“Tell them, ‘The
near to you.’” –Luke
Back in 2002, Pastor Rick Warren published “The Purpose Driven Life,” one of the bestselling non-fiction books of all time. The book opens with one the best first sentence of any book I’ve ever read, and it’s just four words: “It’s not about you.” When you set out to figure out why God placed you on this earth, the first thing you need to understand is that it’s NOT about you. God created you, and if you’re a Christian, He saved you to bring Him glory … AND to lead the people around you to Christ.
the end of the book, Pastor Rick tells the story of what his dad said on his
Wow! That’s how I’d like to go. I want to have the chance to tell my family one last time that I love them, but I would love to have the opportunity to use my final breath to save one more soul for Jesus.
In Luke 10, Jesus shared a simple process for winning souls as he was preparing to send a team of his followers out into the world to share the gospel. He taught them these four powerful steps for leading people to Christ:
Step #1: PRAYER. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house’” (v. 5). Speak peace to the people you’re called to reach. In other words, pray for those you’re hoping to lead to Christ. Pray that God would open their minds and soften their hearts to the truth of the gospel.
Step #2: FELLOWSHIP. “Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you” (vs. 7-8). Eat with and build relationships with the people you’re called to reach. Relationships build trust, and trust opens doors to speak more openly about Jesus.
Step #3: AGAPE LOVE. “Heal the sick who are there” (v. 9a). In the Book of Luke, Jesus gave his soul winners the power to drive out demons and heal the sick. Unless I’m missing something, Jesus hasn’t given us that same power. But there’s a general principle that Jesus is communicating here: Find a need among those you’re called to reach, and meet that need. Mow a lawn. Buy a few bags of groceries. Be a shoulder to cry on. Whatever the need is, meet it expecting nothing in return.
Step #4: The GOSPEL MESSAGE. “Tell them, ‘The
Now, many of us are on board until we reach Step #4. We’re comfortable with praying, fellowshipping and even sharing Christ’s love with those in need. But we often stop short of sharing a clear Gospel message. In my opinion, the “Bridge Illustration” is one of the best. It can be shared with a group of kids on a dry erase board, or with an adult friend on a napkin at a restaurant. No artistic skills required. You can find several “How to Share the Bridge Illustration” videos on YouTube.
After you’ve shared the Bridge Illustration, ask two questions: Question #1: Does this make sense to you? If the answer is “No,” it’s important to go back and clarify any points that are unclear. But once your family member or friend understands the gospel message, it’s vital that you ask Question #2: Are you ready to trust in Jesus as your Savior and Lord? If they answer, “Yes!” lead them through the ABCs: A) Admit that you are a sinner; B) Believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins; and C) Choose to begin following and obeying Jesus today. Lead them in a prayer and call your pastor to set up a time for him/her to be baptized.
Jesus Christ is asking every one of us to share the gospel with those around us. If you are serious about being a soul winner, you need to be ready to share this simple life-changing message with your family and friends who need Christ. You might not be called to be an evangelist, but Jesus Christ has called you to be His witness. Tell your family and friends what He did for you AND for them on the cross. Then invite them to receive His free gift of forgiveness and commit their lives to Him.
Dane Davis is the pastor
of Impact Christian Church in Victorville. Join us at Impact for Sunday
services: in person at 9 a.m., or online at 10 a.m. on YouTube or Facebook. For
more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc.