My question is, what are the main things that one need to do or have to make evangelism fruitful.
Hi Daniel. I’m just wondering what do you mean by “fruitful”?
Basically, was trying to ask about how to get your listeners engage and get them to make a decision for Jesus Christ.
I like @SeanO post about the Engel Scale (linked below), which is just a way of thinking about where a particular person might be in relation to sharing the Gospel to them, and helping clear a path for them to go to the next step.
With an atheist, you need to start with establishing that God exists.
With an agnostic, you need to move towards showing that God has revealed himself through both the Bible and the person of Jesus Christ.
It’s encouraging to know that we are called to share the Word, but it is God that gives the increase - and this takes the pressure off us to get it perfect. We can just do our best to point to Jesus and leave the results to Him, knowing that as Christians the Holy Spirit that dwells in us and helps us to say the right things. Even when we feel inadequate and weak in our communication, this is probably better because God is the one that gets the glory, not us. And of course, we don’t save anybody, God does. We only share what has happened in our own lives.
We are witnesses to who Jesus is and what he has done. In 1 Corinthians 3:4-11 the Apostle Paul talks about himself planting, Apollos watering but God giving the increase. We might not see the results of our efforts until heaven. We might be only part of the picture of another individual’s story as they learn more about Jesus, and someone else might only be answering the next question. We’re all on the same team and can do our part.
And one of the biggest ways to make a connection is to ask questions - as the course showed, because we learn about another individual, and show genuine interest in them in order to reach them for Jesus. Winning an intellectual argument is pretty pointless, and as you’ve heard Ravi say we are aiming to reach the questioner behind any questions they might have.
So basically just try to figure out what the persons worldview is, and try to ask questions that lead towards maybe one of the 4 big questions (Origins, Meaning, Morality, and Destiny), and know that each human intrinsically know God exists through both Creation and our conscience. As in Romans 1:18-32, those that reject God have to actually suppress or hold down the truth.
Also I might mention I like a post below about asking questions that are very hard to push away, and stick with a person. I’m not good at this yet but want to work towards asking questions like these.
Hope that’s a helpful start?
oh also, I haven’t really read all the posts in this topic but it does look interesting and related to your question on how to get started, or improve as time goes by??
- it is God’s Spirit who testifies to the truth of the Gospel, so prayer is paramount
- sometimes we sow, sometimes we water and sometimes we see the increase
- soak yourself in Scripture - the deepest and most profound answers to the most challenging questions are rooted in God’s self-revelation
- each of us has different gifts and plays a different role in God’s Church - we are not all evangelists even though we do all evangelize as we are able
- evangelism is most powerful when done in community
- it takes effort to understand another person’s worldview in order to communicate to them persuasively
- we learn best by doing - starting the journey of sharing Christ and learning as we stumble our way forward, relying fully on God to bring fruit from our blundering efforts
Some resources that I think are helpful in learning to be persuasive in how we present Christ are below. Christ grant you wisdom and open doors as you seek to share Christ.
Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true. The cure for this is first to show that religion is not contrary to reason, but worthy of reverence and respect. Next make it attractive, make good men wish it were true, and then show that it is.
Apologetics is not just about answering peoples’ rational questions - it is about making them wish Christianity were true. And we should wish it were true! The Gospel is the most beautiful truth in the entire world.
Here is an article from Tim Keller explaining Pascal’s approach and a book that I personally enjoyed reading on the Pensees by Peter Kreeft. I think the imagination has a large role to play in this process of making people wish Christianity were true. For me, the ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C. S. Lewis I read as a child always made me wish I could be in Narnia - they taught me the beauty of righteousness and goodness and even, in a way, of God. They sanctified my imagination. Lord of the Rings had a similar impact once I was already Christian. I read it regularly because it reminds me of the glory of a righteous king reigning on the throne and of a longing for things greater than this world.
Hope these thoughts are helpful - feel free to take the discussion to a deeper level or probe more deeply. Christ be with you.
“But the phrase “make good men wish it were true” gets across that this takes determination and ingenuity. We must know our culture—know its hopes—and then show others that only in Christ will their aspirations ever find fulfillment, that only in him will the plot lines of their lives ever have resolution and a happy ending.” Tim Keller
Thank you all very much for taking time to answer my question. I’m very much grateful.
Thank you very Matthew for your thought answer to my question. I really appreciate the resources you gave as well.