Bro Larry reminded me while he was here, how it can be essential in some cases to share the gospel and give and invitation in one meeting with a person. It may be the only chance you've got.
The storying through the scriptures is a great way to prepare people who have no frame of reference (as they would in the Bible belt, for example) to believe on and receive Christ Jesus. It also aids discipleship so that oral learners can be discipled to the core and not just follow the forms of religion divorced from the truth of God and his word. By storying, we help new Christians avoid syncretism.
Yesterday, I led a team of 4 to go to one of the poorest of neighborhoods in the big city. The first home we visited was a man and his 3 children. He is an ex drug user who stopped only because he discovered he has the HIV virus. He looks like he might already be somewhat symptomatic with AIDS, but it could just be malnutrition. I don't know. His girlfriend, with whom he has 3 kids, was gone. He said she still gets high and may come home next week, or maybe not.
As we entered into the home we saw how the children (5, 7 and 8) were starved for attention and emotionally underdeveloped. They immediately sat on our laps. As we began talking with this man, I sensed that he needed to really hear the message of Christ. I prayed that the Lord would put the message on my lips.
I started telling the story of creation and told through to the story of Adam and Eve's disobedience. As I told about the curse and expulsion from Eden, I highlighted the promise of God that one of Eve's descendants would smash the head of the serpent. I then began telling about the birth of Jesus, I told through his baptism and some teachings and miracles and told the story of his death and resurrection. I told about how he showed himself to his disciples and how he ascended into heaven. This narrative, which I just sort of wove together from smaller stories, took about 25 minutes to tell.
The man received Christ and wants to be baptized next Sunday. He told us that if his girlfriend ever comes home, he will catch her when she is sober and tell her the same story. He wants us to return next week and gather people on his street to hear this story.
I will write about some of the other visits in another post.