– DR. DERRICK MUELLER
“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes...” (Romans 1:16)
Recently we've begun to intentionally focus on our evangelism training. As part of that focus, we developed training initiatives across the country, with the goal to equip people to share the gospel with people in their daily routine. Grid Evangelism is a way of engaging the heart and taking the fear out of sharing our faith. At the core of Grid Evangelism is a heart so overwhelmed with love that can’t help but share the gospel in everyday life.
Grid Evangelism is a philosophy that acknowledges that we have access points, relationships, and opportunities to share the Word of God every day. Grid thinking takes into account three different stories: God’s story of redemption, our story of being loved and embraced by God, and the stories of those we encounter daily. Sharing the plan of salvation is as easy as describing the growth of a plant.
Throughout Scripture, you can’t miss the references and illustrations to God as the Master Gardener—from planting to sowing, watering to bearing fruit—in His comparisons and parables. Your faith story connects with another person’s story in such a way that you gain an opportunity to share God’s story.
Using a planting motif, you can tell God’s story in a way that helps to share His interaction with His people. These eight key growing and gardening words highlight not only the broad strokes of God’s plan, but His interaction with us as well. We can use this analogy to guide our speech, using the following eight growing concepts:
The original picture was God with us, dwelling in His presence, but sin separated us from Him. God gives us a picture of what our future looks like with Him in Revelation. It is a picture of us dwelling in His presence and fellowshipping with our Creator. No longer alone, no longer lost in sin, but in communion with the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. Love came to us through Christ, God dwelt among us (John 1:14).
"God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."
– Ephesians 2:8-9
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."
– Romans 6:23
With our rejection of God came consequences, but God had a plan for our restoration. The plan was that He would send His Son to be the sacrifice for our sin. The Bible says there is a penalty for sin and the penalty is death. Jesus Christ was God incarnate and His plan was to save the human race. God’s plan for us is simple: it is salvation, it is mercy, and it is grace for all those willing to receive it. We can have a new identity in Christ! God’s plan is to find us, to adopt us into His family, and to love us in ways that the world never will.
Ephesians 1:5, Galatians 3:26; 4:4,5 (adopted), Romans 5:15; 8:14-17, 1 John 3:1-2 (God’s children and co-heirs), Titus 3:5-7 (justified by grace)
To prepare the way for His plans, we see God guiding His people all the way through the Old Testament. He gave His Word through various men and women. He gave the law to guide the Jewish people, and He sent His prophets to give direction. God sent John the Baptist to pave the way for Christ to come. He chose Mary to bear His Son, for Zacharias to proclaim Him, for Anna to predict His coming, and for the wise men to seek Him out. God prepared and plowed the way (see John 1).
God sent His Son to earth to signify His presence and love for us so we can have life. It was all part of the picture and plan, and all the events preceding the birth of Christ plowed the way for His birth. God planted Himself here on earth so that we could have hope, redemption, and experience forgiveness in ways we never could imagine. Christ’s love, death, and ascension to heaven were God planting and initiating His plan for our salvation. We are invited to reach the world and plant seeds, and God uses us to scatter the seeds, to plant, and water them. We are disciples and seed planters for the Kingdom and this is the mission of the Church. Let us not fear sharing our faith, for God uses us to plant His seeds in the lives of others, and give hope to the world (1 Corinthians 3:5-6).
As part of our protection, God has sent the Holy Spirit to all those who believe and have accepted His free gift of salvation. This doesn’t mean that life will be without worries or difficulties, but it does mean that we will never be alone. The Holy Spirit gives us strength, protection from evil, comfort, and guidance. The Holy Spirit is our protection. The good news is that we are protected by the power of God through faith, and nothing will separate us from the love of God.
2 Thessalonians 3:3, Psalm 23, Psalm 121:1-8, 1 Peter 1:5, Romans 8:35-39, 1 Corinthians 13:7
In our journey with Christ, we allow our Lord to prune off things that distract us and cause us to stumble. We allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin and topruneusinsuchawaysothatwe will grow. As believers in Christ, when we understand and know God’s way, we measure ourselves according to His Word; we let the Word of God speak into our life and illuminate things that take us away from the Truth. The Word of God is a lamp that reveals hidden things. We’ve experienced God’s grace and forgiveness, and now we continue to grow in our Christian life. Pruning is part of our teaching and an essential element to our discipleship.
Pollination can be likened to fellowship. God has not only given us the Holy Spirit to protect us and His Word to guide us, but He has also given us each other. He has given the Church as a means to change the world. As God’s people we are sanctioned with the plan to let the world know of Christ. We are to be salt and light to the world, to bring out the best in it, and proclaim the hope and salvation we have in Christ. It is hard to grow without community, so we need community and the accountability of others in order to grow in our faith. Pollinating is not only how we grow but also how the church grows, and a key aspect to the development of our faith.
To realize our faith and have it actualized is to see fruit from our Christian walk and grow in our relationship with Him. To propagate is to be evidence to the world of His grace, to share the news of hope—that God has a plan—and of salvation. It is to proclaim our faith and see others come to know Him in a way that transforms their lives.
True evangelism affects the heart, head and the hand in such a way that our habits are changed.When we experience God with our heart, and let that knowledge transform us, we naturally serve. When our hearts, heads and hands are changed, it develops new habits. Sharing the plan of salvation on our daily grid is essentially the habit of sharing the gospel out of a great love for God, resulting in a great love for others. Eight simple words help us share God’s story of redemption:
• The picture is God loving the world
• The plan is Christ coming
• History prepares and plows the way for the Son
• Christ on earth is God planting a seed of hope
• It is the Holy Spirit that protects and prunes us in our daily living
• It is fellowship with other believers that pollinates and networks us together
• The hope is that truth will be propagated and fruit for the Kingdom established
As you develop through each of these phases, trust God, the “Master Gardener” to bring life and change where change is needed. And as 2 Peter 3:18 says, “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”