Evangelism SeriesThe Lamb of God CommunityWellington Branch Talk 2 – How to Share Your Personal Testimony and Person to Person Evangelism
Talk 1: What is Evangelism and Why? • Evangelism is about introducing the person of Jesus Christ to another person. • Witnessing and Evangelising go hand in hand. • Jesus and the church said evangelism should be at the core of who we are. • There is no excuse not to evangelise.
Introduction • Two Useful Tools for Evangelism: • Personal Testimony • The Basic Gospel Message [Next Talk] • What is a Personal Testimony? • A personal testimony is the Gospel message as lived out in your own life. • A testimony is the truthful report of a witness. In this case, you are the witness to the truthfulness of the Gospel.
Why Is Your Personal Testimony Useful? 1. It helps to establish a personal relationship with the listener. (It is disarming when somebody shares his/her life story.) 2. It makes your life with the Lord more real and down-to-earth for the listener. 3. It cannot be argued against. (Nobody can dispute the authenticity of your story.) 4.It is non-confrontational and non-threatening. (After all, it’s only a story or sharing!) 5. It can be quite interesting to hear. (People often like to hear stories!)
How to Prepare Your Personal Testimony Arrange into Three Parts: • Your life before having a personal relationship with the Lord. • What happened in you when you met the Lord [your conversion process]. • What happened to you after you met the Lord.
1. Before you gave your life to the Lord as an adult: • Give some background: your family, age, work, etc. • Speak about the good part of your past life (see Acts 22:1-5, or 26:4-5). • Relate the problem area or “bad” part of your past life (see Acts 26:9-11). • Don’t overemphasize the bad things that happened. • Don’t overemphasize this entire section. • Make it vivid and colorful, and if possible humorous.
2. God’s intervention and your conversion: • Tell the story; don’t just say “it happened”. • Express why you decided to give your life to God. • Emphasize what God did and how God acted. • The goal of the testimony is to reveal Christ, not you.
3. Your life since then • Express specifically and clearly: what changed in you? • Make the change sound significant (it is!) and attractive. • But don’t exaggerate. Don’t give the impression that life has been a bed of roses ever since. • Share the benefits of having a relationship with Christ, e.g., new outlook on life, forgiveness, freedom from fear, anger, etc.
Tips on Giving a Personal Testimony 1. Realize that your testimony is precious in the sight of God and that you are the bearer of Good News for Him. 2. Pray. Depend on the power of God, not on your own eloquence, wisdom, wit or charm. 3. Present a Person. Use His name. 4. Share the positive benefits of coming to a personal relationship with Christ. 5. Use real life situations.
Tips on Giving a Personal Testimony 6. Write out your testimony and practice giving it privately in order to gain confidence. 7. Be ready to tailor or adapt your testimony to the listener. 8. Use elements of your life the listener can best relate to (sports, travel, cars, school, etc.). 9. Speak confidently - no need for insecurity, but don’t cause a confrontation. 10. Tell your story in an interesting way. Good story-telling is an effective and useful art.
Tips on Giving a Personal Testimony 11. Be able to adapt to the appropriate amount of time (three, five, or ten minutes). 12. Be able to recognize that you will need to leave out many things. 13. Look into the eyes of the listener. Don’t let your eyes run all over the place. (If you are talking with a group, make eye contact with several people in different parts of the room.) 14. Use humour constructively. If the situation becomes tense, share something funny. 15. Speak in pictures. Use situations that people can visualize. If they are not seeing in their mind the thing that you are talking about, they are probably seeing something else rather than listening to you.
Giving a Personal Testimony: Things To Avoid 1. Preach. Your role is to share your life, not to preach over them. 2. Speak negatively about people (our boss, friends) or institutions (church, society). 3. Use too much time. Always be conscious of time! 4. Give travelogues. Long, rambling, overly-detailed testimonies are boring. Give details only as needed. 5. Be vague in relating the event of salvation.
Giving a Personal Testimony: To Avoid 6. Use clichés or jargons such as “sanctified”, “justified”, “I was saved,” etc., or words which could be misunderstood such as “charismatic”. 7. Give your testimony in your strength, but in the power of God. 8. Give glittering generalities that make life seem like peaches and cream. 9. Exaggerate or build up for effect; the straightforward story is most effective. 10. Glance at your watch frequently.
Person to Person Evangelism There are different ways of doing evangelism: 1. Mass Evangelism – large crowds; rallies 2. Random Evangelism or street evangelism 3. Programmatic Evangelism: LISS or other evangelistic events 4. Strategic Evangelism 5. Person to Person Evangelism: a.k.a. Friendship, locker room or Relational Evangelism
Why Do Person to Person Evangelism? 1. It is more natural, set in the context of very normal, human situations. • Everybody has friends, and likes to have friends. 2. It is less intimidating. • Because you set out first to establish a good, healthy relationship (genuine friendship) it is less threatening to a person, rather than walking up to the person for the first time and asking, “Are you saved? Have you given your life to Jesus Christ?”
Why Do Person to Person Evangelism? 3. That’s the way Jesus evangelized. Look at how the gospels describe his contacts and ways with people – Jesus really had strong relationships with people! • Luke 10:38-42, friendship with Martha and Mary (also see John 11, with Martha, Mary and Lazarus) • Luke 19:5, “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’” 4. We’re “winning” people to a whole new way of life, a new set of relationships. We have to earn the right to be heard, not just force something down people’s throats.
How Do We Do Person to Person Evangelism? 1. Begin by building the relationship on a natural level. • Take the initiative in setting up activities of common interest. 2. Deepen the friendship. Set the relationship on a positive spiritual foundation. - Share your personal experience of the Lord. (A doctrinal discussion at the outset of the friendship might be premature, and might rather provoke argumentation and disagreement.) - Offer a Christian perspective on life, current events, issues, etc. - Talk freely about Christian activities and friends. • Introduce the person to a set of Christian relationships (in your group).
How Do We Do Person to Person Evangelism? 3. Pray. • Be specific in your prayer intention. (For example: “Lord, I pray that I will see this person in school/at work today … that he/she will be free to have lunch with me … that he/she will agree to attend this afternoon’s prayer meeting … etc.”) • Pray with patience. It will often take quite a while before the person responds. • Pray with others. Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything to ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst.” • Pray for more labourers in the Lord’s vineyard.
Some Closing Remarks 1. Be natural. Use your instincts and experiences in friendship-building. For example, friends freely share with one another about their life (dreams, problems, “personal” things, etc.). As you share about your life (including things about the Lord, your love for him, experiences in prayer, etc.) be natural. 2. Person to person evangelism is something you will do more effectively as you do it more often and more regularly. It will also build up your own faith and your own relationship with the Lord. Finally, it will enrich your life, as your friends eventually become your “brothers and sisters” in Christ.
Discussion Starters[If time permits] • Do you have questions on how to give your testimony? Are you ready to prepare your own and share it with a brother/sister to try it out? • Do you have any questions regarding person to person evangelism? • Do you have a person in mind as a prospective target for your person to person evangelism?