“You HAVE to watch this show… it’s incredible!”

“You’re telling me you haven’t gone there yet? It’s the best new restaurant in town!”

“That’s my favorite coffee shop! Get the Americano while you’re there.”

In life, we rarely hesitate to tell the people around us about the things that we love. Yet, when it comes to our faith, we rarely speak up. Why is that? Evangelism is simply telling people about someone (Jesus) that you love, but for some reason it seems much more difficult to do than telling someone about the latest Netflix series you binged.

We know that Jesus commands us to tell others about Him (Matthew 28:18-20) and we probably even have the desire to do it, so what’s holding us back? Oftentimes we feel like we’re not good enough or we don’t have the right words to say. In reality, we have everything we need to participate in the work of evangelism. Sometimes, we just need some help to get started and a boost of confidence to believe we can do it!

A few weeks ago we had the privilege of spending some time with Chris Dew, a traveling evangelist and speaker, when he came to Wooster to preach at Grace Students. While he was here, Chris spoke to our student and adult leaders and gave us 9 “tips” on personal evangelism. Hopefully these tips help you to tell the people you love about the God who you love.

  1. Enjoy God
    • If we are to tell others about God, we should be people who enjoy God as much as possible! You won’t share what you don’t enjoy – and you cannot pass on what you do not possess. The first step to sharing your faith is to have a vibrant, thriving relationship with God that is evident to others.
  2. Pray
    • We must pray for God to move in the lives of people. Before we ever talk to people about God, we should be talking to God about the people in our lives who need Him. Spend time in prayer for people, for their salvation, for their openness to the Gospel, and for yourself, that God would guide you in your interactions with them.
  3. Love/Encourage
    • A great way to lay the foundation for Jesus-conversations is to love and encourage the people around you. Intentionally build relationships with people. Be kind. Be compassionate. Show that you genuinely care about their lives. They will notice something different about you.
  4. Serve
    • In our world, everyone strives to get to the top of the ladder, but God’s kingdom is upside down. Jesus said whoever wants to be great in His kingdom must be a servant (Matthew 20:26). We can put that into practice AND use it for evangelism by serving the people in our lives who need God. Again, we’ll show that we’re different, and it will open the door to conversations. Sometimes, meeting a physical need first helps us to meet people’s spiritual needs as well.
  5. Invite
    • Don’t underestimate the power of the invite! In John 1:43-51, we read the story of Philip and Nathanael. Jesus found Philip, then Philip went off to find his friend Nathanael. What did Philip say to get his friend to come meet Jesus? “Come and see.” We can extend that same kind of invite to others to encourage them to come to a place (like church!) where they will hear about Jesus!
  6. Post
    • Social media is where many people are living their lives. Don’t be afraid to use your social media presence to point people to Jesus! People strive to look “authentic” on their Facebook and Instagram profiles. Here’s a challenging thought: If you love Jesus and He’s the center of your life, it’s inauthentic for you to NOT post about Him. Talk about what God is teaching you, what you’re learning in church, and about your new favorite worship song!
  7. Share Your Story
    • One of the most powerful tools we have to tell others about Jesus is our own story! In our post-truth, post-Christian world, people will argue with the Bible, but they can’t argue with your experience! Your story has weight and your friends care about it. Here’s a simple outline for your testimony: What was your life like before Christ, how did you meet Christ and how has your life changed now that you know Christ? Use your story as a bridge to tell others about Christ!
  8. Share the Gospel
    • Not everyone is called to preach the Gospel on stages, but everyone is called to share the Gospel personally. You don’t have to be an evangelist to have the responsibility to participate in evangelism. This is where things can seem complicated. What do I say? What if I get it wrong? Here’s a simple way to share the Gospel in just 4 quick statements:
      1. You were created to have a relationship with God (Col 1:16)
      2. You cannot have that relationship because of sin (Rom 3:23)
      3. You can have that relationship because of Jesus (Rom 6:23; 5:8)
      4. You must choose to have that relationship (Rom 10:9-10)
    • Disciple
      1. Evangelism and discipleship are not at odds with one another. In fact, they are intrinsically combined. If you have the privilege of leading someone to Christ or of mentoring a young Christian, remember that our job is not to see people get saved and then leave them to figure it out. The next step is to disciple that individual to become a fully devoted follower of Christ!

My challenge to you is to put at least one of these tips into action this week. Think of one person in your world who needs Christ and start the process of sharing the Gospel with them. Write down their name somewhere you will see it and begin praying that God would give you boldness and opportunity to share!