Evangelism is one of the core values at Abundant Life. Our mission is to see lives changed by Jesus, and we do that by being living proof of a loving God to a watching world. People matter to God, so they should matter to us. We'll do anything short of sin to reach people far from God with the gospel. However, sharing your testimony and starting gospel conversations can be intimidating. You may wrestle with questions like…
- Why is it vital to start gospel conversations with my neighbors?
- How should I prepare to share my faith?
- What verses are best for witnessing?
We want to equip you to boldly share your faith when the Holy Spirit prompts you to speak. Keep reading to find the answers to those questions!
Why Is Evangelism Important?
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” —Matthew 28:19-20
Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He gave this final charge to His disciples, which is called the Great Commission. The central command is to make disciples of all nations by baptizing, teaching, and sending them out as witnesses. These commands are the formula for evangelism that Christians still follow today. We share the gospel because Jesus commanded us to.
How Do I Prepare to Share the Gospel?
Now that you understand the gospel, you must prepare to share it! Here are 3 ways you can equip yourself to start gospel conversations:
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” —Matthew 6:8
We should start each day by asking God to give us opportunities to share our faith! We are equipped for evangelism when we read God's Word daily to understand His character and spend time praying to Him.
Ask for Jesus' Eyes to See Others
“But when he saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”—Matthew 9:36-38
Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can we be moved to compassion and see others as lost souls who need the hope, love, and saving grace of Jesus.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…” —1 Peter 3:15
Memorize scripture to defend what you believe and why you believe it. Romans Road is a simple set of verses that clarifies the gospel and provides a clear road map for starting spiritual conversatons.
How Do I Start Gospel Conversations?
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” —John 15:26-27
Every conversation will look different depending on the place, time, and person you're conversing with. Spiritual conversations can be uncomfortable or overwhelming, but evangelism is one of the greatest ways to communicate your love and obedience to Christ. If the Spirit prompts you to speak, you can trust God to use you to communicate His message.
1. Be Approachable
“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more…I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”—1 Corinthians 9:19 & 22b-23
Attempt to be relational before being confrontational. Find commonalities with the person you're witnessing to and show interest in those things. Once you understand who they are externally, you can move to more internal questions about their passions, experiences, and faith.
2. Ask Open-Ended Questions
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” —1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Understand who they are internally by getting to know the things that make them uniquely them. What are their passions? Who are their role models and mentors? What in this life offers them hope? What role does faith play in their life? Listen intently to their answers. When people sense you are genuine in your efforts to build a relationship, they will be more open to hearing what you say.
3. Share Your Testimony
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.'” —Romans 1:16-17
Your testimony is the most powerful tool you have for evangelism. Sharing your testimony doesn't have to involve memorizing several verses or scripting a gospel presentation. It is simply the story of how Jesus changed your life. There are 3 key components to outline your testimony:
- Who were you before you met Jesus?
- What was the moment like when you met Jesus?
- How has your life changed since meeting Jesus?
Identifying the answers to these questions will give you a clear template for sharing your testimony and starting gospel conversations!
What Do I Do After I Share the Gospel?
You don't know what the outcome of a spiritual conversation may be. The way the conversation ends will dictate your next steps, but there is a general formula you should follow:
- Ask if they have any more questions. Some people may need time to process what you've shared with them, but others may be ready to place their faith in Jesus immediately. Answer any questions they have about the next steps, and make sure you have their contact information and permission to follow up.
- Pray for their heart that they would choose to place their faith in Jesus. If they accepted Christ, pray they would continue following Him faithfully for the rest of their lives.
- Continue the conversation with them, ideally face-to-face. Start reading through one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) with them. Or ask if you can meet again to continue the gospel conversation and answer their questions.
Resources for Sharing Your Faith
These books and online resources will help you gain clarity and confidence on how to start gospel conversations:
- Abundant Life Evangelism Training – In this training, you will learn how to share the gospel, develop your testimony, and practice living on mission.
- “Tactics” by Gregory Koukl – In his book, Gregory Koukl shares tactics for starting gospel conversations and personal stories of evangelism applying those tactics.
- My SharePal – This app guides you step by step through evangelism with verses and question prompts to help others understand the gospel and its importance.
- Gotquestions.org – While you’re evangelizing, you may encounter questions you don’t know the answers to. This website is a wonderful resource for answers to many difficult questions about faith.
Moving Forward and Taking Action
You have the resources for evangelism. Now you need to practice starting gospel conversations! Pray and ask God for opportunities to share your faith with people you know are far from Him. Matthew 7 says to ask, and it will be given to you. Pray in faith and watch what the Lord does with your testimony!