Becoming a Contagious Christian Participant's Guide: Communicating Your Faith in a Style That Fits You

Overview

Releasing the hidden evangelist in every Christian—Picture all of your church members as evangelists who: Demonstrate a contagious Christian character … Build spiritually strategic relationships … Direct conversations toward matters of faith … Communicate their faith in a style that's personal and natural … Explain biblical truths in a style that's personal and natural … Explain biblical truths in everyday language … Respond to the most common objections to Christianity. Becoming a Contagious Christian is a ...

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Overview

Releasing the hidden evangelist in every Christian—Picture all of your church members as evangelists who: Demonstrate a contagious Christian character … Build spiritually strategic relationships … Direct conversations toward matters of faith … Communicate their faith in a style that's personal and natural … Explain biblical truths in a style that's personal and natural … Explain biblical truths in everyday language … Respond to the most common objections to Christianity. Becoming a Contagious Christian is a proven course designed to equip believers for effective evangelism in today’s world. It avoids stereotyped approaches that feel intimidating to many Christians. Instead, it shows ordinary believers how they can share the gospel in a natural and powerful way while being the person God made them to be. Each session’s exercises, discussions, self-assessments, and video vignettes give step-by-step guidance to help participants become effective communicators for Christ to those around them. Used with nearly 1,000,000 people—Becoming a Contagious Christian is an innovative and unparalleled program for training Christians in relational evangelism. Becoming a Contagious Christian works with any size group, from small groups of 4-9 to Sunday school classes and other large groups of 10 to 150 or more. It can be presented successfully in any of the following formats: —Three sessions of two hours each—Six sessions of 50 minutes each—One, two, or three-day retreats—Or adapt it to fit the needs of your church! Becoming a Contagious Christian materials include: —2 DVD Videos—Leader's Guide—Participant's Guide—Power Point CD-ROM—copy of Becoming a Contagious Christian book. These components are also available separately. 6 sessions (flexible format); 2 180-minute DVD videos.

Not a book of theory or speculation, here is a proven action plan to impacting the spiritual lives of friends, family members, co-workers, and others. Powerful stories and teachings help readers to gain hope that their friends' lives can change, get free from the misconceptions of evangelism, discover a natural approach to communicating their faith, and more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310257875
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 2/1/2007
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 298,610
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Mittelberg (MA, Trinity Evangelical Theological School) is an author, speaker, and evangelism strategist. He is coauthor with Bill Hybels of Becoming a Contagious Christian and coauthor with Bill Hybels and Lee Strobel of the Becoming a Contagious Christian curriculum. He previously served as evangelism leader for the Willow Creek Association.

Lee Strobel was the award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and is the best-selling author of The Case for Faith, The Case for Christ, and The Case for a Creator, all of which have been made into documentaries by Lionsgate. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, Lee wrote 3 Gold Medallion winners and the 2005 Book of the Year with Gary Poole. He and his wife live in Colorado. Visit Lee's website at: www.leestrobel.com.

Bill Hybels is the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., and chairman of the board for the Willow Creek Association. The bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Leadership Axioms, Holy Discontent, Just Walk Across the Room, The Volunteer Revolution, and Courageous Leadership, and classics such as Too Busy Not to Pray and Becoming a Contagious Christian, Hybels is known worldwide as an expert in training Christian leaders to transform individuals and their communities through the local church. He and his wife, Lynne, have two adult children and two grandsons, Henry and Mac.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

People Matter To God

Not long after Tom stepped onto the sailboat, it became clear that he was a first-class sailor, a fierce competitor, and someone who thrived on living at the edge of adventure.

Beyond that, this latest member of our racing crew had an infectious personality. He wanted the music turned up loud, lots of friends around, and plenty of excitement after the race. He wanted to win, but he wanted to have a good time doing it.

I hardly knew Tom when I asked him to join us. As our friendship developed, I found out that he was an all-or-nothing kind of individual. When he believed in something and was excited about it, there was no stopping him. But if he wasn't interested, there was almost no way to get him started.

And therein was the challenge. You see, Tom had little time for spiritual matters of any kind.

Then one night Tom showed up for our regatta with his arm in a sling. When I asked him what had happened, he explained that he had been out racing go-carts the night before, had imbibed too much alcohol, had gotten a bit out of control, and ended up getting into a fight.

By this time he knew I was a minister, so he half-kiddingly asked if I could help him out by praying over him.

"Maybe sometime," I replied, "but right now I have a Scripture verse for you."

"All right," he said, "what is it?"

I said, "The Bible says in Galatians 6: 7 that 'a man reaps what he sows.'"

To my surprise, Tom seemed stunned. "It doesn't really say that, does it?" he asked.

"It absolutely does," I told him. "It says that if you want to sow the kind of seed you were sowing last night, you're going to reap the kind of sling you're wearing today."

"You're putting me on!" he shot back.

"I'm not kidding you," I assured him, "and I think maybe you ought to commit that verse to memory!"

Over the next few days, I'd chide him a little by asking if he'd learned it yet. Before long, he'd just look me in the eye and quote it.

In fact, that whole incident became somewhat of a standing joke between us that summer, and it opened up the door to some conversations about spiritual matters. The following season Tom showed a few more signs that he was willing to take it a bit further.

One night when we were having dinner in a restaurant he asked me, "How does a person go about getting a Bible? I've thought about trying to read one, but I didn't know if regular stores sell them."

"Well, I could probably fix you up with one," I told him, trying to be nonchalant about the fact that finally, after two years of prayer and relationship-building, he was starting to display some genuine interest.

Later that fall, Tom actually drove a couple of hundred miles from Michigan to Chicago in order to visit our church and to spend some time hanging out at my house and talking together.

After he got back home, he called me and said, "I feel different on the inside. It seems like I'm starting to fit some puzzle pieces together. I don't know how it's all going to turn out, but I really like what's happening to me, even if I don't completely understand it."

One evening after a two-hour talk about what it means to be a Christian, I told him, "Tommy, you're going to make a great Christian someday. You're honest to the core, flat-out dedicated to whatever you commit yourself to, and more concerned about what's true than about what other people think."

He conceded that I might be right. But he wasn't ready. He was in the process and moving in the right direction, but he wasn't about to sign on any dotted lines. Not yet.

I'll never forget those talks with Tom. They were unpredictable, they were risky, they were exhilarating, they were give-and-take, they were up-and-down. And they reminded me of something I'd known for a long time: There's nothing in life that's as exciting as befriending, loving, and leading wayward people toward faith in Christ. Nothing.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     9
Introduction     11
How to Use This Leader's Guide     13
Tips for Training in a Class or Seminar     18
The Benefits of Becoming a Contagious Christian     21
Being Yourself-and Impacting Others     61
Deepening Your Relationships and Conversations     111
Telling Your Story     159
Communicating God's Message     203
Helping Friends Cross the Line of Faith     245
Becoming a Contagious Christian Course Evaluation     280
Styles Survey     282
Styles Questionnaire     283
Styles Affirmations     286
Taking Next Steps of Faith     292
Additional Gospel Illustrations     294
Recommended Resources     298
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