By Heidi Kempt Chew

Beginner's Guide to Leading a GIG

Evangelistic Bible studies like GIGs (Groups Investigating God) embody the heart of evangelism: They are relational, trust in the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit, and focus on the person of Christ. They provide a platform to invite your friends to take a closer look at Jesus, to share how Christ's power is transforming your life, to deepen your relationships with your friends, and to encourage your friends to take the next step on their spiritual journey toward Christ.

A GIG flows from your relationships. It is not merely an outreach activity or an end in itself, but simply one step on the spiritual journey you invite your friends to take with you.

As you prayerfully respond to God's call to start a four- or six-week GIG with your friend, consider the following steps:

1. Build intentional relationships

As you reflect on whom to invite, take an inventory of your relationships. Who are the people you hang out with on a daily basis in class, the lab, your dorm, the gym, at work, etc.? Start with those you enjoy spending time with and those who enjoy spending time with you.

Pray that the Lord would give you a special connection with several of these people you meet every day. Allow him to turn your heart toward those who are different from you. Be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone. Some of the most spiritually open people may be unlike you: folks of different ethnicity, nationality, political view, or major. Don't rule out "unlikely" candidates. In my final year of high school, the senior yearbook editors listed "political activist/terrorist" as the most suitable future career for me; yet within the same year, a friend challenged me to read the Bible, and the Lord called me to himself.

Think of ways to deepen your relationship by sharing activities you both enjoy. Ask a friend or two to watch a movie, have lunch or dinner, or shoot hoops. Study together. Volunteer together. Ask for help with a project or to troubleshoot a computer problem.

While these authentic, mutual relationships grow, be intentional. Let people know that you are a Christian. Think of ways and pray for opportunities to share how Christ is at work in your life. What difference does he make in your life as you cope with stress, relational problems, and financial pressures? Listen as they share their struggles; offer to pray for their situation.

2. Pray

Pray that God would give you discernment about those people in your sphere of influence who are spiritually open. Again, his answer may surprise you...(read more)

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