I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.
What and Why
“You will be my witnesses.” (Acts 1:8) The disciples couldn’t have imagined how this one promise would change the lives of millions. Across the centuries, those who follow Jesus have been his witnesses. They have been used by God to change societies.
Today students across the world are trusting God to speak through them. They are bringing the life-changing message of a risen Savior to their classmates and friends. Each time they witness for Christ, they taste a satisfaction that reflects their Father’s pleasure. They have the honor of offering a life-changing message to others.
While witnessing for Christ brings great satisfaction it also raises pressing questions and fears. Many feel ill prepared to effectively share their faith. Christians, who are skilled at discussing sports, economics, and fashion, feel that discussing spiritual matters is different. They encounter something in modern culture that raises concern.
We know what it is like to have the opportunity to share Christ but not know what to say. This lesson helps us learn how to effectively talk about Jesus, and God’s free gift of salvation. God wants to use you to expand his Kingdom and to lead others to new life in Christ.
Learning from the Word
Read Acts 8:1-5, 26-40.
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The text notes several things about Philip.
♦ 8:1 – Tells us that some people were “scattered” due to persecution, and some stayed (the apostles). When we combine this with verse 4, we find that Philip was one of those people who were scattered. He wasn’t an apostle. He was however, described in Acts 6:5 as full of faith and the Holy Spirit.
♦ 8:5 – Philip knew how to share the gospel with others. He was actively proclaiming Christ.
♦ 8:29 – Philip was directed by God to share his faith with someone from a different background. He was prepared to share the gospel with an Ethiopian who circulated among the elite.
In this passage, what was God’s role in what happened?
What was Philip’s role in the Ethiopian coming to Christ?
What was the message that Philip shared with the Ethiopian? (8:35)
We want to be like Philip. We want to ‘open our mouth’ and be able to lead someone to faith in Jesus Christ. There are many ways to help someone believe in Jesus. We will introduce you to one of them.
A tool: The Diagram
“The Diagram” has become one of the preferred ways to share the gospel. There are lots of reasons for this. Many people like it because it feels interactive and simple. All you need is a pen and paper and you are ready to go. Granted, behind that pen and paper is plenty of hard work invested in preparation. When someone knows the diagram well, the message of the gospel flows naturally with the strokes of a pen.
Please watch a graphical representation of this tool. The video below was designed to give a quick overview of the diagram. This overview will acquaint you with the tool, but not demonstrate how it is used interactively.
Now that you have seen the diagram it is time to learn how to work with it. We begin our work focusing on the message that needs to be communicated. At the end of this lesson you will find a a table that gives you step by step instructions for both what to say and what to draw. It contains all of the verses that we hope to share and the connecting thoughts that help us walk through the gospel.
Time to start drawing:
The best way to learn the diagram is by making your own sketch on a piece of paper. The following presentation was designed to walk you through the basic hand strokes of the diagram. Walk through this presentation two to three times, while you make your own drawings and you will quickly learn the tool. [The verses are included not for you to write down, but to help you remember what you want to say as you make your drawing.]
Connecting with the Truth
Learning through simulation
Most professions require people to practice their skills. Before the big game a coach leads athletes through intense practice. Musicians rehearse their music time and time again before a concert. The following video clip is an example of a modern tool used in the film industry that helps everyone prepare for complex film shoots.
How does a “pre-visualization” help actors like Keanu Reeves prepare for their work?
How does the tedious work of “pre-visualization” affect the final product that we see in the theater?
The “pre-visualization of Matrix Reloaded” illustrates the power of simulation. After the actors and film crew have studied the scene and even rehearsed it in their mind or mimed it in their room, each walks on set, prepared for their role. The simulation gives the actors the freedom to focus intently on any portion of the film that is particularly challenging for them. The benefits are experienced during the filming of each scene, when good preparation elevates everyone’s contribution.
You watched the Diagram in a video. You then drew the Diagram, learning the steps. Then you simulated it. It’s time to share the gospel.
You might be wondering, “How do I start a conversation with someone and transition to sharing the Diagram?” There are some simple things you can try. Meet with a friend or classmate. Tell them that you learned something that has helped you know what to know God personally and you would like to share it. Let your friend know that you would also like to hear his/her opinion on the subject. That’s really all you need to do. Then take a step of faith and trust God to guide you.
Share the Diagram with someone.
Remember, success in witnessing is taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, leaving the results to God.
Reflecting on what was learned
Now that you have shared the gospel using The Diagram it is time to evaluate what you learned. Take a moment to write down what went well. Also note what you didn’t think went so well.
In this lesson we focused on learning a skill by using a tool. While we are thankful for the many tools that have been created we know that people are not won to Christ through methods and materials. They respond through the ministry of the Holy Spirit who uses God's Word, and different methods to draw them to the Savior.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
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