Sharing the Gospel
What Does God Want Me to Do?
As believers in Christ, we are all called to love God and seek to become as much like Him as we possibly can. However, He has given each one of us a common directive to tell others about Him. He wants us to share with them how much He loves them. Here are a few scripture verses on this:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15
“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
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
The scriptures tell us in 2 Corinthians 5:20 that we are “Christ’s ambassadors”. And that it is “as though God were making His appeal through us.” And that is exactly what He is doing. We are not only God’s “workmanship”, but we are also His workers. We are vessels of His mercy and grace who reveal Him to the world. We do this by sharing the good news of the gospel and by walking in a way that Christ is revealed through our lives. This is how God has chosen to reach the lost… through the preaching of the gospel… and we are His preachers.
Strategies and Techniques
Evaluating your environment – To be an effective witness, you need to be aware everything… beginning with what is going on around you… everything from the weather, to closing times, to noise and other possible distractions. Another very important thing to be aware of are other people who are nearby. This can be a positive thing or negative. Oftentimes, others will act as though they are not listening to your conversation, but are actually paying very close attention. Your primary focus should always be the individual you are talking with, but just be aware of who else may be listening in.
Your own physical appearance – Very importantly, you will need to be aware of your own self… how you appear to others. Many a promising opportunity is ruined because someone is totally unaware of what they look like, and how they appear to the person they are attempting to share with. Please look in the mirror. Practice good personal hygiene, E.g., groomed hair, clean shaven, clean body, clean clothes, etc.
Your facial expressions and body language – Former United States President Abraham Lincoln once said, “Every man over 40 knows what he looks like” or at least he should! Your facial expressions and body language can often communicate to someone much more that what you actually say. We all know this from our own relationships and communication with others. Practice smiling and having a pleasant disposition. If this is a challenge, you may need to get before the Lord and find out why. You may need some house cleaning in your own heart… maybe some good old-fashioned repentance and forgiveness where it is needed. We represent Christ to the world. Our face and especially our “eyes” ultimately reveal what is going on inside of us. When the heart is right with God and walking in His favor, our entire being reveals that to all who encounter us. This cannot be emphasized enough. Many in the world today are looking for genuineness and authenticity, and when they see it, they know it. You will surely have their attention and they will often respond favorably to what you are saying.
One on One – The simplest approach to soulwinning is when you are sharing with one other person. This could be someone you already know, for example a friend, family, co-worker, classmate, etc. or it could be someone you are meeting for the first time. It is important to understand that there is a difference in approach depending on the relationship. A good rule of thumb is… “The more often you will be seeing the individual, the less you may want to say at any one time… and the less often you will be seeing them, the more you may want to cover as time permits.” The reason being… in the first example here, they will have ample time to “watch” your life, to see if your life exemplifies a life that they would want to have. Like the old adage… “Actions speak louder than words.”, but as someone else later and wisely added… “But actions WITH WORDS, speak louder than both.”
However, when you only have a few minutes, or even seconds, you can still say something of value. We’ll address this a little later in this section.
Discerning the person you intend to talk with – Be conscientious! Pay attention to the little things. You can tell quite a bit about someone by just opening your eyes and noticing things like… what they are wearing… what they actually are doing at that moment… their body language… and the expression on their face. We should also be aware of cultural and social distinctions which may help us “relate” to them on some common ground. Some of this is simply “common sense”, yet even more importantly, you will need “spiritual discernment” which comes only from the Holy Spirit. One of the special gifts given by the Holy Spirit is the “gift of the message of knowledge” 1 Corinthians 12:8, which is simply that supernatural ability to know something about the person that you would have no way of knowing otherwise. God will sometimes do this to help us in our witnessing. This does require a close walk with the Lord and a discerning ear of the Holy Spirit’s voice.
You will need to be a good listener to the person as well. People can tell if you are really listening to them or just want to get your point across. Let them know that you care enough about them to listen to what they are saying. Things like saying their name often, or even repeating back a few of the points they are making, can show them you are listening.
Your initial words – The “first impression” you give someone is always important and you only have one opportunity to make one. It is the foundation for everything else that follows. Words are such a powerful force. Solomon once wrote, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”. We need to be ambassadors of the love of God. He chose for us to be His mouthpiece in the world. It is such an honor to be used by the God of the universe to represent Him to those around us.
Practically speaking, generally a simple greeting is all that is needed. Anything from “Good morning”… to “Hi there”… followed by an engaging statement or question. One of the best things to do is to look for common ground… something maybe you noticed about them. Often there are visible clues about them from something they are wearing… an emblem on their hat or shirt… maybe a sports team or a country’s or city’s emblem or some other distinguishing mark. One thing to never do is to fake it, or act as if you know something that you don’t. Again, this will come off as lacking authenticity, or ignorance, or worse.
You may want to ask things like… “Has anyone ever shared with you the gospel of Jesus Christ?” or “Have you ever thought about eternity… and what happens after death?” or “Do you know for sure after you die, that you will go to Heaven?
Hopefully, the person will engage with you in a conversation and possibly share some personal feelings, thoughts and even questions. We will be covering “Handling difficult questions and objections” in the next section. The more conversations you have with others about the things of God, the easier it will be and the more effective you will become as well.
Sharing with two or more individuals – This can be a little more challenging since more often than not, individuals are reluctant to share any real personal information when others are present, especially friends or co-workers. Yet, at times, it can be a blessing, particularly when one of them does open up to you in front of the others. If that person is respected or followed by the others, they may be influenced to open their hearts and minds as well.
Sharing with a large group or audience – This of course, can be even more challenging, especially for someone who has little or no experience talking in front of a group of people. It requires courage to say the least, but can reap wonderful results when done right and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
When you only have a minute or even a few seconds – Just a simple, “God bless you” or “Have a blessed day” can spark a smile with someone. And God can use this. Even your smile can affect someone else who feels discouraged. We are here to “INFLUENCE” our world, so let’s keep our eyes open for every opportunity to let Christ shine through us.
Using Heaven Cards – One powerful tool for sharing Christ with others are Heaven Cards. These colorful plastic cards with an inspiring word or scripture on them are a great way to initiate a conversation… much easier than just words alone. Here are some of the benefits of using Heaven Cards in your witnessing efforts:
- People love to receive gifts… especially when they bring value to them. You are giving this to them as a gift… with a smile… and a kind word. The cards are rarely refused, and almost always received gladly and with appreciation.
- They are a great ice-breaker for you, and for them as well. It gives their eyes a place to go, and takes away some of the awkwardness that can be there initially. When they see what you have given them… that it has a positive message on it, they will almost always thank you… and now a conversation has begun to develop, even it is just momentary.
- You can show them The Heaven Guy website on the back of the card and tell them about the short 6-minute video. You may even be able to share with them about the many features of the website, and encourage them to go there. You will especially want to ask them to watch the video with its highly effective presentation of the gospel. You can mention that it was filmed with international students from 12 different countries, and 5 continents. And so very importantly, the video offers the tremendous opportunity to commit their life to Jesus in the salvation prayer! There is nothing more exciting and rewarding than that for the soulwinner!
- The Heaven Cards are in several major languages with new translations being added often. Each of the cards are able to be viewed on the website from the Navigation Bar at the top of the Home Page.
- You will also want to invite them to fill out their name, email and any comments if they visit the website.
Sharing Your Story
It has been said that the most convincing words you can share with someone are those of your own personal testimony. No one can really argue with you on that. Plus, your face and emotions will back up your words, and communicate your story effectively. Just say, “This is what Jesus did for me…” or “Once I was like this… but now I am…!” The Lord will back you up!
Joys and Rewards
Here is an amazing verse where Paul reveals what he considers to be one of the greatest rewards he will be receiving when Jesus returns… It is those he has led to Christ and labored over in love… It is those he will be sharing the joys of heaven with for eternity.
“For what is our HOPE, our JOY, or the CROWN in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when He comes? Is it not you? Indeed, YOU are our glory and joy!” 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and THOSE WHO LEAD MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS, LIKE THE STARS FOR EVER AND EVER.” Daniel 12:3
As one of our Heaven Cards shows… “The one thing you CAN bring with you to Heaven… PEOPLE!”
“Tis one life and soon will pass… and only what’s done by Christ will last.” Paul shares with us in I Corinthians 3:12-15 a similar truth concerning our future judgment and rewards.
“If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”