There are three S’s when it comes to evangelism – with family members, close friends, work associates or simple strangers you meet and have an opportunity to share with. The three S’s of friendly fishing or effective evangelism. These actually work for any form of communication but are especially important when it comes to evangelism and influencing people to move across the line of faith.
1> Have a smile
You warm up the atmosphere if you will simply smile as you approach the person you are hoping to share with. If your face makes it look like this is a serious effort and strickly a discipline; if your face looks like you are nervous and uptight; if your face looks like this is the last thing on earth you would really want to be doing… your body language will instantly warn the person you are approaching to put their guard up and go into a defensive position.
Remember, you have GOOD news to share – not bad news. You are about to make them an offer that anyone in their right mind would not refuse (see 2 Corinthians 4:4). You are bringing hope to them and giving them an opportunity to secure their eternal destination. So smile as you are bringing to them a great message that they need to hear.
2> Keep it simple
When you present the Gospel it is the old K.I.S.S. routine – Keep It Simple Saints. The Good News is profound, it is signifigant, it is powerful, it is life-changing. But it can be none of those things if it is not presented in a way that the person listening can actually understand it. Don’t complicate the basic Gospel. Don’t try to impress people with what you know. Don’t use Church words (Christianeze) or even Bible words without defining them – and most of the words we use that the average person would not know the meaning of can be explained without using the technical term. Remember, you are not talking to believers. Just talk in the normal street language of your area and learn to communicate biblical truths simply.
3> Say it slowly
Because it is not new to you and you speak about the Gospel a lot you will tend to move quickly through the presentation of the Good News. Or, if you are nervous, you will move quickly through your content. Not good. Move slowly. Allow room for questions. Let them ask if they need clarification of something you said. Repeat yourself frequently as people don’t always remember what you said or how one point connects to the next. So, go slow.
Nothing earthshattering. Just three simple hints that I have learned over the years that I have been sharing the Gospel – and often need to relearn.
Several Sundays ago I was sharing the Gospel with some people at a camp ground. Maybe 10 in total. And because I knew a good number of them were believers I rushed through the presentation… Later as I listened to one lady and her sister pack up their trailer to go as they had another place to be early in the evening and heard them fighting, swearing, almost coming to blows (do I see a fist fight breaking out)… I realize that I went through the Gospel too fast because I made a wrong assumption (that everyone was born again) and didn’t want to bore the believers. The Gospel is never boring.
So always share the Gospel every opportunity you have – do so with a smile on your face, do so simply even though it is a profound message, and speak slowly allowing time for your words to sink in and their questions to rise to the surface.