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December 4, 2009

Friday Flashback: Relational Evangelism

That "Great Commission" thing still applies, right?


It's always good to "reboot" your computer from time to time in order to set everything straight and clear out the "digital cobwebs" from the operating system. I thought I'd do the same with my current thinking and practices about sharing my faith with my unchurched/non-believing friends.

I encourage you to pass these ideas along to your leaders and group members so they, too, can "reboot" for 2009 and be far more successful in helping friends find a genuine relationship with God through Christ, our Lord!

1. Create a true friendship. The goal is to show God's unconditional love and be a true friend. Show them you love them regardless of their current or future beliefs and let the Holy Spirit do his work. They're not a "project."

2. Be real. Real friends show their weaknesses and are not too proud to ask others for help. Show the person that you want a genuine friendship that is characterized by "bi-directional" servanthood.

3. Cross-pollinate. Involve other believers in your friendship with your unchurched friend. It may be just what the person needs to see what following Christ looks like from different perspectives.

4. Treat them like a Christian if they claim to believe. Many Americans think they are Christians because they believe in God's existence. If that's the case, don't hesitate to ask them to pray for you like you would a fellow group member. In other words, call their spiritual bluff and see what happens! This builds contrast for the unchurched person.

5. Give AND take refrigerator rights. Many Christians claim to have friendships with the lost, but they rarely have the person in their home or are a guest in the home of an unchurched person. If you want to make a huge impact on a lost person, simply invite them to your house frequently and give them refrigerator rights. When they do the same for you in their home, you have reached a level of relationship that few people have in America—and God will use it powerfully to bring them to the cross. Trust me on this one.

6. Pray for yourself as much as you pray for them. Ask Christ to shine through you in powerful ways and give you his love and vision for your friend (vs. just asking God to convict your friend of their sins!)

Randall Neighbour is president of TOUCH Outreach Ministries in Houston, Texas. He has authored numerous books on small-group life, leadership, coaching, and team-based evangelism, including Community Life 101 and The Pocket Guide to Coaching Small Groups.

posted by Sam O'Neal on December 4, 2009 8:00 AM

Related Tags: Evangelism, Outreach, Witnessing


These are GREAT tips, Randall! I'm gonna go put 'em into practice with my lost friend Ed. He thinks of himself as an unchurched Christian. He's actually a good person who lacks a relationship with Christ.

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