Have you ever felt like you’ve been caught off guard?
Imagine sitting in a coffee shop talking about life with a friend.
The conversation begins to go deep about some personal issue: your friend is confessing a deep sense of remorse over some sin in their life and how they seek forgiveness.
Your friend looks at you and says:
How do I find forgiveness to bring peace to my soul?
The Best Gospel Conversations Are Never Planned
Now this doesn’t happen to me all the time.
But perfect opportunities like this to share the gospel and point people to Jesus happen.
It’s never planned ahead.
It’s never organized on my calender.
It is never at a scripted moment (unless one manipulates the conversation).
Rather, opportunities to point people to Jesus are surprise impromptu events in life that catch us off guard.
Are you ready to seize the moment?
Several years ago, this happened to me. A new acquaintance asked me “What is the gospel?”
I fumbled the opportunity and made a verbal mess in my answer.
I was not prepared to answer the question, even though I had been to seminary and was a pastor.
Many factors got in the way of a clear and simple answer to the question.
How do we prepare ourselves?
I came across an interesting article, quoting Captain Sullenberger, the pilot who landed the plane in the Hudson River after hitting a flock of geese.
At a Hero’s Homecoming in Danville, CA, where he lives with his wife and daughters, Captain Sullenberger finally spoke:
“Circumstance determined that it was this experienced crew that was scheduled to fly that particular flight on that particular day,” he told the crowd.
“But I know I can speak for the entire crew when I tell you we were simply doing the job we were trained to do.”
Here is the phrase that struck me: “We were simply doing the job we were trained to do.”
Training gives us a chance to learn what we need to do when we are put on the spot.
Training gives us an internal calm when surprises catch us.
You might think you know the gospel already since you’ve likely heard it hundreds of times.
But when you have to put words to what you think you know at a moment you are not expecting– you suddenly discover you don’t know.
- You don’t know where to start.
- You don’t know what content to include.
- You don’t know what order to present the claims of the gospel.
You might know all the theology of the gospel, but when given a chance like what happened to me, the reaction is one of disorientation, not one of content.
Personal Evangelism training gives you the place to learn
- A functional outline to conversationally walk through
- A big picture framework
There are plenty of gospel summaries out there. Each one of these can provide a script that we can use as a “default setting.” We need to master one so that we can answer questions in a calm, clear, and concise manner.
Even though the disciples didn’t have any formal personal evangelism training, we can increase our confidence for those unexpected moments by taking regular ongoing personal evangelism training.
Personal evangelism training removes alot of the “I don’t know what to say” fear.
Next Steps in your Personal Evangelism Training:
If you haven’t mastered a gospel outline, choose one from the List of Gospel Presentations and master it.
If you want more personal evangelism training, consider my personal evangelism audio course, a 5 CD set that can be shipped to your house. It covers topic such as motivation, cooperating with the Holy Spirit in conversations, and testimony development, along with a basic gospel sharing plan.