God calls his people to share the good news and present the gospel to those around us. Many Believers desire to present the gospel, but find it difficult to introduce the subject of spiritual matters. Effective evangelism training can help, and in this article we’ll share some introductory tools that will help you introduce the gospel to those around you.
The content from this article comes from Express your Faith, an evangelism training course that is available to groups and churches. This course has been taught in churches and small groups all over the world, and provides tools and training that help equip people to share the gospel.
Remember, you do not have to be a seminary graduate to share your faith. You do not need to be perfect or a full-time pastor. God calls all of His people to share the gospel with those around them. We hope and pray these tools help give you the confidence you need to help fulfill the great commission.
- Evangelism Training Tool 1: The SHARE Method
- Evangelism Training Tool 2: Personal Testimony
- Evangelism Training Tool 3: Spiritual Journey Question
- Evangelism Training Tool 4: The Answer
- Evangelism Training Tool 5: The Introductory Diagram
- Evangelism Training Tool: A few short thoughts
Evangelism Training Tool 1: The S.H.A.R.E. Method
The S.H.A.R.E. method is designed to help you turn everyday conversations into an opportunity to share the gospel. This 5 step acrostic is a simple and effective way to introduce spiritual conversations.
Throughout this article, we’ll pretend you’re seeking to share the gospel with a neighbor or co-worker named Tom.
As you talk with friends and acquaintances, you’ll often have the opportunity to guide the conversation by choosing the topics. People typically are interested in talking about themselves. Begin by asking basic questions about their secular life – family, occupation, hometown, etc. As you talk, be aware of areas of need or problems they are experiencing.
Though some non-believers feel threatened when asked about their spiritual life, they are generally open to talking about their church involvement. During your conversation, simply ask if they belong to a church, or ask about their church background. This is particularly easy to ask if your friend has visited your church.
Attendance at Church
Having introduced the subject of church involvement, ask your friend how actively he has attended church. Be sure not to show any disapproval if he has rarely attended.
Reasons for the Church
Continue discussing the church in the following manner. “The important thing, really, is not whether we are Methodists, Baptists or Presbyterians. The important thing is that the church is doing its job. In my opinion, the church’s primary responsibility is to do all it can to help people find purpose for living, freedom (that is, the power to do what one knows he should do, not the license to do what he wants to do), and assurance of eternal life. Would you agree?”
Continue the conversation in this way: “Of course, there are other things the church should do. But it seems to me that these are the main reasons for its existence. And yet, I have found that it’s quite common for someone to grow up in church – even to be quite active in it – and fail to experience purpose, freedom, and assurance of eternal life.”
“Tom, do you feel the church has helped you to know this kind of purpose and freedom in life? What about assurance – has the church helped you find assurance that when you die you will spend eternity in heaven?”
- If the person says “no” to the last question, then this is a great opportunity to introduce another tool we call the diagram. It’s always wise to ask, “could I show you a simple diagram (see tool 5) that helps explain how to experience this purpose, freedom, and assurance?”
- If the person answers “yes”, respond by saying, “Great! How did you come to this assurance in your life?” As he explains, if you doubt whether he really understands the gospel and His need, ask, “Can I show you an interesting diagram? It really helped me understand how to have purpose, freedom, and assurance.”
Evangelism Tool 2: Personal Testimony
In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter says we should be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…”
You never know when someone will ask you about your beliefs or why you have hope in God. In business, there is a term you are probably familiar with called the “elevator pitch.” The term came from the following scenario: If you end-up in an elevator with an important business leader or investor, you should be able to explain your amazing idea before the elevator ride is over.
In other words, it needs to be quick, to the point, interesting, and leave them wanting more.
With your personal testimony, it’s important to be able to share it in less than 1 minute. You may not have someone’s attention for very long, so you should be able to share it in a way that is quick, to the point, interesting, and leaves people wanting to hear more.
A simple formula for sharing your personal testimony in less than 1 minute is as follows:
- Share what your life was like before you knew God. Personalize the problem of sin in your life.
- Explain how your life changed and how Christ was the solution to your sin problem.
- Describe your life since you became a believer, how has it changed?
Remember, this isn’t meant to be a presentation. Sharing the gospel is a conversation, and keeping it short and interesting will give the person you’re sharing with a chance to ask questions to learn more, or change the conversation if they aren’t ready to discuss further yet.
As part of your evangelism training, you have a little bit of homework with this tool. You want to be prepared, so spend some time with pen and paper and outline any helpful notes so you can craft your testimony.
Evangelism Tool 3: Spiritual Journey Question
This tool is a simple and direct way to start a spiritual conversation. Simply ask people, “where are you in your spiritual journey?”
This is an interesting one for a lot of reasons. Many people do not like to be a part of organized religion, for instance, but they love talking about spiritual things.
For instance, a pastor’s wife who went through our discipleship training used to live overseas in a country that was not very religious. When they first moved there, people would ask about her husband’s job and she would reply that he was a pastor. People would give her a response that said (indirectly), “oh that’s…interesting. How do I change the subject quickly?”
But then, she started telling people he was a “spiritual advisor.” People tended to light up at this, “oh wow, that’s so incredible. Spiritual things are really important!”
When you ask someone about their spiritual journey, it could go in many different directions. However they respond, the ultimate goal for the believer is, as we did with the SHARE method, to ask for permission to share our Spiritual Journey and how it has helped us find purpose, freedom, and assurance.
Evangelism Tool 4: The Answer
The Answer is a brief book that explains the human quest for glory, grace, and truth. It is an engaging and enjoyable read that will prove useful for introducing people on your prayer list to the gospel.
If you’re looking for another form of evangelism training, this book will also help equip you to share and explain the gospel.
If you have found someone who is interested and willing to discuss spiritual things further with you, then you can suggest going through the Answer with them. You could also give them a copy of the book, and include a note in the cover about how the book has helped you find life satisfaction.
Philemon 1:6 says, “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.”
Evangelism Tool 5: The Introductory Diagram
The 5th tool in this evangelism training guide is the Introductory Diagram. We use diagrams because they provide an easy-to-follow way to explain and learn things. Most people do not have an aversion to diagrams either – there is a bit of entrepreneurial excitement when you grab a napkin and start drawing something on it.
The primary goal of the diagram is to invite your friend to do an investigation over a period of four weeks. The diagram explains three drives that we all have and how we can experience purpose, freedom, and assurance.
This article isn’t the best medium for explaining the diagram, but you can watch the following video from Randy Pope to see how he uses the diagram to have spiritual conversations:
Evangelism Training: A few short thoughts
Here are a few more helpful ideas for people who want to share the gospel more:
- Read the room: If someone is clearly not interested in discussing spiritual matters or the Gospel, then don’t push it. Focus on building the relationship and loving them well. Wait until they are ready to talk.
- Remember that God is the one who works in people’s hearts: We are called to share the gospel, but God changes people’s hearts. Pray for those around you, ask God for opportunities to share and ask Him to be at work in people’s hearts so they may receive the good news with joy.
- Introductory tools are just the beginning: Our Evangelism Training discusses several different types of tools beyond just introducing the Gospel. You can learn about them in this video, 4 Tools for Making Disciples.
- Once you learn the tools, anyone can use them: Imagine you had to nail 50 large nails into a wall without a hammer. It would be extremely difficult, even impossible. Having the right tool, however, makes the job much easier. The more you practice with the hammer, the more effective you can be.
Are you ready and interested in learning these evangelism tools? Here at Life on Life, we help local churches around the world follow Jesus’ model of discipleship.
That starts with making disciples, and we have resources that can help. Check out our Express Your Faith evangelism training today.