Friendship Ablaze! Has a Message

Can you remember the first time you ever had to speak in front of a large group? Maybe you had a part in a Christmas program at your church. Perhaps it was a speech class in high school or college or maybe it was a PowerPoint presentation to colleagues.

How would you describe the experience? How did you feel? If you are studying this book in a group, take a moment to share your thoughts.

The feelings you just revisited are the same feelings many Christians get when they think of evangelism. Many people seem to be more concerned with what they will say than to whom they will speak -- and, of whom they will speak. So they say nothing at all. Friendship Ablaze! means we must carefully, prayerfully, with the Spirit's help, grow through those fears.

Read Acts 1:8. Think through this important verse. It is the last thing Jesus says to His disciples. That alone makes the words very significant.

  1. What does Jesus say His disciples (followers) are?
  2. What does this word mean to you?
  3. What is the source of power for this sharing?
  4. What implications does your baptism have for this empowerment?
  5. What is the scope of this sharing?
  6. Do you think the word “Jerusalem” implies only a specific geographic location or includes relational networks; in other words, the friends who are closest to you?
  7. What are the implications of your conclusion?
  8. Read Acts 2:47. Do you agree or disagree? The church began to evangelize where Christians had established “good will” (friendships Ablaze!) with others. The result was explosive numbers of people being saved. Why?

But many wonder: What do I say? What is the message or story that I have to share with others?

I want to suggest an exercise that is best completed when it is written out. The discipline of writing your answers to these three questions will help you focus on your story of God’s grace in your life. If you studying this book in a group and the group is just seeing these questions for the first time, allow a few moments for thought and then share answers to the first question. If the group has prepared in advance, allow each member to pick the question whose answer they are most comfortable sharing.

If this is an individual study, I strongly suggest that within 48 hours after you complete these questions, you find a close Christian friend and share what you wrote. The sharing has two benefits. It allows the friend to give you positive feedback. You will appreciate that! It allows you to practice sharing your faith story. You need that!

Friendship Ablaze! is simply one friend sharing with another friend the truths of the Gospel in a faith story so that person has the opportunity to encounter Christ. Please write your answers to the following:

  1. How has my faith in Jesus Christ affected my life?
  2. Why do I have an essential need for a Savior? How did God meet that personal need?
  3. Was there ever a time in my life when Jesus Christ was especially important to me? Why was that time special?

By definition, a Christian is a person with a faith relationship with Jesus Christ. Tell your story to your friends in your own way and your own words. Trust the Holy Spirit to empower you and use that story as a step to building faith in the life of your unchurched or non-Christian friend. You are well on your way to Friendship Ablaze!

Think of your story like this: Read John 9:1-7, and 18-25. This is the simple, very simple witness (story) that led to the conclusion that Jesus is God.

Could you possibly ask for more for a friend who would hear your faith story? Why?

A closing prayer:

Father, I ask that my friendship be friendships Ablaze! with Jesus' love and the Spirit's power. Please use my faith story to help my friends (names) to conclude that Jesus is God, their Savior and Lord. Prompt me to know when it is appropriate to share. Then help me share my faith story without hesitation--boldly! In the Name of my Friend Jesus. Amen.