Most church goers that I know struggle with the idea of sharing their faith with others. Often, they just don’t know where to start. We’ve been doing Christianity minus mission for so long that those abilities have atrophied in the body of Christ. I confess that this was the case for me as much as for anyone else I know. Neil Cole’s 5 POP’s helped me tremendously to reclaim Christ’s original method for doing ministry. Since then, I’ve taken those handy little acrostics and converted them into the “5 Harvest Needs” which to my way of thinking are more visual and can travel into other cultures more easily. Here they are for your reference:
- Blessings from Above – We need the “light” of God’s Spirit to illuminate the message through opening the hearts of people or through the performing of confirming signs. We need the water of the Spirit to soften hearts and nourish the seed once planted. In sum, all efforts at kingdom work must be led out in prayer, sustained in prayer and established through prayer.
- A Field – This is a context for ministry. As we prayerfully look out over our area and take an inventory of our own lives, we should notice some places where we could go and bring the presence of Christ. Some people are already in their field at work or school. Others may have to find one such as a hobby club or civic society. The point is to intentionally and regularly be around those who have yet to surrender to Christ. If you get stumped, I recommend meetup.com as a place to start.
- Seed to Sow – I’m currently reading Speaking of Jesus by Carl Medearis. The premise of the book is that we can trust that if a person comes to Jesus, he will help them settle the many questions and objections that might have at being a Christian. We don’t need to argue with people or teach them doctrine in order for them to come to Christ. We need only to speak of Jesus and allow him to draw them. I recommend assembling a collection of Jesus stories to have on hand to share with others in your field as the situation warrants.
- Good Soil – According to Jesus, the good soil is a heart that will accept the message of the kingdom and bear fruit. Not every field contains good soil and every field contains some bad soil. So be ready to shake the dust off and go to another field when the time is right. Share the message boldly and notice who takes notice. Stick with that person or persons helping them gain clarity on the message. When they accept Christ they’re ready to fulfill the final Harvest Need.
- More Farmers – New believers already know all they need to lead another person to Christ. By using a discovery approach of sharing a story and allowing them to ponder it through open-ended questions, we will model a means for even the youngest believers to share the gospel. All they will have to do is tell the same story and ask the same questions to the people they know.
We’re no longer and agrarian society nor have we been a missional movement. These very basic methods will take some time to adopt and for us to become adept. Let’s not let that deter us. Let’s go into the field!