a gospel presentation and then graduate to deeper biblical truths in order to become more like Jesus.
    3. The gospel is the power for SALVATION and SANCTIFICATION.
    4. To quote Tim Keller, The gospel is not the ABCs of the Christian’s life, it’s the A-Zs
  2. Evangelism doesn’t end once someone becomes a Christian.
    1. I need to continually remind myself of the gospel when I feel temptation.
    2. I need to proclaim the truth of the gospel in my life when I feel afraid, anxious, guilt, shame, self-righteousness—you name the feeling.
    3. I need to preach the gospel to the girl who is worried about her weight and self-image—Jesus loves you and died for you and accepts you regardless of your looks.  In God’s eyes you are beautiful and precious because Jesus loves you.
    4. I need to preach the gospel to the guy who is addicted to pornography—Jesus came to save people from lives of deception, disappointment, and destruction.  He wants you to experience true life and true pleasure.  He purchased eternal life for you, not a temporary thrill.  He freed you from the power of sin and death.
  3. To be an effect disciple maker, you must be able to wield the gospel.
    1. The Christian and the non-Christian NEED the gospel.
    2. I can’t point to a moment when evangelism ends and discipleship begins.
    3. I end up preaching the gospel to both believer and unbelievers.
  4. Discipleship is all about applying the gospel of the facets of life.
    1. It’s about looking at life through a gospel lens.

What is Everyday Discipleship?

What does living life through a gospel lens look like?

  1. There are gospel implications for all areas of life.
    1. Wherever there is the possibility of sin, there is a gospel implication.
    2. All failure to believe the gospel results in sin.
  2. Literally, you could pick anything and ask, “How does the truth of the gospel inform the way I should think about ______, speak about ______, respond to _______?”
    1. What’s the gospel have to do with the way I work?
    2. What’s the gospel have to do with the way I talk to my friends?
    3. Pick whatever area of life, dilemma, joy, and consider how the good news of Jesus impacts it.
  3. For students caught in destructive behavior, it’s easy to see there are parts of the gospel that they do not know or believe.
    1. I was talking to Chuck this past week and he told me a story about a girl who kept bouncing around from relationship to relationship, each time getting hurt by guys.
  1.                                                               i.      The question that should be going around in your head is, “What part of the gospel is this girl not believing that’s resulting in this type of action?”
  2.                                                             ii.      Chuck responded to this girl by tell her that she has a void in her life that she’s looking to fill, but she’ll never fill that void with guys—they cannot fill it.  And she will never experience lasting satisfaction until she is restored to God by believing that Jesus Christ died to forgive her sins and mend the broken relationship with God.
  3.                                                           iii.      At that moment, that girl didn’t need a lecture about purity, she needed the gospel—Jesus loves you, thinks you’re precious and beautiful, wants to have a relationship with you.
  4.                                                           iv.      The GOSPEL was the ointment for her wounds, not the LAW.
  5.                                                               i.      Jesus condemned the Pharisees because though outwardly they performed the good religious duty, but they’re hearts were far from him.
  6.                                                             ii.      He gave out of pride, prayed in order to be noticed, served to be recognized.
    1. Giving, praying, and serving are wicked when they flow from a gospel-less heart.
  7.                                                               i.      I give big tips at restaurants even if it’s bad service because I believe that God.
  8.                                                             ii.      I have a gospel explanation for why I tip:  God was gracious and generous with me when I didn’t deserve it, and I want to be like him.
  9.                                                               i.      I currently have a guy staying at my house who is waiting to enter the Peace Corp.
  10.                                                             ii.      I told him that I believe God has been generous with me and blessed me with the things I have so that I can be a blessing to others.
  11.                                                               i.      They’re not mine—they belong to God.  So if they come back broken or chipped, that’s okay.
  12.                                                               i.      On other teams, the freshman do the dirty work—they take out the balls, carry water bottles.
  13.                                                             ii.      The weak are the ones that coach calls on to do extra sprints.
  14.                                                           iii.      Not at Messiah!  Senior serve the younger ones.  The seniors show the younger freshman that they are no better than anyone else, and they model it by serving.  That’s humility.
  15.                                                           iv.      When the time came for sprints, coach called on the strong ones to run the extra sprints.  Why?  Because he wanted to model that the strong serve the weak.
  16.                                                               i.      If you’re a proud person, you might say, “There’s no way that I’m going to pick up trash after other people.”  You think that’s a job for someone else, someone lower than you, especially if it’s seen as demeaning task.
  17.                                                             ii.      I’m a leader here at Keystone; I’m in charge of other people and have the power to tell them what to do.  But I don’t use my power as an opportunity to treat others as lower than me.  I serve, clean up, pick up trash, unclog a toilet, stay late.
  18.                                                           iii.      I have a gospel explanation for the reason I serve:  The gospel says that Jesus came not to be serve, but to serve and give his life for others, and I want to be like him.
  19.                                                           iv.      Whatever I’m am to give in my service was first a gift from God.
  1. Our correction and call to obedience needs to be rooted in the gospel.
    1. It’s good for our youth to pursue integrity, forgiveness, humility, generosity, purity…but if those things are pursued for the wrong reasons, our youth are no better than the Pharisees.
  1. We should be able to explain the gospel justification for our good deeds.
    1. We should be able to teach and model and train our youth to see how the gospel informs all different areas of our life.
    2. For example…let’s do generosity and humility:
  2. What’s the gospel explanation for my generosity?
    1. The gospel says that God treats me far better than I deserve; he has poured out his riches on me.  For my sake, he who was rich became poor so that I could be rich.
    2. One way that I try to show others grace is through tipping.
    1. Another thing I do is open up my house to people to need a place to stay for free.
    1. I see the things I have as gifts from God that I can share with others, so I lend out my stuff—tools, bikes, kayaks, etc.
    1. It’s one thing to tell youth to be generous, it’s another to example how the gospel gives us the pattern and the power for our generosity.
  1. What’s the gospel explanation for humility?
    1. The gospel says that God, though deserving of honor, chose to come to earth and be treated as a servant.  He left his place of praise and came to be despised by the ones he came to show his love.
    2. Most of you know I played soccer in college.  And in college we used the gospel to inform how we should treat our teammates.
    1. One way I try to live a life of humility is by serving others.
    1. It’s one thing to tell youth to be humble, it’s another to example how the gospel gives us the pattern and the power for our humility.
  1. Pick whatever value you want our youth to embrace and root it in the truth of the gospel.
    1. In so doing, you’ll being doing BOTH evangelism (preaching the gospel) AND discipleship (helping them become more like Jesus.)

How can I Do Everyday Discipleship?

How can I use the gospel for everyday discipleship?

  1. Live gospel-intentioned lifestyles.
    1. Root your own behavior in gospel truth.
    2. Be able to explain:
  1.                                                               i.      Why you love your husband, wife, brother, sister.
  2.                                                             ii.      Why you work hard.
  3.                                                           iii.      Why you buy the clothes you wear.
  4.                                                           iv.      Why you choose to drink or abstain
  5.                                                             v.      Why you wear your seatbelt.
  6.                                                           vi.      Why you talk to strangers and invite people into your home.
  7.                                                               i.      The scriptures give us a great example of this.
  8.                                                             ii.     Romans 1-11is loaded with Gospel truth; chapters 12-16 is tons of actions.
  9.                                                           iii.      Ephesians is similar…Chapter            1-3—Truth…Chapters 4-6—Action.
  10.                                                               i.      For the English majors, the INDICATIVE (this is true) always precedes the IMPERATIVE (so do this.)
  11.                                                               i.      Let them watch you.
  12.                                                             ii.      Take them shopping with you.
  13.                                                           iii.      A good shepherd sets the example for the flock.
  14.                                                               i.      To use the girl I mentioned earlier that Chuck told me about…I don’t know that girl.
  15.                                                             ii.      What do you think would happen if I had told this girl the same thing Chuck it?  I get a middle finger and a shutdown conversation.  Why?
  16.                                                           iii.      I don’t know her.  We’re not in relationship.
  17.                                                               i.      You’ll see themes of redemption, forgiveness, grace, humility, kindness, generosity in news stories, movies, music, relationship.
  18.                                                             ii.      And you’ll be able to point to it and say, “It’s kind of like…”
  19.                                                               i.      This will happen while you’re at Burger King.
  20.                                                             ii.      It’ll happen while you’re driving behind a slow driver.
  21.                                                           iii.      When youth are playing music too loud, you can correct them with the gospel.
  22.                                                           iv.      When youth are being disrespectful, you can steer them toward godliness with the gospel.
    1. Many of us can teach WHAT we ought to do, but we also need to explain WHY we do it.
    1. The ACTIONS flow out of the TRUTH.
  1. Live gospel-intentioned lifestyles with youth.
    1. Let them see the way you live your life.
    1. Unless there’s a close relationship, our youth will see our good deeds from a distance but never know the why behind it.
    1. We earn the right to be heard by living gospel-intentioned lives among our youth.
  1. Point to gospel implications wherever you see them.
    1. The better you get at seeing the how the gospel informs your life, the more you’ll see the gospel around you.
    1. This probably won’t happen in a classroom.
    1. You’ll find yourself preaching the gospel in the everyday moments of life.

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