The Gospel and One-Another Ministry, Part 1
“One-another ministry” is simply a term for any kind of discipleship relationship. You can call it discipleship, mentoring, counseling, soulcare, and other similar terms. There may be some variations in the definitions of these terms, but one thing should be consistent in their nature: the Gospel.
The Gospel has to be our starting point for all one-another ministry. The implication in the one-anothers is that we are to do life with other believers. Of course, we also do life with nonbelievers, but the one-anothers emphasize the role we play in each other’s lives, believer to believer.
The Gospel for Salvation
If you are in a relationship with a woman or girl that God has placed in your life and she has understood the Gospel, you have a very good starting point for one-another life together. If you are not sure she understands the Gospel, you have an opportunity to share it! How often have you asked a new friend (or an older one for that matter) what they think the Gospel is and how it applies to their life? We can’t miss this! It’s not only our starting point, but it is the ending point and everything in the middle, too.
The Gospel is for salvation. It is also to be applied to our lives from that point on. It is not to be applied in the sense that your salvation depends on performing a certain way or upholding a certain standard of perfection. In the process of living life, the Gospel applied has the potential to either gradually or immediately change your view of God’s sovereignty, how you behave, how you relate to people, how you make decisions and solve problems, how you view people, how you view yourself, and everything else about how you live.
Often women are intimidated about talking about the Gospel. What makes many women so weak in this area? Is it fear? Lack of understanding? Maybe they are not sure they can articulate it clearly. Maybe they are afraid they will say something wrong. Sometimes they are afraid that they won’t be able to back up what they say from Scripture, forgetting where to find the verses.
Your Personal Gospel Story
In a one-another situation, one of the very best ways you can share the Gospel is to share your own story of salvation. You can talk about what your life was like before you came to know Christ and what was happening when you first came to belief. You can talk about your understanding of the Gospel, and how it transformed you upon salvation and how it continues to transform you now. Sometimes, our own stories speak more clearly than going through a formulated “Gospel presentation.”
Woman at the Well
There is an account in the Bible about a woman that you are probably familiar with and how Jesus shared the Gospel message with her. The story of the woman at the well is found in John 4:7-26.
Jesus did not use a “formula” to share the Gospel with the woman. In this passage, we can take note of some ways to share a clear Gospel and to be sure it is understood:
* Jesus met the woman when she was alone. Often, people will be more honest if nobody else is listening.
* Jesus began with her immediate need — not spiritual, but tangible (v. 7). Because she was not a believer, she could not discern spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Therefore, He spoke about something she could relate to — water. We can approach people in the same manner of developing a conversation. If we are not certain they are a believer, we can make them more comfortable by starting with tangible conversations.
* Jesus, after establishing this conversation, turned to the spiritual (v. 10). He simply talked abut the things of God. The questions we ask could help us to see if the person understands what being a Christian means. We could ask “Are you involved in church?” or even “Do you love God?” We could then move on to asking about her salvation testimony and asking what her walk with The Lord is currently like.
* If this conversation reveals that the person does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then you can follow Jesus’ example from this passage before you go any further in relating with her. Verses 16-18 show how Jesus brought conviction, using the Law and gently pointing out her transgression. Gently speak with her and let The Holy Spirit do the convicting; let Him direct you as to what to say. Once she comes to an admission of her guilt, she is ready for hope.
* Jesus then revealed Himself to the woman at the well (v. 26). She was ready for grace. If the person you are talking to is ready for grace, be sure to present the work of the cross — that God sent His Son to suffer and die in our place. Tell her of the love of God in Christ, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and the defeat of death. You can say something like, “It’s as simple as this. We broke God’s Law, and Jesus paid our fine. If you repent and trust in the Savior, God forgives your sins and dismisses your case.” If a person is truly broken over her sins and grateful to God, then her confession will flow without prompting, either silently or verbally to you. Be sure to pray with her. Make sure she has a Bible. Encourage her to go to a Bible-believing church. Start a one-another discipleship relationship with her!
In next week’s post (Part 2), we will look at how to apply the Gospel in one-another ministry.
The above is, in part, an excerpt from Word of Hope Ministries’ course on Biblical Mentoring called “Life on Life, Applying the One-Anothers of Scripture”. You can learn more about this course at www.biblicalmentor.com