And He said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” —Matthew 4:19 (ESV)
When Jesus walked the earth, he took ordinary guys and showed them how to be evangelists—fishers of men. Today, through the power of the Holy Spirit, ordinary people are still spreading the Good News about Jesus. And just like 2,000 years ago, it’s not always easy. Still, every follower of Christ is called to share the Gospel.
Here are some ways to get started:
1. Identify your mission field. (It may be closer than you think!)
Have you ever heard the expression, “Bloom where you’re planted”? That’s what God wants us to do with the Gospel—make the most of our circumstances and reflect His love to everyone around us. You don’t have to be a pastor or missionary to tell people about Jesus, either; just think of all the people around you in need of hope.
Psalm 96:3 tells us to “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” Keep your eyes open for people you can talk to and ways you can connect the conversation with Christ. Catch up with a family member by phone or text message. Use social media to encourage a friend. Let a coworker know you are praying for him or her. Take dinner to a neighbor in need. Ask a cashier how their day is going and really listen. Be intentional about forming relationships with people around you.
One more tip, and this is a biggie: Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. As Billy Graham once said, “Prayer is crucial in evangelism: … No matter how logical our arguments or how fervent our appeals, our words will accomplish nothing unless God’s Spirit prepares the way.”
>>Not seeing many people these days? Find out how you can tell people around the world about Christ through our internet evangelism ministry.
2. Focus on the Gospel.
Billy Graham once said, “I do not have to make the Gospel relevant; it is always relevant in any part of the world … [and] I must get the whole Gospel in [every] sermon.”
The Gospel has power to transform lives. If you’re short on time and want to explain the Good News in a nutshell, share John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
There are also things you can do to show your faith over time:
- Live a consistent, Christ-centered life. (Need help? Find 9 ways to grow in your faith.)
- Be a friend and a good listener.
- The Holy Spirit gives us power to share the Gospel (Acts 1:8). Ask Him to give you opportunities to share your faith.
- Avoid arrogance and preachiness.
Remember, we’re all sinners in need of a Savior. Try to see people as God sees them—as treasured creations made in His image and loved unconditionally. When we see others that way, we will want to follow God’s command to share the hope of the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20).
>>Not sure what to say when telling others about Christ? Start here.
3. Share true stories of God’s power.
No matter how “ordinary” yours may seem, we’ve all got a story to tell and you never know what it can mean to someone until you share it. Jesus often talked in parables so people could better grasp God’s plans, instructions and power. In the same way, you can use personal experiences and stories to relate to others and tell them about Christ.
Keep in mind, though, that most people will only give you a few minutes to get your point across. So you don’t ramble on and on, try writing down your story—focusing on a few key points. Ask God to give you guidance as you write (James 1:5-6). These questions may also help you narrow your testimony down to three minutes or so:
- What was life like before you accepted Christ?
- How did you receive Christ? Why did you choose to put your trust in Him? Try to mention a Bible verse or two, but be careful not to overwhelm your listener.
- How has life changed since accepting Christ? It’s OK if you stumbled or struggled in the past. The important thing is to be honest and relatable.
Above all, remember that it’s God’s business to turn a person’s heart towards Christ. Though we are to be obedient in sharing our faith, our persuasion alone is not enough. As 1 Corinthians 3:6 says, some plant, some water, but it is God who makes the seed grow.
This article is part 5 of a 6-week series from BGEA. Catch up on the first four parts below:
Part 1: 5 Ways to Replenish a Burned-Out Soul
Part 2: How to Dive Into Your Walk with God
Part 3: 9 Ways to Grow in Your Faith
Part 4: ‘A Time to Laugh’: 5 Ways to Add Laughter to Your Life