Theme Three

Theme Three — Salvation Message

Resolves the common difficulty “I’m not sure what to say.”
Shows believers that they already do know the basics
Finds middle ground between “mechanical presentation” and “aimless sharing.”

Start with role play
Discuss “what did you learn from doing this?”
Introduce the flow of Peter’s Acts 2 speech
Create the Gospel Booklet
Draw conclusions from the Gospel booklet

Step by Step:

Role Play.
Ask how many have been in a conversation and found themselves unable to get on to the subject of spiritual things.  Announce that you will now remove this problem, by having the non-believer bring up the topic.  In the groups of 3, have them select one person to play the part of a non-believer.  The person to that one’s left is to “play the part of a believer.”  The third person is to remain silent.  Then create a sentence to be said by the non-believer.  A sentence I like to use is “You are going through great difficulties, but seem to have a certain peace about you — why is that?”  The instructions are for the non-believer to speak this sentence, and then for the believer to respond and for them to get into a conversation (no other requirements).

After a few minutes, stop and change the roles, giving a role to the one who was silent before, and get them started with a different sentence.  One I like to use is “Your boss has been unfair to you lately — how can I help you take revenge?”  After a few minutes, stop and go on to large group discussion.

Discussion.  Ask:
How many feel a genuine conversation took place (not one person monopolizing).
How many feel you learned something from doing this?
Take time to allow people to share what they learned.
Ask how many of the following words emerged in the conversations: sin, faith, God, forgiveness, Jesus, repent, prayer (etc.)
Ask them to consider which such concept are the essentials for a non-Christian to hear (as opposed to other concepts which belong to growth in knowledge after believing).

Salvation Message
Summarize the content of Peter’s speech in Acts 2. 

Give each person a plain piece of paper, and do the gospel booklet activity. (you will need to press “back” to get back to this page).  I usually select one person to read a verse, stopping after each underlined word, so the entire group can shout out which of the four pages that word belongs on.  Everyone then writes that word on the appropriate page, and then the reader continues.  I usually do not finish this activity, but do 3 or 4 verses, encouraging them to do the rest of the verses at home.

Drawing conclusions about the gospel booklet.
First, the booklet provides direction for evangelism, while avoiding a canned approach, by showing how each message in the Book of Acts included four parts: PROBLEM, ANSWER, RESPONSE, BENEFITS.

The problem is separation from God due to sin, the answer is Jesus who resolved the separation by his death and resurrection, the response includes faith, repentance, and baptism, and the benefits include forgiveness, eternal life, peace, and many others.
Peter and Paul touched on the four areas each time they spoke to non-christians, but each time they used different words. Your goal is to have ever richer copcept of the each of the four pages, so that you can talk about them in your own words at the level of the listener. You may be able to touch on all four in one conversation, or you may touch on one or two topics; the value of the booklet is that you know what is yet to be said. When you know that the person has heard the four parts of the message, you can ask, “what do you think?” The response shows whether you will then move to “answering objections” or to “assurance of faith.”

Secondly, the booklet is a basis for evaluation of materials or speeches.
Example 1: If you are selecting VBS materials, you can look to see whether all four are present. If one is absent, you may still buy the materials, but you will know what you need to fill in.
Example 2: If you bring a non-Christian to hear a presentation of the gospel, you will note what parts of the message are presented, so you can fill in parts that were absent.

Thirdly, the booklet helps you organize the material that you learn.
You can continue to write scripture verses on each page. You can also add illustrations and insights from sermons. This can be a continuing lifetime project.

More on the four parts
Return to Themes menu                                  Go on to Theme Four