In our home groups this week we are studying Jonah 3. It’s amazing to consider the impact of God’s compassion on ‘that great city’ (Jonah 4:11) using a reluctant and ordinary spokesman for his message.
Christians believe the gospel of Jesus is great news, relevant to all people. We want to share it with others (evangelism), but may be inhibited by fear of what others could think of us, feelings of our own inadequacy to answer their questions and explain our beliefs, or the pressure of other priorities, etc.
Tim Keller recently gave 10 tips to help ordinary Christians with evangelism. Martin Salter has recorded them in this blog post which I found so helpful I have copied it below:
- Let people around you know you are a Christian (in a natural, unforced way)
- Ask friends about their faith – and just listen!
- Listen to your friends problems – maybe offer to pray for them
- Share your problems with others – testify to how your faith helps you
- Give them a book to read
- Share your story
- Answer objections and questions
- Invite them to a church event
- Offer to read the Bible with them
- Take them to an explore course
What Keller also advises is that we (generally) start with 1-4. If people are interested and want to talk more you can move them to stages 5-7. If they’re still interested go on to stages 8-10. Sometimes people will want to go straight to 10, but often people start from way back and need some time to think and discuss things in a non-pressured way. We often think that only stages 8-10 count and invest all our energy there. TK suggests that to get people at stages 8,9,10 you have to put the work in at 1-4. Sometimes you’ll have to keep going round the loop multiple times.
TK suggests to leaders that we should aim to get 20% of our folk doing this (as a start).
Let’s pray that as we consider God’s compassion for ‘that great city’ we will grow in our compassion and plan and pray for ‘ordinary’ ways we can share his gospel with others.Related Posts: Engaging in more spiritual conversations Tim Keller on evangelism in the 21st century