Using an Evangelistic Tool to Share ChristAn evangelistic tool is an effective aid in presenting the gospel to another person. It's a vehicle to help carry the message clearly and concisely while providing an opportunity for the person to respond.
If we agree that the greatest thing in our lives is knowing Christ, then the greatest thing we can do for another is to help him know Christ! But why is it that so many of us hesitate, stumble around, and walk away from someone, frustrated that the message of the gospel didn't come across as we sincerely desired?
One of the reasons many of us don't witness more is because we don't know what to say. We don't know how to clearly present the gospel.
There are many tools the Holy Spirit uses to communicate the gospel: films, books, speakers, etc. However, you will find that a very simple and effective means of sharing the gospel is learning to use an evangelistic booklet or tool. To help us with this "how-to," we will use the example of the Connecting with God booklet.
Here are some of the reasons an evangelistic tool will be beneficial to you:
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." (II Corinthians 5:20)
As ambassadors, we have a tremendous opportunity, as well as the responsibility, to be good communicators. Tools help us toward that end.
Here are the steps we will discuss:
1. PREPARE YOURSELF.
As we prepare to share our faith, a basic spiritual principle to start with is: First talk to God about men, then talk to men about God. Prayer is the only way to begin the task of evangelism.
There are several things we can pray for as we prepare for evangelism. First, we should pray for ourselves, asking God to fill us with His Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who uses our witness and convinces individuals of their need to give their lives to Jesus Christ.
Second, we need to pray for the students with whom we want to share, or possibly for students in general, asking God to lead us to individuals whom He has prepared to hear the gospel. As we pray, God moves and prepares students for the message of His love and forgiveness.
Successful witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, and leaving the results to God.
2. LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES.
In John 4:34-38 Jesus said, "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest!"
Christ's statement gives a vivid picture of our world today, and especially our student world. Over 85 percent of all those who are receiving Christ in our day are doing so before age19. Young people represent one of the ripest spiritual harvest fields in our nation.
As you get involved with students, you can be confident that there are opportunities all around you to share Christ. However, you will need to set your mind on the priority of evangelism, looking for those individuals whom God brings into your life who do not know Him. If you are not looking for opportunities, you will most likely miss them.
3. INTRODUCE THE GOSPEL.
Let's suppose that you have an opportunity to share Christ with a particular student. Perhaps you have set up an appointment to have a Coke and talk about a need he has expressed. Or, you have met a student at a local shopping mall or amusement park and have struck up a good conversation. Now you would like to introduce the gospel.
In many cases, just being "up front" with the student may be the best approach. For example, you could ask: "Can I share a little booklet with you that is helping a lot of students in their spiritual lives? It explains how we can know God personally." Young people appreciate it when you are "up front." It communicates honesty and integrity on your part.
You can also introduce the gospel by relating it to a particular felt need the student has expressed. This establishes common ground. Jesus demonstrated this in John 4:10-14. Examples of transitions which relate to students' felt needs and find common ground:
There will be other times you'll desire to share the gospel with people you have just met, and you do not have time to find out their felt needs before you share the gospel.
Examples of transitions in this situation:
What are other transitions you can think of for various situations with students? Take some time to write them out on a separate sheet of paper.
4. PRESENT THE GOSPEL.
We will use the Connecting with God booklet as an example of presenting the gospel. (Please get your copy now, and we will work our way through it.)
You may be surprised at the positive response most students will give when you ask them to discuss a relationship with God. Using a tool at this point is important because it helps you and the student focus on the message. It keeps the gospel message clear; and it is important to realize that it is this message that has power to capture the student's attention, and more importantly, to change his life. It is not because of us that students come to Christ. We are simply mouthpieces communicating a message, (Romans 1:16).
Introduce the booklet to the student and then begin going through it with him.
Here are a few helpful suggestions in using a tool:
5. ASK FOR A RESPONSE.
The goal in communicating the gospel to someone is to explain to the listener how he can receive Jesus Christ, and then, to ask him if he wants to pray and invite Christ into his life. This is a very important step in sharing Christ with others. You want to give the student an opportunity to evaluate this decision and encouragement to receive Christ.
In the Connecting with God booklet, there are two questions on the bottom of page 8 to help you and the student with this step:
These questions are for the benefit of the person with whom you are sharing. The Holy Spirit often uses them in a person's life. They are not used to determine whether or not someone is a Christian. Only the Holy Spirit knows this. The questions allow the person to stop and think about which circle really does describe his life.
Remember that the objective in sharing the Connecting with God booklet is to share how to receive Christ. This is accomplished at the prayer. Therefore, do not stop at the circle questions. Continue on with page 9 of the booklet, regardless of the response to the questions.
COMMON RESPONSES TO THE CIRCLE QUESTIONS.
"I want to be in the circle on the right."
If the student expresses the desire to have Christ direct his life, go on to the next page and explain how he can receive Christ. Read through the prayer with him, and if the prayer expresses the desire of his heart, ask him to pray silently or aloud (whichever he prefers), receiving Christ into his life.
"I'm not sure."
If he does not know which circle he wants to have represent his life, ask him to go on with you to the next page. Show him how he can be sure Christ is in his life. Read the prayer and ask him if it expresses the desire of his heart. If it does, ask him to pray and receive Christ.
"I want to stay in the circle on the left."
If the student chooses the self-directed life, ask him to look at the next page with you anyway. Show him the prayer and explain that this is how he would receive Christ, should he decide to in the future.
You might also ask him what his main reason is for not choosing to receive Christ. Be sensitive as you discuss it with him. There can be three positive results from this discussion, First, you could help him with serious questions he has, thus helping him with his roadblocks. Second, it will help you know how you can pray for him. Third, he may have his questions answered and choose to receive Christ now, or perhaps at a later date. Demonstrate love and concern for the student, and be sure to leave him with the understanding that this is the most important decision he will ever make. Leave the door open for future interaction. Ask him to keep the booklet so he can read it again later.
"I'm already in the circle on the right."
If a person says that his life is represented by the circle on the right, you could say, "I would like to finish the booklet so you can also use it to share your faith with someone else." After you have gone through the prayer, you can ask, "Have you ever received Christ into your life by faith the way that this prayer expresses?" If he has not, give him an opportunity to invite Christ into his life.
Not everyone who says he is in the right-hand circle actually is. Sometimes people do not understand exactly what you mean. By using this approach and through the prayer, we can help people be sure of their relationship to Christ.
Remember that our objective in sharing the booklet is to share Christ with a dying world. The person with whom you are sharing will miss it all if you do not attempt to bring him to a point of commitment where he either accepts or rejects Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. This is why it is so important to continue the presentation to the bottom of page 9 (if you can), where he is given an opportunity to make such a decision.
6. FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE RESPONSE.
When a student receives Christ with you, continue on with the rest of the booklet. On page 10, share with him the assurance that Christ is now in his life, and that he has eternal life. Review the rest of the booklet also. It is important to share these truths immediately after someone receives Christ.
Next, you will want to set up a time you can get back together within the next week. You will want to follow up his decision with more things out of the Bible that will help him in his new relationship with God. Here's some follow-up studies to aid in follow-up.
Sharing your faith is one of the most exciting and important experiences of the entire Christian life. As you demonstrate love and concern for the needs of those around you, God will give you natural opportunities to share Christ with students and friends.