Two and a half weeks of consecutive training is a lot… but lucky for us, it was broken down into three main components: Good Soil, Missionary Enrichment (ME), and Essential Missions Components (EMC). Every Thursday for the next 3 weeks, we’re going to share a little about one of those events. So first up: Good Soil!
Good Soil is an evangelism and discipleship program based on the parable of the soils (found in Matthew 13:3-9; Mark 4:2-9; and Luke 8:4-8). In the parable, the seed is the Gospel and the “good soil” is how people are prepared for and respond to the Gospel.
There were a couple of key points to this training, which lasted Saturday and Sunday:
- The Good Soil Scale, which helps you identify where a person is in their relationship with the Lord and how much Biblical content and context they understand.
- Cutting through “Worldview Noise” is critical. The term “Worldview Noise” refers to a person’s culture, beliefs, and how they view the world around them. We have to be able to present the Gospel so that it cuts through that noise and can be understood effectively and embraced, as the Holy Spirit works in the person’s life.
- Peeling the Onion is a phrase we used that would help us break through that Worldview Noise. Peeling the onion means intentionally asking questions that help you dig to the heart of who the person is. By looking for openings to go deeper in conversation naturally and without prying, we are better equipped to break through the worldview noise, identify the person’s spot on the Good Soil Scale, and share the Gospel.
Fun fact: They showed that clip from “Shrek” where Shrek compares himself to an onion and I laughed so hard.
During the training, we were also introduced to two key resources:
- The Story of Hope is an evangelism tool to introduce people to the Gospel through Old and New Testament stories. As God’s redemptive plan for creation is slowly revealed, people can understand how everything connects. Christ, then, is not a surprise… He is the planned and only way for salvation.
- The Way to Joy is a level 1 discipleship tool that guides a new believer through the foundational components of faith, including the importance of baptism, worshiping with a community of believers, prayer, and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
These resources have been translated into almost 20 languages (and more are in the works). They have been used in countries all over the world to effectively share the Gospel and make disciples.
For me, the biggest takeaway from this training was that the whole Bible builds up to Christ’s work on the cross. If we jump straight into the New Testament and start with the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save people from their sins, we miss thousands of years of history that provide the background and importance to that event. And in some cultures, not having that historical knowledge could be detrimental to their comprehension and response to the Gospel.
For Allen, it was this video, that shows a tribe’s reaction to understanding the Gospel for the first time. The missionary in the video spent months telling stories from the Bible, building up to Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Then he went back through the Old Testament stories, showing how they point to Christ. It’s a powerful video clip, if you have a couple minutes to watch!
Good Soil training is open to anyone. You don’t have to be an ABWE missionary to attend! If you’re interested in learning more about this training and these tools, feel free to ask us or email email@example.com.