This article ran in the June 2017 edition of Refresh Bible Study Magazine. Visit Lighthouse Bible Studies to sign up for this free magazine.
If you’re like me, you love Jesus for many, many reasons. So, when you have a chance to explain your faith, it’s tricky to know where to begin. Whether you’re speaking to a large assembly or to the person next to you on an airplane, it’s good to have a system to organize your thoughts and make yourself clear.
During mission projects and spiritual conversations, I’ve found two evangelism techniques to be particularly helpful. One is the Wordless Book, which uses five colors to explain Christ’s gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. The other is the Bridge Illustration, which involves sketching Christ as the “bridge” between God and man.
Between these two, you have a way to present to any audience—big or small, children or adults. Both explain the gospel visually, which helps evangel-ees grasp the message while keeping you from derailing your train of thought.
The Bridge Illustration
This presentation is ideal for adults or older children. If all you have is a napkin and a pen, you can share in this way. For a larger group, the illustration can be sketched on a chalkboard, overhead projector, or dry erase board. This technique is based on the Navigators’ Bridge to Life* and has taken many forms over time. My version is below.
The Wordless Book
Invented by Charles Spurgeon, this technique is handy for presenting to large gatherings or groups that include children. Choose a group of five different colored props—a small booklet of colored pages, large pieces of construction paper, a bracelet with colored beads, or even gifts wrapped in the five colors. Starting with the golden or yellow color and moving in order, point to the page or object as you explain what its color represents. My script is below.
With either method, keep these tips in mind:
1. Be Intentional. Make a list of people in your life that might be “fertile soil” for sharing your faith (Matthew 13:8). Also, seek out ministry opportunities to share your faith with people you don’t know, such as an international mission trip or local clothing drive, or by organizing a prayer walk in your neighborhood (make sure to be safe).
2. Don’t ask permission. In evangelism, it’s important not to be pushy, but don’t let your shyness go too far. During a conversation, when it’s your turn to speak, it’s your turn to speak. Just begin naturally, as if you’re making the next interesting point.
3. Be humble. As you work through your presentation, weave in doubts you’ve confronted in the past and examples of your own sin. This will help you develop a bond with your evangel-ees and make them more receptive to the message.
4. Be accurate. Don’t water down the gospel. Make sure you’re clear that faith in Christ represents a commitment to follow Him, and it’s not a one-time box to check. Don’t shortchange the gospel, either. Jesus did the hard part for us by dying on the cross, and our relationship with Him gives us abundant life (John 10:10).
5. Be positive. Remember, gospel means “good news.” You are sharing the greatest gift you’ve ever received, so make sure that’s reflected in your facial expression, tone, and word choice.
6. Pray. This is most important, by far. Ask God to open doors to share your faith, and He will. Pray that He’ll give you courage and the right words to say when the time comes. Ask Him to train you in evangelism and give you chances to practice on fellow believers. Wait on God’s timing.
- The Wordless Book, Child Evangelism Fellowship, www.cefonline.com/about/history/wordless-book-discover-rich-heritage
- The Bridge to Life, The Navigators, www.navigators.org/tools/evangelism%20resources
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