Evangelism (Be a Big Mouth)
Lesson 5: Where Do We Go From Here?
Lesson Workbook Click here
1. To develop in students a new passion for evangelism
2. To excite students with the possibility of witnessing explisive church growth
3. To motivate students to take ownership in the evangelism process
Boldness, Evangelism, Salvation, Witnessing
OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)
GROUP BUILDING (10 minutes)
To find out how well you know each other, I have a little challenge for you. I want everyone to talk with others in this room whom you don't know very well to find out something specific about them. I will tell you what it is in a second. If you know everyone, that's fine. Still, the object will be to find four special people and you must search until you find all four of them.
Here is what you are looking for: You must find two people who began attending church before you, and two people who began attending church after you. That's it. Of course you can talk about other things too if you like, but you must finish the challenge. Are you ready? Talk! (If you have a smaller class, you may want to change the challenge to finding only one of each.)
GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)
• When was the last time you saw God do something really cool?
(Be ready with a story or two of your own, in case no one is ready to jump in at first.)
• What do you think is the biggest thing God has ever accomplished?
(Allow students to explore ideas such as creation, raising Jesus from the dead, etc.)
Today we’re going to take a look at a lot of Scriptures, all contained in the book of Acts. For the past four weeks we’ve talked about evangelism, how people met Jesus, and were changed. Today we’re going to take an overview of the book of Acts, which is the account of how the church took off. We've got a lot to cover, so let’s get started!
DIGGING IN (30 minutes)
After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples various times over a period of about 40 days. His ascension into Heaven is recorded in the gospels, but also in the book of Acts.
Read Acts 1:4-11
Here we have an account of Jesus telling the disciples what to do. And yet, even after hearing His instructions, they have questions.
1. Why do they ask if Jesus is finally going to restore the Kingdom? What do they mean? (The disciples still think of an earthly kingdom, and they wonder when it will come. It was a confusing time for them.)
2. Why do you think they stood there staring up into the sky? What do you think they were thinking as they watched Jesus float away? (Perhaps they were waiting for Jesus to come back right away. They must have been feeling sadness, confusion, bitter-sweetness, fear, etc.)
We don’t have to go much further in the book to find that the disciples did what Jesus said. They made themselves available to him, and the Spirit of God worked in their lives. Let’s see what happened next
Read Acts 2:36-41
Peter preaches a great sermon in Acts 2. He is a great example of what a Big Mouth should be.
1. In the passage we read, what is Peter's basic message? (Christ needs to be accepted by the hearers.)
2. What happens as a result of Peter challenging the audience to respond to Christ? (3,000 people respond and are baptized.)
Can you imagine 3,000 baptisms in one day! (You may want to talk about how many baptisms your church celebrates each year and compare that to this unbelievable event)
Read Acts 4:1-4
Peter and John have been preaching (see healing and sermon in Acts 3), so much so that they are arrested. But we hear in this passage that their preaching was not in vain.
1. How many believers do we hear there are now? (5,000)
2. Why do you think the church is growing so rapidly?
The church really takes off thanks to a bunch of big mouths. In fact, over the next 300 years, the church goes from a group of 12 disciples to a worldwide community of over six million believers. Obviously, today the church of Jesus is even larger. There are about 2 billion believers in Christ alive today, all thanks to some unashamed big mouths from the first century.
The Growth of Christianity in the first three centuries
The number of those who are saved is not the only impressive thing—it is also impressive who is saved.
Read Acts 7:59-8:1 and Acts 9:1-19
1. When we meet Saul for the first time, what is he doing? (Witnessing the stoning of Stephen.)
2. In Acts 9, what happens to Saul? (Christ confronts him, he’s converted.)
3. What do you know about Saul from that time forward? (He was a great missionary and Christian writer.)
4. Have you ever witnessed a transformation as dramatic as that one?
There’s more interesting stories of people being saved.
Read Acts 18:7-9
1. Who believes in Jesus in this passage? (Many people, including Crispus, a synagogue ruler.)
2. What is God’s encouragement to Paul? (Not to be afraid, to keep preaching.)
It is not a bad paraphrase to say that God told Paul, “Be a Big Mouth! Don’t be silent! Keep on preaching.” God says the same to us. As we end this series on evangelism, remember not to give up. Chances are all five of the people you wrote down in our very first week aren’t believers yet. If they are, pick five more. Don’t be silent! Be a Big Mouth! Be a Big Mouth no matter what. Paul and the rest of the original Big Mouth partners faced a lot of trials, as we see in Acts.
Read Acts 21:27-32
Paul and others faced physical pain because they spoke up for Jesus. You will face opposition, too.
1. What should your reaction be to people trying to quiet you of your witness for Christ?
2. How can you obtain courage like Paul, Peter, and the rest?
Read Acts 28:30-31
The book of Acts ends with a really cool verse. After the whole story of the beginning of the church has been told, the book ends with a simple phrase concerning Paul.
1. How does Paul preach the Gospel? (Boldly and without hindrance.)
2. How does that kind of preaching affect people? How do you know?
MAKING IT REAL (10 minutes)
I want you to forget for a moment that Paul is who that last verse is written about. Instead, I want you to read it again, silently, and instead of saying the word “he,” say your name.
“Boldly and without hindrance, ______ preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.”
1. Can you really be a big mouth?
2. Are you willing to be a big mouth?
You can, and if you do, the church will grow. Just like it did in Acts 2, from 12 to 3,000. Just like it did by 100 AD, from 3,000 to 7,500. Just like it did by 300 AD to 6.3 million. And from 6.3 million to about 2 billion today, the church continues to grow. God continues to work, and He wants your help. In your home, in your school, in the world—be a big mouth for Jesus.
Optional Activity (10 minutes)
(This is meant to be an ordination of sorts, to send everyone out as Jesus did the twelve, to be big mouths. You can have the students come to the front of the class, or if there is room have the kneel where they are.)
To close tonight and to close this series, we’re going to do something kind of special. I want each one of you to kneel, and I am going to ordain you as a "Big Mouth." With this ordination comes a great responsibility, to commit to the sharing of the Gospel as a lifestyle.
As you kneel, I’ll place my hand on each of your heads, just as ancient ordinations and blessings were done. I will then read this verse again, with your name included. Once I’ve ordained you, I would like you to pray silently that God will give you strength and opportunities to be a "Big Mouth."
(Go to each student, place your hand on their shoulder, and recite Acts 28: 31 using their name.)
"(Name of student), boldly and without hindrance, preach the kingdom