What Is Your Witnessing Method?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Tom Butler, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Hey folks, do Calvinists witness differently from Non-Cals?

    JUST KIDDING!!!! This is NOT another Cal-NonCal discussion.

    What I am interested in is how you witness to lost people?

    I was trained to use the Roman Road, winding up with the Sinner's Prayer. It was called "drawing the net." I stopped using the SP I came to the conclusion that it was vulnerable to becoming "closing the sale."

    I have heard of others who uses passages from the gospel of John.

    The Way of the Master guys have their own way.

    What's your "method?" How do you initiate a discussion? What do you say to the lost person? Do you ask him questions? Do you use a Bible? New Testament? What scriptures? How do you press for a commitment?
    Do you use the Sinner's Prayer? Did you use the SP at one time and no longer do so?

    I hope you will be as detailed as necessary. I can understand that witnessing can be scary because we want desperately to say the right things, because we're dealing with one's eternal soul. And we may lack confidence.

    Maybe you can be of help.
     
  2. Iconoclast

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    1] Pray for God to providentially use me whereever I am...for His purposes,
    salvation,or damnation
    2] make some small talk...listen alot and look for answered prayer as far as an opportunity to address the person.

    3] if I do not get a real clear opening I ask the person......are you a church person?
    They say; yes, no, I used to be but, not really, or why do you ask?
    I tell them I have found a free web site that has over 380,000 free sermons on it and thought they might be interested because it was for free.
    Then I explain about sermonaudio,com [I made up a hat that says sermonaudio,on it.\
    This leads to a fairly descent opportunity to get at the sin question, and how only the blood can cover sin. [Christ our passover is sacrificed for us]

    4] I leave them with the sermonaudio website...after explaining it.
    I give out my email and some other web sites if they want to follow up.

    5] sometimes, actually most of the time I read a book, or my bible in the restaurants I am in..or I go online [posting here,lol sometimes and get people to ask what I am doing.

    6] in warm weather I go to yard sales...ppl say are you looking for anything in particular... I say yes...books on theology...and we start to talk

    It is preferable to have a long term relationship with a person, but with my job I am always travelling so I have adapted. I try to plant the seed of the word, so another can water.
     
    #2 Iconoclast, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2011
  3. HankD

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    When I was younger I was very aggressive. Street preaching, handing out tracts, door-to-door, etc...

    Now, I just let "nature take its course" or should I say "watch for the work of the Spirit" in day-to-day life. Mainly, what is the person's sense of sin and death?

    Is there conviction of sin (without which there is little hope except to plant a seed).

    I have no set pattern but I like to use the Gospel of John, Romans and Revelation.

    If I'm asked to do a funeral, that's different. Then I'm young again.
    It's a captive audience, keenly aware of the result of sin - death.

    John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.​

    HankD
     
  4. Bob Alkire

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    Most of my witnessing is to truck drivers at the coffee counter in truck stops. To understand truckers turn on a CB radio, if you need advice on love, law, money or what ever they will give it and you don't need to ask, just don't follow it, it is a lot of hot air most of the time.

    So often I start off with the fall in Genesis (because truckers are good at saying there is no true right and wrong, so you are saved from what) to lay the ground work and the promise. Then to John chapter 3 with much use of verses 13-18. Shows what happens to one if they accept or reject God's offer. Then some times to Romans if time allows to show more. End in 1 John to show we are sinners even after we are saved and to show God is love and we are to love others.

    Truckers like to talk but aren't much on listening in many accounts, but with prayer and following the lead of the Holy Spirit one can plant a lot of seed (truth) for others to water in time and at times the Holy Spirit uses my witness to lead them to Christ.
     
  5. JohnDeereFan

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    It depends. I do open air preaching, one on one witnessing, and pass out tracts. Each is very different than the others.

    I usually hit them in the head with a rock and say, "Hey, has anybody seen my rock?"

    No, seriously, it depends. When I'm doing one on one, usually what I'll do is point to a current event and go from there. There's almost always some celebrity dying so that comes in handy. I might say something like, "Hey, that was something about Cory Lidle, wasn't it? Hard to believe somebody so young with so much going for him could just die so suddenly, isn't it? What do you think happens when you die?" and then go from there. That seems to work pretty well.

    When I'm open air preaching, it depends on where I am. Sometimes I like to take a blackboard with me and play trivia games to gather a crowd.

    Then I can flip it over and use it to do things like list the characteristics of God.

    I always start with man's sinfulness, man's guilt as a result of violations of the law, God's plan to save man through Christ's atonement, and how we can share in Christ's atonement through repentance and faith.

    Yes.

    Usually.

    Usually. If it's a Jewish person, then sometimes I'll share the Gospel with the from the Old Testament.

    It depends. Romans 5 comes up a lot. John 3, 1 Cor 6, even though 1 John is written to believers, I find it's helpful in evangelism.

    I don't. That's how you make false converts.

    I used to but no longer do.
     
    #5 JohnDeereFan, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2011
  6. preachinjesus

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    I don't use a method any more. I used to use the two diagnostic questions from EE, then I'd talk from Romans Road, also maybe use something from FAITH.

    One of the churches I served in was huge on Bill Faye's approach, but I found a lot of disingenuous towards people who needed a life change. Sort of burned me out on set methods.

    Now I just talk with people. I don't really do confrontational evangelism because I don't think it is effective in my context. I get to know them and talk about where they are coming from.

    With my background in theology and apologetics there really isn't a subject people will enter into that I'm not prepared for (not being arrogant about this, just honest) so I'm happy to have a back and forth. I always try to talk about the story of Jesus in a way that remains to true to the Gospel and related to their life story.

    I don't use a set path (not saying these are bad) just work with what I've got. I've never had a problem starting a conversation with someone. Our only goal in sharing with people should be to share with them in a way that connects. I don't keep a "headcount" of salvations out of these conversations.
     
  7. glfredrick

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    I've been trained and have trained others in virtually all of the "methods" (FAITH, FIRE, FIRM, EE, Romans Road, Gospel of John, marked up NT, etc.) and I've had to pass Master's level course work in personal evangelism at the seminary, so I am well versed in the programmatic means of evangelism.

    I mostly reject the methodology types of evangelism these days in favor of a more relational means of sharing faith. I've never found much fruit from the "methods" even when walking door-to-door for weeks and weeks on end during church plants. Most of the people I've seen who have come to Christ do so in some other fashion than in a response to programs, and in fact, lately when I present the programs the typical response I get is for the person to roll their eyes and run as fast as they can run.

    What I've discovered is that lost people don't really give a hoot what the Bible says (or that there is a Bible!), what God thinks about their lost state, or ESPECIALLY, us telling them what they have to believe in order to become like us.

    So, what do I do? Very simply, I love people. I ask them questions. I ask them to share THEIR gospel (and I don't use the term "gospel"). I want to hear what it is that makes them okay in this life and in the after-life (as they see it). I get involved in their lives. While I can and do share the gospel in "quick-hitting" episodes -- doesn't every evangelist have an airplane story? -- but that is becoming more and more rare for me, as it seems counterproductive and not very biblical at that! I notice that Jesus asked questions and let the Holy Spirit guide the respondents into a comprehension of the truth. I also noticed that some walked away and that Jesus was okay with that. Realizing that He is in charge of directing the evangelistic event gives me the freedom to just be me -- a sinner saved by grace -- instead of some slicked-back hair, super-evangelist, who is always "on" like a circus clown.

    I work off a set of premises that deal with big worldview questions, of which there are basically 3 potential answers, "God's way" (as detailed in the Bible), "man's way" (as detailed in Science, philosophy, common sense, tradition, etc.) and "I don't know" which can be honest or dishonest (meaning that some say "I don't know..." when they want to escape the conversation instead of actually searching for an answer). I've found that letting the individual do much of the talking is more productive in the end, as they very quickly come to see just how little they have thought about these matters. From that stems the question from them to me, "So, what do you think?" At which time I am free to share some of my heart, in keeping with the general direction of the conversation, and in non-churchy terms.

    Evangelizing like this is sort of like down-hill skiing or motocross racing. You have to be good at what you do in order to have the freedom to do it. If you don't grasp the principles, know both the Scriptures and science, etc., you will probably get lost running down rabbit trails, but once you do know your stuff, there is freedom unlike any other programmatic approach. Just like there is nothing like carving up a black diamond downhill with a few acrobatic jumps thrown in just for fun, or like the feeling one gets when roosting a hill and flying for 80 feet off a big jump on a dirt bike, the feeling that one gets from pursing the evangelistic encounter as led by the Spirit in a relational sort of way is exhilarating!

    Additionally, I have been sharing the gospel based on a whole Bible concept. Instead of quoting direct verses (as if they are some sort of Christian magic incantation) I tell the story of God's perfect creation ("Let's just suppose for a moment that there was a God and that that God created a perfect world..."), then go into how that world was spoiled and the only remedy, a Savior who was born a free man and able to make right what was destroyed (redeem!). In this means, I share the complete gospel, creation, the fall, sin, history, redemption, and restoration, in a way that allows for open-ended discussion (note that I am not calling the person a "sinner" though they are, as am I) that allows for conclusions to be drawn and also for the Holy Spirit to work to confirm the truth of the statements and how they play into the life of the person I am evangelizing. I have had incredible success in using this technique. Far more than all of the above mentioned programs together!
     
  8. mandym

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    Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.


    I preach the word and let the Holy Spirit do His work. I am not responsible if one accepts the gospel as given in the word. I am only responsible to deliver the word.

    Romans 10:14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?


    I am not willing to hold relationship above the delivery of the word. I will just trust the Word to determine the method.


    Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


    I tell them who Jesus is and why they need Him.


    Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
    Romans 10:13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."



    I tell them what it means to believe and be willing to confess and that Jesus needs to be both Lord and Savior.


    I do not try to manipulate context or relationship. I am up front and transparent. I never confront but move as the Holy Spirit leads. I leave context and relationship to Him.
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    Thanks, guys, I have learned a lot so far.

    I think one of the keys is finding out where a person is spiritually. That can be ascertained by asking "what do you think it takes for one to go to heaven," or "to have a right relationship with God." Those of you who have done a lot of witnessing can attest that the general answer is works or some variation of works

    Or, it's some vague hope that their good deeds will outweigh their bad deeds; or maybe that God will cut them some slack at some point; or the idea that they're actually a pretty good person, and they'll be just fine.

    Let me also ask, do you find sometimes they want to chase some theological rabbit, or argue some point? How do you keep the conversation on track, or get it back on track?
     
  10. Jim1999

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    First off, I befriend the person and find out where they are in life.

    Secondly, I relate my conversion experience, and what I think of Jesus, historically and personally. Then, and most important, allow them to speak.

    People expect pastors to be "religious" so they are on guard for "religion". This is why a personal experience with Christ is so important. I don't expect them to fathom theology when I have spent a lifetime learning it.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. glfredrick

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    Constantly... It seems that everyone has a "sticking point" somewhere that they will argue, even if they don't know what it is that they are arguing. This board, case in point... Like we go back and forth over a smallish theological tenet that is not the end all and be all of our walk with Christ, so to do those yet lost in their sin have something that they "perceive" as a reason why they may not want to come to faith. Ultimately, if God is leading them to faith, that obstacle will be overcome or removed, but He tends to use His people to accomplish that task, which is why we witness, share, evangelize, and love.

    How to keep the conversation on track? Two thoughts come to mind... First, sometimes it is impossible, so it may be better to simply break off the conversation for the time being and return to it on another day. Second, you just come back to it with something along these lines, "I appreciate the concern you have about ____ (all the people who never hear, the problem with evil, how all church people are the stuff that comes from the south end of a north moving bull, etc.) but what about _____ ?" (where you left off).

    Recall above the responses I listed for "I don't know." One is honest. They don't know, and they may or may not be asking for an answer, but, as Peter says, be prepared to give a reason for our faith in a loving manner. The other is rather dishonest, and the individual is primarily working to lead you off the trail, knowing what it is that you are attempting to do, or perhaps they are at odds with God and will not listen to "God-talk." In either case, discernment of the individual is the key. Overstepping your opportunity is just as bad as not witnessing at all, save that the Holy Spirit may confirm something that you said as truth and hound the person until they confront that truth!
     
  12. Alive in Christ

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    Most of my witnessing is reactionary.

    I respond when the other person says something that is a clear "door opener".

    In my experience, witnessing has been more fruitful for me doing it that way, rather than the "confrontational" style.

    AiC
     
  13. webdog

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    My main one lately is facebook. You would be surprised the opportunities available there with long lost friends and schoolmates...and even friends of friends. Amazing the discussion you can get fired up with a simple status update.
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    Web, I'm convinced that if one is willing to share the gospel whenever the opportunity arises, God will send those opportunities your way. A willing witness won't have to look for those opportunities. God will send them to you.

    That's obviously true with your Facebook witnessing.
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    For those who lack confidence to be aggressive witnesses, or aren't comfortable with the Roman Road, FAITH and the like, here's something for you:

    Tell them what happened to you. Tell them how the Holy Spirit opened your eyes to your sin, convicted you of it and drew you to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.

    That's something you won't have to worry about forgetting.
     
  16. webdog

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    ...like the prayer of Jabez? :)

    I'm wondering with the advent of the internet and means like Facebook and Twitter if this is the Gospel being preached in all the world the Bible speaks of. Even third world countries now have internet access. I have always looked at it from a missionary perspective without ever having thought about the digital aspect. This prophecy may have been fulfilled in the last 10 years or so! Exciting stuff.
     
  17. go2church

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    I hit them with a giant bible, KJV of course, until they repent or die. If they repent, elect. If they die, the atonement just wasn't for them. :thumbs:
     
  18. Joshua2415

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    It's been a while since I last converted someone. I think the last person was my wife. :thumbs:

    My most open method is debating with atheists and the irreligious on Internet forums. When they come across someone they can't immediately shut down (me) they pounce on the debate. Sure, you get some trolls, but mostly it's lively and civil. A lot of them are people who were raised in Christian homes, but disliked it for one reason or another, and I can walk with that background, correct bad doctrine, etc. I don't know if I've ever converted anyone, but they've at least heard it!

    My other methods are more subtle. I make sure it's known that I'm Christian--my friends know it, my Internet profiles list it, and so on. I wear a small steel cross necklace. In short, I broadcast it, but I don't whack people over a head with a King James Bible. I pray for people. I connect well with people who are having trouble in life, so sometimes I leverage that.

    As far as an actual conversion, I tend to wait until someone is drawn towards me due to my own Christian tendencies--someone will ask why I waited until marriage, or why I know the Bible so well, and the conversation flows. When I'm explaining the gospel, I don't generally quote the Bible directly unless the person is familiar. I don't know if the Holy Spirit takes over when I talk, but I can explain well-grounded Christian doctrine in simple terms, something I can't do with other topics (if anyone has ever heard me try to explain computers or science). And sometimes they come back for more.

    I know the Roman road, the verses, the doctrine, but with me it's more spontaneous, direct and clear when I witness.
     
  19. Tom Butler

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    Hey Josh, I like what you posted.

    I say again, if you're willing to witness, God will provide you with opportunities.

    And you are not responsible for the results.

    Several years ago, the associate pastor and I visited one of the members of my SS class, intending to present him with the claims of the gospel. He was quite receptive, and in a very short time confessed Christ as Lord. I was thinking to myself, "gee, this was easy."

    Then he revealed that earlier that week, a friend of his had stepped off a curb into the path of a car, and was killed. He said, "I thought to myself, if that had been me, I'd be in hell right now."

    So the Holy Spirit was working on both ends. He was preparing him for our witness, and he was giving us the burden to go see him.

    When we began to discuss baptism with him, he was very willing. His wife then said, "you know, I was saved several years ago but I've never been baptized. I have this terrible fear of being under water. I know it's irrational, but I'm scared to death."

    I said, "well, I can't help you. Only God can solve that problem for you."

    Sunday morning, here he comes down the aisle to make public his confession of faith. And his wife was with him!!! They were both baptized the next Sunday night.

    I just about came unglued.
     

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