There is nothing wrong about being proactive in starting to share the gospel with people. It helps if we have some idea about how to do it. It helps to think about this, and plan a little.
There are many ways to start a gospel conversation. In this matter, we trust the Holy Spirit to help us. However, as with anything, the Holy Spirit is not going to seize total control of our legs, mouth and vocal organs to make it happen. As we step out, go places and start talking, often He will help us by guiding us, and putting the right words in our mouths. But many times, God will be very happy to use our words that we use to get things started. Every situation is a little different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use the same approach more than once, if it seems to be helpful.
Step 1 – Decide You Are Going to Do It – Actually Share the Gospel
By far the most important factor in whether or not this happens and you start sharing the gospel is YOUR DECISION that you are going to be intentional and do it. Last night for example, I shared the gospel with my the father of my tutoring client, mostly because I decided it was time to do it. When you decide you are going to talk about Jesus and the gospel with someone, it is much, much more likely to happen.
You need to break through fear to do this if you are not used to doing it. You might want to find another Christian who shares the gospel and ask if they can demonstrate how. You might even need deliverance from a spirit of fear, or fear of man. Do what it takes to get started.
Step 2 – Don’t Be Afraid of Rejection – We Don’t NEED to tell hardened people the gospel
What if they don’t want to hear? What if they are not open? To this I say – as soon as you realize this, smile at the person, wish them God’s blessings and as soon as you can – probably immediately, excuse yourself, and find someone else. There are hungry people around, and we don’t need to waste our time trying to force treasure on hardened and proud individuals. There might be another time for them to come to salvation. It won’t be now.
We want to find the person of peace. That is where the fruit will be. See Luke 10.
Right now, there ARE hungry people not far away from you. You just might have to start a few conversations to find out who they are. Even if only 1 in 20 people you talk to is hungry, the whole exercise is definitely worth it. Remember – you are a new creation in Christ. You are a child of God. You are an ambassador. You have eternal life. You have forgiveness. You are not the one with the problem. Those with hardened hearts are the ones with the problem. But they can’t be helped right now, we can leave them until God, life or the devil deals with them to change their receptivity.
Move on and try again.
Ways to Get Started in Different Situations
These are only ideas. They may or may not suit your style. You might have other ideas which work far better for you. Actually, it all depends far more on the receptivity of the person than it does on how slick or polished your approach is. You can get lots of good ideas by watching others in action, who do evangelism regularly. Feel free to adapt or modify any of these ideas in any way that works for you.
When You Are Out and About
- Smile, and pay a genuine compliment. You might be out door knocking. So if you notice a person working on their garden, pay them a friendly compliment about their garden. Or make any sincere compliment about another person. Watch their body language to sense their level of receptivity. Follow up with a question. Maybe “How was your day so far?” or “How was your weekend?” Then tell them your purpose. “Look, I/we are Christians out here in the community, we’re just looking for people we can pray for and bless. Would you like God to bless you in some way? Do you have faith in God?”
- Hand them a tract. It is helpful to have a small supply of these with you. Just smile, offer a tract, tell them “I thought you might find this interesting”. You can follow up with a question, “Do you have faith in God?”. From there, you could ask them “Have you heard of the three circles?” (No) “Would you mind if I show it to you, it just takes three minutes?” (Wait for a response)
- “I noticed you there and I got the idea that God might want me to talk with you. Is there anything I can pray for you?” (e.g. for sickness. Maybe God will have also given you a word of knowledge you could try to use to start things).
- Use a Survey. I’ve made some survey resources you could use. These work well door-to-door, or in public places where lots of people are hanging around.
When You are with Someone You Know
- Start chatting about something you did which vaguely relates to the Bible or the gospel. Or be listening to things that others say which could be related to the Bible or the gospel. It might be a TV series or a movie. It might be the words of a song. It might be a hot button issue of the day. You can use these kinds of chats to set the tone.
- If you know they have a special need, tell them you are concerned and you’d like to pray for them. Ask them if they believe in prayer, or if they have faith in God.
When You are At Work
- Ask them what they did on the weekend, or what they are planning to do. Chat about that for a while. See if they will ask you the same kinds of questions. Then mention in your answer going to church. Ask them if they have faith in God. Take it from there based on their response.
Ask people if they have heard about the miracles that have been happening in some place.
Ask people, “Have you heard of <some tract name> for example The Way of Life?”
There are many, many other good approaches. With Roman Catholics, in predominantly Catholic countries, I love the question “:Do you have faith in God?” You can then ask other questions like, “In your journey with God thus far, have you come to the place where you are confident that if you were to die, you would go to heaven?” (They will mostly say they are not sure). Then ask: “If there was a way you could be sure, would you want to know it?” If they say “Yes”, then you can share the gospel with them.
If you don’t know a gospel presentation, I would suggest you look up the Three Circles in Three Minutes Presentation on Youtube. This gives a simple, non-compromised gospel message.