Several years ago I gave a personal evangelism seminar for the regional expression of the Presbyterian Church.
At the end of it, somebody filled out an evaluation form and comments,
“You didn’t talk about the need for a relationship with Christ.”
Maybe this commenter had an agenda or litmus test I unknowingly had to pass.
Maybe this person didn’t really hear the four hours of the workshop because I didn’t touch on the pet theme this person was listening for.
At first, I took offense because I felt I not been understood.
But then as I pondered this comment further, I discovered that I have two foundational assumptions in my personal evangelism seminar.
Foundation for Personal Evangelism #1
Here is my first foundation for personal evangelism:
You have a personal relationship with Christ.
To me, a personal relationship with Christ is a given.
The goal of a personal evangelism seminar is to help train people to help a person find faith in Christ, not just join a church.
I have been transformed by the grace of Christ, started following Christ out of an irreligious household when I was a teenager, and have given my life into the service of God’s kingdom.
The grace of Christ that has captured me is what propels me to serve the poor, live on mission work, and seek to make a difference by planting churches and reaching the lost.
One needs a vibrant personal relationship with Christ because that’s where the fuel for personal evangelism is found. The vibrancy of our own faith propels us to share the good news of what Christ has done, and how God is using us to change the world.
Without a personal relationship with Christ, personal evangelism has no purpose, no power, and no message.
Foundation for Personal Evangelism #2
Here is my second foundation for personal evangelism:
The Holy Spirit can lead us and that we can discern the work of the Holy Spirit in a particular moment.
I believe that God leads us by His Holy Spirit. I believe that God leads us as we experience His voice, a skill we cultivate by having that relationship with Christ.
We can learn to recognize the nudging of the Holy Spirit.
A little over a year ago, I was teaching a workshop, and an attendee raised his hand at the back and he says,
“Chris, you seem to think God talks to you.”
I wasn’t sure if this person was joking, or stating the fact as if I was having a completely foreign experience to him.
We can learn to recognize the leading of the Holy Spirit and how God can speak to us in an instant.
Two Foundational assumptions
These two assumptions under gird all my teaching on personal evangelism.
Without a relationship with Christ, we simply put forth propositional truth that we haven’t received nor benefited from it.
Without a relationship with Christ, we can’t learn to recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice.
Without recognizing God’s prompting, we miss the sight of dozens of witnessing opportunities each day that the Lord would give us.
Watch this video to see what I mean: Every Life Tells A Story.