1 Thessalonians 2:1-16: Gentle Evangelism
What thoughts come to your mind when you hear the word evangelism? Pushy people trying to get you to see things their way? Guilt for not saying enough about your Savior? People swarming down the aisles at a gigantic rally? Or friends sharing the excitement of the good news with each other? For Paul, evangelism was always delightful and exciting. In this passage he tells us why talking about Christ is such a positive experience for him.
Warming Up to God
How do you feel about telling others about your faith? Talk with God about any fears or guilt you experience.
Discovering the Word
- What excuses might Paul have had not to preach to the Thessalonians (vv. 1-2)?
- What attitudes enable Paul to continue preaching despite opposition (vv. 3-6)?
- What does this teach you about proper and improper reasons for witnessing to others?
- Paul claims to have been "holy, righteous and blameless" (v. 10) among the Thessalonians. If this is important, how can imperfect people dare to do evangelism?
- How is a father dealing with his children a good example of an evangelist (vv. 11-12)?
Applying the Word
- In what specific ways can gentleness and caring become more a part of your evangelistic efforts?
- In what ways have you found evangelism to be difficult?
- What ideas and encouragement from this passage can help you to overcome these difficulties?
Responding in Prayer
Ask God to give you encouragement to be a gentle evangelist.