Ancient History

DB – 1 Evan 525

1. In McRaney chapter 1, the author states that God created us to live in “relationship” and “community” with Him and with each other. Briefly discuss the importance of both terms and how they affect the way we involve ourselves through personal evangelism in a contemporary world. How does this impact the way you live out your faith outside of the church, with people at work, your neighbors, friends, etc.? (200 words).

The importance of “relationship” and “community” according to God.

My first understanding of Gods relationship with His people is that He created us and we were His perfect and most prized creation. There was no need for restoration or reconciliation through evangelism. God intended His prize creation to live forever. McRaney states in chapter one “This demonstrates God’s yearning to have an eternal relationship with His people.”[footnoteRef:1] In Mark 12:30, Jesus tells us that our first responsibility is to Him, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’”[footnoteRef:2]. One should understand that putting God first in our lives is the most important decision we could ever make. In understanding how relationship and community work together McRaney also states “God was living in community with Himself as Trinity and created all things to enjoy the benefits of such community.”[footnoteRef:3] One definition of the word trinity according to Wikipedia is, The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is three consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—as “one God in three Divine Persons”. Wikipedia also list a definition of community as “A community is a small or large social unit (a group of living things) who have something in common, such as norms, religion, values, or identity.”[footnoteRef:4] Therefore it would it be safe to say that in order to have a relationship there must be a community involved? My personal belief is that the trinity represents the first family God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit and then by chose a relationship is formed from His invitation to become a part of His community. Simply put, without both an acceptance of the first community in developing a relationship one cannot come to the understanding of Christ. [1: Will McRaney The Art of Personal Evangelism (Nashville: TN: B&H Academic, 2003) ] [2: All Scripture references are from the NIV vision ] [3: Will McRaney The Art of Personal Evangelism (Nashville: TN: B&H Academic, 2003) ] [4: Wikipedia contributors, “Trinity,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed November 1, 2017). ]

The way I have learned to live my faith outside of the church, with people at work, in my neighborhood, with friends and family is to always remember that understanding my relationship with God was imparted to me by someone else who had a relationship with God and was a part of His community. In remembering that someone was listening to my cry for help I must learning to listen for the cries of others so they too can become a part of God’s plan for His people. I have come to believe that there is no better way to satisfy God than allowing Him to use me showing others that He loves them.

2 Are you an effective listener? Do you tend to walk by evangelism/ministry opportunities because you are consumed by less important issues related to daily life? Are you busy and distracted by non-essentials? If so, what steps do you need to take in your life to become an effective evangelist? (200 words).

Are you an effective listener? I have become a better listener but believe there is always room for improvement. One thing that disappoints me is realizing God was trying to use me and I mist that opportunity. My desire is to become an empathetic listener more often Dave Earley and David Wheeler state “…nothing is valued more as an expression of intimacy and compassion than good listening skills.”[footnoteRef:5] [5: Dave Earley and David Wheeler, Everyday Evangelism (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2010) Database MyWordSearch Corp. ]

Do you tend to walk by evangelism/ministry opportunities because you are consumed by less important issues related to daily life? The first answer for me would be no, but I am sure that because of the fast pace of life today being worldly or religious opportunity for evangelism/ministry is often missed. That is why as we continue dying of self-daily and focusing on why God has created us (to help others come to know He) we get better at being used by God. Paying more attention to my immediate surroundings more because of my busy daily schedule may aid me in not missing out on God placed opportunities to evangels and being more willing to share more of my story would probably help.

evans 525 db 1

1. In McRaney chapter 3, the author outlines content essentials to understanding the gospel message. He also outlines what the “message” is NOT, and what “belief” is NOT – in a world that is constantly trying to water down and replace the gospel through pursuits like social justice and moral deism to name a few, discuss the essentials of the gospel message in detail. Is repentance essential? Is surrender essential? What does it mean to be born again? Why is the resurrection important, sacrificial atonement, etc. In short, what is the gospel, thoroughly define essential aspects . (225 words minimum)

2. In addition, after reading the assigned chapters in Everyday Series: Evangelism, as well as reading the article on “What Evangelism is Not” and watching the introduction video for this week that discusses several key perspectives related to evangelism, incorporate several insights from the material into your thread in reference to how this will impact your perspective on evangelism. Based on the material, thoroughly discuss how evangelism should be viewed and be honest about your misunderstandings. Were you surprised by some of the observations in reference to what evangelism is “not”? Are you guilty of excuses? What needs to change? (225 words minimum).

Your initial thread is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of Module/Week 1. The initial thread is a minimum of 450 words.

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