Don't Present the Gospel, Share It
Sharing the gospel is a conversation, not a presentation.
"If you were standing before God and he were to ask, 'Why should I let you into my kingdom, what would you say?" That is one of the two questions used to turn conversations into gospel presentations in a witness program called Evangelism Explosion.
I challenge you to rewind your mind and work that question into any conversation you had yesterday.
"So you're getting $20 in gas, would you like anything else?"
"Yes mam. I know Betty over here is dying to grab some Lotto tickets, but I would like to ask you a question. . . ."
How about working that question into lunch?
"Can I take your order?"
"I'd like a meat and three with a sweet tea and I'd like to know that if you were standing before God . . ."
How about after practice with the little league coach.
"So I've got you guys down to bring snacks to the game on Saturday."
"No problem coach, but if we don't make it to Saturday and you were standing before God . . ."
I have memorized a small library of evangelistic presentations - EE, CWT, Faith Evangelism, The Net. I value the training, but as awkward as those presentations were, their purpose was to answer a timeless question. When it comes to sharing the gospel, what do you say?
Peter and John met a lame man who was begging for money at the Temple gate. After they get his attention, take note of the apostolic gospel presentation.
But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!" Acts 3:6
It's not exactly EE material, but it was effective.
Use Personal Needs to Point People to Jesus
While you and I are not about to go around town commanding disabled people to walk, Peter and John's two sentences do tell us something important about sharing the gospel. Sharing the gospel is not a presentation. Sharing the gospel is a conversation that addresses personal needs by pointing people to Jesus.
Conversation - Getting to a "gospel presentation" is like trying to stop the chit-chat before a business meeting. It's too abrupt as you are trying to stop end one train of thought and switch tracks to another. Not many conversations that go from college football to telling someone they may be going to Hell end well. Sharing the gospel in conversation is about listening, not looking for an opportunity to interrupt.
Personal Needs - The man couldn't walk. Presentations are sales pitches that ignore people. Conversations are listening sessions in which we share needs. It's not - hear the gospel. It's - here is how the gospel addresses your need.
Point People to Jesus - Ultimately, every need a person has is a pathway to Jesus. What has Jesus taught you about parenting, money, anxiety, marriage, worry, or suffering? To live for Jesus means that you look to Jesus for direction in every area of your life. Share what you've learned from Jesus. Point people to YOUR Savior. Don't make a sales pitch for a Savior. Be authentic and vulnerable. Show people how Jesus' salvation has brought redemption to your every need.
Bible Study and Challenge
Read Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10, and 10:13.
- What do these verses teach us about the human condition in sin?
- what do these verses teach us about Jesus?
- What do these verses teach us about how a person is saved?
Work on memorizing the above verses from "The Roman's Road." These verses are effective when sharing with a person who wants to know how to come to Christ and be saved.