Making An Impact That Lasts
This is the last of our Mentor Coaching Series for 365 Dad. I hope it has been a benefit to you, given you a perspective that has helped you in build a relationship with your young dad, and has helped you see a path to sharing your faith as naturally as you would talk about sports, your family, or anything else that holds your interest. The last in this series focuses on making an impact that lasts. As we talk about this, I want to show you a model of evangelism that encompasses the process of mentoring a young man.
In the book Total Church, Tim Chester teaches what he calls the three strands of evangelism. Think of evangelism as a rope made of three primary strands. These are introduction to community, building relationships, and sharing the gospel. Let’s start with building relationships since that’s what you’ve been doing the last several weeks.
In every relationship we have we are teaching people what it looks like to follow Christ. Each time you spend time with your mentee, you are earning the right to speak truth into his life. As he sees you come back, take an interest in his life, and generally give a rip about what’s going on with him, you are earning his trust and therefore his willingness to listen. Also, he will notice your actions, attitudes, and perspective on people in general. By building a caring relationship with your young dad, you are not only earning the right to speak truth in his life and show the gospel through the way you live, but you are also gaining credibility for your friends who know Christ. As you have opportunity to introduce him into your circle of friends, the relationship you have built can serve as a foundation to hear your friends and what they believe. This leads us to the second strand in the rope, introduction to community.
Scripture clearly teaches that we all have a role and various giftings within the body of Christ. Part of the reason we are to live in community as believers are so these various gifts can be employed to reach those who don’t follow Christ. We all are to share Christ the best we can, but to do so within the giftings He gives us. Feel free to bring your mentee into the community of believers you not only go to church with, but those you live life with, those you hang out with the most. Then each of you, using the gifts God has given you, can then share Christ through those giftings. Bring him into your community of believers and allow God to reveal more and more of Himself through others who know Him.
The last strand in the rope is sharing the gospel. I realize the idea of this makes most people’s flesh crawl. We’ve all seen so many forced, unwanted conversations that were just painful to experience, we’d prefer to just build relationships and hang out in community. As these images creep into your mind, I would encourage you to remember our lesson about sharing your faith without doing a presentation. Look back at how Jesus hung out with people, but never backed off His message. The way He lived brought validity to His message and people wanted to follow Him as a result. One of the advantages of introducing your young dad to community is that your fellow Christ followers can help where you are weak. They shouldn’t try to confrontationally witness to your Driver the moment he walks in the door, but they can drop God in the conversation and see where things lead. No matter how your mentee hears about Jesus, the main thing is he hears about Jesus and sees an example of His love and grace through you and your community of believers.
By understanding a little bit of how we are to carry out evangelism, your yo will hear about Jesus. He may or may not respond to the message, but the bottom line is Jesus is the only eternal answer to the question, “How can I make an impact that will last?”
Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s[b]faith; 7 if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; 8 if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness. - Romans 12: 4