The Gospel Project, Session 10 The Converts: All Kinds of People
“How to Share the Gospel with Post-Everything People”—Article by Caleb Crider
Matt Chandler: “The Second Wave”
- A businesswoman whose heart is opened. (Acts 16:11-15)
- A slave girl whose freedom is won. (Acts 16:16-24)
- A jailer whose hope is restored. (Acts 16:25-34)
One of the first noticeable items is that Barnabas is not mentioned. If you read toward the end of chapter 15 you will see that Paul and he split up over the inclusion of Mark. That is not one of our lessons, but someone may ask a question about that. Do not let them derail you from the gospel presentations that we need to discuss. (Handling conflict and drama between church leaders is an important topic, but not one for this lesson. Schedule a time to discuss it further with them. Here is an interesting article on the matter and search results.)
Our lesson today focuses our attention on sharing the Gospel and dealing with the outcomes. We first see Paul and Silas. What they expected was not what they found, but they were faithful to the process and Lydia came to know Jesus. The next day, as they were heading back down to the river they ran across a slave girl. She was demon-possessed. Let’s pause here for a second because it’s important to note the radical difference in socio-economic status between Lydia and the slave girl. However, Paul and Silas never skip a beat. They see her. They greet her. They help her. I will speak more on this in the application.
As a result of this encounter, the master of the girl is outraged because she was his livelihood (19). They were judged on some trumped up charges and exaggerations and sent to prison. While in prison (for the gospel), they began praising God. God broken open the prison and everyone was able to leave. The jailer was scared to death, but Paul spoke up that all were still present. The jailer believed in Jesus. Then his whole household.
What we see is the Gospel presented to the unlikely, the undesirable, and the unthinkable. Once you have walked through the scripture together, it is important to spend time addressing how this works the rest of the days of our lives!
Jesus made it clear that “as we go” we are to be making disciples. Since we accept that as true, we must now begin to instill it into our daily habits. Here are a few discussion points/activities for your class. Some of these are to help us see how we must contextualize the Gospel. The TRUTH of the gospel never changes, but the PACKAGING does. Think cross-culturally. Sometimes people within our own offices are in different cultures. Some might think that means their ethnicity. However, socio-economics, affinities, and hobbies can create unique pockets of people. It is out responsibility to ensure the gospel be presented to all kinds of people!
- If you were given the chance to share the gospel with a terrorist, would you? If they accepted, would you be happy?
- Think of that one person everyone loves to rip on at work. How could you share the gospel with them?
- How could you share with your boss?
- How could you share with your neighbor?
- Make a list of 10 different groupings of people (economy, ethnicity, vocationally, etc.) that the class knows. Now break up into groups and think through the packaging of the gospel so the truth wins out.