Sunday, August 22, 2010

T-Ball, The Major Leagues, and Evangelism

[Pray for me] that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel...that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Ephesians 6:19-20
The point of T-ball is to help kids develop some baseball skills, not play great ball. The baseball is not thrown to the batter but set on a pole at the batter box. The kids are given three swings at the stationary ball. The ball is replaced if one of the kids hits the pole instead of the ball.

The skill that this develops is a level swing. You can't play in the majors if you don't have a level swing. You can't play in the majors with a T either. The T just helps train a skill.

That's what I think about a lot of methods and techniques. They help us take our first swings with the gospel. So get a copy of Romans Road, the Four Spiritual Laws, the Evangelism Explosion outline or First Steps to God, and learn how to use it. Many have made their first steps to Christ through these outlines.

But be ready to move on. These things are just tools. They aren't perfect or even complete; the gospel takes a lifetime to figure out. Remember, the goal is not to know Romans Road backwards and forwards. The goal is to know the gospel so well that you are able to teach its truth in your own words. Then you can teach with understanding and compassion for people's situations. That's playing in the majors.

--J. Mack Stiles, Speaking of Jesus: How to Tell Your Friends the Best News They Will Ever Hear, p. 58-59 (bold emphasis mine)

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