Have you seen an evangelistic moment (a potential divine appointment) develop suddenly in a conversation and found yourself not yet ready to share the gospel?
You may have felt a little clumsy in trying to bridge that gap. Perhaps you even wished your pastor was around to take over. Maybe you chose to let the potentially sacred moment pass because you didn’t know what the next step could be.
Be Ready to Share
“with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).
In the original Greek, the word readiness used in Ephesians 6:15 can be defined in two different ways:
- “firm-footing; a strong foundation.” We need to have a firm foundation in God’s Word.
- “readiness.” We need to be ready at all times to share the gospel.
This one word contains the idea of being ready and willing to move at a moment’s notice.
The opportunities to share the gospel often come when we least expect them.
This is how we gain ground for the Kingdom of God.
Ready to Share the Gospel at Any Moment
Many evangelistic moments happen at unscheduled random times during the day. This has been my experience.
One weekend day, I am with friends on an outing to the local beach.
The kids are playing in the waves or digging holes in the sand. The waves are crashing rhythmically upon the shore. Seagulls announcing their presence with their cries. The breeze off the ocean creates a pleasant mood of relaxation.
A mundane conversation about plans for next year suddenly take on a spiritual turn.
My friend starts talking about a longing to be a better husband and father, but he confesses to internal feelings of failure and inability to change.
My friend begins to tell me quietly about his own brokenness and awareness of his own selfishness that undercuts his ability to change.
The spontaneous conversation has suddenly revealed my friend’s spiritual thirst.
My Gospel Conversations Are Never Planned
A wonderful gospel centered conversation developed out of this random moment at the beach.
This beach side conversation was not forced, steered by me, or even pre-planned. But the moment had been prayed into reality.
Random faith sharing moments like this do not happen to me all the time.
But these impromptu moments to share your faith occur spontaneously in naturally reflective settings, like gazing over the vast ocean at the beach.
Conversations like this to share the gospel are never planned ahead.
These faith sharing conversations are never organized on my calendar.
These gospel sharing moments are never scripted.
I get opportunities to share the gospel faith and point people to Jesus in surprise impromptu events in life that could catch me off guard.
As such, I have prepared myself ahead of time to share the gospel, “…with [my] feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
Philip was Ready to Share the Gospel
Remember the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch from Acts 8?
Philip didn’t suffer from paralysis when given the opportunity to share his faith.
He didn’t hide behind fears, or pawn the evangelistic task off to somebody else.
Instead, Philip demonstrates what it means to have “… your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).
He was ready to share the gospel – which gave him the confidence he needed in the impromptu moment that randomly appeared before him.
Acts 8:26-40 reads:
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian t eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.
29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
. . . .
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”
35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.(NIV, 2011, Acts 8:26-35)
1. Philip recognized the Lord’s guidance
Philip had been directed by the Lord to go on a scavenger hunt.
“Go to the south road, the desert road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
He had an angelic visitation to give him this guidance, which many of us don’t ever get, but notice the second prompting.
The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
One key to being ready is that Philip noticed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to stand next to “THAT” Chariot.
God underlined the chariot and Philip positioned himself.
Philip was ready to share gospel because he had cultivated the skill of recognizing the evangelistic prompting of the Holy Spirit.
You too can develop that skill of recognizing the Lord’s prompting.
As you develop this skill of recognizing when God is highlighting a divine appointment for you, you’ll have a confidence to share the gospel because God has already prepared the way.
2. Philip knew the Good News about Jesus
Philip was prepared ahead of time for the evangelistic conversation at that impromptu moment.
Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. (NIV 8:35)
Philip was ready to share the gospel because he knew the gospel story.
Philip knew how to share, and even more so, how to share the gospel story well.
He may not have memorized a gospel script like the Bridge illustration, but he was ready to share the good news.
Philip was ready to share his faith because he was prepared with a message.
Two Skills To Get Yourself Ready
The story of Philip from Acts 8 show us at least two skills we can cultivate to help get ourselves ready to share the gospel in impromptu moments.
There are certainly more than two skills. These two are foundational to the model of personal evangelism that I teach in the Fear Free Evangelism Seminar (CD SET, available on 5 CDs).
1. Learn to recognize God’s guidance.
Recognizing God’s guidance is learning to recognize God’s voice.
The only way to cultivate that spiritual sensitivity is to nurture your relationship with the Lord.
You do that through
- spending time in prayer
- your regular devotional time
- spending time in the Word of God
- spending time giving, serving, and attending church
- growing in the community of faith
- giving ourselves away in the community service programs of our church.
All of these things serve and nurture your vibrant relationship with Jesus.
This helps your ability to
- recognize the voice of the Lord when you are prompted.
- be sensitive to those God given kairos moments (divine appointments).
You have got to have personal experience with God through Jesus Christ.
What steps can you take this week to deepen your relationship with God?
2. Learn a version of the gospel story
Trevin Wax’s book, Counterfeit Gospels is a good theological study on various different gospel versions that are out there.
Read my review of Counterfeit Gospels.
He reminds us that we need to know not only the gospel announcement, but the whole story.
My advice here is to find one of the gospel scripts and master it.
Be prepared to share your faith by choosing and mastering a version of the gospel story. This is part of the purpose of evangelism training.
The key to using gospel scripts is to know ONE “inside out”so that your explanation is crystal clear, but doesn’t seem scripted.
Meaning that you can use it
- at any given moment,
- can “do it in your sleep”
- without having to think too hard.
- without hyperventilating
- without forgetting where you are out.
- without a fear of lack of words or not knowing what to say.
Once you are deeply familiar with one, then add another one to your skill set.
What version of the gospel story have you mastered?
I develop this further in this article: How to use a gospel script, along with links to various gospel scripts.
Order Virtual Evangelism Training
I offer a virtual seminar on personal evangelism training. You can use this as an evangelism training event for your team.
It is travel free, and you can offer it on any night that you choose.
If you want this workshop in Spanish, I can do that too.
Read more about how to get your own evangelism training seminar from me.