Reaching The Lost With The Gospel (Part 1)
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”
This week, we will celebrate and discuss soul-winning or what some call personal evangelism. The concept is to share the message of Jesus Christ with them in a personal and private setting outside of the house of God. This week I will share some tenants to help you become a better soul winner and/or personal evangelist.
Disclaimer: The notes, tips and techniques are NOT guaranteed to work unless the soul-winner: puts forth effort. Additionally, one connect logically expect to win something or win someone that they haven’t trained to win. In order to win, you must first practice to win, which may include not winning multiple times. Hang in there and you will receive a victory if you learn, continue to go and trust in God’s power.
This entire week, I will give a clinic on how to reach people with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are 5 things that we need to remember when we witness to others. Since I used to work in sales, I will use the sales model to explain.
- Needs Analysis
- Give & Take Away
- Closing Or Invitation
- Follow-Up & Assurance Or Salutation & Prayer
I will cover each of these ideas each day this week and give a practical exercise of how to address objections that come up from the person asking questions.
This portion of the process is the easiest and sometimes the most neglected portion. In sales we are taught that there are three things that must be present for a sale:
- Price – People usually do their homework and will come prepared to haggle price. They do this because they want to get the best deal possible without spending an arm and a leg. In other words, “I want to get the same thing that someone else got, but I don’t want to spend the same amount of money.” Make me different!!!
- Product – This is the particular item that the customer desires to have. The very fact that they have travelled a great distance or invested their time to come see you is reason enough that they want your product. Don’t believe me? How many times have you driven to a different store or to a location out of your way for a sale on a product or even fuel?
- Person Selling – Have you ever gone to a restaurant and noticed your favorite waiter or waitress there and elected to wait for them just so that you can have the special level of service. How about them knowing what you desire before you have to ask for it. It’s almost like they can anticipate your words before you speak them. There is nothing worse than a rude salesman or saleswoman that doesn’t care about you as a person. It almost seems like all they care about is making the sale and closing the deal rather than your needs. That’s like trying to cook a meal without the fire burning. You will be going through the motions with little results and will have to go back and start over again.
These three things are important but we have to make sure that we, as soul winners, establish a rapport with them before we attempt to close the deal. They need to see you as a human being and not just a walking, preaching entity. So how do you make an introduction?
A. Be Yourself – If you’re a funny and outgoing person, use that God given ability to your advantage. If you’re not, don’t try to be that way. It will come across as fake and forced. Have you ever seen someone “try to be someone that their not”? What did you inwardly think? I usually laugh at them and not take them seriously. Just being real. Lost people aren’t very perceptive in spiritual matters but they very perceptive when it comes to people trying to act like them when they aren’t them. I may sound like a celebrity when I change my voice but no matter how much I do that, I am not a celebrity. Don’t try to be like someone else, unless you and that person have similar personality traits. Just be yourself and develop your own style.
B. Be Kind – Just because you have the answers to their questions and life concerns doesn’t mean that you have to be a jerk or rude. Being kind involves treating them the same way that you would want to be treated. This involves a few things:
- Your choice in words – When I start out I use neutral terms like: us, we, humility, mankind and all people. This is a very small thing but this lets the person feel like I am not preaching to them but we are having a conversation. I have personally noticed that when I have used this soft speech more people have listened longer than if I said stuff like:” hey you sinner, you, your type of people, lost people or the wicked”.
- Now in step 2 “The Needs Analysis” we can begin to slowly incorporate the word you and yours because this section pertains to them.
- Your choice of tone – When I start to talk to them, I manage my tone of voice to that of a normal conversation. I try not to use too much of a mono tone because they will turn me off and lose interest. I try not to sound too excited because they will become worried and slowly back away. I use a mixture of cadence, which is speed, and timbre, which is pitch “low & high”. I would caution against speaking so loudly that you fail to hear things around you.
- I tend to be more mono-tone near step 3 “Give & Take Away” because if the hook is in they will lean forward to hear what I’m saying because I have their attention. This is the perfect set-up for closing.
C. Be Considerate – Just because we have their attention, this doesn’t mean that we need to keep them there for 30 minutes as we mount our own personal pulpit. Try to limit the amount of time that you use talking to them, unless God gives you liberty. If you see that a person is in a hurry, don’t try to present a 10 minute lecture to them. Here are somethings to think about in the area of being considerate:
- Ask For Permission – Before going on a rant, I like to ask if I could take a few minutes to show them how they can get to heaven or whatever the question that I asked them earlier. I find that asking permission makes them feel like their in control. Also, if they become offended and not want to listen anymore, I remind them that I obtained their permission. This is just a good idea. Remember, if they reject at this point, they are rejecting Jesus NOT you.
- Be Aware – You should be aware of a few things when you talk to people about Jesus Christ and share the gospel:
- Your Breath – Keep mints or gum. Bad breath will end a conversation before it begins.
- The Time – Sometimes the person may be in a hurry and may forget about the time because of the conversation. Being aware of the time will make them see you as more of a humane person instead of a machine.
- The Environment – If it is cold or hot outside, don’t make the person remain in those conditions without the proper clothing. Also, in rain, snow or high winds.
- Other Factors – If you are speaking to a person with small children, I wouldn’t spend too much time witnessing if their children are restless. This will divide their attention and frustrate you because you will have to restart every time there is an interruption. In this case I would say “I see that you have your hands full, may I leave you with a gospel tract that you can read at a better time.”
D. Be Interested – I would begin my session by asking them what type of things they are interested in and what things are important to them and their family. After they have told me these things, I will make a mental note and try to incorporate these into the gospel presentation to make it more personal to them. The gospel is a “one size fits all message” however, your presentation is a “custom fit message”. How can I be interested? Here are some tips to help you build a listener rapport:
- Ask-Learn-Ask – When I go out and speak to people about the Lord and I have time to speak with them I use this technique. I will ask a question about what they like and allow them to speak about that idea. While they are speaking, I make mental notes about something they said during their “purge” or explanation. Then after they are done, I will ask them about that one item that I have made a mental note. This does two things:
- Lets them know that you are listening. Because you have asked questions about something that they said, it builds a sense of trust. In their minds they are thinking “Since he/she listened to me, I feel obligated to listen to them.”
- Let’s them get out their complete thoughts without any misunderstandings. Too often people will try to stop the person in their explanation and ask questions while they are explaining. This can be seen as immature and rude. Their inward thought is “If you would have listened a little longer, you would have heard the answer.” This will close the door for when you desire them to listen and they will interrupt you since you set the bar.
- Do Your Research – If I know that I am going to a specific area, I will learn what major events have happened there in the last few days so that I can have something to talk about. This is important, because you are a visitor on their turf but if you show that you have knowledge and are concerned with the items of that neighborhood, this can work as a huge foot in the door. Now you’re no longer an outsider but someone that they can relate to at that time.
- This is NOT BY ANY MEANS a necessity, but do your best to learn a little bit of each subject. This will open the door to more conversation and build a vested interest in the future. The thought behind this, in their mind, is “Wow, this person likes the same things that I like!!!”
I remember a story where a soldier was on guard duty, during the civil war, and was in the cross hairs of an enemy sniper. The sniper had made a decision to take the shot and kill the guard on duty and was squeezing the trigger until the guard on duty began singing a hymn. The sniper paused for a second and listened! He actually knew the hymn and began silently humming in his heart. The enemy sniper lowered his weapon and than later saw that the guard on duty was an 18 year old boy. The sniper, about 40 years of age, saw this young man as his own 18 year old son and silently left. Years later they both met at a revival and they shared the story.
Having a vested interest in things can be the one piece that could save a sinner’s life from eternal separation from God. All of this begins with a well thought out introduction. This is the most important part of leading others to Jesus Christ. You have to win the person to yourself before you can lead them to God. I have never knew a salesman, a successful salesman, that had poor customer service. What kind of customer service do you have? Are you friendly to others? Your kindness could show the love of Christ or your unkindness could turn many off to Christ. In tomorrow’s devotional we will talk about how to use the bible to fulfill their needs. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.