I just finished reading Nick Pollard’s Evangelism Made Slightly Less Difficult: How to Interest People who Aren’t Already Interested (order your copy direct from Amazon).
Nick is a full time evangelist and speaker who lives in Great Britain.
With cover endorsements from Josh McDowell, George Verwer, and Lesslie Newbigin, I figured it would be a pretty good read.
Can Evangelism be made less difficult?
I found the first chapter to be the best:
“It doesn’t have to be quite so hard.”
It’s a look a Colossians 4:2-6
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Prayer that I may proclaim it clearly as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer every one.
Three points on prayer . . .
Evangelism begins in prayer. (See articles on prayer to learn about praying for evangelism, or Listen in to this podcast on this verse as a personal prayer strategy).
Pollard elaborates on these three verses on prayer
1. That God may open the opportunity
This doesn’t mean that we have to make the opportunity, or seize the opportunity, or force it, or hint at it, or steer it, or otherwise manipulate the conversation in our favor.
We don’t have a script that we have to force.
2. so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ.
Prayer can help us know the mystery, and help us share the mystery of our relationship with Christ.
Prayer helps us meditate on Christ, discover his love and work in our life, and we might be able to talk about what God is doing in our life.
3. clearly, as I should.
This is a big one. We need to learn how to proclaim the message clearly, and not as muddy as a swollen river. Pray so that you don’t “botch it up.”
Two points on Evangelism
Evangelism is expressed on our words and actions.
- In our words: “let your conversation be seasoned with salt”
- In our actions: “be wise in the way you act towards outsiders.”
Prayer and Evangelism go hand in hand. They must go together.
Some people spend all their time in prayer — never talk to people about Jesus.
Others talk about Jesus all day long, but without prayer, there is no advance prepartion of the soil or of the evangelist.
2. Make the most of every opportunity
Then Pollard goes into a section entitled — How to lose friends and Irritate people, exploring evangelism methodologies that manipulate conversations.
We are told to make the most of every opportunity, not make the opportunity.
This I think is the best point of the whole chapter.
I’ve had many attempts where I felt like I was steering the ship.
I had to get my conversation partner to come around to spiritual thinks.
The feeling of anxiety as I tried to think “How does this connect to Jesus?” “How can I turn the conversation to Jesus.”
I find manipulating the conversation to make the opportunity is an obnoxious habit of personal evangelism.
Let me ask you this.
Start with which one you find easier — prayer or evangelism.
If prayer is easy for you, start praying specific people and opportunities. You’ll find that you’ll want to start talking
If talking about Jesus is easy for you, you’ll find that you’ll want to start praying.
The point is: start.
Nick Pollard’s Evangelism Made Slightly Less Difficult: How to Interest People who Aren’t Already Interested (order your copy direct from Amazon).