30 Days of Prayer: Day 22 – Tell of His Love

This entry is part 20 of 23 in the series 30 Days of Prayer

Jesus died for me.My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.
– Hymn, My Faith has found a resting place

 

My hope is in the Lord Who gave Himself for me,
And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary.
For me He died, For me He lives,

And everlasting life and light He freely gives

– Hymn, For me he died, for me he lives

God’s love has worked in your life

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

Jesus died for you.

His death paid the price for the forgiveness of your sins.

His death and resurrection paved the way for you to enjoy fellowship with God forever.

You have been reconciled to the Father and you can now discover the outrageous  love of the Father for you.

It’s the greatest story every told.

But we fail to tell the story

We think we know the story.

But when we are put on the spot, in some random moment in a spiritual conversation, we grasp at fog.

We stumble for words.

We are not sure where to start.

We start off in one direction, and then change direction in the middle of a thought.

Most of us have fallen short in mastering being able to tell the greatest story ever told.

We might be good at telling stories of how the gospel intersected our life and how we converted to being a follower of Jesus.

But telling people the actual gospel leaves us speechless or disorganized.

Tell the story well

I once challenged a teen in my youth group to tell the gospel story to a friend.

She was nervous about it, but because we had reviewed it often in our youth group, she knew the major movements of the gospel story.

  • God loves us, but sin separates us from God
  • God’s love didn’t leave us without a solution.
  • God demonstrated his love in Christ’s death and resurrection.
  • That if we believe and confess, receive him, we become a follower of Christ.

As her gospel sharing conversation proceeded, even with conversational detours, she confidently moved through them and at the end, her friend simply said:

No one has ever shared it so clearly before.  Now I know what it means when they say “Christ died for me.”

Today’s prayer

I want to share Your story today.  I pray that You would open up a conversational door today with some person or one of my friends who would ask me about my faith in Jesus.

Fill me with a new and deeper appreciation of what Jesus has done in my life.

Grant me the skills to tell Your story without shivering in my boots.

Today’s Action

Find one of the gospel scripts and master it.

For a list of gospel scripts read this post.

I like

Video: A different way of talking about the gospel

One way of thinking about personal evangelism is learning the “story-formed way.”

For download resources, go here and here.

Below is a video interview with Scott Thomas of Acts 29 and Jeff Vanderstelt, who shares on the many ways of sharing the gospel.

It beginning with gospel fluency and confidence in the gospel’s work in your own life–past, present, and future.

 

Book Review: Done – What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible

Cary Schmidt has written a useful introduction to the gospel:

Done.: What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible.

Its chapters cover the basic gospel script of Do Vs. Done as the framework for a simple explanation of the gospel that allows someone who is considering Christianity to examine the biblical evidence and reasoning of a placing faith in Christ.

The basic outline of the Do Vs Done Script is

Religion is spelled D-O, and is all about trying to DO enough to please God.

The trouble is we don’t know if we ever do enough, and the Bible tells us we never can do enough (Romans 3.23).

But Christianity is spelled D-O-N-E.

Jesus has done what we could never do. He lived the perfect life and died on the cross to pay for all the wrong stuff we have done.

But it’s not enough just to know this; we have to receive what he has done; we have to ask Jesus to forgive us and to be the leader of our lives.

Then you could ask them what they think, whether they understand the difference, and if they see the need for Jesus.

I appreciated how short this Done.: What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible, particularly the logic of the presentation.

It is written with a seeker in mind, rather than an advanced student of theology or a theologically astute Christian who has been walking with the Lord for a long time.

I would feel comfortable giving this book to my friends who are not yet followers of Christ but are seriously seeking or investigating.

What it is:

  • A point by point development of the do vs. done outline of a gospel explanation and some of the assumptions behind it.
  • Written for people who might be exploring Christianity.
  • A refresher for those who want to understand or better present this particular gospel outline.
  • A simple presentation of the evangelistic message of Christ.

What it is not:

  • A full theology of all the dynamics of salvation.
  • A full discipleship manual of what happens after a believer comes to know Christ.
  • An apologetics manual defining doctrines or biblical issues outside of the salvation message.

How to use Done.: What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible

I could see this book being used as a gift for church visitors.  Order Done.: What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible by the case load and use it as a gift in your church visitor gift bag.

This book could be a great tool in an investigative Bible study with people who are at this point in their journey to faith where they seek a clear gospel explanation.

This book could also be used in an evangelism study group that is wanting to learn a particular gospel presentation.  Of course, you want to encourage your group to actually be in relationship with people to have the opportunity to explain the gospel script.

My Critique of Done.: What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible

My only criticism of Done.: What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible is that the subtitle is not quite on the point of Do vs. Done.

The subtitle talks about “what most religions don’t tell you about the Bible.”

When I bought the book, I expected Done.: What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible to be

  • a defense of biblical apologetics, or
  • evidence for the Bible’s credibility, or
  • how the bible compares to other religious books.

This was not a key point of the book.

Rather, the writer assumes the credibility of the Bible and builds his presentation on the assumption that it is credible.

There are several places where he doesn’t assume the reader will hold that same assumption, but phrases like “If you believe the Bible. . . . .”

In the big scheme of my review, this is a trivial critique.

Do you make these 3 personal evangelism mistakes?

Evangelism is a spiritual work.

When we make it a human work, we

  • feel pressure to get a decision.
  • feel unprepared to handle every possible objection.
  • feel insecure in presenting what we personally know about Jesus.

Rather, Evangelism is the work of the Holy Spirit.  But even with that in mind, we are prone to errors.

Top 3 mistakes in personal evangelism

1.  Failure to pray

Prayer prepares your heart, and God uses prayer to draw people to Christ.  Evangelism is ultimately a spiritual work.

Perhaps you can create a prayer list to help you with that?

Action step: Make a prayer list of friends.

When was the last time you prayed through your list of friends?

See Also:

2.  Spend zero time with non-Christians

Most effective evangelism happens between friends.

But many of us have been Christians for so long that we have few if any non-Christian Friends.

Thus, one highly effective habit to be intentional in building deep and authentic relationships.

As you look over your list of friends you are praying for, who do you need to “get to know better” or “spend some time with” this coming week?

Related Article: Spheres of Influence

3.  Control the conversation

This one is huge.

There are evangelistic methods where the evangelist controls the conversation through leading questions.

Others require the evangelist to steer the conversation from the mundane to the spiritual in a few short steps.

I watched one evangelist talk about the credibility of the bible, when it was clear that wasn’t a question in the mind of the listenener.

Instead, listen for spiritual thirst.

Spiritual Thirst opens conversational doors.

Good questions will open the door to great conversation, rather than leading the conversation down a defined path.

Read:

Personal Evangelism Coaching:

If you would like personalized help in personal evangelism over the next 60 days, I provide a telecoaching service of four phone calls over a 60 day period.

Read more about it here:  Personal Coaching for Personal Evangelism

 

You want me to explain the gospel?

Imagine the scenario:

You and a non-Christian friend are sitting in a Starbucks, talking about life, drinking a cup of coffee.

In a relaxed and safe manner, the talk naturally turns to your faith in Christ.

CoffeeConversationWomenFriends

She looks at you and asks with complete sincerity:

“What is the gospel?”

How would you answer?

How would you explain the gospel in this random moment?

Uh, I don’t know

I tell a similar story in front of hundreds of people in my conferences.

I raise the same question.

Without a warning, I ask the audience to turn to their neighbor and answer the question.

You can audibly hear the air get sucked out of the room with a collective and fearful inhale.

The surprise catches people off guard.  They instinctively hold their breath for a moment as the task sudden looms before them.

The tension in the room rises as people try to get their thoughts together.

Eventually, some conversations get started, but most fumble attempts at an answer when put on the spot

“I saw it on TV”

After doing this in dozens of seminars with hundreds of people, I’ve discovered that many people (including pastors) can’t answer this question when put on the spot like that.

Why not?

No practice.

You think you know it, after all, you’ve likely heard it hundreds of times.  But when you have to put words to what you think you know – you suddenly discover you don’t know.

  • You don’t know where to start.
  • You don’t know what content to include.
  • You don’t know what order to present the claims of the gospel.

You might know all the theology of the gospel, but when given a chance like what happened to me, the reaction is one of disorientation, not one of content.

You can’t deliver an effective Bruce Lee karate chop when needed in an emergency, after only watching him do it on a TV movie.

Being familiar with the gospel from TV or Sunday sermons doesn’t mean you can verbally deliver it on a moment’s notice.

No practice.

Learn a Script

We need a “Default setting.”

A default setting is one that we have so mastered, that it is second nature to use it.

A default setting enables us to explain a few points of the gospel clearly when its appropriate. A default setting allows us to be diamond clear, rather than muddy clear.

Gospel scripts can serve as a default setting.  Over the years, various scripts have been developed, such as

Each one of these can provide a script that we can use as a “default setting.”

However, we still need to listen to the person we are talking to and be flexible with the script, adapting it to the context of the conversation.

The Key to Using Gospel Scripts

The key to using gospel scripts is to know ONE “inside out”so that your explanation is crystal clear.

Don’t follow the script like a cake recipe.  Gospel scripts are not designed that way.  Rather, they provide a foundational outline for your conversation.

Your conversation partner may want to linger on a certain point a little longer.

Knowing the Script inside and out helps you from getting lost.

Take the freedom to go off script to develop a particular theme appropriate in the context, then return to the script outline.

Once you are deeply familiar with one, then add another one to your skill set.

Practice.

Practice.

Then, when your friend asks you what is the gospel, you can calmly communicate what you know.

You’ll have a mental outline to help you move forward.

You’ll have an organized order to present your points.

You’ll have greater confidence that removes much of the fear.

Let me ask you this?

Can you calmly and clearly communicate the gospel on a moment’s notice?

What is your personal choice for a script?

Answer the question in the comment box below.

Learn more about personal Evangelism

Click on the banner below to learn more about my course in Personal Evangelism.  It will remind you as to why you need to have a little practice, and give you the motivation to learn more.