Witnessing & Evangelism
Table of Contents
How to Witness to Someone
There are primarily 2 parts to evangelism.
Learning – One part is the intellectual side, you need to at least understand and know why you believe what you believe and what is the reason that you stand on your believe system. This doesn’t mean you need to become a scientist or know quantum mechanics, but be a witness to the personal testimony that God has given you. God calls us to be a testimonial witness of the work He has done in our lives (Acts 1.7-8).
Personal – Second and most importantly for any long term relationship, is the personal side of witnessing; where you learn to love the people you meet and build a relationship with those whom you witness to and show them Jesus truth in love (Eph 4.15). We are to have a passion for saving souls (Pr 11.30).
Heart For Witnessing
- Do you care about other people or are you more interested in personal gain?
- Do you care to see other people grow, or are you more interested in pursuit of your own gain?
- Do you enjoy trying to do what is right even in the face of opposition?
Are you Called to Witness
‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help.
Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.’ – William Booth
Logistics of Effective Witnessing
As mentioned you need to know encourage your own faith to encourage the faith of other, you have to begin by knowing without a doubt there is a creator, even to the point that is doesn’t take faith to believe that there is a creator (faith is to trust in what the creator is telling you to do, its an action word).
- Creation Vs. Evolution
- World Religions
- Bible Theology
- Christian Living
- Witnessing to Family
- Witnessing to Neighbors
- Witnessing to Co-Worker
- Witnessing to Hurting people
- Witnessing to Friends
- Witnessing to Acquaintances
- Witnessing to Stranger
Where to Witness
- Close Relationships
- Through Gifts
This is the most typical type of witnessing and often the most effective form of witnessing that believers do. We are all called to be a witness of who God is to those around us and to share His word with everyone we know. Family, friends, co-worker, etc, we are to share Gods word with everyone in every season (2 Tim 4.2).
Often times when we meet someone and have an opportunity to help them, we are able to share Gods word with them. Other times when we meet someone new through casual circumstances we are given opportunities to share Gods word with them or give them some scriptural message to help them along and remind them of God’s presence in their life.
Open Air Street Witnessing
‘Open Air’ simply means to preach the gospel in an open public place to a large crowd or group of people. Depending on where you go in the world, styles of open air street witnessing will be different, and will in many instances revolve around the culture of the people.
For instance in United State, where the people are used to loud, quick, and flashy responses, you will probably have a little more staging to do or attention grabbers vs. a place like Central America where the peoples senses haven’t been dulled down by as much flashy advertising and they are more attentive to new/different things. Before moving on through this section it would be best to go through the evangelism courses
Will I Open Air Preach?
Some people may think open air preaching is irrelevant to them, but one way or another we should all in some form be a part of bringing the gospel to non-believers. If it is not on missions, we should take time to do it here in the states and at least be a part of those already going on if not create your own. An open air preaching ministry needs a lot of help, it does not have to consist of only 1 speaker. It needs:
- Prayer Warriors,
- Side counselors
- Audio equipment workers
- Multiple speakers
- Financial aids
- Graphic artists or chart designers
So there are literally multiple different way to help spread the gospel into every part of the world. You don’t have to have a degree or be a preacher or theologian, you just have to be a person that wants to bring people closer to God!
Setting / Staging
Get a Soap Box or something to stand on is very critical. It will give the speaker a differential perspective from the rest of the crowd, and give the crowd a focal point for their attention. Preachers often say they have a greater success rate when they get something to stand on. People seem to recognize a person on a soap box and often want to stop and see what they have to say! Standing higher then the rest of a crowd often gives a better voice amplification especially if you are in a cemented area, sound waves can bounce off hard surfaces better.
Depending on the size of your group, it may be a good idea to bring along props, charts, or other witnessing tools. You will also need to gather items if you are going to start off with prizes and crowd gathering questions.
Forming a Crowd
There are quite a few different ways to form a crowd, although depending on where you go it can be very difficult in some areas.
Questions & Prizes
One great way to form a crowd is to open it up to general and interesting questions. Announce that you will award $1, $10, $20, or a ‘prize‘ (depending on your location) to anyone who can answer your question correctly:
Þ see 101 Interesting Questions
Take some time when you being to vocalize the questions and emphasis a reward or “who would like to win $20 right now?” It is the appeal that draws a crowd and stimulates the people. Ask about 2 or 3 questions and give out good prizes to the people or set the stage saying the more questions someone gets correct the higher the reward!
Preparing the Gospel
Now after forming a crowd of a few people, it is good to being sharing the gospel. You can continue playing off of the rewards system you have already put in place by asking something like
” ok next question, whoever believes themselves to be a good person come on up and take the good person test, the winner will receive the grand prize of ‘ ?!!!? ‘ .”
Now when the spectator comes up, you can begin going through the 10 commandments with them while everyone is around listening:
“Have you ever stolen anything before?”
“God doesn’t care about the value of the thing, even something small, have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you?”
“what does that make you?”
“but specifically, what do you call someone that takes things that don’t belong to them?”
“yes, and Have you ever lusted before?”
“Jesus said even if you look at someone with lust you have committed adultery with them in your heart, have you ever looked at someone with lust?”
Then when you have went through and shown them the conviction already in their hearts, and they admit they are not a good person, then you share the power of God and what Jesus did; and in all this having shared the entire gospel with them.
Supporters are very critical for any public gospel event. You need brothers and sisters to contribute in every way possible. If you are a supporter you MUST remember 2 very crucial things:
1.) Take a position to make yourself look like a part of the crowd, people tend to gather where there already is a crowd. Don’t put your back to the preacher, its disrespectful and can be more of a distraction then you know.
2.) NEVER fight with anyone in the crowd, if you are going to speak with someone, do it off to the side, if you see a heckler, let the preacher handle him, as you see below, a heckler is a great crowd gatherer!
3.) Take an active part of the activity as much as you can while you are there, pray, or if you are going to hand out gospel tracts do it as people walk away, because when you hand something to someone they will take their focus off the preacher and start reading the tract.
Prayer Warriors – Very critical, to help with the supernatural forces at work when someone takes the gospel to the lost and the streets. Prayer warriors are there to ask power from God and that His word would go out in power and understanding and acceptance from the people. To ask that many would come to salvation.
To bring down the spiritual enemies of wickedness that hate the spreading of the gospel.
Side Counselors – As the gospel goes out many people will have questions that the preacher/ speaker just will not be able to handle nor address. It is the job of the side counselors to get in touch with those people and even disciple or point them in the right direction. Relationship building and fellowship can even generate from such encounters.
Reputation – if someone asks “have you ever stolen, or lusted?” remember that giving too much information and focusing on your own sin can give a seriously bad impression to your listeners. A former president became synonymous with the word ‘lust’ because he lacked discretion in answering this question. It best to take these kinds of questions with an honest answer ‘ I have broken all the commandments,’ and show how we all need God’s forgiveness and are in need of repentance.
Hecklers – a Heckler is someone that deliberately comes up to make fun of your preaching or does everything they can to downplay you in some way. In all honesty a good heckler can increase a crowd size from 20 to 200 just because people love to see some good drama! Handle all hecklers with 2 Tim 2.23-26 – be patient kind and above all humble.
If you get a low toned or mumbling heckler, just keep speaking and wait for them to speak up. Usually they will get angry enough to speak up eventually. If you don’t have audio equipment, and you have a heckler that keeps speaking over you, just move to a new location, its better to have 10 good listeners then 200 that cant hear you. Learn the hecklers name, and respect them. Show them genuine care and listen to what they have to say, use their words to draw a crowd and bring the conversation back to God and the gospel.
Bless those who curse you, and do good to those whom spite you.
If it is a former Christian, or a true Christian that wants to argue over nitpicky things in the bible like the Sabbath or water baptism, just encourage them blatantly that the more important issue you are talking about is salvation for sinner which is far more important.
Know your Theology – It is important to not only understand the gospel fully but to study your reasons for believing. Take time to study to show yourself approved (2 Tim 2.15)
Preach to Understand – Remember it is the preachers job to make sure the people UNDERSTAND the gospel message. We are to scatter seed, and to water it and cultivate and harvest it; but while we are able, we have to make sure people understand what we are sharing with them. The good soil hearer is the person who hears Gods word and understands! (Matt 13.23)
Anger in the Crowd – some people will get angry when you preach the whole gospel and reveal the sin in their lives. It is a sign of progress with that individual or multiple people in a crowd. A speaker just simple must remain diligent and present the gospel faithfully to their hearers. Rather then the traditional ‘decisions for Christ,’ we need to search for the biblical preaching style and repentance form sin in the hearts of the people. How can sinners repent if they don’t know what sin is, thus we give them the 10 commandments? [Luke 13.3; 2 Peter 3.9; Acts 20.21]
Many say they feel discouraged if they do not ‘reap’ decisions for Christ right there. Seeking immediate results can often reap false conversions, because people are responding to a mans preaching and not because they truly believe by faith in their hearts. If you sow the seed, God will make it grow by faith and in God’s time, it will be harvested!