Back in my High School days, I was trained to evangelize. Every student at my Fundagelical run High School had to learn how to give their testimony. Mine was very boring. I attended church since I was born. I accepted Jesus at age three; that’s it. I didn’t have any real great stories of becoming a Satanic High Priest or falling into a life or drug use. I didn’t work the streets as a prostitute. There was no I’m-all-messed-up-on-sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll pre-Christian story followed by a dramatic change of life. Let’s face it; my pre-Christian to saved story is, I used to crawl on the ground and color, now I walk upright and still color.
I’ve taken spiritual gifts inventories dozens of times and never once have I been identified as having the gift of evangelism. I’m so bad at evangelism that when I had a person ask me about Jesus, the following conversation took place.
Seeker: So, if I wanted to become a Christian right now, all I would have to do is pray?
Seeker: So, we could just pray right now for me to become a Christian?
Seeker: So, what’s stopping us from praying right now for me to become a Christian?
Seeker: So, could we do that right now, could you help me pray to be a Christian?
Me: (Suddenly realizing I should be leading this guy in prayer) Oh yeah. . . yeah OK, Ummm…
Every once in awhile, I look at websites and manuals on how to get better at sharing my faith. I figure after two thousand years of missionary work, Christians must have developed some great techniques. That’s why I landed on the website, “5 Ways To Increase Your Results When Soulwinning”
I thought I’d give it a read. Are you ready? Here we go, step one: Go soul winning more often: If you want to have the opportunity to see more people saved, go out more often! If you go out twice a week instead of just one, you just doubled your opportunity of reaching somebody with the gospel. OK, while technically this is true, is this really a technique? Go more often. I mean isn’t a technique more like start a respectful friendship with the person?
Step two: Talk to more people: You cannot give the gospel to the wrong person, so talk to everyone — the big guy with the tattoos who looks really scary needs the gospel too. God is not selective with His grace, and neither should we be! Ok yes, I suppose shot-gunning some evangelical spiel might eventually hit a target. Is this a technique? Is this the best they got? Seriously these aren’t techniques; these are just common sense.
Step three: Be a soul winner all the time: Don’t just regulate your soul winning to Thursday nights or Saturday mornings. Be on the lookout for the souls of men all the time; at work, at school, the gym, Walmart, the park, etc. Wait! That’s just step one re-written as another step. I was promised five steps, and already I’m getting a repeat!
Step four: Stay out longer: If you go soul winning for an hour, you have an hour to reach people with the Gospel. If you stay out an hour and a half, you just gave yourself 30 extra minutes that you could use to talk to somebody about Jesus. Ummm. . . that’s just talk to more people again. Who’s writing this stuff? Seriously, was this written by a stressed-out youth pastor hopped up on caffeine trying to write an article for the church newsletter at the last minute because the senior pastor told him to? It’s written by some guy named Joshua Harris. Not the famous one.
This guy is some Independent Fundamentalist Baptist guy. Let’s just say that the IFB isn’t known for scholarship.
Step five: Give the gospel to multiple people at the same time: Don’t be scared to talk to two friends at the same time or maybe a couple. This is just talk to more people. They told me I’d get FIVE techniques and all I’ve gotten is two re-written to be five.
Wait! there’s another one Go with more people: Soul winning synergy is an amazing day. The more you have out soul-winning the more you will be able to reach, and if any church wants to saturate their area with the Gospel they need to follow the law of synergy, which says: two people working get the results of three, and four gets the results of five, and six laborers get the result of eight and eight get the results of 10.
Ok, that’s six. I told you that IFB guys weren’t known for scholarship; apparently they aren’t known for being able to count to five. And this is just talk to more people again.
Over two thousand years of missionary work, and these are the TOP FIVE? Honestly, I think I’d have more luck with a Chick Tract.
Maybe I’m missing something. I mean evangelism isn’t my gift, but even a total non-evangelist like me can see this list is lacking. Want to be a better evangelist? Talk to more people more often. Just the thought of how poorly this list was written makes me want to go introvert in a corner.
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