Check out this list of how members of one of my classes came to faith in Christ.
- “When I was 8 years old, I was invited to a bible camp for kids.”
- “My father helped me see my need for Jesus and I put my trust in Him.”
- “A friend invited me to church, and after a few weeks, I responded to the message.”
- “I had a mystical encounter with God. A few weeks later, I learned I needed to follow Jesus to know this God.”
- “I met a group of Christians. After watching them for a while, I wanted to what they had.”
- “A missions team from another country country was doing drama at the park where I was hanging out. What they said touched my soul.”
- “When I was 10, I was laying in bed one night after reading the bible, and I decided I needed to follow Jesus.”
- “I talked with a friend about how do I find forgiveness and he told me how it was found in Jesus.”
- “I had coffee with a pastor and asked him how do I find unconditional love. He described the love of God for me and all I wanted to do was to know that love.”
A variety of spiritual journeys
The above list is just a sample of stories of people that I know.
Last night, while leading a bible study on evangelism, I heard 8 different stories of how people came to faith in Jesus.
- An invitation to church
- A message at a camp / conference center.
- A mystical encounter with God
- Restless in the soul that prompted more discussion.
Key events came through contact with family members, with friends, and with random strangers.
Diversity of stories.
Diversity of means.
Diversity of gospel explanations.
Diversity of responses.
With such diversity, how do you do evangelism training?
As I listened to those stories, I saw some themes that give us some guidance in how we might do evangelism training.
1. Find the spiritual thirst.
Spiritual thirst is that which creates a restlessness in the human heart that drives a person to seek God.
In listening to those stories, there were a variety of expressions of that thirst.
Evangelism Skill: How can we help our members discover what their own spiritual thirst was that led them to seek God?
Evangelism Skill: How can we train others to listen for a person’s spiritual thirst?
2. Be part of the process of evangelism.
Each story reflected a journey that took months, sometimes years before coming to a place of faith.
Evangelism Skill: How can we help people know their own journeys and become comfortable in talking about God’s work in their life?
Evangelism Skill: How can we train others discern where a person is in the process of their journey to Jesus, as well as discover how to help a person make another step forward?
3. Significant moments in the process.
Each story had more than one key turning point in the discovery of God.
Each story had more than one significant person that did something that made an impact or asked one significant key question that cleared up a misconception about God.
It might have been a
- Invitation to a church or event
- Life circumstances
- Late night musings over deep issues.
Evangelism Skill:How can we help our members describe those key moments in their own journey to Christ?
Evangelism Skill: How can we recognize these divine appointments to help a person move one step closer to faith in Christ?
4. Simple Gospel presentation connected to that thirst.
As we dug into the stories, each person responded to a different message, anchored in the basic elements of the gospel.
The beauty of the Christian gospel is that it appeals to our spiritual thirst.
But each heard a presentation that was structured, clear, and spoke directly to their need.
Evangelism Skill: How can we lead people into remembering what was the presentation that helped them come to faith? What were the key elements that connected with their spiritual thirst?
Evangelism Skill: How can we help people grow in their confidence to simply explain the gospel that fits the context of a person’s spiritual thirst?
5. The influence of friends and family members.
Each story seemed to have friends or family members play a significant part in the process of evangelism. A few were “chance” encounters with strangers, but a majority were influenced by people around them.
Evangelism Skill: How can we help our members identify those key people in their own journey to Christ.
Evangelism Skill: How can we intentionally become people of significant spiritual influence for those around us?
Get the Training Seminar
I’ve developed a 6 hour training seminar focused on these issues.
It’s been condensed onto 4 audio CDs and a resource CD that will have the transcript, study guides, conversation notes. Click on the banner below to read more.
I’m a history major at school, and with that being the case, I have the awesome opportunity to work with people with different faiths. We all have a high respect for each other and learn a lot from one another, even though our beliefs are different. I’m grateful for diversity and all that it teaches us.