Welcome back to CoMission's blog, fam! For this week's post, I'm going to share with y'all a key element that our CoMission staff uses throughout every semester to execute "thorough" evangelism and discipleship. This element is none other than the famous Gospel Appointment.
Your first question might be, "What is a Gospel Appointment?" I have a simple answer. A Gospel Appointment is literally just a one-on-one (or most often for our staff and student leaders, two-on-one) meeting that we have with someone who may not be a believer. This time is used intentionally as a way of building the person's trust and friendship by asking about his/her life story. We ask questions about their family life, where they're from, and most importantly, their spiritual beliefs which often transitions to us being able to share The Story in 4 Gospel presentation. Paul Worcester said it best when deeming the Gospel Appointment as "the most liberating and effective evangelistic strategy....intentional relational evangelism."
Now, how do we get a Gospel Appointment? This is the part that's easily said but not so easily done because it requires reaching out to random strangers. Unless you're extroverted and don't meet a stranger. But for introverted people like myself, this takes a LOT of grace and boldness which cannot be attained without the Holy Spirit. This semester, all the gospel appointments that our staff have set up have been through either messaging strangers on social media (thanks to the schools' group pages) or randomly approaching a stranger on the campus sidewalk. These brief encounters are just spent introducing ourselves and the organization we're a part of (not to mention the raffles we're handing out at the beginning of the semester). Then we ask that person if he/she would be interested in meeting up with us for coffee or lunch to learn more about CoMission and if they say yes, we get their phone number and reach out at a later time to set up the appointment.
While the process of getting a Gospel Appointment does sound relatively easy, it can be difficult in more ways than one. More often than not, those first introduction messages get ignored. As do the follow-up texts with someone we literally just met on the sidewalk yesterday. The reality is, most people are skeptical and/or forgetful. I'm that way too so I know firsthand what it's like to be on the receiving end of a strange social media message. Another discouragement is when we meet with someone for a Gospel Appointment and they say they're not interested and don't want any more to do us after that. Rejections like these can definitely cause a lot of negative feelings but Matthew 10:14 encourages us to shake the dust from our feet and move on if someone doesn't receive us.
So far this semester, our staff have had roughly 20 Gospel Appointments and about eight of those students have gotten connected into our community in some way, even if it's just a once-a-week gathering. While these numbers are significantly lower than what we've had in the past because of the pandemic, I can't express enough how much I truly believe the Lord will honor the work we've put in despite these challenges. But more importantly, I eagerly anticipate that He will radically change the lives of these few students He's allowed us to connect with, even if all we could do was plant a seed.
"Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet."
Matthew 10:11-14 NKJV