Theology and Practice of Evangelism - Lesson 10

Show Up and Pay Attention

The key to evangelism is making the transition between peoples’ needs and God’s answers. God calls us to be attentive to people in our sphere of influence and he is responsible for the results. We learn how to love and forgive. We practice love and forgiveness as we have been loved and forgiven. Unity does not imply uniformity, but diversity. Part of the class time was spent by the students discussing case studies in small groups.

Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
Lesson 10
Watching Now
Show Up and Pay Attention

I. Introduction to Charlie Haley

A. Background and History

B. Pastoral Experience

C. Current Ministry

II. Evangelism and Ministry

A. Tract Ministry

B. Follow-up and Discipleship

C. Love, Forgiveness, and Spheres of Influence

III. Evangelism and Relationships

A. Guidelines for Recognizing Sphere of Influence

B. Relationship Building and Gospel Application

C. Addressing Felt Needs and Spiritual Solutions

  • In order to share the Gospel, you must know what it meant, and how people are understanding what you are saying. The gospel core is the least you can believe and still be a Christian. If the least you can believe is sufficient to get you saved, then the least you can believe is the most you can require of anyone.
  • Christianity is the only world religion with an understanding of grace. Your most important ministry will be helping people understand how much God loves them. The heart of the gospel is that God loves you. Sin happens when we attempt to live as if there is no God. God, since the fall has done everything he can to establish relationship. God wants to make himself known to you in a way that you can understand.
  • At the Fall, Satan gained control of the world. Jesus takes it back in Revelation 5 because he meets the qualifications. The core elements of the sermons of the apostles are authoritative proofs, prophecies fulfilled, God’s activities described, apostolic eyewitnesses and miracles proclaimed. You will be heard with authority to the degree you are willing to put your life on the line. You die spiritually when you rationalize sin. Wind moves from high pressure to low pressure. We access the power of the Spirit by repenting and believing. Two sins mentioned throughout scripture are self-reliance and oppressing the poor.
  • The lesson tells the story of a professor who faces personal struggles and overcomes them with the help of faith, healing, and learning to overcome sin, ultimately showing that it's possible to prevail over life's challenges with God's guidance.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the core components of the gospel message, its theological themes, and how to effectively communicate it for evangelism purposes.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into leveraging your personal, church, and wider spheres of influence to effectively share the Gospel, overcome challenges, and expand your evangelistic reach.
  • Gain insights into ministry experiences and the power of faith, prayer, personal testimony, and baptism stories to navigate emergency situations that are bigger than yourself.
  • You will learn from this lesson that you are uniquely equipped to minister to those in your sphere of influence and that the church is indispensable for your survival. By treating others with respect and recognizing each person's importance, the church can become the living, breathing body of Jesus Christ.
  • In this lesson, you will learn that people are often hurting, angry, lonely, or tired, ministry requires dependence on God and rejection is important, preaching the text is key, our weaknesses can be our strengths, and close community is crucial for doing the work of the kingdom, while leading someone to Christ without providing ample opportunity for growth and nurture is a mistake.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about Charlie Haley, a man with a pastoral background who is currently involved in retreat ministry and considering going into the mission field abroad. The lesson covers topics related to evangelism and ministry, including tract ministry, follow-up and discipleship, and the importance of love and forgiveness within one's sphere of influence. The lesson also discusses the importance of building relationships and addressing felt needs with spiritual solutions.
  • This lecture begins as Dr. Tuttle is relating a story about a lady he met on an airplane. Jesus chose people as disciples that he could demonstrate by showing and telling them, and then depend on them to reproduce what they had been shown and taught. When Jesus gets too close, we raise the religious question to change the subject. As a result of the sin in the garden, we lost our ability to perceive reality beyond the senses. The Holy Spirit came, not to compensate for the absence of Jesus, but to guarantee his presence. We hold the truth, but the world sets the agenda and has the right to ask its own questions.
  • Often, it is implied that once you commit your life to Christ, all your problems are solved. The Hebrew concept of soul is body, mind and spirit. The Greek concept is that soul and body are separate, and that soul is good and body is evil. Prophecy and spiritual gifts are essential for the body of Christ to function. In the teaching in mainline churches, there is sometimes a disconnect between faith and life.
  • Trusting the Spirit of God is the key in this lesson. By remembering and trusting the Spirit, one can be utterly dependent upon God and do the hard work in preaching. Dr. Tuttle shares his personal experience of trusting the Spirit and provides context for Paul's second missionary journey, including Paul's conversion and early ministry, Peter's vision, and the conversion of Gentiles. The Spirit of God also taught Saul how Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
  • Through a deep exploration of Wesley's Methodism and Calvin's Reformed tradition, you gain an understanding of their respective theological frameworks, evangelistic strategies, and lasting influences on modern evangelism.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the significance of Wesley's Societies, their organizational structure, theological practices, and the lasting impact on modern church practices.
  • By exploring the Ethiopian Eunuch story, you gain insights on divine guidance, Scripture's role in evangelism, and early church inclusivity, while learning to apply practical evangelistic lessons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively share the gospel through action evangelism by understanding its theological basis, applying key principles, employing various methods, and overcoming common obstacles.
  • You gain insights into action evangelism's importance, principles, and various methods, while learning to overcome fears and obstacles, and equipping others for effective Gospel sharing.

Dr. Tuttle teaches three critical points around evangelism: how to share your faith story, what evangelism is and how to approach it, and that God has more invested in evangelism than we do – He is in control. God is at work. He wants us to, "show up and pay attention [to the Spirit]," and to care about people enough to "press" them by asking probing questions about what they think and what's going on in their lives.

Evangelism is essentially about the core of the Gospel, ministering in your sphere of influence and sustaining those you reach.

Recommended Books

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Those who serve on mission fields in areas where Christian faith is not the dominant religion quickly come to understand a central truth: when one is sharing the gospel, one...

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Dr. Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
Show Up and Pay Attention
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:13] Dr. Stone or he doesn't, because it is not about us. As far as the results are concerned, it's about us, about being faithful to God's call upon our lives and being attentive. To those within our sphere of influence. As I say here, his name is Charlie Haley, and his wife is merely, by the way. He eventually led this young woman to Christ. He never was never alone with her without without his wife. That's a good point. I should mention that he's he's he's an intelligent man. He has pastored churches, he finished seminaries, pastored churches, and he came through my home a year ago. Jan, you were maybe a year ago this summer. He came through my home, he and his wife. And their children are now grown. On his way to Waco, Texas. There's a ministry there, charismatic kind of ministry there in a in a retreat setting. Where they send missionaries out all over the world. And now he was there for a year, took a year off. He's independently wealthy. He doesn't need the money. So he feels he wants to be faithful to whatever God wants him to do. I think he's now probably and I got an email from him about a couple of weeks ago. I think he's thinking about possible the possibility of of going into the mission field. Abroad. I can't recall. But he's a good man. He was pastor of a large, charismatic church in Greenville, South Carolina. He's an interesting man. He did return to seminary, but I don't know that this experience was the catalyst. But, uh. I certainly was one of the it was a catalyst.

[00:02:36] And his return is returning to seminary. You'd like this guy. He's absolutely selfless. He just wants to help people. And he's from an evangelical background that taught him Christians are only Christian. Other people are Christians to Christ. And, you know, if he was in InterVarsity, not InterVarsity, but Campus Crusade, they taught him to do it a certain way. He would never get it, even if he never led anyone to Christ. He thought and thought he was a failure because of it. I'm illustrating the 25th man here. You obviously understand. And when I was able to help him understand that. He became effective in ministry, he relaxed. And was not so success oriented in the ethnic evangelical sense. Are even goal oriented. As far as allowing someone else to determine what those goals should be. So since you mentioned proposition, they think of the history. Or even someone who would end up on a Wal-Mart. Well, that's that's not my ministry. But I don't try tried to be critical of anyone else's ministry. God blessed some countries. That's the only thing you can do. You go to. You go to Indonesia. And that's the only ministry. And whenever you have to track out, you have to say, are you Muslim? If you're a muslim, you have to say if they're Muslim, you have to. This is not for you. And they sometimes take it anyhow. But you have to explain, this is not for you. And you can take it and read it if you like. But you get arrested. And Indonesia. Who's who's in Indonesia? Yeah. Right. You receive a proposition of the gospel, which is good, but is there something missing with getting the person into it? Well, obviously there's a whole lot of discipleship, but I'm not saying God can't.

[00:04:49] God doesn't use that. You'd be surprised what God is. I remember when I was was a graduate student at Wheaton Graduate School of Theology. I was rummaging around. This is the God's truth. I was rummaging around a closet. So a box in this closet. I don't know what I was doing in the closet. Looking for something. Up on the second floor of the graduate school. Oh, yeah. You know what I'm doing? I got the thing about closets. I found a box. And in this box were. Nearly a thousand decision cards. From a Billy Graham crusade in 1958. This was 1963. Five years. That had been lost and no one had followed up on them. Huge mistake. And so I arranged the seminary, organized the seminary. To take these 900 or so decision cards and find out what happened to these people. Zero. Follow up. Expecting, you know. To find nothing. A third of the people had moved away. A third of the people were not home. But of the 300 or so people who were at home. Probably this is this is on real. The vast I don't remember the exact statistics. It's been a while, but the vast majority had found a church home and were being disciplined. With zero follow up from the crusade. Most of the time, those those decision cards go to local churches and then the local churches do the follow. As you well know, these 900 or so decisions slip through the cracks and there was no follow up. So I just organized this whole seminary. To make these contacts. I thought that was real and it proved to me. You'd be surprised what God can do. That was an honest mistake. I once told Billy Graham he was a gas.

[00:07:06] There was no follow up for those. Tracks. I don't know that I've ever. Maybe I have. I know. And the hotel room this morning, I left a little cross from Jerusalem. As a gift to the maid. Just said. Thank you very much for being so helpful. You know, it's a great little cross. It's a crucifix. I knew there were Roman Catholic and I had it in my briefcase, so I just put it on the table with a little note. This is a gift, if you want it, if you like. Thank you very much. Gracias. I don't expect much to happen from that. But you'd be surprised. But God, what little thing God can take. And use it as a seed. So I wouldn't discourage someone from handing out tracts. In my ministry. I've heard stories of tracts that have been successful, but I can't recall them off the top, quite frankly. But, you know, kind of linger in my mind. Seems like I remember stories of people who were affected by tracks. They obviously weren't my best friends, like this lawyer who sat down in front of Ivy Hill that stayed with me because we're long term friends. That's a good question, Drew. I do not feel particularly called to that kind of ministry. But I've never had problems. Appreciating people who do. I know people who carry trucks with them everywhere they go. So do you, I'm sure. You don't cast your your pearls before swine. That always kind of sticks with me. But as I said yesterday, one person's swine is another person's disciple. I want to do what God's called me to do the best of my ability. I want you to do what you can do to the best of your ability.

[00:09:09] I want to love people. I want you to be aware of what's going on around you. And then I want you to be secure enough to let the rest of the Christian rest Christendom do what it thinks it's called to do and to be faithful to that. And hopefully. Together we can. Give this world back to God. Before, before Jesus returns and does it for us. Which could be before your next heartbeat. Most of the time we learn how to love and forgive. And we practice love and forgiveness as we have been loved and forgiven. And if that's true, then someone within your sphere needs to be loved and forgiven by you all. They'll have a difficult time loving and forgiving someone else. That's all I'm saying. And that makes you indispensable only within your sphere of influence. But you are indispensable. The weaker parts are indispensable. Bottle says that. People don't like to be told. You're indispensable. Well, you are an asset. You're indispensable to your sphere of influence. If it's true that we love and forget the gray, that we've been loved and forgiven. Did you hear that? If it's true that we love and forgive to the degree that we've been loved and forgiven, then someone within your sphere needs to be loved and forgiven. Or they will have a difficult time loving and forgiving. See what I'm saying? That's all. I mean. The fruit of the spirit enables us to see God as God sees us. I've already told you about my experience in the church in North Carolina. There's something about us that turns God on. I told you about my experience in Pasadena. We're running around the track. Unity does not imply uniformity, but diversity. All of the gifts should build up the whole and love.

[00:11:21] We each have our own set of gifts. We've already talked about that to enable us to minister effectively, effectively within our own sphere of influence. We've already gone through that. You understand, unity does not imply uniformity. It's really important. Important to understand that. Establishing guidelines for recognizing our sphere of influence, experience, personality, proximity and commonality. You can read about that in greater detail, and someone out there needs me. Once again showing up and paying attention. God makes me aware of my opportunities for ministry. Keeping it simple. If we have done our homework going to build. I won't read much of this, but just want to give you a feel and a built a proper relationship. The transition between people's needs and God's answer is easily accomplished. We believe that God has the answer, and we believe that people are needy. But making the transition between God's answers and our needy people is what evangelism is all about. Once people realize that the house is on fire, they can quickly be moved to action. The problem, however, is that it is frequently difficult to convince people that of any imminent danger. Much of our culture has lost its civic sensitivity to hate and smoke. Guilt is our doubt, as in we have sought to establish the fact that a solid relationship sensitizes us to need. Although people tend to cover up their needs and the face of superficiality, they will surface within an atmosphere of love and acceptance. Then, as the needs surface within a relationship, we can apply the gospel naturally. Yet with significant impact, as people out there are unaware that their felt needs are spiritual, they are also unaware that the answer is ultimately spiritual. Spiritual. Much of the world sees its problem in simpler terms, such as I need this or I need that.

[00:13:23] I heard here. Are I hurt there? Actually, most problems are most are more complex. But the answer can be simple. Note that I do not say simplistic. The simplistic answer fails to take the problem seriously. It lacks empathy. It often neglects any immediate our physical need, food for the hungry, our clothes for the naked. The simple gospel meets an immediate need and then makes the spiritual solution clearly understood. Again, once a spiritual need arises, especially within a solid relationship, the good news of Jesus Christ can be applied with care and understanding. Why make it so complicated? John wisely once wrote My soul is sick of sublime divinity that may think and speak of the little child. Let my religion be plain, artless, simple as complicated as the application that is getting someone to respond might seem God's answer, if not a riddle cloaked in an enigma wrapped in a mystery. It can be made simple enough to be understood by all. That, by the way, is our task. We cannot change anyone, but we can make the answer simple enough so that the Holy Spirit can begin or continue his work. Recently, I heard a message by Gordon Hunter on the simplicity of the Gospel that moved me greatly. Some of the following illustrations were given in that message as a part of the contrast. Here is the definition of religious experience. For example, the more courageously truth is objectively salt and understanding taught by the honest religionists, the more probability will be that he will engage intuitive inspiration towards experiencing extension of participating in environmental oneness and supreme cosmic being and divine inanimate slash animate spiritual concerns through successive evolutions toward ever more enticingly advancing goals. Hunter calls this galloping garble gobbledygook. Why not make it simple? ROMANS ten nine is simple enough.

[00:15:26] John 112 is also to the point Why not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved? Really does not say it better. Let me share with you only one section of a rewrite of the Lord's Prayer. It goes something like this. We respectively petition request and entreat that an adequate provision be made this day. And the date here and after subscribed don't may take offense here. Jan, don't. Don't take advanced placement here in after subscribe for for the organ organizing of such methods of of allocations and distribution as may be deemed necessary and proper to assume the reception by and for said petitioners of such quantity of bread, cereal, prada bags, cereal products as shall and the judgment of the aforesaid petitioner constitute a sufficient supply thereof. Jesus made a simple give us this day our daily bread. Can you believe it? Recently this statement appeared, and a Christian education magazine advertising material for church school teachers, action oriented orchestration of innovative inputs generated by the escalation of meaningful indigenous decision making dialog can maximize the vital thrust towards non alienated and and viable infrastructure. Yet many churches biomaterials advertising in such and such a manner. Little wonder I rarely ask a theologian a question that I understand answer. God forgive me for saying that. Yet the problem is hardly confined to theologians and taxes. The following explanation describes something familiar to us all Terminal behavioral objectives for continuous progression modules in early childhood education describes what else the report card Little wonder a 32 page booklet was drafted to explain it, and then a pamphlet was prepared to explain the booklet. It reminds me of a rewrite of an old nursery rhyme. Mary had a little lamb ish fleece electrostatic. Everywhere that Mary went, the lights became erratic.

[00:17:32] He followed her to school one day, electrodes all a jingle. He made the teachers trust their hair stand up. He made their fingers tingle. Tingle. The teacher tried to put it out her body. It was grounded. The flash was seen for miles around. She has not yet rebounded. Twinkle, twinkle, little star. I know precisely what you are. I know your size. I know your. You're not a diamond. Your helium gas. Little Bo Peep has lost her shape and Radar has failed to found them. They all supposed to. They all face to face met in parallel space preceding their leaders behind them. I got a bunch of love. As is often the case, Charlie Brown makes the point in a cartoon strip where you see him knocking on his door and asking her if she would like for him to shovel the snow from her walk. Lucy replies, Yes, but first sign this contract. You will work for a flat fee, provide your own lunch and pay your own insurance. If it snows again within 24 hours, the sidewalk or sidewalk must be cleared again without charge. We also have exclusive rights to your shovel. We reserve our TV motion picture radio and video cassette rights in perpetuity. If you whistle while you work, all recordings become our property. The air in the area to be shoveled runs from the porch to the street. Here, sign the bottom line. Charlie. Charlie's reply. The contract is longer than the sidewalk. Little wonder Einstein wanted only one time. More than one made life too complicated. Please keep it simple. Jesus sets the precedent. The average reader can read slowly all the words of Jesus in less than 2 hours. His parables are so profound that theologians cannot exhaust them, but are so simple that a child in church school can understand them.

[00:19:21] The great words of the gospel are plain and simple words. Man life, love, child, home, pain, hope. Jesus spoke of a farmer plowing a field. A woman cooking a meal. A carpenter. Building a house. A shepherd. Minding his sheep. Fishermen going over their catch. Children playing. Grapes growing. A rich man inviting friends to a banquet. Even those things beyond mere words he describes in terms of two of the most common things around bread and wine. The Beatitudes contain 117 words. 75, but one syllable. The Lord's Prayer has 66 words on 44 have one syllable, 14 have two syllables, and only for as many, three as many as three syllables. God wants to reveal himself to make himself known. He is not out to catch anyone on the fine print. He is not the divine concealer here. The Divine Revealer. Keep it simple. Simple. Elton. True blood splatter states that the mark of maturity is to believe fewer doctrines with greater intensity. Although we might not agree, all of us know what he means. The object of good biblical interpretation is to simplify. Those who studied the Bible as a part of their academic training know that we can identify later manuscripts by virtue of their greater simplicity. Are you listening? It has always been our task to make it relevant and and understood. This brings us back to the back to the answer itself. Okay, enough for today. We have elements for communion. Thanks. Okay. I'm going to go off the clock here. I think maybe.