SHARING THE GOSPEL
What Kind of person does God use in soul winning?
Remember that God does not call the equipped;
He equips the called, and as Christians, we are all called to share what Christ has done.
Some of Christ’s last words on earth were, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
Sharing our faith isn’t just a suggestion, it’s a command. And God is with us when we obey Him.
Winning souls is the greatest job on this earth. After you have been saved, it's important to tell someone about it.
SHARING THE GOSPEL
IS IT IMPORTANT? - SHOULD YOU BE A SOUL WINNER?
Simple Presentation of the Gospel
We have learned that the messenger of the gospel must first be saved, and filled with the Holy Spirit. This is essential in winning others to the Savior. How do we effectively present the good news to those who are unsaved? Be simple.
A missionary was upset because the people to whom he ministered didn't understand the deep things of God despite all his efforts to teach them. A missionary friend suggested, "Before you teach them the XYZs of the Bible, why don't you start out by teaching them the ABCs?" Good advice.
What task is greater and more rewarding than leading others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?
Consider the following Scriptures. "The Lord is not slow...not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9).
“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4). The Captain of our salvation has issued our marching orders, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creature." (Mark 16:15). This is called "The Great Commission." Is it any wonder?
METHODS TO BE AN EFFECTIVE “SOUL WINNER”
Jesus told His disciples, "Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people " (Matthew 4:19). The implication is that if we are really following, we'll be fishing - soul- winning. Jesus' last words were, " Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," (Matthew 28:19). The Christians in the New Testament went everywhere, preaching the Word (Acts 8:4).
HOW CAN YOU AND I BE EFFECTIVE WITNESSES FOR HIM?
1. Ask God to give you an evangelistic burden for others.
Ask Him to help you see the world as He sees it, and to lay upon your heart a handful of people for whom you can earnestly pray. Then pray over those names every day. Keep a little prayer list, and pray for an opportunity of reaching these souls for Christ. An old song says, "Lord, lay some soul upon my heart and love that soul through me; / And may I humbly do my part to win that soul to Thee."
2. Live a consistent Christian life before these people.
Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16). We must live obedient lives of integrity and authentic faith. We must love when others hate, and forgive when others harbor grudges. We must remain trusting when others panic, and be honest when all around us are cooking the books. Not that we're going to be perfect, only Christ was sinless. But we must have a growing, maturing Christian life that others recognize and respect.
3. Build bridges to others.
When the Lord shows you those needing Christ, seek to build a relationship with them. Remember how Jesus went to the home of Zacchaeus where many sinners had gathered?
While we must be careful not to place ourselves in an environment where we'll be pulled down, we must be equally careful to cultivate friendships with those needing Christ. Perhaps Christ has placed you in your particular school or workplaceto reach those whom no one else can reach.
4. Learn the Gospel.
Memorize the following verses and practice saying them in a mirror or to another Christian until you're comfortable sharing them with someone needing Christ: Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9, 10, 13; 1 John 5:1, 13.
5. Watch for openings to share a word for Christ.
Peter said: "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," (1 Peter 3:15).
6. If the right opportunity doesn't come naturally, create one.
Sometimes we wait too long, looking for just the right time to invite someone to church or to share with them the message of the Gospel. There often comes a point when we must prayerfully introduce the subject and do our best to impress someone with their need for Christ.
7. Leave the results with God.
We're responsible for sharing the Gospel, but only God can convert the soul. Having done your best, let Him do the rest. And if you ever feel you've botched the job, think of Edward Kimball.
He was determined to win his Sunday school class to Christ, including a teenager named Dwight Moody who tended to fall asleep on Sundays.
His heart pounding, Kimball entered the store where the young man worked. "I put my hand on his shoulder, and as I leaned over I placed my foot upon a shoe box. I asked him to come to Christ."
It didn't seem to go well, and Kimball left thinking he had botched the job. Moody, however, left the store that day a new person and eventually became the most prominent evangelist in America during his generation.
HOW TO GIVE YOUR PERSONAL TESTIMONY
Do you want to know the best way to present the Gospel to all sorts of people? The answer is your personal testimony. The reasons are simple.
1. People are most interested in a true human interest story, and they can identify with other people best.
2. You are interested in sharing with others what Christ and salvation mean to you personally. You may be giving your testimony to a friend, a co-worker, someone that you meet on the street, or in a church service. Here are some guidelines that will make your testimony the kind that others will like and that will bring glory to Christ:
3. Realize what is at stake: the destiny of the souls of men.
You are representing Jesus Christ. 2Corinthians 5:18-20.
4. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and guidance in preparing and presenting your testimony.
5. Begin with an interesting, attention-getting sentence and close with a good conclusion. Include relevant, thought provoking facts and experiences.
6. Give it in such a way that others will feel associated with you.
7. Give enough details to arouse interest.
8. You should always have a general outline already in your mind. By this, we mean that you can give your testimony in two or three minutes to an hour or more. You never know when or for how long you may be called on to give a testimony.
9. If you are the first or only one to give a testimony, always give the plan of salvation.
10. Be sure your experiences are scriptural before you share them with others. Interpret your experiences by the Word of God and not vise-versa. The Bible is our authority.
11. Be lovingly enthusiastic. Let them know you really believe in what you are saying. Don't bore people with the greatest thing in the world.
12. Speak loudly and clearly, in a relaxed tone of voice.
13. Smile often. A smile tells a person, "I like you," and "You're worth smiling at." Ask the Lord to give you a happy, radiant face. Ephesians 4:15.
14. Avoid mannerisms when you speak, such as: rubbing your nose, playing with your ring, jingling coins in your pocket.
15. Feature Christ, and not yourself.
16. Have a good appearance: clean, good posture, smell good.
17. BE FULL OF LIFE!
SALVATION IN A TESTIMONY
1. Tell the circumstances involved in your salvation.
2. Spell out exactly what salvation is. Be clear and simple.
Think: Could a person be saved by hearing that testimony alone?
3. As a general rule, it is good to quote at least one clear salvation verse, and no more than two. Eph.2:8-9; John 3:16; I John 5:13.
4. Always distinguish between faith and works, between salvation and service, Christ and religion.
5. Remember the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Rom. 1:16. Rely on His Word and the Holy Spirit.
1. Don't use Christian jargon. Words such as "born again," "convicted," "converted," do not communicate truth to the average non-Christian.
2. Don't preach-- Do talk, share something of value.
3. Don't tear down. Be positive!
4. Don't let your testimony drag on. When you have finished, you can stop. Don't keep talking just to talk.
5. Don't apologize. This gives the person or audience lack of confidence.
6. Don't mention church denominations, especially in a derogatory way.
7. Don't speak critically or negatively about any other individual or group. You are here to talk about Christ and try to lead a person to a saving knowledge of Christ.
8. Don't give the impression that the Christian life is a "bed of roses." Some people are told that when they give their life to Christ, that all of their problems will be solved and life will be a complete joy for the rest of their lives. If you have been a Christian for very long, you know that you will still have problems.
9. Don't give a bragamony.
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE SOUL WINNING
BUILDING SUPPLIES FOR A SOUL WINNER
Buildings don’t just happen. Every foot of any construction progress represents multiplied hours of preparation and planning. And neither do churches. It is our responsibility to labor with purpose and intention.
One of the greatest indicators of the health of a church is its heart for souls and diligence in outreach. Christians who love the Lord and are grateful for their salvation want to share the gospel message with others! So if we want to labor with Christ to build a soul-winning church, what are the supplies necessary?
Every actively engaged Christian who loves the Lord desires to be a better soul winner. Following are some tips that make soul-winning more effective and fruitful:
BUILDING SUPPIES TO LABOR WITH PURPOSE AND INTENTION
Buildings don’t just happen. Every foot of any construction progress represents multiplied hours of preparation and planning.
Supply 1: A Burden and A Vision
It’s always amazing to me to read in Acts 17 as Paul went to Athens, presumably for a few days of respite while waiting for his helpers to join him, that his burden for souls was so real, he could not get away from it. Paul didn’t see Athens as a tourist would; he saw it as a soul winner—as a man with a burden for the eternal souls of others.
“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” Acts 17:16
We can try to incite a burden in others, but only God can really stir our hearts to the level of sharing His burden.
A burden is developed by seeing the eternal needs of people.
If you’re convicted, as I often am, of your lack of a burden for others, pray for a burden. Let God stir it within you.
And meanwhile, share the gospel. Sometimes our lack of burden is because we simply aren’t out in the community seeing the needs of people. Sometimes my burden and passion increases once I pull away from my desk and go out into the community to find someone with whom I can share the gospel.
When Jesus saw people, He did not see them as a crowd or as a nuisance. He saw them as individuals, and He was moved with compassion for their spiritual needs. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:36–38
See people with the eyes of Jesus, and His burden will be your burden.
Supply 2. Recognize your responsibility.
Christ commanded us “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15). Many Christians profess a deep concern for lost souls, but they never share the Gospel with lost people! As it has been said, “His last command should be our first priority.”
Supply 3. Submit to the Holy Spirit.
Let the Holy Spirit direct your conversation and guide your responses at each home to which you bring the Gospel. Also be obedient to obey the Holy Spirit’s promptings to witness to others all week long—even if it is not during your scheduled soul-winning time.
Supply 3. Evaluate your progress.
We regularly evaluate our efficiency in areas in which success is vital. If your desire is to see people saved, weekly ask yourself some evaluating questions:
How many unsaved people am I currently cultivating a relationship with?
How many people has God used me to reach?
How many others am I involving in soul winning?
Supply 4. Allocate your time.
The best intentions in the world only make a difference if we follow through. And the best way I know to follow through on a good intention is to schedule it. What gets scheduled gets done. What doesn’t get scheduled, often doesn’t get done. Regularly set aside time to go into your community to give the Gospel to others.
If we will see people saved, we need a holy urgency—a fervency—that insists on making soul winning part of our regular routines. “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” John 9:4.
I truly believe that if we are too busy to regularly tell others about the Lord, then we are too busy. Soul winning must be one of the “priorities” in our schedule. “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15–16
Supply 5. Participate with a partner.
Going soul winning with a regular partner provides mutual encouragement and accountability. If you are a new Christian, an experienced partner will train you, and if you are a mature soul winner, taking a young Christian with you allows you a disciplining opportunity.
Have a regular partner with whom you go out on a regular basis. This provides both encouragement and accountability. Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9–10.
Taking someone else out with us also provides an opportunity to invest in and mentor another Christian. I like to go soul winning with newer Christians. I would encourage you to do the same. Perhaps this would be someone who’s not even going out now but would if you would ask them to be your partner and offer to train them.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2.
Supply 6. Go in expecting faith.
Faith pleases God, and God honors faith. Trust God to use you when you go soul winning, and go with an expectant heart.
Supply 7. Follow-up on prospects.
Keep a “sweetheart” list of people who are interested, but have not yet accepted your invitation to church or made the decision to trust Christ as Savior. Regularly, visit, send a note, or call them. Remind them that you’re praying for them, and demonstrate your sincerity of interest in their eternal destiny.
Supply 8. Assimilate guests.
When guests visit your church, involve them immediately. Enroll them in an adult Bible class, invite them to fellowships, and, once they are saved, encourage them to be baptized and participate in discipleship.
Christ left us here to lead others to Him. I trust these tips help you to fulfill your mission.
Supply 9. A Process
A process with this level of care requires strategy and purpose. Just like building a house. It requires a plan—as a church and personally. It requires goals. It requires keeping a list. It requires prayer and faithfulness. It requires Spirit-filled soul winners who are tenacious in their obedience and diligent in their efforts.
Ultimately, it is Christ who builds the church—His church. He positively declared, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
But He has chosen to make us His co-laborers. May we labor faithfully as wise builders with a clear goal in mind."For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:9
When Christ gave the Great Commission, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19). This is an assignment that requires more than “putting in the time.” It requires a careful and strategic plan.
We all understand this in relation to missions, but we don’t always see it in relation to reaching our own communities.
THE SMPLE TRUTH OF JOHN 3:16
Sometimes we are so clever we fool ourselves. There are times when John 3:16 is all that's necessary in our presentation. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
God loved the world. The problem is that the world doesn't love God. But God solved the problem of our sins in giving His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. It's all there in one verse.
HERE ARE A FEW SIMPLE EXAMPLES OF THE SALVATION PLAN
EXAMPLE #1 - WHAT IS A SAVIOR?
We call Jesus our Savior. Here is an example of how to explain to someone that you are witnessing to what a savior is.
Let's suppose that you are 10 miles from shore and your boat sinks and you can't swim. Along comes another boat as you cry out for help. - What is a Savior?
Let's say that the man in the boat throws out a book for you entitled "How to Swim". Would you call this man a savior.? I don't think so. You may have a few other names for the fellow with your last breath, but I doubt that it would be savior.
Now let's say that he gets out of the boat and shows you different methods of swimming. He shows you the dog paddle, the backstroke, and a few other things. Is this person a savior.? NO! You might call him an example at best.
How about if he throws you a life preserver, pulls you into his boat, gives you a blanket, some hot chocolate and takes you about a mile from shore and throws you back into the water so that he may continue on his way. Is he a savior.? NO! Maybe an indian giver. He really didn't save you because you will still drown one mile from shore just as quickly as you will ten miles from shore.
None of these examples are of a savior. A savior. is one that gets you out of the water into his boat and takes you all the way to shore.
Jesus did not just give us a book with instructions in it, He was not just an example for us to follow, He does not take us part way to Heaven and then cast us back out again. When Jesus saves us, He stays with us through this life and takes us all the way and sets us on Heaven's shore. That's what happens when you accept Jesus as your savior. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5).
EXAMPLE # 2 – THE ABC's OF SALVATION
You can use this approach with any age group even children, who are acquainted with the ABCs that they have learned at school. You may be surprised to know that the same order of presentation can be used effectively when witnessing to adults as well.
A - ADMIT they are a sinner in need of salvation. Show them they are guilty of sin. Romans 3:23. That they deserves to die. Romans 6:23. One day they will be judged by the Lord. Hebrews 9:27. They cannot save them self by good works. Titus 3:5. (Here you put your memory verses to work.)
B - BELIEVE the facts of the gospel. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for our sins on the cross, and He rose again from the dead. He is the Savior of those who believe in Him. Romans 5:8; John 3:16, 36.
C - CALL upon the Lord. Ask Jesus to come into their heart. Psalm 145:18; Romans 10:13.
Once you have learned the ABCs use them in sharing the gospel of Christ.
EXAMPLE #3 - THE THREE R's OF SALVATION
Students are familiar with the 3 R's of education: reading, writing, and 'arithmetic. You might use the 3 R's in your witness for the Lord.
R - RECOGNITION of sin and its consequences. Use the same Scriptures as in Example 2 in the ABCs. (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:27 and Titus 3:5)
R - REPENTANCE of sin. This means that we acknowledge our sin, and turn to the Lord. Acts 17:30 is a good verse to use here.
R - RECEIVE the Lord Jesus as Savior by faith. John 1:11, 12. Believing is receiving.
Let the Holy Spirit lead you, as there is no one rule or set way that fits all to share the Gospel. Keep in mind each situation and the individual. One of our salvation stories of the farmer and geese in a snowstorm are one of our most viewed pages on a straitforward Gospel message here.
As you share the Gospel message people like real stories and give some thought ahead of time how you would present the Gospel with your testimony. My example was riding a bicycle which I called disconnected here.