How to Start Sharing the Gospel More Often (Three Ways)
As Christians, we should constantly be learning how to start sharing the Gospel as often as we can. Here are three reasons we should feel motivated to share the Gospel:
- Command: Jesus, who knows what’s best for you, has told you to share your faith. The whole church is supposed to be full of people who “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
- Compassion: Jesus also told you to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). What could be more loving than introducing someone to the God of love Himself?
- Closeness: When we share the Gospel, we get to be close with Jesus and the work He is doing in the world, like a child going with his dad to work for the day. Paul said that when we do ministry, God is “making His appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
So the natural question every Christian ought to be asking is:
How can I start sharing the Gospel more often?
There are many ways, but let’s just look at three of them. The first focuses on the family and friends you already have, the second focuses on conversations with strangers, and the third can apply to anyone.
1. How to Start Sharing the Gospel with Friends and Family
When Matthew, the tax collector, became a follower of Jesus, He immediately threw a party so that His friends could meet Jesus (see Matthew 9:9-13). When Matthew started to follow Jesus, he made it easier for everyone else he knew to follow Jesus too.
You don’t need to go out into the streets to find people to talk to about Jesus. You have friends and family, and some of them don’t know Jesus.
Make a List of Your Friends and Family
Write down the names of five friends or family members who aren’t Christians. Actually do it. Seeing it on a piece of paper helps make this feel real.
You did it, right? Good! Now commit to praying for these five people every single day!
Next, ask yourself: “Who among these people would be likely to meet up with me if I were to ask them to get lunch, grab coffee, come over to my house, or go hiking?” Write a “1” next to the person who would be most likely, then a 2 next to the second most likely, and so on. Now you have a list of people to reach out to! Call or text at least one of your five today. In fact, do it right now!
Meet Up and Share the Gospel
Well, what should you talk about when you meet up? How quickly should you get to the Gospel? We don’t know! But make a plan. Think through the following three questions.
- Is there anything in your life, or the life of your friend, or that’s going to happen soon, that naturally ties to the Gospel? Examples: you are getting baptized, or your friend is planning a funeral for his relative.
- Write down a statement or question that transitions the conversation from everyday subjects to something related to the Gospel. Examples: “My baptism is this weekend, and I wanted to make sure you could make it. Have I ever told you why it’s so important to me?” or “How do you not let the funeral planning depress you? What do you think lies beyond death?”
- If the conversation never naturally transitions from everyday conversation to the Gospel, what can you say to push it over a little more intentionally? Example: “By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you something. As you know, I’m a Christian. And I’m curious: what do you think of Christianity? Have you ever considered becoming a Christian?
If you take the time to write your answers to these three questions, you have successfully written out a specific plan for how you want your conversation to go.
2. How to Start Sharing the Gospel with Strangers
Some of you will want to imitate the example of Paul. All of us should consider doing it from time to time!
“Now while Paul was waiting… at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there” (Acts 17:16-17).
Notice the flow of what happened: Paul saw idols —> Paul’s heart broke (compassion) —> he reasoned with the Jews in the synagogues, as well as “those who happened to be” in the marketplaces.
In other words, Paul went outdoors, found people who were also outside, and he talked to them. You can do this today! How? Here’s a step by step guide.
Sharing the Gospel like Paul: Four Steps
- Go to a place where people are. Find a park or street where you have seen people just walking or sitting.
- Identify someone who doesn’t look overly busy: a person who is just walking, sitting, or reading is a good candidate. Don’t overthink this. If they’re busy, they’ll tell you, and it won’t be the end of the world for either of you.
- Walk up to the person close enough that it’s clear you want to talk, but not so close that you scare them.
- Begin talking to the person, and try to naturally transition to the Gospel. OR:
Use a memorized “opening line” to begin a conversation. For example, you could say “Hi, my name is ______. Do you have a few minutes? I wanted to ask you if anyone has ever explained Christianity in a way that makes sense to you.”
Take a moment to write down three “opening lines” you could use. Again, taking the time to put it on paper will cement it in your brain.
Now, write down a day on your calendar that you plan on doing this. Or, better yet, go do it now!
3. How to Start Sharing the Gospel with Anyone
The last two methods are very intentional. This is good: it means you will definitely begin having Gospel conversations. But there is a drawback: it takes more time! Is there a way to have Gospel conversations without it eating into our calendar as much?
Yes: it requires that you move the conversations you’re already in from daily issues to the Gospel. But how can you do that?
Like a good fisher-of-men, you must learn how to make a lure. What’s a lure? It is something to attract a fish. But in our terms, it is simply a sentence we “cast” into a conversation in hopes that it moves the conversation into Gospel territory. Here are some potential “Gospel lures.”
- If you are a pastor, ask people what they do for work. They will likely tell you and then ask about your job. At that point, have an answer planned: “I’m a pastor of the church around the corner. Do you attend a church in the area?”
- The above strategy can work for people who simply attend church as well. Just ask people what they’re doing over the weekend. When they ask you, you can tell them you’re going to church, and invite them to come, or ask them if they’ve ever gone.
- If you have a degree in something related to Christianity, you could ask people what they studied in college (or what they would want to if they did go). When they ask you, tell them how you studied church history, and begin talking about that.
- Even if you studied something not related to Christianity, you can use this technique. If you studied history, you can make a comment about how, as a Christian, you find it so fascinating to see how God has guided history; if you studied biology, you could explain why you think the science and faith discussion so interesting; and so on.
The idea should be clear by now. Write down three lures you want to begin using in conversation. And remember, the goal is not to get a 100% response rate. Sometimes they won’t bite! But if you begin casting these into conversations, soon enough you will have some great opportunities. (You wrote them down, right?
Alright, that might have been a little overwhelming! And if you read through this whole thing without doing any of the writing assignments, let me beg you right now: go back and just pick one to work through.
But even more importantly: don’t just pick one to write about. Pick one to begin living out. Whether you start with friends and family, or strangers, or you just focus on maximizing the conversations you’re already having, resolve today to try to have Gospel conversations more often.
One last thing: before you have a conversation about the Gospel, make sure you know what the Gospel really is.