"I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).
Evangelism is "sharing the gospel in the power of the Spirit and leaving the results to God.” After sharing the gospel personally with about 2000 people in Timaru and Dunedin over the past four years, we believe we have discovered the best way to share the gospel with New Zealanders today. As most know, Kiwis tend to be very cynical and skeptical about any and all spiritual or religious subjects. So we’ve got to weave our way through that skepticism.
Conversational evangelism is about listening first. Through a series of short, open-ended, easy-to-remember worldview questions, we are able to find out where people are coming from in a non-judgmental, non-threatening way. We believe everyone has a worldview, so we give people the opportunity to articulate their worldview to us. We ask follow-up questions and expose contradictions, if necessary. But most of all, we listen. We are not on the attack. We are truly listening. Some of the worldview questions we typically ask are:
- How did it all begin?
- What is the origin of the universe and of man?
- What went wrong?
- Why is there so much suffering in the world?
- Is there any hope?
- How do we solve the suffering so that it no longer exists?
- Ultimately, what will happen to humanity in the future?
- Is there life after death?
- Will you be held accountable for your decisions and actions in life?
- What is the purpose of our lives?
After carefully listening for about 10 minutes, we then ask permission to share what the Bible says about the same questions, just to give the person something to think about. Our experience is that 90% of the time, Kiwis says yes. This is because we have actively listened to them first.
We then use our Gospel Diagram or SpreadTruth.com's TheStory app to share the comprehensive Christian message. We try to share in about 10 minutes…about the same amount of time the person has been given to share with us. This gives the impression of equality and mutual respect. We are speaking to them as fellow human beings, pointing the way to the God who created us.
Once the gospel message is shared, we offer to share a short personal testimony about how we came to believe in Jesus. We'll answer any objections the person may have. We might pray with them or invite them to seeker's Bible study or to church...however the Spirit leads. We always try to exchange contact information so that we can follow up with them.
Do you sense God wanting you to embark on the exciting adventure of consistent evangelism? Is he calling you to be a fisher of men, a harvest worker, and a disciple-maker? We encourage you to get trained as a conversational evangelist so that you may fulfill that calling.
Please get in touch with us to join us personally in Dunedin or Timaru, or to schedule training anywhere in the South Island.
God bless, and may the Spirit empower you to complete the ministry assignment God has given you.