People’s giftedness in evangelism varies, but everyone can learn how to share the Gospel more effectively. Some possibilities for increasing your skill include :
Study the Bible and notice how key evangelists such as Jesus, Paul and Peter shared the Gospel. How did they present the Gospel? With what kind of people did they frequently interact? (tax collectors, Jews, Gentiles, prostitutes, etc.) What questions did they ask? What stories did they tell? What facts about the Gospel did they deem important?
Do you know someone who is gifted in evangelism? Ask them what they think is important about sharing the Gospel. Ask them if you might be present with them sometimes when they share the Gospel.
Read and study. Many materials are available for purchase on the web (cf. amazon.com), such as:
Out of the Salt Shaker (Becky Pippert)
Just Walk Across the Room and Becoming a Contagious Christian (Willow Creek Resources)
The Master Plan of Evangelism (Robert Coleman)
Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (JI Packer)
But most of all, engage in evangelism. Learn from your mistakes. Ask God to give you plenty of opportunities, and a gentle boldness.
The only way to develop those skills is by stepping out and doing it. Pray for opportunities and start simply. The most important skill is to know what the Bible teaches as a whole and use Scripture as you explain the gospel to people. If you have verses memorized, you can use them in speaking to others. If you know the word, you will be prepared to answer people’s questions. If you don’t know the answer to a question, admit it up front. You could say that you will do some more research on that issue and get back with the person. That gives you an opportunity to get together again and talk some more. Practice hospitality as the context for sharing your faith.
Ask someone, “What do you think about God and Jesus and the Bible?” Get their opinion and go from there.
Read some good books and take a training course in Evangelism. Learning the material is helpful, but don’t be dogmatic about what method to use. But these training courses are good to give us some kind of structure on the main issues in sharing our faith and preaching the gospel to lost people.
Three Training courses in Evangelism:
1. Evangelism Explosion (the book and course written by D. James Kennedy)
2. The Way of the Master (Ray Comfort)
3. Continuing Witnessing Training. (The name of the Southern Baptist Course I took in a baptist church around 1981-1983. It was basically the same content as Evangelism Explosion, but in a different format, as I recall.)
1. Out of the Salt Shaker and Into the World by Becky Pippert
I read that book many years ago, so I cannot vouch for every detail of it anymore. But I remember that it helped me relax with people and be more personable at the beginning. Most people are turned off by a canned speech or a memorized “schpeel” one goes through.
I also read the first 3 books below about 30 years ago – they helped me in Evangelism in being better prepared for questions that would come up. There are some things in them that I don’t agree with today, but overall they are good books. Use discernment.
1. How to Give Away Your Faith, by Paul Little
2. Know Why You Believe, Paul Little
3. Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis
These two I have read more recently – The Case for Faith about 10 years ago. It is from an Evidencial perspective and has good information in it.
4. The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel
This one I read a couple of years ago and it basically says don’t be afraid to use the word of God in evangelism. (From a Presuppositional Apologetics point of view.)
5. Always Ready, by Greg Bahnsen
There is ongoing debate among Evangelicals about what is the best method of Apologetics to use with people. The Presuppositional Method says that we don’t let the other person judge God or the Bible, that we don’t give ground to them by trying to be neutral in our argumentation. It says that God exists presuppositionally, and we don’t allow an atheist or agnostic to say, “there is no evidence that God exists”. This method already presupposes that God, the Trinity exists and He has spoken in His word, and His word is sufficient for evangelism and that unregenerate people are in bondage to sin and they cannot understand unless the Spirit of God opens their heart and mind to understand.
6. Covenantal Apologetics by Scott Oliphant – I am reading this now (Sept. of 2013) and it is helping me understand the Presuppositional method better. Dr. Oliphant prefers the term, “Covenental Apologetics”
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