When I was around the age of eleven, I began witnessing with a woman from my church who had the spiritual gift of evangelism. She would talk about Christ with people she had never met and sometimes lead them to Christ. I was inspired to do the same. I began going to fairs and witnessing at booths with her and others that liked to do that, witnessing to people at the store or restaurants, and going to other events for the purpose of talking to people about God.
There are a few things about the practice that I’m not particularly proud of, like the fact that lots of people would “pray the prayer,” and it seemed like they just felt like they had to. I didn’t want to give people a false assurance of salvation or “fire insurance.” Despite this, I still believe that talking to strangers (or just anyone) about Christ is important, whether or not we lead them to Him in our first conversation.
If this is something you would like to do (or maybe you wouldn’t like to, but you should), then here are some steps to witnessing that I think will help you.
#1: Don’t rush into it.
Don’t start the conversation with “have you ever read John 3:16?” I mean, you could, but that would be odd. Start the conversation by asking how their day is going, and then ask more personal things like if they go to church and what faith they grew up in.
#2: Let them talk and discover what they believe.
Ask them questions. If they’re a Christian (or say they are), ask them what exactly someone must do to be saved or if they believe Jesus is God. If they are from some other religion, ask them what the fundamentals of that religion are or what/if they believe about God. Be careful not to make it seem like you’re interested in joining their religion or something, as that would be misleading.
#3: Share what you believe, particularly in areas they mentioned, without judgment.
Now share what you believe. If they brought up what their “holy” book says about something, tell them what the Bible says. If someone talks about “judging,” quoting Jesus’ words, you might explain what you believe about that. Of course, do it all very kindly and try to minimize how much they feel judged or tense as much as you can.
#4: Share Scripture verses pertaining to issues you talk about.
Isaiah 55:11 says
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Use Scripture! It has power, and God will use it in the person’s life. I wrote a post for Good Friday that shared some good gospel verses, you can see that here. And here‘s a list of my top ten favorite verses. Some of those would be useful in sharing the gospel.
#5: Lay back!
Again, let them talk, let them interject, and don’t rush back to what you were saying as if it’s more important. Just try to draw the conversation back to fundamentals of Christianity. If they have trouble believing something (like Creation, the virgin birth, or the Resurrection) try to explain it more.
#6: Be super kind.
Again, be kind, show love, and don’t be harsh or correct everything they say.
#7: Point them in the right direction.
Sometimes you can’t lead them to Christ in your first conversation (in fact, most of the time you can’t), and sometimes they’re already a Christian, they just have a lot of growing to do. In both circumstances, just point them in the right direction. Give them a tract or write down the URL to a good Christian blog like Desiring God and give it to them. Point them to where they can find more information if they decide they want to know more.
#8: Don’t be pushy.
The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts, not you. And the Holy Spirit will draw people to Himself. If someone is pushing against the gospel, it’s probably a good sign that they are not being drawn. My Pastor says that leading people should be like picking fruit off a tree when it’s really ripe; it should just drop off with little hesitation. You shouldn’t need to twist it and pull it until it lets go, and if you do that with people, their conversion probably won’t be real.
#9: Lay out the Gospel.
Now to the most important: tell them the gospel. Here are the basics: (as I see them)
- Good news: God is loving and holy, and He has a wonderful place prepared for us.
- Bad news: because God is holy and we are sinful, we cannot be in His presence, and the presence of our sin will condemn us to Hell when we die.
- Good news: Because God is loving, He sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for our sin.
- Three days later, Jesus came back to life, proving He could conquer death and save us from it.
- More good news: if we receive Jesus, we will not be condemned to Hell, but will receive the gift of eternal life in Heaven, and the Holy Spirit of God will indwell us and change our lives in amazing ways.
Wow. The gospel is really amazing. Take a breath. Now go share this great salvation.
I wrote another post where I shared the gospel on Good Friday, here is a link to that one.
And, I have another blog post where I shared tips on witnessing, you can see that here.
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Have you ever gotten to lead someone to Christ or simply talk to someone about Him? I would be really encouraged (and I’m sure others would too) to hear about it. Just comment and share your story!
May our Father give you the right words to say with the right tone of voice for the right motive of love. Thank you.
P.S. We just hit 74 email subscribers! Soli Deo Gloria!