One size fits all?! That's the way we often like things to be. But that isn't how it is in real life in most situations. Gospel conversations. We are thinking through how to have them. How they should be the same all the time. And how they will be different most of the time. The video of the 'better' or 'after' conversation by Matthias Media on the gospel presentation, Two Ways to Live, highlights these two goals in our gospel conversations:
1. To be prepared for them.
2. To know a basic gospel outline.
The gospel outline is something that we can talk through briefly to explain what we believe, if the opportunity affords itself.
But the opportunity doesn't always provide for this kind of luxury and many times we simply have to start where the person is, where the conversation is, and be flexible enough to adapt accordingly. This bring us to the third goal in our gospel conversations:
3. To be flexible in how we explain the truth.
This is what we see happening with Jesus' gospel conversations and in the preaching of Peter and Paul.
How did the Lord Jesus engage the woman at the well? (John 4:5-26)
How did the Lord Jesus respond to the rich young ruler? (Matthew 19:16-22)
How did Peter preach the gospel on the day of Pentecost? (Acts 2:14-41)
How did Paul address the Athenians? (Acts 17:22-31)
All four of these private or public 'gospel conversations' are different, yet similar. They are similar in that they are heading in the same direction and seeking to explain the truth of the gospel. They are different in that they start in different places, emphasize different aspects of the gospel, and take into consideration the person or group they are speaking to. That's the point Don Carson makes in this video:
You can hear more about this by going here and listening to Flexible Earthen Vessels, Gospel Conversations - Part 3.
Along these same lines, during our worship service, we focused on the truth that we need to live with a divine purpose in light of Luke 10:1-9.
God is at work to glorify His Son by saving a people for Himself. (John 6:29; Luke 19:10)
We are to live as those 'sent' into our families, workplace, neighborhoods, church, and world to be a part of that great divine work of redemption.
1. We are to go with a purpose. (Luke 10:3)
2. We are to pray with a purpose. (Luke 10:2)
3. We are to spend/give with a purpose. (Luke 10:7)
You can hear more about this by going here and listening to Living with Purpose.