Read an Excerpt
Just Walk Across the Room Participant's Guide
Shortly after Jesus' resurrection, he appeared to his disciples on a mountain in Galilee. The wide-eyed group sat with rapt attention as he delivered a few standing orders to be carried out until he returned.
Remember what they were?
'Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you.'
Matthew 28:18 -- 20a, MSG
Immediately after recognizing what's commonly referred to as the 'Great Commission,' the next thought that crosses your mind
(if you're like many Christians)
is smothered with obligation . . . or worse yet, with guilt. I know I should be accomplishing the Great Commission,
but I can't seem to get past that first word . . . Go.
We go all the time. We go to work, go home, go out to eat, go shopping,
go to sporting events, go to bed. But something deep inside us knows that Jesus' 'go' carries with it a very different connotation.
His 'go' means our feet have to get unstuck from where they're currently planted. It means we have to agree to action. It means we have to accept a little risk and stick one foot in front of the other to engage with another human being . . . having no idea where it all will lead.
A daunting task for some, to say the least.
Friends, if your desire to 'go' and reach out to the people around you is strong, but you find yourself perpetually stuck in 'stay' mode,
this study is for you. Statistically, only 10 percent of any congregation would raise their hands if asked who has the formal gift of evangelism or who does any evangelizing on a regular basis. Which means there's a substantive number of believers sitting around you each weekend who are all locked up when it comes to pointing those outside the faith toward God.
Just Walk Across the Room: The Four-Week Experience is a campaign designed to raise the value of evangelism for everyone in your church. This means that at the end of four weeks' time, they will have a fresh understanding of what 'evangelism' really means, as well as a dose of inspiration regarding how to get it done. In addition to having some unexpected fun this month, I think you'll come away from the experience anxious to 'go' in ways you've never before dreamed.
One closing thought before you dive in: Jesus' mountaintop speech to the disciples that day didn't end with his memorable series of commands.
Probably detecting a little nervous energy in the audience, he concluded things with a single promise (and aren't we all glad!):
'I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.'
Matthew 28:20b, MSG
As you work through the material over the coming weeks, remember that evangelism isn't something you have to 'gear up' for. Fundamentally,
evangelism is about submitting to God's agenda in a social situation, in a conversation, in your moment-by-moment life. And,
like Matthew's gospel says, he will be with you every step of the way.
Founding and Senior Pastor
Willow Creek Community Church
The Single Greatest Gift
[Look to Jesus] Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death --- even death on a cross!
Philipp ians 2:6 -- 8
Before You Meet
1. Read the introduction and chapters 1 and 2 in the Just Walk
Across the Room hardcover book.
2. Complete the 'Simple Steps We All Can Take' activity introduced during the weekend worship service
(see page 10 for details). Note: If you are using this small group curriculum outside of the Just Walk Across the Room four-week campaign,
simply disregard any item with a footprint symbol beside it.
3. Begin praying for one or two people for whom you want to take a 'walk across the room' during this four-week experience.
Beginning on page 69 of this participant's guide, you'll find space to log your prayer requests and the answers you receive.
Simple Steps We All Can Take
If you are a Christ-follower, consider how you wound up in the kingdom of God. Most likely, your story involves someone, somewhere who took a risk to walk across a room in order to point you toward faith. Maybe they extended a hand of friendship or engaged you in conversation. Regardless of the details, the end result was you submitting your life to
God. If you still maintain contact with this person, then fill out and mail your 'God Used You to Help Point the Way' note of gratitude to him or her today.
If you're not in touch with this person any longer, you may instead choose to mail your card to someone who epitomizes what it means to be a walk-across-the-room person, actively living out their faith in their day-to-day lives.
Big Idea --- The Single Greatest Gift
The single greatest gift Christ-followers can give to the people around them is an introduction to the God who created them, who loves them, and who has a purpose for their lives. Nothing beats it --- not monetary gain, not job opportunities, not recognition or accolades.
This is what evangelism is --- constantly watching for ways to give that gift to someone living far from God.
The Single Greatest Gift 11
Session One Overview
This week, as you view the story of Brian Anderson, a vice president with a development consulting firm in Chicago and former soccer coach for Bill Hybels' son, watch for:
* Why Christ's walk from heaven to earth is a model for us all
* How learning from the Master --- Jesus Christ --- can help you become a 'walk-across-the-room' person starting today
* What it means to pay attention to and be led by spiritual promptings
Video Opener (2 minutes)
Play the session one video opener on the Just Walk Across the Room
Four-Week Experience DVD.
Icebreaker (6 minutes)
Think of your favorite interest, hobby, or recreational activity. Who would you like to spend a day with in order to soak up their knowledge and expertise in this area? Why?
Video Teaching (15 minutes)
Play the session one teaching segment on the DVD. Use the space below for your notes.
The Single Greatest Gift 13
Group Strides, Part A (31 minutes)
1. What part of Brian's story had the greatest impact on you? Please explain.
2. As you think back on your own journey toward God, who is the main person who 'took a walk' for you?
3. How would you describe the way in which this person reached out to you?
What part of that experience was most affirming or encouraging to you?
4. Reflect on a time when you believe you helped point someone toward God. Perhaps you said to a friend, 'I'll pray for you,' or you invited a neighbor to a Christmas Eve service.
How would you feel if you discovered that this person wound up putting their trust in Christ as a result of the spiritual impact you had on their life?
5. What does Luke 19:10 say about Jesus' mission in coming to earth?