Former OPC church planter and recently installed Regional Home Missionary for Southern CA, Chris Hartshorn leads a conference on evangelism for the churches of SoCal. If you don’t know Chris, please take our word for it, that this will be worth your time. Watch on your own, or together as a family, or as a church. For each of the three parts, we will supply some questions for thought or discussion.
Questions for Thought or Discussion:
1. Chris shares a good bit about his own testimony and early church involvement and you can see and hear how it informs his view of evangelism, even of being a pastor. So, building on that idea, how do peoples’ testimonies and experiences in coming to Christ affect their view and practice of evangelism? How does your testimony affect your practice? Are there certain “styles” of conversion that lead to better or worse evangelism efforts? If so, how can we grow the good and “fix” the bad?
2. Chris talks about 3 categories of people that can grow a church– 1) Covenant Youth 2) Other Churches 3) Unchurched (“from the street or community”). Without disparaging #1 and #2 of course, he suggests we can’t survive without #3, we aren’t obedient without #3, and we aren’t that great at #3. Question: What about evangelism in category #3, the unchurched, do we need to learn, practice better, and grow in?
3. Chris compares the example of a churched person who couldn’t “get” election and left the church vs. an unchurched person who became and Christian and said, “sounds good to me, it’s in the Bible.” He talked about how not having to unlearn bad theology can be a huge “advantage” in evangelizing the unchurched as Reformed people. Have you ever thought about that? Think about other things in life–when is “not needing to unlearn things” an advantage? How would you take this interesting idea and turn it into motivation or practice for evangelizing the unchurched–both as an individual or as a church?
4. Chris points out the rich evangelistic heritage of the OPC and her founding. Were you aware of that? Where do you see that heritage still playing out today in your church or the OPC at large? Where do we need a reminder of that rich heritage and how could it change our motivation or practice of evangelism?