FF 1“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Matthew 28:19-20

This impression is taken from the notes of Tim Harrold – it does not match up to the real thing!

35 people turned out for the Following & Fishing training with Steve & Michelle Addison (right) at the Gateway People’s Centre in Stanford-le-Hope on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 October 2015.

The training – which was very interactive in delivery – was facilitated by Thurrock Christian Fellowship as it explores and implements the Great Commission of Jesus to his disicples to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Some segments of the sessions were led by Russell Godward.

The title Following & Fishing is based on the words of Jesus found in Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

The Parable of the Two-Sided Coin
Steve demonstrated by using a coin that you can’t have the ‘following’ without the ‘fishing’ – if we follow the King (heads), he promises to make us into fishers of men (tails).

The Three Prayers
Delegates were then encouraged to make ‘maps’ of their family and friends who have yet to come to Christ, and to pick five that God is highlighting. Everyone wrote these names down and decided where and when to pray for them for 5 minutes a day. The idea is to make the whole process of reaching people with the gospel simple and achievable. There are 3 things to pray for those on our lists:

  1. That they will have open hearts
  2. That they will have opportunities to hear about God and Jesus from the open mouths of others
  3. That God will reveal himself to them from an open heaven

The Three Minutes
In couples, everyone practiced telling their story in 3 minutes. Simply, each minute looks like this:

  1. Before I came to faith – brief background, what was I like
  2. When I came to faith – the why and the how and the when
  3. Since I came to faith – how Jesus has changed my life

The Three Circles3 Circles png
On Saturday morning, Russell explained how to explain the gospel using this simple diagram. The idea is that when we encounter evangelistic opportunities, we can whip out a piece of paper and a pen and draw this out, weaving our story around the three circles.

The order this is done in is:

  1. Broken – explain that we try to fill our lives with everything but the thing that can mend us
  2. God’s Design – this is the original purpose of life that mends us, but we’ve gone our own way, from completeness to brokenness
  3. Jesus – by dying and being raised to life, he has made a way for us to return to God’s design, so turn and believe to recover and pursue the fulness of that orginal purpose.

The Three Questions
FF 3Having gone through this, ask:

  1. Where are you? Are you near to or far from God?
  2. Where would you like to be?
  3. What’s stopping you?

The Three Responses
The response to these questions can indicate what to do next:

  1. No – red light! Walk away.
  2. Maybe – amber… Meet up again?
  3. Yes – green! Definitely meet up again!

To fully understand how to use this diagram, you’ll have to do the training!

Persons of Peace
Delegates spent some time looking at this passage from Luke 10:1-11:

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
‘When you enter a house, first say, “Peace to this house.” If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
‘When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal those there who are ill and tell them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, “Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God has come near.”

Two questions about this passage were asked by Michelle which led to a lot of discussion:

  1. What did the Disciple do?
  2. What did the Person of Peace do?

What do you think? Examples of People of Peace in the New Testament are: Cornelius, Dorcas, Lydia, the Jailer, Jairus, Matthew, Martha & Mary, Peter, Rahab, the Woman of Samaria, and Zaccheus. Check them out. But remember, this is a principle and a pattern, not a law – every example is different.

FF 2Meeting People
Using the methodology outlined above, Steve said it is important to:

  1. Make an early offer of prayer
  2. Ask the “Are you near or far?” question
  3. Ask permission to share your story
  4. Ask permission to share a story about Jesus
  5. Ask permisison to share the Three Circles
  6. Unless they’re saying no, ask to meet again to share more

Steve said there are only two types of people – the saved and the lost. So the saved should tell the lost.

At lunchtime, everyone went out in twos to offer prayer to people. This was met with varying success!

Disciples who make disciples
When a disciple meets a new or potential disciple, it’s important to disciple them about the commands Jesus calls his disciples to obey. This can be done like this:

  1. Look back – ask, how are you doing? Did you understand what we spoke about before? Have you told anyone?
  2. Look up – tell a story of Jesus (in your own words) – e.g., the one about the girl pouring oil over Jesus’ feet –
    1. What does this story mean?
    2. What does this say about God?
    3. What does this say about the people in the story, i.e., us?
    4. What can we learn from this?
    5. What are you going to do?
    6. Who are you going to tell?
  3. Look forward – pray and arrange to meet again

FF 4Some useful links to Following & Fishing

Links to similar teaching

There is talk of bringing this training to the west of the borough at some point in the future. Watch out for details.

Transformation Thurrock is committed to encouraging and equipping the church to be effective in witness, word and power, through mission, outreach and evangelism, bringing and being the glory of Jesus Christ across our community and in the land.