Four Evangelism & Discipleship Encounters
Ways in which we Help People Draw Closer to God and Grow in their Relationship with Him
As we do outreach (and discipleship)...
We minister in love, speaking God’s truth along with releasing tangible demonstrations of the power of God, as guided by the Spirit, to lead people into deeper submission to the leadership of Jesus over their lives.
Humans need connection. "No man is an island," is what even the secular world agrees with. As human, we have a deep need to be seen, to be known, and to be treated with love, respect, value, and dignity. We need this not just from other humans. The Bible says we have this Go-shaped vacuum in all our hearts. And so we also have this deep longing at the core of our beings to know that God loves us unconditionally. Love encounters are the perfect antidote to broken hearts. They reveal the love of God to people in ways they can feel and receive. They also reveal that this love of God can flow freely through humble servants of God who reach out to others, in love. Love encounters give people tangible experiences with the love of God’s people and the love of God.
"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." - 1 John 3:16-18
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." - 1 Peter 4:8
If there is a God that is love and He is making Himself known, then humans must come to an understanding of who He is, what He wants, and what He offers. Truth encounters touch people in such a way where the mind is exercised and the will is challenged. Each truth encounter is releasing some kind of truth about God and the Christian worldview. They counter ignorance or error in order to bring people to a correct understanding of Jesus Christ (in order for people to have a better relationship with Him).
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'" - John 8:31-32
"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth." - John 17:17-19
"so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes." - Ephesians 4:14
"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:14-17
We have a real enemy who is continually at work at blinding people from the truth of God and who has worked his way not just in many facts of society, media and entertainment, etc. but even, through our own rebellion, into the lives of people. Often unbeknownst to us, we have given Satan a foothold or even a stronghold in our lives. Power encounters, therefore, help people experience the power of God and the freedom only He can bring. They release people from Satan's harrassment, oppression, and captivity and to bring them to freedom in Jesus Christ. They are the proper antidote for Satanic harassment, oppression, and captivity over people. These power encounters, experienced through healings, signs and wonders, inner healing, and deliverance, often pave the way for allegiance encounters, by being a source of motivation for eye-witnesses to either renew their relationship with God or to acknowledge His supremacy.
"...the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." - 2 Corinthians 4:4
"...The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." - 1 John 3:8
"Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city." - Acts 8:4-8
Often just pointing out what God says about situations is not enough. Unless people take steps to embrace these truths in their lives, where changes proceed from what they now have to come to understand, nothing is going to change. If I gain access to an antidote to a deadly snake bite, but do not take it, I am going to die. To know and to have free access to the antidote is not enough to save us. We will die if we do not take it.
Many believers claim to follow Jesus but may not truly embrace God's greatest revelation He has given us in the Bible, and the revelation of His Son, as found in its pages. They may not read its pages. Yes, they may do certain good things like go to church, and occasionally pray, but have not really taken the steps to fully submit to it's guidance, truth, and revelation. If it is God's revelation, from the One who made us and knows better than ourselves, then it follows that we would be completely missing what He offers when we do not take it seriously.
Allegiance encounters are about calling people to decisions - decisions to take God at His Word and fully follow Him. These decisions are for growing in an intimate relationship with God (a lifelong process), through continual commitment and obedience to Christ. In allegiance encounters, we challenge people's allegiance to other worldviews, religions, belief systems, and/or any kind of erroneous thinking, apart from God's truth, and call people into a complete allegiance to Jesus Christ. This encounter targets where the will is exercised in regards to commitment and obedience. It calls for people to turn away from the love and commitment to the world that is under control of the evil one, to God who loved the world and gave Himself for it. It is being confronted with a choice to follow Christ with our whole heart, mind, soul, strength, that is not just in word but in action. An allegiance encounter is what is needed to replace any other allegiance in a person's life, other than to God and His Kingdom, and to keep him/her from dual allegiance (i.e: fence-sitters and lukewarm Christians)
In allegiance encounters, we help bring people to an undivided commitment and growing obedience to God through offers and calls to salvation, commitments, re-commitments, and continual submission to God's leadership. We help those who do not know God as we witness to them through testimony and a Gospel presentation, with a call to repentance, to getting right with God, and into entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We also help believers, by pointing out truths and then calling them to submit to God’s rulership in their lives - in every area of their lives (but keep in mind, this happens over time. No one is ready to change everything about themselves that is not in submission to God, in one instant). That is why submitting to accountability with other godly men and women who are willing to call out areas of one’s life into a deeper submission with the call of God, is key. Deep change best happens over time, in relationship with other brothers and sisters who know us, loves, and desire God's best for us.
"Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." - Joshua 24:14-15