Gospel Conversations

PETER DAHLIN

04.26.21

IT WAS A SATURDAY MORNING...

It was a Saturday morning. I had slept in a bit and was having a beautiful quiet morning. My PJ’s were still on and my bed-head was something to behold. When all of a sudden the doorbell rings. Who in the world could that be? Who would be disrupting my beautiful morning? I open the door to find three people dressed nicely in their Sunday best suits and dresses. They proceeded to hand me literature and tell me how I needed Jehovah to save me. It was a pretty awful experience. What an intrusion into my time, my life. I could not get rid of them fast enough and certainly never wanted to see them again.

This event profoundly shaped me as a young person. The church was teaching me that I needed to share the gospel with others and to make disciples, but I did not know how to do that. I felt like I was being told that I had to be the person knocking on the door of strangers, or the person who sits next to another on the airplane questioning them for two hours. I did not want to do that. I did not want to be the one people wanted to leave. I did not want to be the one who seemed like a spiritual bully or salesperson. So, I didn’t. I kept my faith to myself.

How about you? What feelings and thoughts do you have about sharing your faith? Is that an easy thing for you or something to be avoided?

Through the years I have learned that there are many ways we can engage in evangelism. I have found that there are times when it is good to knock on a door or talk to a stranger. For me however, those are generally rarely used tools. There is another style of evangelism I engage in everyday. God has surrounded me with people. They need the Good News. Each day I have the opportunity to share with them words and examples of the love of Jesus.

Who do you have a relationship with that might need to hear the Good News of Jesus? Who are the people you see and interact with some regularity? I believe that these are the primary people God has called me to share my faith with.

THE TRUTH IS...

The truth is that you have a unique role in the gospel. You have been given special gifts, talents, skills, and abilities. You have a unique sphere of influence and credit with the individuals you know. Barna studies indicate that over 90% of people come to Christ through a personal relationship. While tools and resources are great, at the end of the day, it is your relationship with and investment in people’s lives that will most effectively show them Jesus.

What might this look like? For the stay at home Mom it may mean being intentional in play dates and community pool time. For the business person, it means relationally investing in co-workers and getting to know them as a person. For the soccer player, it means playing with integrity and gusto with a sense of community. The restaurant worker may be a listening ear when everything is going wrong in a co-workers life. It may mean getting a dog to walk in the neighborhood to intentionally get to know neighbors. Or serving on a HOA board so you are in relationships with those you may not have otherwise met.

As relationships grow it is beginning to share not only your lives, but the gospel as well. The whole gospel that states that Jesus loves and cares for the whole person - emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

THE BOTTOM LINE...

Here is the bottom line, we have to earn the right to be heard. That earning doesn’t come in the loud overt gestures of social media posts, or the newest greatest evangelism tool. It comes into the consistent presence of the concerned, loving friend. The listening ear. The person who will put other’s needs in front of their own. DL Moody once said, “A lighthouse doesn’t fire cannons to call attention to its shining. It just shines.” Loving others well can get messy, and take a long time, but that love is never wasted.

The good news is that you don’t have to do this alone. John 20:21 and 22 states:
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit for help. He will give you the peace that you need to accomplish the task. After all, it is his mission anyway and he won’t leave you alone in the task.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Have you prayed about who God may be calling you to go connect to?
What are some practical steps you can take this week to be more intentional to be in a relationship?
What is the thing that could be the biggest hindrance to accomplishing that?

RESOURCES

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Romans Road to Salvation

GOTQUESTIONS.ORG

The Romans Road to salvation is a way of explaining the good news of salvation using verses from the Book of Romans. It is a simple yet powerful method of explaining why we need salvation, how God provided salvation, how we can receive salvation, and what are the results of salvation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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PETER DAHLIN

Peter Dahlin was born in Wyoming, but did most of his growing up in the Chicago area. He met his wife Rhonda while in college at Moody Bible Institute. They have been 99% happily married since 1994. Peter is usually the cause of the other 1%.

It is his heart to see Jesus bring healing through His grace, word, and people. Jesus’ grace brings us into community with God and each other. That is where we come alive… in community with God and others.

Peter will rarely turn down an opportunity to play disc golf, ball golf or pickleball. Getting on the ocean is always a joy whether it is fishing or scuba. God has made an amazing world.

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