of the Gospel
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Romans 1:16 (ESV)
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If you want to go straight to the nitty-gritty of evangelism resources, and avoid the preliminaries, click here.
As Christians, the most important action we can take is to obey the "Great Commission." Most people think of the Great Commission as spreading the gospel by bringing Christ to people and hence to bring people to Christ. Most Christians are familiar with the Matthew version.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
But all the gospels contain a "Great Commission," as does the book of Acts.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16)
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49)
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8)
Perhaps the Matthew version is the best known for a reason. My own reason for favoring it is "make disciples." Our mission is not merely to help people to come to Christ, but to help them grow in Christ. Nevertheless, no one can grow in Christ unless they first come to Christ.
If Jesus calls us to "make disciples of all nations," why are doing so poorly right here in the USA? We are still a "Christian nation," but the portion of the population identifying as Christian is declining and among self-identified Christians, many rarely attend church. How can this be? The shocking answer: among Christians identifying as evangelical, over 90% have never presented the gospel to anyone in their entire lives!
We can hardly bring people to Christ if we never make an effort to. There are many excuses, and we each have our own personal favorites. The one I am most familiar with, and I have used it myself, is that I am not comfortable, in large part because I am not prepared. Well, the Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared," and we are here to help you become prepared.
There are many good resources outlining the various steps to good evangelism. I am going to condense them down to a very short list. When we evangelize, we may have situations where these steps drag out over a period of years. Or they may all take place in a single encounter. We may be involved in only one or two steps while others handle the rest. The key is that it is best to be prepared to handle all the steps. Note that many define evangelism to only include actually presenting the gospel message. I believe in a broader definition. Here are the steps.
Let it be known that you are a Christian. Far too many Christians hide their light under a bushel. Do not be embarrassed to let your faith be known!
Be able to introduce "spirituality" into a conversation, or to recognize when someone else introduces the subject.
Be able to present your own personal testimony. This may include the gospel message. But the primary objective is to provide a reason why accepting Christ is beneficial. There is no better way to do this than to tell your own story. If possible, your story should include three essentials: life before, conversion and life after. "Life after" should reflect a changed life.
Be able to present the essentials of the gospel message.
If appropriate, ask for a decision.
Fear not! There are plenty of resources and tools that can help you. Perhaps the most challenging is putting together your own personal testimony, but there are guides and aids for that, as well.
The following links are to all the evangelism resources on this website. Many of these link to addition resources at other websites. Indentation indicates that that the page is also accessible via a link from the parent page.
Easy Evangelism - This page includes a number of tips that focus primarily on identifying yourself as a Christian and helping to introduce spirituality into a conversation.
How to Present the Gospel - This page links to many gospel presentation methods, as well as resources for creating your own personal testimony. And much, much more!
Personal Testimony - Personal Testimony an essential component of effective witnessing, and can be used in conjunction with any of the following gospel presentation methods. Every Christian should be able to give their personal testimony. Here we present a complete package on putting together a personal testimony and how to use it effectively.
3 Circles - This a product of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. While this, being a SBC product, is the approach we are focusing on in the FBCBF Life Groups, there are plenty of other approaches. However, all the methods have videos that can be shown.
The Bridge to Life - From The Navigators (also known as The Bridge Illustration) this method has been around for some time, and based on internet comments, is very popular.
One-Verse Evangelism - Also from The Navigators, this method is somewhat similar to The Bridge, but obviously it relies on a single verse (easy to remember - you probably already know it). Click on the link to find out which one!
Four Spiritual Laws - Not strictly speaking "laws," these were put together by Dr. Bill Bright back in 1957 and, along with a tract, have been used to present the gospel to many millions. The tract isn't essential.
Romans Road (The Roman Road) - Presenting the gospel exclusively (or primarily) using verses from Romans. There is a basic outline and verses to go with it. Versions vary in both the outline and the verses, so you will need to pick and choose.
The Good Person Test - Given how many people think that being "basically good" will get them into heaven, this is a very useful approach to presenting the gospel. But take care. People do not like being told they aren't as good as they think they are. More at the link.
Do vs Done - Very simple, very brief. Possibly too brief, unless you flesh it out or use in conjunction with another method. But so simple that it is a handy tool to have in your toolbox.
EvangeCube - This method requires an accessory, namely an EvangeCube.
FAITH Evangelism - This is an entire course on evangelism rather than just a method for presenting the gospel. But the FAITH acronym can be used as a stand-alone presentation of the gospel.
Android and / or iPhone Apps - This is the easy way out. Just present the gospel message using an app. When putting together the above material, I only found an app for the 3 Circles. It turns out there are quite a few more. Check them out and some to put on your phone. Note that included are several apps that provide tools and training for evangelism, not just presentations of the gospel. This page has much information but is still under construction.
Videos - There are various videos,either presenting one of the above methods or describing how to present them, and these videos are included along with the other information for each gospel presentation method. But there are also presentations of the gospel on video that don't follow any particular "method." Some are excellent, and if your "target" is interested enough to watch, you may find some very helpful.
More Evangelism Stuff:
Why should we evangelize? And why we don't. This includes links to (and comments on) articles on these topics.
Billy Graham Videos. I am no Billy Graham, and neither is anyone else. But he was the most successful evangelist of the 20th century and there are good reasons for that. No non-believer who has not reached "seeker" is likely to be willing to watch a long video. But seekers very well might. And these videos are well worth watching for our own sake. Take a look at some, and keep them in reserve in case the opportunity arises.
Of possible interest:
A Christian Response. As Christians, the main reason to evangelize is to bring people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. When we look at contemporary American culture and politics, it is pretty obvious that not only do individuals need Christ, our country (and the world) needs Christ! This link will open a new window / tab from the UnShackled website listing what is going on and what we, as Christians, should be doing about it (in addition to evangelism).