Evangelism Is… Learning to Listen, Part 4 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #87)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Philemon 1:6 which reads: “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”

Allow me to share with you some important insights regarding this Scripture from David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible:

Paul prayed for Philemon, desiring that the sharing of his faith would become effective as Philemon understood the work God did in him (every good thing which is in you).

This is the foundation for all effective evangelism: the overflow of a life touched and changed by God. God had done every good thing in the life of Philemon. Now, it was a matter of it being acknowledged by both Philemon and those he shared the faith with. When these good things were understood, others would come to Jesus. The reason why some sharing of the faith is not effective is because we don’t know or can’t communicate every good thing God has done for us.

Our soul winning quote today is from Karl Menninger. He said: “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 70 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism Is…Learning to Listen (Part 4)

Hints for Listening for Understanding

You can learn to listen for understanding by taking these steps from the story of the woman at the well:

1. Seek to determine the other person’s perspective. This is true with Christ as He used a series of responses to establish the woman’s deeper life issues. Unlike many of us, Jesus was not so quick to speak His mind and usurp the woman’s perspective by trying to force His perspective. His approach was genuine and elevated compassion over condemnation.

2. Ask good strategic questions and respond with well-placed statements. Jesus did this with the Samaritan woman when He asked for a drink. He also did it when He transitioned the conversation from physical water to spiritual water. He did it again when He commented about her going to get her husband. In contemporary culture a good leading question is simply, “Will you tell me your story?” Believe me, it works. Just be ready to listen.

3. Give the other person space. Once again Jesus did this with the woman at the well. He did not attack her with a barrage of information. He wisely gave the woman room to consider Christ. This principle is sometimes called “continuing the conversation.” It means that we should meet people where they are and, if needed, be willing to continue the conversation through later encounters. Be sensitive to the Spirit and never close the door. Who knows, that next opportunity may be the appointed time.

In our next broadcast, we will continue looking at why evangelism is…Learning to Listen.

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