“But I am so afraid to start a conversation,” confessed a pastor during an evangelism coaching conversation.
“I have non-Christian friends, and spend time with them, but I’m so afraid of ruining my friendship.”
Does that describe you, even if you are not a pastor?
To address this fear, let me give you my list of 7 Habits for Highly Effective Personal Evangelism.
As I live these out, I find evangelism natural and non-destructive.
Practicing these habits knock out a lot of fear.
I’m sure the list would be 10 if I thought long and hard, but these are the first 7 that came to mind as practices in my life.
1. Pray for those apart from Christ
Prayer prepares your heart, and God uses prayer to draw people to Christ.
Not sure how to create a prayer list to help you with that?
When was the last time you prayed through your list of friends?
Action step: Make a prayer list of friends.
2. Assess your current friendships regularly
Real simple: Do you have someone with whom you can share your faith?
I regularly review how I spend my time and with whom.
I intentionally cultivate authentic relationships with people who don’t know Christ.
If I don’t have enough non-Christian friends, I look for ways to cultivate some new ones. Always a challenge when a new friend comes to Christ.
Action Step: Review your spheres of Influence
3. Look for spiritual thirst
In all my conversations, I look for spiritual thirst.
I have learned to recognize spiritual thirst in how people talk, what they talk about, and how they often initiate a discussion with me.
I’ve come across a tool that can help you see a person’s spiritual thirst. It’s explained at length in Gary Rorhmayer’s book Spiritual Conversations: How to Sustain them without being a jerk.
Action Step: What is Spiritual Thirst?
4. Keep a regular devotional time
Nurture your own relationship with God. Spend time in worship, prayer, fasting, Bible reading. Allow God to speak to you and guide your life.
As you spend time in Scriptures, you’ll be growing spiritually. You’ll be discovering how God is leading you. And often out of the overflow of the current activity of God in your life, you’ll have fresh content to share.
Action Step: Refresh your devotional life.
5. Build intentional relationships
Most effective evangelism to produces discipleship happens between friends.
Thus, one highly effective habit is 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?
I often make some notes afterward if there was some significant spiritual thirst shared with me. I use that in my prayers. I’m often praying for the next step in my friend’s spiritual journey.
Action Step: Look over your prayer list of friends and see who the Lord prompts you to reach out to.
6. Debrief every evangelism conversation
Some questions I like to ask myself are:
- “How did God point out that person to you? How did you notice that person?”
- “Where did you notice God was already at work?”
- “What was their spiritual thirst?”
- “What would you do or say differently?”
- “What did you share about Christ?”
- “How can you help that person along in the next step towards Christ?”
Action Step: Read 10 more questions on debriefing evangelistic conversations.
7. Make space in your life for impromptu conversations
Phillip had margin in his life for a spontaneous conversation with the Eunuch.
Peter and John had margin in the life to heal the lame man at the gate called beautiful.
Most of us pack such a full day that we don’t have time to notice those spiritually thirsty people whom we encounter.
Leave some room in your life to be available during the day. This happens to me on a regular basis, not all the time.
Action Step: Review the pace of life – do you need to make some margin?
Let me ask you this?
Do you have a highly effective personal evangelism habit? Share it in the comments.
Better Evangelistic Conversations
Spiritual conversation is an art that you can learn. Over the years, I have learned to have more effective spiritual conversations with serious people searching for “something.”
I have learned and applied these four principles with great effectiveness in helping people discover Jesus.
- To watch for the nudge of the Holy Spirit
- To observe spiritual thirst
- To know where I am in their journey
- To help people take the next steps in their journey to Jesus.
You can learn these same principles and leave the formulas behind.
This Streaming or DVD set, Effective Conversations, is based on the encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch.
Great thoughts…I would add that they should be intentional in their witness which could go along with number 7. did you see the article by Thome Rainer on his blog? http://www.thomrainer.com/2010/03/seven-characteristics-of-highly-evangelistic-christians.php
I hadn’t seen that article. Thanks for sharing it with our readers.
Have a safe trip — if I remember, you are off to the Phillipines soon.
Hw can go about it
I found the 7 habits of evangelism interesting. I’ve been a new convert for 2yrs. My husband and I are hungry for more ways to be feed by God’s word. Our church that we attendhas not been very frutiful and we need help. Help us to bring in souls to be saved. Teach us how to be ambasdadors for Christ.
I want support and help with evangelism in this new age.
thks the support and tips on how to do effective evangelism
You are welcome.
Thanks for stopping by an leaving a comment.
Was there one in particular that stood out for you?
Thanks for your insight on evangelism. I want to do much more for the Kingdom regarding evangelism, people need Jesus
Joshua P G
Thanks for the 7 habits, How to be more effective in evangelism in Indian context.
Rev Eze Godwin G.
God bls u for sharing wt us ds God-givn insight of seven steps to effective evangelism. thanks.
I would love to have latest strategies in the field of evangelism since my church is a growing church. It would also be better if i have more materials on personal evangelism, church evangelism and how to grow your church
Thanks a lot. I’m really blessed by this article. I have a divine calling to be an evangelist and the burden so heavy on me, I have started already but not effective. I need messages on evangelism.
Great materials !
Thanks for stopping by. There are over 1000 articles on evangelism and church welcome here on this website. The best starting place is here: https://www.evangelismcoach.org/personal-evangelism-101/ you’ll find the best links to the best articles and then can dig around to find more.
Thank you for sharing. God bls u.
here are over 1000 articles on my website to help you find different ways to make your church grow. Hospitality is one channel, and personal evangelism is another. Which one would you like to start with?
Hospitality: start here: https://www.evangelismcoach.org/fix-your-church-hospitality/
Personal Evangelismm: Start here: https://www.evangelismcoach.org/personal-evangelism-101/
Pastor Felix young
God called me to begin a missions church, which I already started close to two decades ago but I think something is wrong, because all my activities are not directed at missions, now I want to return back to the original plan of God for our church but don’t even know how to do this, please help …….pastor Felix young Niigeria
Great tips and i will apply them . Thank you Chris and continue being a blessing to others.
thanks for the 7 habits for highly effective personal evangelism im so imp rest.. i want to really be an ambassador for christ that will expand the gospel of our lord jesus christ till need more materials for our church growth.
Thank you Dike. As you live into these habits, you’ll discover some the joys of personal evangelism.
no.7 is really speaking to me thanks for that
Very inspirational, educative, and practical. By GOD’s grace I will try to practice it.
Yes very power especially trusting God that he is one changing and softening the hearts of people to receive his word S. But on a intentional building relationships sometimes becomes difficult with the one whom you have prayerfully consider as a target and he doesn’t respond positively to the friend request because of status
Thanks Enea and Kwabena for stopping by. Those are real difficulties.
I can imagine that status, socio-economic, or even educational level differences might seem to make it challenging.
I sometimes pray that the Lord would send them the right person who can speak and share, even if I cannot because of various difficulties.