Five Steps to Becoming a “Matthew”
Editor’s Note: This is excerpted from an article entitled “My Brother Was My “Matthew” (Why Friends Are So Important In Evangelism)” featured in YLO93 and written by Gary Cobb with Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Click here to download the PDF of the entire article.
As I teach the Christian Life and Witness Classes in preparation for Billy Graham’s Crusades, I often poll the audience about how they came to Christ. Usually about 95 percent say that they came to Jesus Christ through the influence of a friend or a relative. Few of us feel comfortable telling strangers about Christ. But we all can tell our friends about Christ. For over sixty years Billy Graham Crusades have been using a relational approach to evangelism. In My Hope America we call it “Matthew and Friends.” It is based on the biblical narrative found in the Gospel of Matthew. After Matthew met Jesus, the Bible tells us that Matthew invited his friends to meet Jesus (Matthew 9:9-10)
- Look around. God has placed you in your school, your neighborhood, your work place, as His representative. You need to see people as God sees them – without Christ and hurting. Once you have identified those in your circle of influence who need Christ, write down their names.
- Look up. Pray daily for those on your list. Pray that God will help you deepen your relationship with them and open a spiritual relationship where Jesus Christ can become a talking point.
- Look out. Be receptive to opportunities that develop friendships. Invite people on your list over for dinner. Play golf with them. Take food to them when they are sick. Invite them to go to a concert with you. Over a period of time the door will open to tell them about Jesus.
- Look forward. Be sensitive to God’s working in the lives of your friends, and look forward to a time when you can present the Gospel to them or take them to an evangelistic event where they will hear the Gospel. For those who are open to attend your church, invite them to go with you. Your youth Pastor may be having a special event where the My Hope America with Billy Graham video will be shown. Be sure to bring your friends.
- Look after. If your friends receive Jesus Christ, you need to help them to grow in Christ. If your friends do not accept Christ, you must continue to be their friend. This is not a project it is a personal relationship.
“My Hope America” is a nationwide evangelistic outreach based on Billy Graham’s desire to preach his last sermon to our country.
Click here to watch a preview of the video.
Call 800-725-3300 and we will send you a free DVD of “My Hope America” for your youth group.