Most of my evangelism training occurs in mainline churches, where many people equate evangelism with Hospitality or Service Projects.
Neither one is evangelism per se (For example see, Is Neighborhood Outreach Evangelism?)
But there is a marked hesitancy to discuss your faith.
That could be for a variety of reasons, many of which have been talked about here (see Fears Category).
How then does an evangelism trainer, pastor, or ministry leader help a person move forward one step in increasing their ability to share their faith?
From Witness to Evangelist
Over 10 years ago, I saw a scale drawn up by Harold Percy, a Canadian Evangelism trainer.
Think of the scale as a level of comfort. Level may be the wrong word
The first level is where a person is comfortable talking about the church and inviting others to come and participate.
There is no active discussion about faith, but about joining your social group.
The church has a meaningful place in your life, your social network at church is safe, and you’d like your friends to participate and connect.
You love “Invite a Friend Sunday” and appreciate your church for offering events where you can invite your friends.
Your church doesn’t embarrass you.
This second level is where you feel comfortable talking about your personal relationship with Christ.
You are able to describe God’s current activity in your life. What is God doing in your life today that makes the gospel Good news?
You are able to describe your testimony, how you came to faith, and what difference that faith commitment has made.
You have moved from being comfortable talking about the church, to your personal faith.
Being able to explain the gospel simply and clearly. You are able to articulate in a simple way the main points of the gospel. Why did Jesus die? What difference does it make to you? Perhaps you have practiced and memorized a gospel script (How to Practice a Gospel Presentation). You can do this with strangers, or perhaps only with close friends that you have built a meaningful relationship with.
You are comfortable inviting people to start following Jesus, inviting them to make a commitment. If you are preacher, you may have great skill, or need to develop your skill in giving an invitation to follow Christ (Giving an invitation) as part of your sermons every now and then.
For the Evangelism Trainer
I have found this little tool helpful to offer to people in my seminars. Here is how to use it:
Take a moment and place yourself on this scale.
- Where are you most comfortable?
- What can you do in the next 6 months to move to the next level?
Then offer a sharing time and have people set a goal for their personal growth in evangelism.
If you want live coaching on growing in your personal evangelism or developing your personal testimony, see our 1-1 mentoring program or Quick Evangelism Coaching Call. We’ll be glad to provide some ongoing training.