Always Be Ready
“The Different Styles of Evangelism”
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This post will be more of a formulated post. I will be giving you the 5 different styles of Evangelism from Mark Mittleberg’s book, “Contagious Faith”. I will give you an overview of the list since the book is 230 pages long and is copyrighted. “Contagious Faith” was published in 2021. This my longest post because of outline format. Find your style or styles then practice more in sharing your faith and sharpen your skills in doing so.
1. Friendship Building
A. Start and Strengthen relationships
B. Initiate Spiritual Conversations
C. Invite Friends to life changing environments
Stay Genuine- Let them know your just sharing your faith and not tryin to convert them. Stay friends even if they don't acceptJesus. Be Humble!
Set Boundaries- Opposite sex friendship are possible are ok. Make sure they know your intentions are not romantic and be straightforward about this boundary.
Prioritize Truth – Don’t let the relationship govern over sharing your faith. Don’t keep the friendship without at some point share how your faith is an important part of your life
2. Selfless Serving
These are people have natural ability to see the needs of others and not seek the spotlight. These people can reach the hardest hearts because of their hurts they don’t see the salvation of God.
A. You can show these people they are still valued and loved.
B. Need to build trust before sharing your faith and especially the gospel. Like with friendship building let them know your motivation is to help them not to convert them. They can see that if there is manipulation.
C. Again not let accepting the gospel a requirement to keep the relationship going in this setting.
Serve without Conditions -Your service needs to be motivated by genuine love with no strings attached not based on person’s spiritual openness to you.
Explain What Motivates You- You can let them know that the love of Christ is your motivation and that Christ loves and values them. Don’t let your acts of kindness speak for themselves. They need to know why you are doing these things.
Practice Patience – Since these are the hardest to reach people you need to have patience with expressing your faith and their need for salvation. Their hurts has affected their worldview and can be more resistant to your faith. Like friendship building you need to be patient with them.Remember it’s not your job to convert that’s God’s responsibility thru the work of the Holy Spirit.
3. Story Sharing
These are people who can use stories of their lives to illustrate a point and are able to craft their story of accepting Jesus in their life to people who don’t understand salvation.
A. Use questions to draw out your friend’s beliefs
B. Communicate your story around anoutline form
1) Discovery- when you realize Jesus was the answer
2) Decision-what made you decide to follow Jesus
3) Difference-How has Jesus changed your life
C. Relate your story to your friend’s situation. Try to put the “ball” in their court for them to think about it
Embrace Your Story- Maybe your story isn’t sensational as Lee Stobel’s or Jim Warner Wallace’s but it can relate to someone or that person can see the love of Jesus in you. Your story can be effective if you can tell how Jesus change your life!
Be Honest- You still working on your character to be like Jesus but you haven’t arrived at perfection so let the person know you are imperfect but Jesus is the one you are trying to imitate. If you had a an “R”-rated past please keep it PG so you don’t need to be completely honest but honest enough they can understand without all the sordid details!
Tailor to Your Audience- Try to emphasize points in your story that can relate to the person you’re talking to. It’s important to ask questions about them then decide how you can relate your story to them.
Speak in Plain English- Avoid big theological terms or Christian jargon. They will listen more if you don’t sound like you’re really smart biblically rather they will think “Oh, No! More Christian Static!”. Just be normal with them and keep it simple!
These are people who acquire knowledge of evidence for Christianity and use them to make a case for Christianity to any nonbeliever. They like to think how the Christian worldview fits into the reality of this world.
A. Be prepared to give sound answers and evidence
B. Respond to questions with gentleness and respect
C. Move from good answers with to the good news
Clarify Their Questions- Make sure what they are asking and ask them to explain how and what they believe.
Study Up- If you don’t know what they believe then study it then be prepared for next conversation. The way to build up your faith is to muscle it up. Also you need to live out faith or you’ll not be as effective.
Admit It When You Don’t Know- It’s ok to say you don’t know rather than make up an answer then look more foolish. Once you do admit then like above caution “study up”.
Win People Not Arguments- You can have arguments without anger but you need do it love for the nonbelievers. Don’t argue over non-salvation issues rather ask yourself if this debate can lead this person to Jesus, the one who died for us all.
Expect A Little Tension- Sharing the gospel isn’t always acceptable to others but it is important to do and is a loving thing to do. It’s still important to let them know you care about them even if they don’t accept it. They will respect you more if you do and it can ease the tension.
This the approach that Lee Stroubel calls the direct approach. These people don’t like small talk but get right to the point! Jesus and salvation! It’s better to share if this is your style than not share at all.
A. Be bold in initiating spiritual conversations
B. Get to the central message of the gospel
C. Ask people to respond to the gospel
Seek God’s Guidance and Wisdom – Its ok if you are assertive but still need to do this with gentleness and respect. Peter was assertive but gentle and respectful.
Resist Being Overly Cautious- You are going to encounter some resistance but these people will need your assertiveness to listen. Whether they accept it or not, they are not your responsibility. Once you share the gospel you’ve done your responsibility then their it’s their conscience that faces God in the end.
Affirm the other styles- The other styles are like what Greg Koukl describes as gardeners while you are like a harvester. In order to get a harvest there needs to be some gardening. You have to remember several gardeners worked on this person before you came along.
There are more information and tips to these styles in the book plus biblical examples and personal stories so I encourage get the book or watch online podcast of Mark Mittleberg explaining it himself.
Kevin J Garrison