Our soul winning verses from the Word of God today are John 4:39, 42 which read: “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did…And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
Our soul winning quote today is from Haddon Robinson. He said: “Making a place in your life for non-Christian neighbors demands effort, thought, and at times risk. Bridges are harder to construct than walls. But that doesn’t alter this reality: Outsiders to the faith are first drawn to Christians, then to Christ.”
Our soul winning devotional is part 45 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.
Evangelism Is…Winning Three Battles So Jesus Can Win the War
Win People to Yourself
One evangelism statistic has held firm over the decades: more lost people come to Christ as a result of family and friends than any other means. We spend millions of dollars each year on television and radio outreach, crusades, campaigns, and special events. But just as it was in the first century, it is true in the twenty-first century: more people come to Jesus because of friends and family members than any other method. What that means is this: You are God’s best method of evangelism!
Thom Rainer’s research team interviewed several hundred unchurched persons. They were largely surprised by how receptive the unchurched were to genuine Christianity. Twyla Fagan, the leader of the research team, stated, “Most of the unchurched would respond positively to a ‘genuine’ Christian who would spend time with them in a gentle, nonjudgmental relationship…Most of the unchurched can easily tell the difference between drive-by evangelism and a person who really cares.”
Most people will gravitate to people who truly accept them, deeply love them, and strongly believe in them. People tend to like the people who like them, listen to the people who listen to them, and love the people who love them.
It is not hard to figure out. If lost people don’t like you, they will not be interested in what you have to say about Jesus. If they do not trust you, they will not believe what you have to say about sin, eternity, and abundant life.
Jesus gave us the best advice when it comes to relational evangelism when He said in Matthew 22:39, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” If we are to be truly effective evangelists, we must love people as God loves them and see them as God sees them. This means we will have to love people for who they are, not as targets. We will need to take the time to get to know them as people.
Jim Petersen was an effective missionary to secularized college students in Brazil. With great wisdom he writes, “Our function is to accompany our acquaintances on the road to Christ, showing them the way. We must walk the road with them, a step at a time.” As you begin to win people to yourself, you should elicit from them several “preconversion decisions” about you:
1. He is OK.
2. I’d like to know him better.
3. I feel comfortable with him. He accepts me.
4. I want to find out why he is so different.
5. It seems that he gets his outlook on things from the Bible.
6. He’s a Christian, but he’s OK.
7. Being a Christian sure has its advantages.
8. I like his friends. I envy their confidence. I like his church. It seems relevant.
9. Looking at the Bible might be interesting someday.
In our next broadcast, we will continue looking at why evangelism is…Winning Three Battles So Jesus Can Win the War