Imagine the scenario:
You and a non-Christian friend are sitting in a Starbucks, talking about life, drinking a cup of coffee.
In a relaxed and safe manner, the talk naturally turns to your faith in Christ.
She looks at you and asks with complete sincerity:
“What is the gospel?”
How would you answer?
How would you explain the gospel in this random moment?
Uh, I don’t know
I tell a similar story in front of hundreds of people in my conferences.
I raise the same question.
Without a warning, I ask the audience to turn to their neighbor and answer the question.
You can audibly hear the air get sucked out of the room with a collective and fearful inhale.
The surprise catches people off guard. They instinctively hold their breath for a moment as the task sudden looms before them.
The tension in the room rises as people try to get their thoughts together.
Eventually, some conversations get started, but most fumble attempts at an answer when put on the spot
“I saw it on TV”
After doing this in dozens of seminars with hundreds of people, I’ve discovered that many people (including pastors) can’t answer this question when put on the spot like that.
You think you know it, after all, you’ve likely heard it hundreds of times. But when you have to put words to what you think you know – 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.
You can’t deliver an effective Bruce Lee karate chop when needed in an emergency, after only watching him do it on a TV movie.
Being familiar with the gospel from TV or Sunday sermons doesn’t mean you can verbally deliver it on a moment’s notice.
Learn a Script
We need a “Default setting.”
A default setting is one that we have so mastered, that it is second nature to use it.
A default setting enables us to explain a few points of the gospel clearly when its appropriate. A default setting allows us to be diamond clear, rather than muddy clear.
- Four Spiritual Laws
- The Bridge (see How to Use the Bridge Illustration)
- Evangecube (see Evangecube video)
- Way of the Master
- Romans Road
- Do vs. Done (see Do versus Done)
- the Four Rs
- Evangelism Explosion
- Wordless Book and the Bead Bracelet
- The Good Person Test (a setup for the Way of the Master)
Each one of these can provide a script that we can use as a “default setting.”
However, we still need to listen to the person we are talking to and be flexible with the script, adapting it to the context of the conversation.
The Key to Using Gospel Scripts
The key to using gospel scripts is to know ONE “inside out”so that your explanation is crystal clear.
Don’t follow the script like a cake recipe. Gospel scripts are not designed that way. Rather, they provide a foundational outline for your conversation.
Your conversation partner may want to linger on a certain point a little longer.
Knowing the Script inside and out helps you from getting lost.
Take the freedom to go off script to develop a particular theme appropriate in the context, then return to the script outline.
Once you are deeply familiar with one, then add another one to your skill set.
Then, when your friend asks you what is the gospel, you can calmly communicate what you know.
You’ll have a mental outline to help you move forward.
You’ll have an organized order to present your points.
You’ll have greater confidence that removes much of the fear.
Let me ask you this?
Can you calmly and clearly communicate the gospel on a moment’s notice?
What is your personal choice for a script?
Answer the question in the comment box below.
Learn more about personal Evangelism
Click on the banner below to learn more about my course in Personal Evangelism. It will remind you as to why you need to have a little practice, and give you the motivation to learn more.