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Building Bridges of Hope Series: Friendship Evangelism is a bridge of hope
By Estes DeWayne Williams,

by Estes DeWayne Williams
Communications Director
Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church
Evangelism is a word that brings back memories of walking and passing out tracks, knocking on doors, tent revivals and Revelation seminars. Those methods are important and we must continue doing this today. But like many, I was not comfortable with the idea. So how can I fulfill my obligation and command in Jesus’ words to each of us in Matthew 28?
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

If we are to build bridges of hope to mankind and share the good news of God’s saving grace, we all must become comfortable in sharing the gospel message in a relevant and tangible manner.
Jesus says that He will be with us, even to the end of the world. We have the assurance that He will give us everything that we need to complete any mission He gives us. If we want to effectively carry out His mission
to “teach all nations and baptize them, it is important that we consider Friendship Evangelism. Friendship Evangelism means caring for people. As we grow closer to Jesus, we will grow closer to each other. 
Growing closer to Jesus makes it easier to share the joys and blessings of being His child. Remember the woman at the well? She came to the well when no one would be there for many different reasons. But when she got close  to Jesus, she could not be silent about her relationship with Him and the change He made in her life. When we get close to Him, we will not be silent with our friends, family and co-workers. Instead, we will do the following:
1.    We will care about the people we hope to reach.
2.    We will love the people we hope to reach.
3.    We will pray for the people we hope to reach.
4.    We will do those things necessary to build meaningful relationships for the sake of the gospel for the people we hope to reach.
5.    We will help those we hope to reach through the tough times in their lives.
Being a friend is something we all can do. Friendship Evangelism is something we all should do. It is time that each of us do whatever we can in both great and small ways. Friendship Evangelism will make it possible to knock on doors because caring is the reason we are knocking.
Throughout the month of January, the entire focus at Berean will be on Friendship Evangelism. Through Friendship Evangelism, we all can build bridges of hope.

The audio file of the related Wednesday night messages are listed below. 
Right click on the message and Click "Save Target as ..." to download the featured message.
Date Topic: Friendship Before Evangelism: It really does matter. Speaker
January 6, 2010 What is Friendship Evangelism?  Willie Walker
January 13, 2010 Learning to Care  Willie Walker
January 20, 2010 Learning to Listen and Share  Willie Walker 
January 27, 2010 The Friendly Evangelistic Church  Willie Walker