Welcome back to my blog. Thank you for visiting today. We are exploring research findings from Teleios! A list of our compelling findings is on our website (www.teleiosresearch.com).
Last week we spoke about people’s fear in sharing the Gospel so this week let’s discuss some basic principles about how to communicate the Gospel in an easy, acceptable manner that you can adapt to your lifestyle.
Fortunately, scripture does not tell us that we need to beat people with the Gospel in a socially awkward and isolating way. So how do we relate the Good News to others in today’s world? Well there are many ways to share the plan of salvation, but here is a process that my wife, Jeanette and I often use:
· Prayerfully consider others – Most of us are so busy that unless we stop and specifically consider those around us we may easily miss wonderful opportunities to spread the Gospel. Therefore, try thinking through the people you know and who might respond to the Gospel.
Many Christians say ‘well nobody!’ So then, consider how you can meet more people and know your acquaintances better (please see next point). Start by praying for them!
· Create a solid base for a relationship – This is vital as people need to know that you genuinely like and respect them. There are many books on the subject and perhaps the best starter is the classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. You can buy a cheap used copy (or download a copy) at Amazon. It is frightfully easy to read and apply. Do it!
In short, good relationships are built on, at least in part: listening, asking inquisitive questions about people’s passions, work, interests and family. This should be done in a genuine, affable manner with a smile, gratitude, appropriate specific compliments, and saying ‘I’m sorry’ as needed. A solid relationship may take some time to build, months to years. Be patient.
· Build a spiritual rapport – This can be done by simply asking them about benign religious topics, progressing through such questions as:
o Were you raised in the church and what denomination? Did you like the church? Was it a good social environment?
o What do you think about religious-based political issues such as Christian persecution? Does religion or the church help our culture, etc.?
o Work towards issues pertaining to Christ, who is the major goal of the conversation, such as: what did their Church teach about Christ? What do they themselves believe about Christ? What is Christ’s role in salvation?
Important note: You don’t have to respond to the above questions, it is better that you mostly just listen initially and gather information, again showing you respect for their opinions.
· Identify a need – As you listen you should be able to perceive spiritual needs such as: are they are saved? Are they concerned about not going to heaven? Do they express reasons for guilt or unhappiness? Based on these issues you can develop a plan to assist them.
· Make an offer – Based on your assessment of their spiritual needs, plan how to explain the gospel as a specific solution to their need. Make sure the offer is clear and unambiguous, that they must say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and they know what they are accepting.
Although you may be able to discuss the Gospel directly, I generally find it is helpful to offer a Bible study for 4 weeks to study the claims of Christ in Ephesians1:1-14. During this study they can discover the truth themselves, ask questions and you can share the Gospel as issues of salvation are raised in the text (please review plan of salvation at the bottom of the page so you know what to say). Salvation is neatly packaged also in Romans 3:10-26 or Ephesians 2:1-10.
Even if this individual says ‘no’ to your efforts, the strong relationship you’ve built in the initial steps outlined above should overcome any social awkwardness. Through prayer and patience perhaps the opportunity to share again will occur.
If they say yes and believe, then praise be to God. What a privilege to see God save and change a life!
Thank you for reading my blog. Join me again next week as we continue to discuss Teleios’ findings and the wisdom of God’s word.
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