Sharing God's Truth in Holland, MI

The challenges of bringing the gospel to those who have little or no knowledge of the Truth

The Domestic Mission Committee of the Protestant Reformed Churches hosted two Missions Seminars this past week, March 23 and 24. Each evening featured a speech followed by an open discussion with a panel of ministers and attendees. Rev. Arie den Hartog and Rev. Ron Van Overloop spoke on the topic The challenges of bringing the gospel to those who have little or no knowledge of the Truth.

Following are some notes from the seminars:

Items to remember when evangelizing

  1. The supreme object is God’s glory
  2. The Holy Spirit is the only power that can do the work
  3. The Spirit uses the medium of Scripture; the preaching of it and the living according to it (the witness of Christian living)
  4. The true motivation is zeal for God and love of the neighbor
  5. Beware false zeal and unscriptural methods

Our calling

  1. Be faithful in sowing the seed, regardless of results
  2. Pray
  3. Genuinely present the Truth
  4. Love the neighbor and deal with them in their present state; don’t expect too much too soon
  5. Have courage and conviction with humility

Evangelism do’s and dont’s

  1. Be clear about what you believe and why; know the Bible and confessions
  2. Communicate sin and grace
  3. Avoid Christian jargon
  4. Prove everything from the Bible
  5. Be kind and courteous
  6. Establish a relationship
  7. Be sensitive to their past
  8. It’s about proclaiming God’s commands, not winning an argument
  9. Don’t rush things
  10. Don’t force things; don’t “cast your pearls before swine”
  11. Provide resources: Bible, books, Bible studies
  12. Pray for opportunities to witness
  13. Pray for wisdom
  14. Trust the Spirit

How to start an evangelistic conversation

  • Turn daily conversations about earthly topics to spiritual matters
  • When talking to logically-minded people, apologetics may be a useful starting point
  • Tell what God has done for you personally and His people; Acts 2:11: “we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God”
  • Don’t jump straight into “thou shalt nots”

New media evangelism

  • Use a consistent, recognizable theme across your website, bulletin, Facebook page, etc.
  • Provide a daily devotional that promotes lectures, Bible studies, and other church activities
  • Advertise pamphlets and other materials on YouTube; provide summary and instructions on ordering

In-church evangelism

  • Have greeters welcome visitors
  • Provide pamphlets that explain basics like how to read the Bible, the parts of worship, etc.
  • Host lectures on non-doctrinal topics such as current events, the end times, gambling, Jesus, etc.
  • Evangelism committees should communicate between churches more, sharing ideas about pamphlets, lectures, witnessing techniques, etc.

Neighborhood evangelism

  • Get to know your neighbors
  • Invite neighbors to barbecues and other gatherings
  • Invite neighbors to Bible studies at your home

One Comment

  1. Great outline. I am really struck by the fact that many of the lessons and methods that I have learned at the mission are discussed here. Especially that the Spirit uses the word to gather His church–It is not great talent or exalted sophisticated cogitations. It is His work. We are only tools.
    Thanks for the posting.

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