God's word is so amazing! In just one scripture God has revealed many truths to help us reach the lost.
Let us look briefly at the lessons we can pull from these two verses that will help us become more effective in reaching lost souls.
One of the most penetrating questions that Christians need to ask is: If everyone in God's church was just like me, what kind of church would it be? If, because of members like me, the church is less than what God wants it to be, let me begin today to work on the things necessary to change my life so that it will become exemplary. We must continually make Romans 2:21 our standard of conduct: You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal?
Time should be given to planning objectives when having a discussion with an outsider. But first, as the planning of objectives begins, consider several possible existing conditions of the outsider.
Make the most of your opportunities invite the service station attendants, the hairdressers, the store clerks, etc. Acquire the necessary courage, boldness, and determination to invite a stranger to study the Bible. Learn to be aware of the many opportunities women have to invite people from the workplace, the malls, the parks, or even the neighborly coffee. When common interest exists between you and someone else, you already have a kind of relationship that allows a study together to be a natural progression of that relationship. Always be genuine in your relationships with others.
Avoid being negative to outsiders about those who are members of the church. Be aware of the damage that the tongue can do by gossiping, complaining, and criticizing others in the church. If an outsider has a negative impression of the church, do you think that she will want to be associated with it? The unity of the local body of Christians plays a very large role in whether or not the outsider will be interested in Christ. The church needs to be aware of this and learn to accept every outsider not for what or who she is but for what she can become in Christ.
Children can be a great help in getting studies started. They can help you talk more easily with other mothers. A good reason usually exists for getting together and letting the children play. Having small children does not free you of the responsibility to take advantage of your opportunities as they come. Study with the mother while the children play together. Regardless of the situation, make use of the opportunities God has given you by always being on the alert.
We need to know how to respond in speech to outsiders. This means we are not to be guessing, feeling, or thinking, but indeed knowing. God wants us to be fully equipped workmen (Ephesians 4:12-15) and to put on the full armor (Ephesians 6:11,13). God expects us to learn how to do this. A successful teacher of lost souls avoids occasions of arguing and confrontation. The successful teacher looks for common ground. If there is a confrontation, let it be her against the Bible rather than her against you. Second Timothy 2:14,23-26 warns us about the traps of arguing religion rather than teaching the gospel. We are told not to wrangle about words.
As fishermen must use different bait for different kinds of fish, we must also use different methods when dealing with different kinds of people. Basically, there are two kinds of people that will respond to your invitation to study: the committed religious and the uncommitted religious. The committed need to have a strong lesson on denominationalism. The uncommitted need a strong lesson on commitment, obedience to Christ, and weeding sin out of their lives.
Not every one learns at the same rate. However, we need to recognize the No signals: lack of desire, over commitment of time in other areas, and weak or lazy excuses. Be direct with those who appear inattentive. One time I tried everything I could to get an outsider to grow and learn God's word, even to the point of baby-sitting and doing her housework while she read the Bible. I continued to help her like this for a month. It was to no avail. Unfortunately, her desire to please Christ was never there. If a non-Christian is not willing to do homework or read the Bible, it is a strong indication that their desire to know Christ is shallow. You cannot assume their responsibility to grow and do what is right.
I often assign homework in the form of daily Bible readings because it helps me assess the outsider's desire, abilities, and stage of growth. Most of the time people are a little embarrassed by their lack of Bible knowledge, but I tell them that we all must start somewhere. It's not long until they are quite happy that they can find Bible passages for themselves. Sometimes, for a more confident student, I will assign them one or two verses to memorize.
Occasionally, I have a problem with the non-Christian not wanting to do homework assignments because they don't see other Christians doing any homework, studies, or attending regularly. Again, we need to be careful about the message we are sending outsiders by our example.
Pray to God for wisdom, direction, and help in bringing that soul into the harvest, believing that God will be there helping you. Paul said in Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through him who strengthens me. You can do the same! The best way to gain experience is by setting up a study with a friend and giving it your best. We don't need to just continue reading lessons on how to evangelize; we need to go and do it. You learn to swim by getting into the water; you learn to ride a bike by getting on it. The only way you can learn to teach outsiders about Christ is to do it. You may take a few swallows of water or skin your knee, but the event won't kill you. Teaching an outsider about Christ won't kill you either. Soon you will be doing the backstroke, riding without hands, or leading someone to Christ!
Go to Interactive Bible Websight
Go back to Evangelism Websight