Updated: Oct 27
Colossians 4:4-6; 1 Peter 3:15-16
How would you define 'the gospel'?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-11
How does Paul define the gospel here?
How did the gospel change Paul's life?
Jeff Vanderstelt uses the term 'Gospel Fluency' to talk about the ability to see and speak about the gospel 'fluently'. Read the following excerpt from his book Gospel Fluency:
I believe this is what God wants his people to experience with the gospel. He wants them to be able to translate the world around them and the world inside of them through the lens of the gospel—the truths of God revealed in the person and work of Jesus. Gospel-fluent people think, feel, and perceive everything in light of what has been accomplished in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
They see the world differently. They think differently. They feel differently. Most significantly, those who are growing in gospel fluency are experiencing ongoing transformation themselves. They are experiencing ongoing change as the truths of the gospel are brought to bear on their thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and actions, transforming them into greater Christlikeness every day. They are growing up into Christ in every way because they are learning to hear and speak the truths of Jesus Christ into everything.
You do need to receive some formal training in the basics of the gospel, just as learning a language requires knowing the basics of grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure… However, formal training alone does not make one fluent. You become fluent through immersion in a gospel-speaking community and through ongoing practice. You have to know it, regularly hear it, and practice proclaiming it.
Language fluency requires immersion into a community of people who speak the language constantly. Gospel fluency requires immersion into a community of people so saturated with the gospel of Jesus Christ that they just can’t stop speaking the truths of Jesus wherever they go and in whatever situations they find themselves.
(Jeff Vanderstelt & Ben Connelly, Gospel Fluency Handbook: A Practical Guide To Speaking The Truths of Jesus Into the Everyday Stuff of Life, pp. 40-41)
What do you think of this definition of 'gospel fluency'?
To what extent do you think you are 'fluent' in the gospel?
In what ways could your fluency of the gospel increase?
Read Colossians 4:2-6
In what way are the following practices important ingredients for gospel fluency:
Be devoted to prayer (vv2-4)
Pray & look for open doors (v3)
Make clear proclamation (v4)
Have wisdom in how you act (v5)
Make the most of opportunities (v5)
Let your conversation full of grace and 'salt' (v6)
Know how to answer (v6)
Which of these seven things do you think you're best at? (If you can, share a 'win' that demonstrates this)
Which of these seven things do you want to grow in? (If you can, share a 'miss' that demonstrates this)
How would you go about growing in these things? What practical things could you do to increase your gospel fluency?
Read 1 Peter 3:13-16
Do Peter's words here help to expand or answer our questions about how to present the gospel in our lives?
How would you respond if a friend of yours asked you one of the following questions? (Consider how you can "be prepared to give an answer...with gentleness and respect"?) Work together to workshop possible answers:
Why do you go to church? What do you actually do there?
Why do Christians sing?
What's the deal with all the rules in Christianity - why can't Christians drink or have sex?
Do you actually experience God? Does he talk to you? What's it like?
You say God helps you - but what does that actually look like?
[add any questions here that you have been asked before, and workshop good answers to them as a group]
Spend some time praying together about these things. You might like to revisit Paul's prayer request in Colossians 4:2-4 to form the basis of your prayers for each other.