By John Sorenson
Evangelism Explosion International
Do you ever get nervous about sharing the Gospel? For May, we at Evangelism Explosion have partnered with the Go Movement and many other ministries to equip and encourage Christians to share their faith. So this month, I’d like to share three witnessing tips that could be the confidence booster you have been waiting for to get started: being intentional in sharing the Gospel, looking for “Divine Appointments,” and using words to communicate what Jesus has done to others. Ready? Let’s get started.
Some time ago, I was on a radio show, and a young lady was interviewing me. At some point, she realized that I was talking about intentionally sharing the Gospel with others. She bemusedly said, “So you mean you’d actually start a conversation with someone with the express purpose of sharing the Gospel?” In her mind it was disingenuous, but actually, it’s a picture of authenticity and intentionally loving others.
You see, I’m a huge introvert. So for me to learn to witness and obey Jesus, I had to learn to be intentional. Jesus commanded in Matthew 28, “Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations.” He also said, “If you love me, you’ll keep my commands.” I do love Jesus, so I needed to learn to keep his commands!
In fact, I had a mentor who showed me a great example of intentionality. Dr. D. James Kennedy, the founder of EE, was this way! He’d be having a normal conversation with a person; and the moment he decided to share the Gospel, he would slap his knee. That was the moment he decided to introduce Christ into the conversation.
Now every day of my life, I try to be intentional and talk about spiritual things with others. And today, I’d like to invite you to do the same. So try it! Look for opportunities to bring Jesus into your conversations.
The Holy Spirit is softening and drawing hearts to Himself every day all around us. And we can be a part of His work. One of the very best ways to join the Holy Spirit is by praying for what we like to call “Divine Appointments.” I can’t tell you how many times He has led me to a person who was waiting for someone to share the Gospel with them. One day in Arizona, I met a twenty-one-year-old named Raymond who was waiting at a bus stop. He told me that he was in a recovery program that talked about God but hadn’t shared much about how he could know Him. Raymond was sitting there wondering how he could find out more when we walked up. With tears in his eyes, he accepted Jesus after hearing the Gospel and said, “Thank you! This is going to change my life.” I have to say…that day was a lot of fun!
Now, here are a few things you should know regarding “Divine Appointments.” Firstly, we need to open our eyes to where the Holy Spirit wants us to go and who we’re to talk to. The best way to go about this is by going to Him in prayer. And it’s not just strangers the Holy Spirit can lead us to, it’s also people that He’s placed in our lives. It could be a coworker, a spouse, a family member, a friend…I’d encourage you to start praying if you haven’t already for God to work in their hearts even now. It’s not our job to change them — that’s the Holy Spirit’s work! But we are, however, called to be faithful – to share with them and to pray for them.
And secondly, after we pray for the Holy Spirit to lead us, we need to be faithful to follow through and share the Gospel with those that He leads us to. This is an act of faith, and God always blesses obedience.
“Preach the Gospel at all times; use words when necessary.” I’ve heard this famous quote attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi over the years; but, you know, there’s actually no evidence that he actually said it? And, to be honest, it’s silly if you think about it. The truth is you can’t preach the Gospel without words.
I’ve seen this in my own life. When I lived in Nebraska many years ago, I was good friends with my neighbor. I did all sorts of good things for him, hoping he would see the way I lived for Jesus. I took the trash out for him, shoveled the snow during the winter in his driveway, and I did it all thinking I was sharing the Gospel with him. But truthfully, if I would’ve died during that time, Bill would have thought, “Wow, John was a really nice guy. I wish I could be more like John.” You see, that wasn’t the message I was trying to get across at all!! In fact, it was the opposite of the Gospel—showing him that I was a good person because I did good things.
Now, please don’t mishear me—it is absolutely vital in our growth and walk with Jesus to obey Him and to grow to be more like Him. We absolutely should be living out the Gospel, but merely doing so is not enough. We also need to communicate it.
It reminds me of the verse in Romans 10: “So then faith comes by hearing…” The Gospel is made up of propositional truths that have to be communicated and understood. In fact, saving faith is made up of knowledge, assent (or agreement), and trust. To know the Gospel, someone has to share it with you; then you can agree with it and then put your trust in it—the saving work of Jesus Christ. So then, do you see? It’s impossible to share the Gospel without words!
Our website, www.gotrainingday.org, has some excellent tools to help you learn to communicate the Gospel with others. Let’s get ready and share this month! May God bless you immensely as you step out in faith and share the Good News of the Gospel with others.
Rev. John B. Sorensen, D.D. is the President/CEO of Evangelism Explosion International, headquartered in Arden, N.C. EE has been a leader in equipping Christians to share their faith for more than 50 years. For more free tips and resources, visit evangelismexplosion.org, or follow John on Twitter, @jbsoresen.
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