Are you going? And if you're going, are you preaching? And if you're preaching, are you preaching the Gospel?
Monday, August 31, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Here are some practical tips I compiled as I was out witnessing on the streets of Houston. In the end, however, the most practical advice anyone can heed in regards to the work of the ministry was given by Spurgeon when he said,
"Brethren, do something; do something, do something!"
- The chief end of evangelism is not to save souls but to glorify God. Evangelism is, first and foremost, about God and then souls (1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 4:11).
- Successful evangelism is not when a “decision” for Christ has been made but when Christ and Him crucified is preached, as presented in the bible (John 1:12, 13; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6).
- The power of the Gospel is not dependent on any human work. Genuine conversion does not rely on our eloquent words but on the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).
- Know the gospel and why you believe what you believe, especially the essentials of the Christian faith (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 John 9).
- Wherever and whenever you go, always be intentional about evangelism. Whether at the gas station or the grocery store, opportunities to share our faith are always around us (Mark 16:15).
- Our evangelism must always be gospel-centered. While apologetics has its place, speak clearly regarding law and grace and always bring the conversation back to the Gospel (1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 6:14).
- A tesimony is a good springboard but it is not the Gospel. A testimony is personal while the Gospel is universal (John 3:16).
- Avoid foolish arguments and religious disputes. Evangelism is not about winning an argument by our eloquent speech or wise and persuasive words. We are ambassadors for Christ imploring people on behalf of Christ and this is done by presenting Christ to sinners (2 Corinthians 5:20; 2Timothy 2:23-25; Titus 3:9).
- Speak clearly on the basic issues using biblical language. Our words should be seasoned with salt and not sugar! That means use words like sin and not mistakes, hell and not eternal separation (Colossians 4:6, 1 Peter 4:10-12).
- Stay away from Christian clichés such as, “Ask Jesus into your heart", "God loves the sinner and hates the sin", etc. (1 Timothy 4:7).
- Avoid the use of relative language such as, “In my opinion, I believe or I think" (Galatians 1:11-12).
- Stand under the authority of God’s word. If God or Jesus said it then make sure you let people know (2 Corinthians 5:20).
- Watch your hand gestures. Avoid pointing your finger or keeping your hands in your pocket. Our words can sometimes be overshadowed by our body language.
- Memorize and understand scripture in its context. Through the Holy Spirit, it is the word that works regeneration(Psalm 119:11; Hebrews 4:12).
- Continue to learn and grow in the Gospel. Along with preaching to others, preach the Gospel to yourself everyday (1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4; 1 Peter 1:12-13).
- Always speak kindly and lovingly. Remember who we are: fellow sinners saved by God’s grace (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Colossians 3:12; Titus 3:3).
- Show sympathy and compassion to those whom may be suffering but always remember that man’s greatest need is to have their sins forgiven (Matthew 9:36; Romans 3:23).
- Have resources available to hand out such as tracts, bibles, etc. Always be ready for a witness encounter.
- Continue in prayer (Luke 18:1; James 5:13-18). Prayer acknowledges our evangelism efforts are futile apart from God.
- Always remind yourself that we love others because God first loved us. The compassion God has poured out on us should consume our hearts and motivate us to be compassionate towards the lost (Psalm 103:13; Luke 10:27; Luke 11:42; 1 Corinthians 5:14).