One Approach to Sharing the Gospel
As I look back over the last two and half years, it is amazing to me how many people I have been able to share the gospel with simply by trying to have an encounter with at least one person daily. I estimate that by talking with just three people a day (there is most often a group-not just one individual), I have spoken with about 2,000 people in a period of two years. Over ten years that adds up to 10,000 people who get at least some exposure to the gospel. What a huge influence a single person can have by making a habit of speaking to people about the gospel!
The vast majority of my contacts have been with young people. In general, I find them to be both more willing to talk to me and more open to what I have to say than older folks. I speak to them at skate parks, near high schools, at college campuses, at mauls, at fairs, etc.
Ideally I take someone along with me when I share. I find that I have greater courage when I’m not alone and it can also serve as a protection should someone choose to make some kind of accusation. Nevertheless, I am most often by myself because I can talk to many more people if I don’t have to work around someone else’s schedule.
One thing I try to avoid at all costs is getting into an argument with someone I’m speaking with.
It is possible to be “right” in a discussion but to have the wrong attitude. We do not want to win a debate at the expense of our credibility.
Although I always want to be led by the Spirit in my conversations, I have found it helpful to use certain methods in sharing the gospel. Any person who desires to witness will develop their own strategies according to their personality and convictions. Furthermore, each conversation will vary according to the responses of the people involved.
In my last blog, I described the “Good Person” quiz. Another good technique is to take a survey on spiritual beliefs. I learned this approach from the booklet
How Can I Share My Faith Without An Argument?”
vailable on line at
I ask these questions:
Do you have any spiritual beliefs?”
What do think happens when you die?” “What do you believe about Jesus?” “What do you believe about the Bible?” I listen to their responses and then I ask: “Can I tell you my beliefs?” Every person I have done this with has given me permission. I then share the basic concepts of the gospel. Most often, the survey leads to a discussion about the gospel without ever getting to that final permission question.
A strength of this method is that it gives people an opportunity to share their views, which most people enjoy. It is more conversational and less directed than the Good Person quiz. I’ve found that this approach works well with people who are beyond high school-age.
However it does require the person sharing to be able to respond to a wide variety of questions and comments. The person sharing must have a good working knowledge of the Bible and a willingness to tackle any subject from atheism to belief in aliens! Both of these techniques require an ability to discern how and when to redirect a conversation or to continue on the track that it is on.
The spiritual survey has resulted in some interesting encounters and has led to some lengthy conversations about the gospel. In one situation two Teen Challenge students and I were finishing up a conversation with an LDS high school boy at the Junction City skate park.
A 14 year-old boy rode up. I asked this boy if he had any spiritual beliefs. He said that he had believed in God but when his best friend died he began to doubt. The boy went on to explain that he and his friends use to “train run” (standing on train tracks and jumping out of the train’s way just in time as the train approached.) One day as they were train running they encountered an Amtrak train which is considerably faster than they were used to. His best friend next to him did not get out of the way in time and was killed instantly. This boy opened up about how he struggled with the incident and how much he missed his good friend. The boy welcomed the opportunity to express his feelings. Our hearts went out to him and we prayed for him. One of the Teen Challenge students was able to share a similar experience with the boy. (His 14 year old friend got hit, dragged and killed by a dump truck.) He was able to tell his story to the grieving boy and we went away amazed at how God had sovereignly arranged this encounter.
If you’re like me witnessing may be out of your comfort zone but it is astounding how God often shows up when we put ourselves in situations in which we are “over our head” in our service to Him. It is also amazing how often God directs us to talk to the right people at the right time.
Next week: “Expect Opposition”
Copyright Ed Skipper 2013