Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Personal Mission Field Workshop

Jumpstart

This might be just what you need.

Welcome to the PMF Workshop for the week of November 9, 2020. I’m your host, T. M. Moore. Each week we provide teaching, encouragement, and resources to help you in working your Personal Mission Field. By adopting the perspectives and practicing the disciplines we present in the Workshop, you can become more consistent and effective in realizing the presence, promise, and power of God’s Kingdom in your daily life.

Today’s Workshop is entitled, “Jumpstart.” Our text is Luke 12.11, 12:

“Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke 12.11, 12

Shot of juice
It was freezing as we came out of church that Sunday, so I told Susie I’d go start the car so that it could begin warming up. Then I’d come back and get her.

When I turned the key in the ignition, nothing happened. I kept turning until I heard “click, click, click.” Then I noticed that the hazard light was illuminated on the dashboard, and I concluded that I had clicked it on accidently as I took the key out when we were going into church. What turned out to be an already weak battery just couldn’t keep up with the constant flashing of the hazard lights. It gave up the ghost somewhere just before the benediction.

Happily, a church member had a jumper cable, and gave us a jolt of juice so we could get home.

I don’t know what we would have done if that church member hadn’t been there to help us get going.

Your witness for Christ can be like this. You head out in the morning to work, or school, or to visit a friend or family member, or just to do the shopping, and you fully intend to speak a word about Jesus, and see where it goes. You’ve prayed about it. You have some idea what you’re going to say – a word of thanksgiving to express, a Scripture to share, or just a comment about how good Jesus is to you each day.

But then, when push comes to shove, and it’s time to turn on the juice, your witness battery is dead. You have all the right intentions, but you just can’t seem to make the spark that ignites the spiritual fire to get your witness going.

Maybe all you need is a little jumpstart.

Jim Kennedy’s jumpstart
Susie and I used to work with D. James Kennedy, who was the founder of Evangelism Explosion. He became a dear friend. Jim was one of the humblest men I ever knew, and certainly one of the most consistent and effective witnesses for Christ of the past few generations. He was always ready with a word, a compliment, or a helping hand that would soon enough get around to Jesus and the question, “If you were to die tonight, do you know for certain that you would have eternal life, that you would go to heaven?”

But Jim was not always an effective witness. At a clinic for pastors once, he admitted that, early in his witnessing career, he had trouble launching into a conversation about the Gospel. He was uncertain. He was shy. He didn’t want to offend. He thought the timing wasn’t right. But he also knew these were just excuses, and he defined an excuse as “the skin of a reason, stuffed with a lie.”

So he decided to find a way to jumpstart his presentation of the Gospel. What he came up with was to slap his right thigh – just a mild tap, not a thunderous pounding – to remind and launch him into the Gospel. For many years after he began witnessing, he found that little tap was just the thing to get him into a conversation. He was pleased to be able to tell the clinicians that he had grown out of needing that little tap.

At that same clinic, Jim gave a demonstration of how to share the Gospel. Beginning with a somewhat lengthy time of getting to know the person – where they’re from, what they do for a living, how they like the neighborhood, and other small talk – Jim would then come to the question he used to get into the Gospel itself.

But not before he tapped his thigh. And in that demonstration, having previously told the clinicians that he no longer needed that ljumpstart, Jim unwittingly tapped his thigh and launched into the Gospel. At which time the clinic burst into uproarious laughter. Jim looked puzzled, then he realized what he’d done. His jumpstart was still with him, and still working just fine.

A jumpstart you can use
Maybe what you need is a little jumpstart, something you can rely on every time to get past your hesitation, fear, or doubt and into the beginnings of a Gospel conversation. Let me suggest one that you might try.

Here is Nehemiah 2.4: “Then the king said to me, ‘What do you request?’ So I prayed to the God of heaven.” Nehemiah was burdened for the city of Jerusalem, and it showed on his face. The king noticed his “sorrow of heart” (v. 2) and asked what was wrong. Nehemiah briefly explained the cause of his sorrow – Jerusalem’s devastation. Then follows verse 4. Artaxerxes opened the door by asking Nehemiah a question, a question provoked by something he’d observed in his faithful and diligent servant. And Nehemiah “prayed to the God of heaven.” He obviously prayed within himself, seeking the words with which to answer the king. The rest, as they say, is history.

Peter said that when we are looking to Jesus as the Lord of our lives, every moment of our lives, the joy and hope of Jesus will be upon us, and people will notice. And when they ask us why we’re so hopeful, why we always seem so filled with joy, why we aren’t anxious and moody like everyone else they know, then we can explain Jesus to them. But not before first calling out to the Lord in our hearts to give us the words we need.

Let the questions people ask prompt you to seek the Lord in your heart. Then open your mouth and begin to speak. He’ll give you the words you need, for He has promised to do so in response to our prayers: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jer. 33.3).

Your prayer can be your jumpstart to sharing the life-giving Good News of Jesus.

Tell us about what’s going on in your Personal Mission Field. What challenges are you facing? How has the Lord been leading or using you? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your Personal Mission Field stories, and we might be able to use them to encourage one another in the Personal Mission Field Workshop.

For the Fellowship of Ailbe, and for the Personal Mission Field Workshop, this has been T. M. Moore.

We ask the Lord to move and enable many more of our readers to provide for the needs of our ministry. Please seek Him in prayer concerning your part in supporting our work. You can contribute online by using the
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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