I was talking with Joe Hanford, Pacific Southwest Regional Office, last week. He and his team are doing a great job with The Overflow Show. Billing it as “5 Minutes to Better Witnessing,” the team takes ideas from the very top books on evangelism. They talk about party evangelism, authenticity, deep conversation ideas, and handling objections like the problem of evil or only one way to heaven. This fall, they added two more five minute podcasts on scientists who believe and how Christianity is viewed in the public square. The team has received great feedback from staff and students in the Pacific Southwest region. These 20 evangelism shows have increased confidence and excitement about sharing their faith.
When you check out the episode list, you will see a brief description of the book. You, then, have an option of listening or downloading the five minute podcast. What’s new this fall are discussion guides for each episode. Each guide has an application challenge for the next week. Here is a sample of one of the discussion guides.
Connecting Post-Moderns With the Gospel – Discussion Guide
Discuss what you applied in the past seven days from the last Overflow Show.
Read 2 Timothy 4:2-4. How do the conditions that Paul warns about resonate with things you observe currently in our culture?
Go to http://www.OverflowShow.com and listen to the 5-minute podcast titled “Connecting Post-Moderns With the Gospel.”
What did you think? What stood out to you as you listened?
How surprising was it to hear the author say that post-moderns are interested in spirituality?
Discuss ways post-moderns version of spirituality might differ from the traditional definition of spirituality?
How surprising was it to hear the author say that post-moderns are interested in truth? What version of truth do post-moderns seek?
What are other characteristics of post-moderns regarding religion or spirituality?
Why is it not important to a post-modern to have logical consistency in her spiritual views?
The author says post-moderns base much of their philosophy on personal experience. How can we utilize that knowledge as we seek to connect with post-moderns?
The author recommended sharing our own story as a journey, eventually seeing the need for a guide of some sort, then seeing the need for a forgiver. What are a couple thoughts you have about this approach?
Why is it important to be transparent and share our flaws with others?
Share some old stereotypes of Jesus or the Christian life that have been greatly changed as you’ve embraced Christ and grown spiritually?
What did you think about the story of Mother Teresa’s outlook and action regarding the poor in India versus the Hindu people’s outlook and action?
Discuss some ways we could apply a few of these principles in the next 7 days?
One suggestion (if needed): Develop a 3-minute version of your own personal story in the form a journey. If appropriate, include how you eventually saw the need for a guide of some sort. Then how you saw the need for a forgiver and how that impacted your life. At the end of the story, tell how you realized that the guide and forgiver was Jesus Christ and why. Practice your story on a fellow group member before next week’s meeting either in person or by telephone, or better yet, tell a non-Christian friend that your assignment from your spirituality group was to write a 3 minute version of your spiritual journey to share with the group, and ask if you can practice on her.
Overflow enthusiastically recommends the book – Evangelism Outside the Box by Rick Richardson, Intervarsity Press
Before I left on a recent trip, I downloaded several of the podcasts to my iPod and listened to them on the plane. I like how Joe has given a synopsis of the book and zero-ed in on something practical that our students can apply as they “overflow into the lives of others.” Why not give it a try?