Perhaps the first thing I should say about personal evangelism is that I have never fully arrived in my journey toward sharing the good news with people who need the Lord. I have shared with thousands both here and abroad, but I am keenly aware that there is so much more that I could still learn about talking to others about Jesus. One of the most profound discoveries I ever made about personal evangelism is the incredible role of prayer in the adventure of witnessing. There is an old saying which states, “You will not talk to people about Jesus until you talk to Jesus about people.” Those who want to be used of the Lord in evangelism need to learn to pray through the process. Ask the Lord to help you devise a plan. Ask him to put mentors in your life who will help you learn and grow. Ask him to place specific people upon your heart for whom you will faithfully pray. Develop a sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading toward people around you. Be interested in people. Learn names and call those names when you see people. Look for creative approaches. Develop a winsome approach. Celebrate success by knowing that you always succeed when you share Jesus because the results are ultimately in His hands. Allow people to catch glimpses of who you are in Christ. When they know you are a real Christian they are watching you closely. Pray that Christ will reveal himself through your life. Memorize Scripture. Quoted Scripture is more powerful in its effect than Scripture that is read. It is also easier to listen to someone who looks directly at you as they share Scripture. Master a presentation of the gospel that flows well for you and touches on all the essential truths. Share this presentation with a number of Christians in order to master it. When you are sharing with a lost person if you have a command of what you are sharing it can help put them at ease. They sense your confidence and marvel at your courage. Rarely have I had someone who allowed me to begin sharing with them to cut me off. They are drawn in to the message and really think about what I am saying. I believe it stems from the importance I place on prayer before I share and my clear and straightforward message shared from memory with confidence. Even military officers and wealthy and powerful people have been numbered among those I have been privileged to lead in a prayer to receive Christ. There have also been coarse and rugged people who have listened and responded. All kinds of men and women of many different races have responded over the years. If you really knew me, you would know beyond any doubt that only the Holy Spirit could explain the way God has used me. There is simply nothing in my personality that in and of itself could have made this possible.
A fellow pastor named Jason asked me to write on this subject. It just so happens that on September 13th we will start another semester of training in our church in a program we call “Monday Night Live.” We will be seeking to train people how to share their faith. These blogs will be useful to our congregation as well as to whoever else may choose to read. In the coming days I will enlarge on various elements listed in this opening installment. Feel free to ask questions.