Can Everyone Be a Master Gospel Giver?

I stared at this painting for a long time. I was mesmerized by how real the painting felt. The painting was created in 1665 by Garret Dou, a student of Rembrandt. The painting was small in size and yet, the detail was captivating. It looked like a photograph, but it was a painting. It was intricate and seemed flawless. The genius it took to create what Mr. Dou saw took amazing skill and expertise. I can only imagine that it took years of practice to create this masterpiece.
If I were to pick up a palette of colors and attempted to recreate this painting, it would be a futile exercise. I am simply not skilled in painting nor have I studied or practiced the techniques needed to do so. If a master painter were to develop a step by step process so another could attempt to imitate this painting, none would likely come close to the quality of the original.
In thinking about sharing Jesus’ good news with people, many (possibly most) believers are intimidated or hesitant. Courses on evangelism are created to diminish the hesitation. The trainers of these courses speak of the steps required to evangelize with ease. The trainer will often include stores of evangelism from their own life which make it sound so easy or natural for them. The ones being trained cannot imagine how they could ever pull off anything similar. The approach they are taught feels unnatural and leaves them wondering if they should be engaged in this learning. Deep in their hearts, the students know they want to share the gospel with others and are likely alerted to the truth that the Scriptures invite and even command them to be engaged in evangelism. But the training simply feels forced. The approach they are being taught does not come from who they were created to be. The information may be helpful, but the approach is mechanical.
Every believer is familiar with the gospel. After all, every believer knows what happened to them and how they embraced the truths required for salvation. Becoming a believer in Jesus requires an admission that they have sinned. To be a believer also requires an understanding and acceptance that Jesus came to pay the penalty for their sins. Lastly, to become a believer requires a belief in Jesus–who He is and what He has done for them.
Because every believer knows how to be saved, why is there an emphasis to train them on how to share what has happened to them? While I believe it is helpful to learn Scriptural truths and references regarding being saved (justified), I do not believe there is an approach that needs to be learned so a believer can share successfully. Instead, believers need to be encouraged to listen to Jesus and repeat what He speaks to them to say. This causes a dependency on Christ rather than a dependency on a script or programmed approach to evangelism.
Allow me to briefly explain why I think that the more we train people on how to share their faith, that they actually share the gospel less.
1. Every believer is created uniquely.
Because every believer is created uniquely, each person’s approach to sharing will be unique. I believe God creates a variety of approaches for each person, designed for each interaction. Each approach is crafted by God to fit the believer’s personality AND to fit the person they are sharing the gospel story. This causes the believer to tune in their spiritual ears to hear from God as to the way He KNOWS the person or group they are sharing with needs to hear. When the interaction is crafted by God for how the believer should share and for the person or group to hear; the presentation is supernaturally adjusted to meet the needs of everyone involved (1 Corinthians 2:10–16).
2. Each receiver is created uniquely.
God knows the life-story of every person whether they are a believer or not. He knows what they believe. He knows their questions, doubts, fears, and hopes. God is very interested in getting the information of His gospel to them in a way that fits their needs. He intentionally brings believers into their lives so the message is customized for the specific interaction. While the message never changes, the approach or portion of the gospel given can and should vary, based on the believer following the lead of the Spirit who lives in them.
3. Jesus did not use the same technique or approach to share the gospel.
Some of the more well-known interactions of Jesus with unbelievers are:
- When He invited His disciples to follow Him. He told fishermen that they would be fishing for men (Matthew 4:19) and He told Matthew the tax collector to simply, “Follow Me” (Matthew 9:9).
- Jesus told Nicodemus that He must be born-again (John 3:3, 7). He never told another person that they must be born-again.
- As Jesus interacted with the woman at the well (John 4), He told her that He was the Messiah (John 4:26). Many in this village of Sychar “believed” (John 4:39, 42).
- Jesus healed the nobleman’s son and he and his whole household believed (John 5:53–54).
In each of the above evangelistic encounters, we find Jesus using a different approach as He invited people to trust in Him.
4. Creativity in sharing is needed because both you and the receiver of the message are at unique seasons in your life.
I am honestly just not good enough to know how to present the gospel in each situation. I am unsure if a person needs to be encouraged, have their worldview dismantled or a swift kick in the derriere about some sin in their life. I may be unsure, but God knows exactly what is needed to draw the person I am sharing with too Himself (John 6:44, 65). God resides in me (1 Corinthians 6:19), and will nudge me with what He knows the person needs to hear at that very moment (Ephesians 6:18–20; Colossians 4:2–6).
All of the above teaches me that a deeper dependence upon the Spirit of God is needed, rather than a trust in a programmed approach. God may use an approach you have learned, so learn a couple. Always keep your heart open to hear from the Spirit of God to guide every conversation so the person moves another step or two in the direction of Jesus.
When this approach is followed, I believe there will be more gospel sharing because the believer will know that Jesus is directing them. When Jesus is directing a person, how can a mistake be made? I want believers to be free to share the gospel naturally, as God has created them and to trust Him for the approach that best fits both them and the person they are spiritually caring for.
Because Jesus will give us the approach and the words needed to meet the need of the person we are sharing the good news, we can all become a master gospel giver.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Let’s start a conversation!


Popular Posts