Evangelizing Your Community - Lesson 12
Conversion and Follow-up
Background for the Teacher
- The student can list and explain the seven steps in the conversion process.
- The student can cite two scriptures that suggest the need to nurture new Christians.
- The student can list three elements of a strategy to help new Christians remain faithful.
- Have a pen and paper for class.
- Have access to a chalkboard or whiteboard.
- Have worksheets ready.
- Read Chapters 9 and 10 in North's Evangelizing Your Community.
The personal worker needs to understand the process of conversion and how to develop a strategy for following-up with a person who has been baptized.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
Introduction to the Class: (10 minutes)
- Call the roll and greet visitors.
- Prayer for the evangelistic efforts of the class and the congregation.
- Sing an evangelistic song.
- Reports from each student on his/her efforts at evangelism.
- Remind the students that the next class period will be the last and that each should be ready to report on what they have done in evangelism.
Learning Experiences: (35 minutes)
- Add Conversion and Follow-up to the chart. Now let's discuss these steps.
- Q: If you have been having a Bible study with someone and they have learned what to do to be saved, how would you move them to the point of decision?
- Let's review the seven conditions through which one must move in order to grow from lost to saved. Write these on the left half of your sheet so we can later put something alongside them on the right half.
- I am lost. Without this understanding, why would one see any need to change? Q: On the Day of Pentecost, how does Peter get his audience to this step? (Acts 2) A: You crucified the Son of God. Q: So is our best approach today just to tell people they are lost like Peter did? A: No. The "you are going to hell" approach does not work very well. Q: So how do we help someone reach this point? A: Let them draw their own conclusion. If, for example, you use the ten pictures in God's Eternal Plan, you have shown that "all have sinned." This way you do not single them out and you help them to see that because all have sinned, all, at one point, are lost.
- I need a savior. Q: When I recognize that I am lost, what am I also likely to recognize? A: That I cannot save myself. Few really believe that they can earn their way out of sin, although many act as if they believe this. And so the question sometimes found in scripture, "What must I do to be saved?"
- Q: Once a person recognizes the need for the savior, what comes next? Read John 3:36. Q: Who is the only one qualified to be savior? A: Jesus. Read 2 Corinthians 5:16). Q: Why is Jesus alone qualified to be our savior? So I must recognize Jesus as the only one who can save.
- Q: What did Paul tell the jailor (Acts 16:31)? A: "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." So the fourth step in conversion is this: I accept Christ as my savior. (Teacher: Ask the students to write on a sheet of paper the steps so far.)
- Q: When a person has believed on Christ as Savior, is there more to do before sins are taken away? Read Acts 2:38. Q: So what does Peter tell believers to do next? A: Repent. I must want to change my life to be like Him. One who is lost because of sin in his/her life must decide to change course, to seek to live without sin. It would not be reasonable to say, "Lord, save me from my sins. P.S. I plan to keep on sinning."
- Peter tells those on Pentecost also to do something else before their sins are forgiven? A: Be baptized. Read Acts 22:16. Q: What does Ananias tell the believing, repenting Saul to do and why? A: Be baptized to wash away sins. Q: So at what point in this process are sins actually forgiven? Read Romans 6:4. Q: This passage says baptism connects a person with what? A: The death of Christ. Q: Why is that important? A: Because it was in his death that Jesus became the sacrifice for our sins and took our guilt upon himself. Q: What does Romans 6:4 say one enters when being raised from baptism? A: The new life. So, the sixth step is: I must bury my old life through baptism and be raised to a new life.
- The first six steps have brought a person to the point of beginning the new life. Q: What additional step must follow? A: I must live the Christian life. Read Matthew 28:18-20. Q: What three stages does Jesus mention here? A: (1) Make disciples (learners); (2) baptizing them; and (3) teaching them what Jesus taught. So, after baptism must come more teaching and learning. Read 2 Peter 2:22. Q: What does Peter say a Christian should and should not do? A: Should not return to sin but should continue to live the clean life. Read Romans 6:1_2. Q: What is Paul's response to the idea that if grace has cleansed me from my past sins, and this allows me to keep on sinning because grace will keep covering me? A: It does not work like this. Q: Does Paul mean that I must be sinless after baptism? A: No, but I must have a different view about sin-trying not to sin. (Teacher: Now let the class help you list one under the other the seven steps on the board.)
- (Let the class help you draw the ten pictures of God's Eternal Plan. Make them small and draw them top to bottom alongside the seven steps.) Now let's connect the ten pictures of God's eternal plan with the seven steps. (The first four pictures with step 1; fifth picture with step two; sixth picture with step three; seventh picture with steps four; eighth picture with steps four and five; ninth picture with step six; and tenth picture with step seven. Whatever teaching method you use, look for the same kind of connection.)
- Q: After a person makes the commitment and is baptized and added to the church, what are ways we can follow-up to help that person remain faithful? A: Connect them with a faithful Christian as a "buddy," have a succession of families invite them for a meal and a study, get them involved in Christian service soon. Some congregations have a special class for recent converts to study more on the fundamentals of the faith and to get these "babes in Christ" integrated into the work, worship, and fellowship of the church. Each congregation needs to have someone designated who will be sure that there is a plan to get each new convert engaged with the church.
Application and Assignment: (1 minute)
- Come to the last lesson prepared to say in what ways you intend to be evangelistic in reaching out to others.
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