Book Review: How to Turn Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations

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How many times have you wanted to share the gospel with someone…only to freeze up when you can’t figure out how to transition the conversation you were already having with the person?  Do you wish you could figure out how to naturally share your faith in a way that isn’t awkward or “preachy”?

I first learned about the 3 Circles strategy for sharing the gospel from my pastor George Wright at Cedarcrest Church a few years ago.  Since then I’ve had the opportunity to use this strategy in conversation here at home as well as on international mission trips.  It’s super easy to use and very easy to teach.  Two years ago, I walked our entire Upper School through this strategy before our annual Spring Term missions week.  Several students really grasped the strategy and went for it.  I love tools like this that make it super easy to turn everyday conversations into gospel conversations.  This can easily be drawn on a napkin, they sell booklets with it mapped out that are super easy to use, and of course…there’s an app for that.

This strategy was designed by Jimmy Scroggins, Pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, FL.  Here is a link to a video to see Scroggins walk through the strategy.

3 Circles – Life Conversation Guide from North American Mission Board on Vimeo.

To further expound on the 3 circles strategy, Scroggins and Steve Wright from Family Church wrote a book called How to Turn Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations.   The book is a quick read.  I read it in an hour on a flight from Atlanta to Memphis.  It gives a lot of great background on how they came up with the 3 Circles strategy while giving some great examples of how to use the strategy. I highlighted several things while reading and posted those notes below…

  • We all have a sense of the brokenness, and we try our best to fix it.  We teach values in the public schools.  We attempt to provide health care for every individual.  We study prison recidivism rates and implement behavior-modification programs to reduce them.  There are all kinds of people trying all kinds of things to put our nation back together again.  Fortunately for us, God has given us the solution.  p. 5
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 [17] Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [18] All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; [19] that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. [20] Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [21] For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (ESV) p. 7
  • If we want to turn back lostness in North America, we need to stop talking about faster addition and start considering strategies for multiplication.  Our Family Church strategy is this: abandon the regional megachurch model and create a network of neighborhood churches.  Our method is to mobilize disciples to make disciples who make disciples. p. 12
  • We regularly remind people that 96 percent of the people with whom they interact with every day don’t know or pursue God’s design for their lives.  p. 16
  • Prayer aligns our hearts with God’s heart for the lost. p. 16
  • “It is God’s will through his wonderful grace, that the prayers of his saints should be one of the great principal means of carrying on the designs of Christ’s kingdom i the world.  When God has something very great to accomplish for his church, it is his will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayers of his people.”  Jonathan Edwards p. 17
  • 2 Corinthians 9:10 Now the One who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. p. 19
  • New believers go from converted to commissioned instantly using the principles found in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. p. 22
  • Multiplying movements love accountability.  They realize too much is at stake to leave to happenstance.  p. 25
  • A wise trainer will use the power of story to cast a vision for new and existing believers.  Our natural drift is away from the Great Commission, which is why we need to be reminded regularly that God is at work and He wants us to join Him.  p. 27
  • The gospel is simply this: Jesus died for our sins, He was buried, and God raised Him from the dead.  It’s His finished work that makes us right with God.  Jesus dis something for us that we could never do for ourselves. p. 36
  • Isaiah 59:1 Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. p. 53
  • How do we know when someone is ready to hear and genuinely respond to the gospel?  The fact is we really never know what God is doing in someone’s heart.  We need to have frequent, intentional gospel conversations and then allow the gospel to be the filter.  p. 55
  • A good transition statement is the key.  p. 67
  • “I haven’t been through the exact situation that you just mentioned, but I have had similar problems (or issues or concerns).  Can I share something with you that has really helped me?” p. 68
  • Once we repent and believe, we can begin to recover and pursue God’s design.  p. 84
  • Each one of us has been entrusted with a very brief period of time in which to do God’s reconciling work. p. 87
  • 2 Corinthians 5:20  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (ESV) p. 91
  • Acts 17:32-34 [32] Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” [33] So Paul went out from their midst. [34] But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. (ESV) p. 94
  • Ed Stetzer has found that 42-61 percent of non-Christians would be willing to study the Bible with a  friend.  He also posited that 75-89 percent would listen to someone share their faith.  p. 99
  • The daily gospel conversations of the church in Acts 2 resulted in people daily repenting and believing the gospel. p. 106
  • “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” Charles Spurgeon p. 107
  • When we tell new believers that they’re part of God’s redemptive plan, they’re humbled and eager to be trained and equipped as ambassadors.  They’re willing to rapidly obey Jesus’ command to “go…and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). p. 112

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