“We appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, to instruct those who are not in their place of battle. Be skilled at gently encouraging those who feel themselves inadequate. Be faithful to stand your ground. Help the weak to stand again. Be quick to demonstrate patience with everyone. Resist revenge, and make sure that no one pays back evil in place of evil but always pursue doing what is beautiful to one another and to all the unbelievers. Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus. Never restrain or put out the fire of the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14-19 TPT
When David met Goliath he did not pick up his first stone or fling his first slingshot. He had practiced while attending sheep. David had been through his ‘training program’ protecting his sheep from lions and bears:
“But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and “Let everyone be devoted to fulfill the work God has given them to do with excellence, …” Galatians 6:4a TPT
killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.’” 1 Samuel 17: 34-37 NIV
Many others have ideas on evangelism. I recommend that you get ideas from as many people as you can. Actively learn all you can from others. Attend seminars, talk with others. Not only those with the gift of evangelism but also people who evangelise as part of everyday life but do not have this as a gift of the Spirit (myself being an example). Venture out with others, learn from each other. Review after discussions.
Here is another source of learning: Billy Graham School of Evangelism online.
Please develop your own style. God wants to use you as a unique individual and not a copy of anyone else. There are several tools to help people get started including The Bridge and The 4 Spiritual Laws. In my opinion, these can be valuable learning tools. I recommend that you practice these as role play with as many people as are willing to practice with you. Become familiar with them, very familiar. Also, use them in real life when appropriate.
But recognise that they can also be over-used and push people away as they ask for a decision to accept Christ at the end. Naturally this is the ultimate objective of evangelism, but pushing people into making a decision when they are not ready can push them away. In the Gospels I do not see Jesus pushing anyone; He was more likely to offer them an exit if they were not ready to commit themselves to Him. Therefore I recommend you use tools like this as a valuable starting point, as a learning opportunity. Also use them to practice (role-play) with each other. At the same time, if the person is ready to commit his/her life to God then please do not hesitate to offer them this opportunity.
Everyone is at a different place / in a different space God deals with everyone individually. While He lived on earth, Jesus’ encounter with each person was quite different from His interaction with anyone else. Perhaps the two most similar encounters are the blind men at Jericho:
As Jesus came into Jericho on His final trip to Jerusalem, blind Bartimaeus called out above the noise of the crowd. Jesus heard him, stopped and called him over asking Bartimaeus what he wanted. Then told Bartimaeus to be on his way because his faith had healed his eyesight. (Mark 10:46-52).
The next day as Jesus was leaving Jericho two blind men also called out above the noise of the crowd. Like the previous day, Jesus stopped and called them over. He also asked them what they wanted. But this time He touched their eyes. Jesus did not say that their faith had healed them. These two followed Jesus whereas Bartimaeus had been told to go on his way. (Matthew 20:29-34).
I have no idea why the difference of approach with these blind men but I do consider it as an endorsement that we listen to the Spirit of God as He will guide us differently in every encounter we have.
An example of significant different approach is Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) and the woman at the well (John 4:1-42). With Nicodemus Jesus got straight to the point and said, “You must be born spiritually …”. With the woman He started with a request for water (that is, He started where she was at since she was in the process of collecting water from the well). He then developed the conversation, step by step, to the point where He introduced Himself as the Messiah, the coming one. So there is much to be gained, for personalizing a conversation, from listening to the Holy Spirit as we share the gospel with people. Pray
“When he saw the vast crowds of people, Jesus’ heart was deeply moved with compassion, because they seemed weary and helpless, like wandering sheep without a shepherd. He turned to his disciples and said, ‘The harvest is huge and ripe! But there are not enough harvesters to bring it all in. As you go, plead with the Owner of the Harvest to thrust out many more reapers to harvest his grain!’” Matthew 9:36-38 TPT
When we look at people it is easy to be overwhelmed with the task in front of us. There are simply not enough people dedicated to reaching out with the love of God. So, let’s pray that God would send more workers, more skilled harvesters. And let’s also dedicate ourselves to God and continue to do the sowing and reaping ourselves. We can pray that God will lead us to / cause us to meet people who are dry in their inner person. And ask for wisdom on what questions to ask in order to draw them out. Then what words of encouragement we could make.
We can ask God how we can be kind to people today, just as He would be kind if He still walked this earth. We can ask God how we serve people today – in the manner that He would serve them. Let’s tell the next generation, as mentioned by Asaph in Psalm 78:
“My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and stablished the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their ancestors—a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not
faithful to him.” Psalm 78:1-8 NIV
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