Christians must learn to think of themselves as deployed, not just dispersed throughout the culture. Christians are already embedded in schools, companies, and neighborhoods where they study, work, and live. You don’t need to “get outside the walls of the church.” You live there already. Every Christian has a relational network, even though some may be limited because of years of immersion in the Christian subculture. When you adopt a witnessing lifestyle, becoming more connected to your community will involve two options—maximizing current relationships and/or purposefully creating new relationships for personal evangelism. Consider these examples of both options for infiltrating your world with the gospel.
George committed his life to Jesus, but decided to keep racing automobiles as his avocation. He started telling his friends about his conversion and encouraging them to become followers of Jesus. His race team organized a car show, on a church parking lot, to connect his racing friends to his church friends. Note this distinction: George connected his lost friends to his church friends but in the context of an activity central to their lives, not those of church members. He maximized existing relationships for sharing the gospel.
Lisa, a young mother, moved to a new community and wanted to establish friendships with other women like her. She could have joined a church-based group for mothers of preschoolers. Nothing wrong with that! A nearby local church offered a Christian-focused program with unbelievers welcome—a classic engagement strategy. But Lisa wanted to meet more women who needed to know Jesus. So, she joined a local play group operated by a community center. Lisa met about a dozen women who became her friends. Over time, she discovered none of them were Christians—or had any connection to a church. Lisa had biweekly opportunities to interface with women who shared her life concerns, pressures, and frustrations. It was easy to talk about how her faith was a source of solutions to these issues. Talking about Jesus was part of the conversation—along with diaper rash, dealing with colic, developmental concerns, and laughter about the funny things children do. Choosing to infiltrate a play group is an example of initiating new relationships for the purpose of sharing the gospel. And with kids around, definitely unscripted!
Whether you are maximizing existing relationships or initiating new ones to share the gospel, here are four principles that will help you implement infiltration strategies. These simple steps will improve your effectiveness in having conversations about Jesus.
Jeff Iorg, Unscripted
I have just completed a series of lessons based on Jeff Iorg’s book, Unscripted. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year.