I’ve pulled into the parking lot of places before and had no clue what door I was supposed to enter into to get to where I wanted to go. Normally this is a big place, but doesn’t have to be. More than one entrance presents many options. Then I’m like, “Oh man, where do I go? Who is watching? Etc.”
When you prepare to share the gospel, I get the impression that the same sort of anxiety creeps up on you, “What door am I supposed to go into to share my faith with this person?” In other words, while we have a great desire to share our faith, when we approach someone to do it, we freeze up and don’t know how to open up or which direction to go.
I want to share a few ways you can start a gospel conversation. These have been learned along the way and are in no way exhaustive. Equally, I do not know it all! I am just one beggar telling other beggars where they can find bread! These are some ways I’VE used though…so here we go:
1.) Hand someone a gospel tract say, “This message has changed my life and I want to share it with you.” I actually heard this at a conference I attended. Someone shared that they used it and it just helped them be a ease. I agreed!
2.) Hand someone a gospel tract and say, “We live in a world full of bad news and I just want to share this good news with you…” Here’s the deal: Most people are probably having a pretty tough day/week. We are inundated with bad news in our constant news cycle. Breaking news comes across our phone and it’s normally depressing. Another shooting. Another scandal. The Gospel is GOOD NEWS!
3.) Indicating a time when you are going to pray, ask someone, “How can I pray for you? Do you have any prayer request I can pray for you about?” Be prepared for them to be shocked so give them about 5-10 seconds to get their thoughts together. That should say something about our society–most people hear complaints and demands! Obviously, introduce yourself quickly and get the persons name. So, for example, if you are about to order your food or eat your food you can get your waiter or waitress attention by saying, “Listen we are about to bless our meal and I am just wondering, How can I pray for you? Do you have any prayer request?” Similarly, if you are having small talk with someone at Walmart or in the doctors office you may say, “I try to pray every morning/evening and I just wonder, How can I pray for you? Do you have any prayer request?” Here’s the deal–you’ll then have the opportunity to share the gospel. You can follow up with this by praying on the spot if you so feel led and the situation is conducive for that. If not, simply write the request down or type it out on the phone. Then you may follow up with questions about where they stand spiritually? “Do they go to church anywhere? Are they a follower of Christ?” Let the Lord lead…who knows, you may be able to say, “Would you like to be saved today?…!”
4.) “Do you have any spiritual beliefs?” I’ve used this question a lot because it allows the person to show where they stand and that’s great! This question comes from How to Share Jesus without Fear and I like it. William Fay developed and has championed this method. This will normally open the door for a gospel conversation with the goal of leading them to Christ, if the Spirit allows. This question can be used in door-to-door and within general conversations in public.
5.) The Three Circles (below) essentially teaches that you take the brokenness of humankind and present the gospel by starting with an explanation of God’s design, lead them to understand that because of sin we are in brokenness, and then end with the Gospel that transforms us and puts us on a path to restoration. Below is an actual picture of what you can draw while explaining to someone. I’ve used this several times and is probably my “go-to.” This can be used, again, very naturally as you talk to someone about life in general. Brokenness is ALL AROUND. As you pray, look and listen you’ll inevitably have opportunities! The harvest in plentiful (Matt. 9:37). Jimmy Scroggins, pastor at Family Church, developed this and now the North America Mission Board (NAMB) really champions it. I did a training session once at Beulah using this. I may do it again; that’s how much I enjoy it.
Romans 1:16 says that “the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.” We can only be messengers trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring about transformation. We are sowers with gospel seeds (Mark 4:3)! We scatter it then rest from day to day in the power of God having full assurance that a crop will come (Mark 4:26-29).
Are there any other ways you have found helpful in starting gospel conversations?