Sharing the gospel can be difficult and nerve-wracking for some. Many time Christians become overrun by fear or just become too busy to share the gospel. This really shouldn’t be the case. God declared in 1 Peter 3:15 “have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” We should always be ready to share the gospel. I hope and pray that these 6 tips would serve you and the Kingdom well as you share the gospel.
Pray and Expect God to Work
Before anything else we must pray for people to be saved. Only the Lord can raise the spiritual dead among us. Who are we seeking the Lord for day after day? Buck Parson's said “if God answered your prayers, would your neighbor know Christ? Or would you have lots of stuff?” God tells us, “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Growth in evangelistic faithfulness begins by asking God for it more often. Anticipate the work of the Spirit. Believe He wants to save those you’re praying for. Pray for them more than you pray for yourself. Expect Him to work!
Mission should be done with a posture of humility & compassion. We humbly approach people knowing that they don’t need us but that they need Jesus. We approach people with compassion knowing that Jesus is the answer to everyone’s brokenness.
Listening can greatly bless those who feel a need to be heard, known, and understood before seriously considering another person’s viewpoint (which, in this case, would be the gospel). Listening shows the other person we actually care about them; it also enables us to actually know what to say.
Know the Gospel
You can only share what you know. It doesn’t have to be complicated, you don’t have to take a course, and your presentation doesn’t have to be perfect. When sharing the gospel, tell of the powerful, all knowing God who is on a rescue mission to redeem His Creation! Share of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. At New City, we often talk about God’s story in 4 themes: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration. These themes are a great way to walk through the gospel. This is good news, so be excited when you share!
Believe Good Theology
Theology doesn’t help us in sharing the gospel if we don’t truly believe it. I don’t mean just affirming truth, I mean by our lives we truly believe it. These four theological truths anchor me in my evangelistic efforts, but only when I truly believe them!
God is sovereign and by His Spirit, He is the one who saves. People’s salvation doesn’t rest on our shoulders. You don’t need to fear that you don’t have all the answers. You don’t need to fear that your gospel presentation has to be perfect.
You are a child of God; loved and accepted. You don’t need to fear what people will think of you when you share your faith. You don’t need to fear that you will mess it all up.
You are not alone! The hand of the Lord is with you, because when Jesus finished his work, he finished it, and he gave the Great Commission. The last thing he said was this: “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus is always with you. Make disciples under that authority.
Hell is real. This should give us a sense of urgency. Mark 9:36 says, “When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Do you look upon your neighbors with compassion knowing that Jesus is the only answer to our brokenness?
Vary Your Approach
There are many ways to share the gospel. We will all do well to avoid blindly reciting the same method over and over. Pray, listen, and observe your encounter with someone and then share based on where they are. Below are three approaches I use when sharing the gospel:
The 3 Circles: This is a great, simple gospel presentation that is easy to lead into when someone shares a problem, issue, or concern. It could even be drawn on a napkin during lunch. It’s just a tool but it’s simple, reproducible, and effective. Pick up the book on The 3 Circles in our resource section on a Sunday morning to learn more on this!
Sharing your story (testimony): This is one of the strongest apologetics we have for the gospel. It doesn’t have to be 20 minutes long or full of deep theological truths. Paul lays out an easy format for sharing your story in Acts 26:1-23. Give a brief description of what your life was like before Christ (vv. 4-11), then describe how God brought you from darkness into light (vv. 12-18), then finally share how your life has changed and is still changing after Christ (vv. 19-23).
Transition questions: Questions are a great way to transition into sharing the gospel with someone. There are endless statements to bridge a conversation to the gospel. Below are a few of the ones I often use:
“If God could do a miracle in your life today, what would it be?”
“Would you consider yourself to be near or far from God?”
“Would you mind if I shared with you what I read in the Bible today?”
“Could I tell you about the best thing that has ever happened to me?”
Play the Long Game. Persevere.
Sometimes becoming a Christian takes a long time. Most believers can look back over many things that God used over time to bring them to Himself. Sometimes when people hear the gospel, they immediately repent and believe. Other times, it can take years. The Holy Spirit’s regenerating work happens instantly, but only God can see that. What we see is people working through questioning, contemplating, doubting, suspicion, and believing.
Practically, this often looks like following up with people and developing friendships so gospel conversations can continue to happen. This also allows people to see us demonstrate the gospel alongside our declaration.