BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Dear Colleagues,

TEN PRINCIPLES OF PERSONAL EVANGELISM?+

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Sharing your faith effectively with others is among one of the most challenging  experiences you will encounter as a disciple of Christ.  How to proceed? Hopefully, the following Ten Principles will instruct and encourage you in this important area of your walk with God:

#1  Ask people if you can pray for them:  Instead of trying to turn a conversation toward God, simply ask people, Can I pray for you? Surprisingly, many people open up, which in turn provides further opportunities to share the Gospel.

#2  Be yourself:  You dont have to have the answer to every question.  You can say, I dont know, but give me a week, and Ill get back to you. It is ok to be limited.  You dont have to be a super evangelist, or The Bible Answer Man.

#3  Be prepared:  Master a simple, clear presentation of the Gospel.  Learn to respond to peoples objections to Christianity.  Every believer can share what Christ has done for him or her.  Sharing a prepared, brief and well-stated personal testimony is one of the most powerful tools you can have.

#4  Overcome nervousness:  Many have found that when you ask permission to share, people are usually open. Each person needs to develop his own style. The more you share, the more natural it will become. Initially, it may be awkward. You will just have to work through the rough period until you develop your style.  If we want to share your faith, we must be willing to take a risk.

#5  Pray:  Ask God to give you a special love for your lost friends and associates.  Ask God to give you wisdom and a sense of timing as to what to share and when.

#6  Look for where God is already working:  Ask God to bring people into your path who are open and searching for Him. As you engage in conversation, pepper your speech with references to your faith and then watch for signs of interest. If a person isnt open, dont push it.

#7  Be intentional:  Despite our different giftedness, we all have a responsibility to share our faith. Perhaps the best way to do this is by intentionally developing friendships we hope to share with. The longer we know the Lord, the more our sphere of influence tends to decrease as far as the people who havent heard the Gospel yet.  Thus we need to make the effort to go out of our way to cultivate genuine relationships with unbelievers.

#8  Listen, love and respect:  Learn to focus on loving people rather than just getting results.  Think of being part of a process of lovingly sharing the Good News in a way that draws people toward Christ, instead of pushing them away.  We need to approach people with love and compassion.  If they sense we care for them, they will be more willing to listen.

#9  Be patientThe Kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up day by day and the seed sprouts and grows how he himself does not know.  (Mk. 4:26,27)

#10 Be available: Sharing the eternal truths of the Gospel requires a willingness to sacrifice time and comfort. Perhaps our prayer would be, God, give me one soul for you this year.

Make the most of your chances to tell others the Good News. Be wise in all your contacts with them. Let your conversation be gracious as well as sensible, for then you will have the right answer for everyone. God’s people must not be quarrelsome; they must be gentle, patient teachers of those who are wrong. Be humble when you are trying to teach those who are mixed up concerning the truth. For if you talk meekly and courteously to them, they are more likely, with God’s help, to turn away from their wrong ideas and believe what is true. Then they will come to their senses and escape from Satan’s trap of slavery to sin, which he uses to catch them whenever he likes, and then they can begin doing the will of God… (Col. 4:5,6; 2 Tim. 2:24-26 Living)

+ Adapted from an article in the Biola Connection, Fall 2004, pages 9 14

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