Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “Evangelism”

Living Peaceful and Quiet Lives

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.       1 Thes. 4:11-12   NIV 1984

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.         1 Tim. 2:1-4  NIV 1984

Paul urges us to aim to live peaceful, quiet lives that shine as beacons of godliness and holiness to an unbelieving world around us.  For this to happen, we must be prayerfully interceding for kings (political leaders) and those in authority that the Lord might grant us favor in their eyes.  For, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases (Proverbs 21:1).

It is interesting to note that in Thessalonica and Ephesus Paul had caused riots and civil upheaval.  It was for the sake of the gospel that he was in these cities and we also note that in both cases it was not Paul who instigated the disturbances.  It was the enemies of the gospel who stirred up the crowds, drawing the responses from the civil leaders.  See Acts 17:1-9 and Acts 19:23ff.

Paul did not want this type of upheaval to be perceived as ‘normal’ for those following Christ in the respective cities.  Rather, the goal, as he reminded them, was to live peaceful and quiet lives; living such counter-cultural lives that they would win the respect of those who did not yet know Christ.

Our turbulent times call for us to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).   And in the midst of this turmoil, we are to be praying for our political and civil authorities – asking that the Lord would cause them to show us kindness and favor.  The result will be the advancement of the Kingdom and the gospel in the lives of many.

Are you praying for those in authority over you?

The 4 Alls of the Gospel

It was an early morning flight and being a frequent flyer, I had boarded first and was trying to read my Bible while the rest of the plane filled with passengers.  Sitting in the aisle I was secretly hoping that the center and window seat to my right would not be taken, allowing me to spread out some on the short flight from Colorado Springs to Denver. But, the last person to board threw his backpack into the window seat and proceeded to climb over me into the window seat.

Before the plane pushed back from the gate he leaned over and asked, “Hey, what are you reading?”  “I’m reading the book of Isaiah in the Bible,” I replied.  “Oh, that’s one of my favorite books,” he said.  A short conversation ensued where we exchanged some background information and then I asked, “So, how long have you been a believer?”  A quizzical look came over his face when he answered, “I think since I was born.”

I found out that he was headed for a funeral of his 14-month old son who had recently died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and he had been reading a Bible to see if he could discover what happens to a person after they die.  I asked for permission to share with him a short summary of the central theme of the Bible, a summary I called the “4 All’s.”

As we leveled out after takeoff, he retrieved a Bible from his backpack and we turned to Romans.  I explained that there are four things that are common to all people – the 4 All’s.  We then proceeded to look at the verses in his Bible:  Romans 3:23 – All have sinned; Romans 5:12 – All will die; Romans 5:18 – Jesus died for all; and Romans 10:9,13 – All must receive Christ.  I checked for his understanding after each verse.  He nodded approvingly as we read each verse.

After reviewing these verses I asked him, “If you were to die tonight are you certain of seeing your son again in heaven?  He replied that he was not certain at all.  I then asked, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to accept Christ right now as your personal Savior?”  “Why no,” he replied, “but how do I do that?”  I then shared a short prayer with him and somewhere over Colorado at 12,000 feet, Rick trusted Christ as his Savior.

When landing we went over a few short passages on assurance of salvation from 1 John and after de-planing he hugged me and said, “Thanks so much for telling me about Christ!  Please pray for me.  I hope I can tell someone else about Him at this funeral.”

 

 

 

Leading from the Bible and Into the Bible

Once we have good momentum in evangelism, by God’s grace, we will see people coming to faith in Christ. Also, because of our sowing broadly, we will find young Christians who desire to grow up in Christ. These new believers and young, Christian “orphans” will need to be fed spiritual food to help them move towards maturity in Christ. This spiritual food is the Bible, helping them not only understand it, but apply it to their lives.

In our discipling of young Christians and as we equip disciples to become laborers for the spiritual harvest, we must remember that it is the Bible that helps them become established and equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Let’s be sure that our small groups are studying the Bible and not someone’s book about a biblical topic. Let’s be sure that our follow-up plans and equipping packages are Bible centered. As we counsel and advise, let’s be sure that our counsel is full of the Word of God.

As we minister the Word of God to the hearts and minds of others we can become very “cerebral” in our approach, if we’re not careful. We can have verses for everything and every situation, ready to dispense on a moment’s notice, but it is not simply the imparting of Bible information that will bring about transformation in someone’s life. We will need to help them seek application of biblical truth for their lives.

One of our Navigator distinctives over the years has been our emphasis on personal application of the Scriptures. Let’s remember that Scripture memory is not an end in itself, that is, the quoting of verses from memory. Rather, it is the saturation of our minds with God’s Word that we may meditate on it and find application for our lives that is the desired end. We want to be changed into the image of Christ through our memory work and our Bible studies, but this will only happen as we seek to find personal application of the Word for our lives.

In our equipping of spiritual laborers we must help others ground their personal ministry in the Bible. In our evangelism training, let’s ground them in the Scriptures when presenting a credible explanation and defense of the Gospel. Let’s encourage them to have confidence in God’s ability to use His Word to win people to Himself. He will honor the use of His Word. It will accomplish His desires (Isaiah 55:8-11).

In training spiritual laborers to establish others in the faith, we must give them tools that will help them impart the Scriptures to others. They must have confidence in God and in God’s Word if they are to see spiritual generations flowing from their lives. We can help them have that confidence if we model it before them and teach them how.

Discipling and equipping others with the Word of God for a lifetime of laboring for Jesus is a vital part of our leadership mandate. The fruit bearing that results from sowing good seed in good ground is one of the great blessings we get to observe as we co-labor with God. Sow the good seed of the Word of God (Mark 4:14: 1 Peter 1:23)!

A New Creation!

2 Corinthians 5:1-21

Joy and Amy were scared as they knocked on the door.  They had never shared the gospel before and now was their opportunity.  Perhaps Holly wouldn’t be home, they hoped secretly.  But, Holly greeted them warmly at the door and they entered her room.

As the two women began to explain the details of the Good News, Holly began to cry.  Never having experienced anything like this, they looked at one another wondering if they had somehow offended Holly.  In a voice choked with emotion, Holly asked, “Is this the gospel?”  They swallowed hard and responded affirmatively.

“Oh, this is wonderful,” Holly exclaimed!  This morning I was going to leave my apartment to visit my family.  But, I had a feeling that I should wait here in my room for something important to happen.  So, I’ve been waiting all day.  And now here you are!

“In high school,” Holly continued, “I noticed some others who were very happy and they seemed to talk a lot about the ‘gospel.’  But they never told me what it was.  So, for the past three years, I have been praying for God to show me what the ‘gospel’ means.  And now, today, God has brought you to me so that I can know what this is!  This is great!”

Joy and Amy had the privilege of introducing Holly to the Savior that afternoon.  God had obviously prepared her heart to respond to the message.  There are many around each of us whom God has prepared, but we must deliver the message.  We must be a verbal witness, as well as witnessing with our lives.

Who has God placed in your life for you to introduce to him?  Many are sincerely seeking answers and waiting for an explanation!  Why not pray and ask God for an opportunity to share with them today?  You’ll see God opening doors of opportunity for you too!

Additional References:  John 3:3,5; Acts 16:31

Doesn’t God Grade on the Curve?

Acts 16:1-40

I was in my third year at college, sitting in a dorm lobby when I noticed another student.  I hadn’t seen him since seventh grade and did not even know he attended Florida State.  We began to catch up when his date arrived.  As we parted, he handed me a small booklet, saying, “I’m sorry I haven’t got time to explain this to you.  Please read it; the message in here changed my life!”

I accepted the booklet and stuffed it into my pocket as my date arrived.  Before the movie started that evening, I retrieved the booklet and began to read.  For the first time I understood that I personally had done things that were displeasing to God and that I would be punished because of my wrongs.  Until that night I thought that God would grade my life on the curve and that I would be in the upper percentiles.  That night I understood that life is pass-fail and that I had failed.

As I read on I understood that God loved me so much that he accepted my punishment instead—he died for me–and that I needed to believe in Christ as my personal Savior.  There in the theater I prayed, asking God to forgive me and accepting Christ as my Savior–and I was saved from my eternal punishment.  Like the Philippian jailer, I too had come to become a member of God’s family.

I have not seen the student who gave me the booklet since that evening.  He entered my life for a brief time and was kind enough to share Christ with me–one simply waiting for a clear explanation.  Who is it in your life that God has prepared for you to share Christ with?  Why not share with them today?

Additional References:  John 1:12; Romans 5:22; Romans 10:11-15

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