Recently, a question has been spinning in my mind:
“How do I share my faith without being obnoxious?”
Maybe that is your question too.
I think many have had experiences of being embarrassed by evangelists who misrepresent Jesus.
Or maybe they have have had personal experience in being the obnoxious evangelist.
They present a practical form of personal evangelism that can help the ordinary person in the pew overcome their shyness or fears in talking about their faith in Christ.
Peter’s Confrontational Approach — Acts 2:22-41
If Peter was convinced he was right, there was almost no stopping him. He was direct, he was bold, and he was to the point.
Many of you know Peter’s in your face approach.
Instead of complying, he defied.
Instead of being quiet, he proclaimed. He was very direct.
Eric told of a friend who would walk up to bikers outside a bar and say:
“Hey, How is it going? Have you read your bible today?”
Paul’s Intellectual Approach — Acts 17:15-34
Paul was a thinker. He wrote the awesome book of Romans. He thought through how to present the gospel to Greeks, Jews, Romans, and others in a contextually appropriate way.
His treatment of the Altar to the Unknown God at Athens is a testimony to one who can present a rational case, and debate philiosophers in a way that they want to know more.
CS Lewis might be a modern day example of this.
I am not. I have a hard time reading a CS Lewis book beyond the first chapter because it is at such lofty heights that he writes. Yet I know people who came to faith because of a little book called “Mere Christianity.”
Blind Man’s Testimonial Approach — John 9:1-15,25
This man, born blind, could only speak from his experience. He confidently declared: “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” That’s hard to argue with, isn’t it?
Many folk can only talk about the radical change in the life that has happened since they started following Jesus. They may not have the boldness like Peter, or the intellect to defend the rationality of faith like Paul, but what you have is a testimony of a changed life.
You may not know all that you believe, but your life has been transformed and it’s worth talking about.
Matthew’s Relational Approach — Luke 5:27-29
Instead of inviting people to church right off the bat, Matthew invited fellow tax collectors and sinners to his home.
Do you enjoy having people into your home, sharing a meal, and spending time in conversation? Many people will never be reached until someone takes the time to build that kind of closeness with them.
He was allowing himself to get close first and spend time outside of “the church.”
Samaritan Women’s Invitational Approach — John 4
When Jesus encountered this woman, and transformed her life, she ran back to town and started inviting people: Come and See.
She immediately went to her town and brought her friends to the well to hear Jesus for themselves. This simple invitation resulted in His staying in their town for two days. Many of these men and women became His followers.
Many people are excited about what God is doing in their church, and in their own life. Instead of feeling confident about sharing their own faith story, they are eager to invite people to their church to see what God is doing and to hear others proclaiming the news.
Come and see, is a great invitation to give.
Dorcas’ Servant approach — Acts 9.
Gifts of Hospitality, the welcoming of strangers, acts of service to those in need are all viable forms of evangelism. Its a tangible way of expressing the love of Jesus.
Lee Strobel Explains:
To this list, I would add “Chance Conversations,” based on Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
The greatest contribution this book makes is the recognition of various evangelism styles.
This list has become a fountainhead for a lot of other teaching.
For example, it is the foundation for Jeffrey Johnson’s work, “Got Style?”, which helps your church decide the best evangelism course based on it’s personality.
Read my review of Becoming a Contagious Christian and the important contribution it makes to evangelism training.
- Order Becoming a Contagious Christian, Bill Hybels and Mark Mittleberg, direct from Amazon.
- Listen to this podcast that looks at personality styles and evangelism.
Let me ask you this?
What style do you see yourself fitting into best?
My own Evangelism Teaching on DVD
I have a DVD set (or digital download) that focuses on a conversational style evangelism that would be effective in:
- casual conversation between friends
- causal conversation between strangers
- a relational style evangelism
- a friendship style evangelism
Read more about the Effective Evangelism Conversations in the store
It will show you how to have good faith sharing conversations no matter what your style.