Evangelism for Beginners
Oct 19, 2016 // By:Dave // 10 comments
Evangelism is something all believers (including you”beginners”) are called to do (whether you have the spiritual gift of evangelism or not).
Matt 28:16-20 “the great commission”
1 Pet 3:15 reminds us to have an answer ready for the faith that is within us.
In this previous post, Why is New England so Hard to Evangelize?, I discuss the results of choosing to not share our faith.
the very word evangelism comes from the root greek word angelos (meaning message) and is the basis of our word for angels in the bible (messengers). Evangelize means “to give or pass on a message.
A word which has become translated and lost it’s real meaning in today’s culture is “apologize“. It really means to offer or give an explanation for an action or belief. Modern usage, since we often accept blame for something gone wrong when we try to explain the reason(s) behind that something, has changed the usage the word to mean to express sorrow or grief for something gone wrong (or at least to take blame for it). This is not the real meaning of the word. The exact meaning is to “offer a defense”. “apo” means “from, and “logos” means “word, speech, or story”, thus apologos means “story from”.
Lets tie these back to the purpose of this post: Evangelize and Apologize.
- We are commissioned by our Creator, Savior, and Comforter to take the gospel (good news) story which we received and give it freely to others. (that’s evangelize)
- We are to share what we believe and why we believe it. (that’s apologize)
If we desire to successfully do this we need to be organized in what we believe and why, which will help organize how we share it. Evangelism is not difficult at all if done correctly (right motive, right information, right timing, etc)
Here are some pointers to help you get started. from wikihow 🙂
Sharing your faith with nonbelievers can be intimidating and difficult, but also incredibly rewarding. Evangelism is a cornerstone of the Christian faith and can be a great way to connect with people and share your passion in a tactful, friendly manner. You can learn to make the whole process easier by reading a few simple evangelism tips.
I remember being told an addage from the 70’s regarding evangelism: “They wont care how much you know, until they know how much you care“.
- Pick an appropriate location and time. If you want to get out and share your message with as many receptive people as possible, let them come to you not you to them. High-traffic areas good for evangelism might include downtown business districts, street fairs or farmers’ markets, and college campuses.
- Prepare your personal message. You might outline and mark particular verses or stories from the Bible you hope to highlight in your evangelism. Also, prepare anecdotes from your own life as a believer that might serve to interest someone in becoming a member of your church. Whatever you think will connect with people in a personal way is appropriate. You might share:
- Prepare a store of probing questions to ask. It’s helpful to transition from simple conversation into a discussion of faith by leading with probing questions, and it helps to have a good list of them to draw from so you’re not struggling to come up with them on the fly.
- Don’t rush directly into the topic of witnessing. Start with some small talk and ask about what has been going on in his or her life lately. Don’t expect that anyone would immediately trust you. It will take a while before someone opens up to you.
- Lead with a probing question. Ask a question that will lower the person’s guard and get them thinking about larger existential issues, making them receptive to an exchange of ideas. A question like, “What do you think happens when you die?” or “Do you believe in an afterlife?” can be effective at transitioning the conversation into your territory.
- Listen and pay attention. Evangelism isn’t just waiting for an opportunity to speak, it needs to be a real conversation and exchange of ideas. When you ask a question like, “Are you happy in your life?” or “Do you ever feel as if you’re missing out on something?” really listen to the answer someone gives. Aside from giving them the feeling that they have a willing listener, you need to pay attention to what they’re saying to learn to respond accurately and convincingly.
- Talk about your testimony to encourage the person. Tell them about your version of Christianity, what it means to you, and how your faith has changed your life for the better.
- Talk about the Ten Commandments. The Commandments are typically somewhat familiar to the lay person, and a conversation about “laws” can be an effective transition into more theoretical concepts and ideas. Even non-believers can agree that lying, killing, and stealing are to be avoided, and hearing it laid out in those terms can make closed listeners more receptive.
- Lay out the ABCs. Some evangelists like to use a basic introduction method of becoming a Christian as a way of giving a possible convert a concrete list of steps to keep in mind when thinking about developing their faith. The ABC method breaks down like this:
- A: Admit that you are a sinner
- B: Believe that Jesus Christ is the son of the Lord and died for your sins
- C: Confess your belief to Christ
- Provide receptive people with a Bible and other appropriate literature. Have some Bibles on hand to gift to the most receptive of the people you communicate with. (or at least a means to getmore information or the right people to reach out to for more information) dont leave them on their own.
There are more details to each of these points for clearer understanding and increasing chances of successfully sharing your faith (wikihow). Also remember that the real success is the step of faith you take in being obedient to the call of Christ to share your faith and your willingness to be used by Him despite the outward results 🙂
Another resource for apologetics is a growing list of resources right here in our own website: Apologetics: defending the faith. (which has links to some great books and some encouraging videos by pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie.
- This is not “bouncing a bible off someone’s forehead”.
- This is “building a relationship” (however casual it may be).
We are trying to prove:
- that people care about each other
- which creates a bridge to help people understand that God cares as well.
εν διακονια τω θεω, Dave Cadieux