Go for it! Three benefits of running your own evangelistic series
In the wake of Easter events and services, you don't have to wait for your church to run an evangelistic series to follow up with your friends. Below mum-of-four Liz Tomlinson shares how she took the initiative and ran her own series in her home in Easton, Bristol.
Our churches organise a whole variety of events, activities and pre-evangelism evenings that are slick and well organised. These serve us well and are so helpful in introducing our friends to Jesus.
But church-run events aren't the only way to reach your friends with the Gospel. Running your own evangelistic event or series really doesn’t have to be complicated and exhausting!
Over the past 10 years I'd seen the effectiveness of Christianity Explored in action at my church and when I heard about Life Explored, I thought it sounded perfect for my group of friends, so I decided to run my own series.
There were so many benefits of running Life Explored like this:
1. You know your friends
Living in the wonderfully diverse city of Bristol has given me friendships with people from differing backgrounds, faiths and nationalities, people who value diversity, creativity and, above all, hope.
Some of the friends I asked were new Christians, and others were not believers. We were all part of the same friendship group.
We had already developed good relationships with one another, founded on shared care, respect and love for each other.
Life Explored was run completely in the context of this relationship, which meant trust had already been built and we knew each other's pre-existing values and beliefs. It also felt like a safe environment to be honest and open up to one another.
2. It's a natural way to continue your conversations
Over the years our discussions had often turned to the topic of religion and Christian faith. Life Explored felt like a natural way to continue this conversation and explore Christianity in more depth. It was a very simple way to talk about God together.
Life Explored has been a springboard for new discussions and exploration of Christian truths, and how it all fits into our own lives.
When we finished the series it didn't mean that our conversations had to stop. Rather, we'd got used to talking about spiritual things and discovered new depth in our friendships.
3. It's flexible and informal
Like most people in the UK, I lead a busy life, juggling family, work commitments and church life.
The sessions were run very informally, on a 'meet when we can' basis, so there was no pressure or anxiety to get the next session done.
For this reason, it took far more than seven weeks to complete, but I can see the benefits of this, as the truths, teachings and ideas may then take greater shape, and have perhaps a longer-lasting impact on our lives.
We met in each other's homes and, as we all knew each other already, we were always in a familiar and friendly environment.
Well, we are still friends!
Comment below to share your ideas for creative ways of sharing the Gospel with your friends.
Overall it was a real joy and encouragement to grapple with the Bible with my friends. I asked a couple of them how they found it.
“As a non-Christian doing the Life Explored series, I found it to be interesting in a historical context as we covered aspects of the Bible in a way I have not been concerned with before.
"I found being present to learn and explore thinking about the values of Christianity was very self reflective for me, allowing me to deeply consider the things in my life that I believe and have faith in. The series also allowed me to recognise qualities and failings in myself, again in a reflective way that I appreciated."
“Life Explored answered a lot of questions I had regarding Christianity and what being a true Christian really means. It has helped me to accept God into my heart and have true faith.”
There is nothing more exciting to me than seeing the spiritual birth of a new Christian, and seeing God’s light gradually grow brighter in a friend’s life. I hope you too will have the privilege of experiencing this one day if you haven't already.
If you're thinking about doing what I did, and trying something like Life Explored with a friend or friendship group, my advice is: Go for it!
Find out more about how to get started with Life Explored
Struggling with evangelism? Read our article about how to keep going when evangelism is tough