I’ve been doing frontline street outreach ministry and traveling evangelism for the past three years. A big part of this is traveling around to meet many other people to do outreach with which has allowed me to see and learned many different outreach styles.
From these experiences I now do, say, and believe some things I didn’t before. And in three more years, I will hopefully have put even more effective tools in the toolbelt and re-evaluate those that were unfruitful.
I’ll share a bit about what I do, say, and believe now vs what I used to.
Every presentation of the gospel should include 4 basic elements:
1. CREATION we were made perfect
2. FALL we disobeyed God and sin came into the world through disobedience
3. JESUS The life, death, burial, resurrection has paid the price for sin
4. RETURN of Jesus, final judgement, and new creation
When a witness stands up in court they have to speak to be effective. Saying, “Jesus loves you” “God bless you” and kind acts of service with no message means you’re being a testimony to what God has done in your life, but this isn’t evangelism or witnessing. You have to share the gospel message with words. Faith comes by hearing.
But I don’t want to just tell them a story and then walk away. I also share how to respond to the message. There are 2 parts to the response and 2 outcomes that come from the response.
1. Response: BELIEVE.
First you have to believe the message that you are unable to save yourself. You’re a sinner and have come short of the glory of God. Believe that the only way to God is Jesus and that Jesus has paid the price for your sins.
1. Outcome: HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM
The outcome of believing is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit fell on the household of Cornelius before they had repented or been baptized, because they heard the message and believed. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a notable turning point that can be seen. It isn’t that you say a prayer to recieve Jesus and now you have the Holy Spirit. Every time in the Bible that someone recieved the Holy Spirit it was seen. The disciples saw that the household of gentiles had received the Holy Spirit, so they baptized them. Do a study on the times people recieved the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
2. Response: REPENT
Once you believe that you where going in a direction away from God you now choose to turn from your own way to God’s way. You turn from all your own works, even the good works you did apart from God. And decide you now only want to do God’s works.
2. Outcome: WATER BAPTISM
the baptism of the Holy Spirit is done by God in a response to belief, the baptism in water is a choice you make when you decide to repent. When you decide to bury the old man in the water and rise up to new life as a new creation, you make the choice to be baptized.
I preach a simple gospel on how to come to Jesus, you believe and repent. The response to believing is being baptized in the Holy Spirit, the response to repenting is being baptized in water. Both of these baptisms have spiritual significance that powerfully transform your life.
Take them as far as they will go at that time.
If the only thing that person is willing to do at that time is repent, I go through repentance with them. If they’re willing to be delivered, baptized, or recieve the Holy Spirit I lead them through to those things.
If all they’re willing to do at that moment is pray for the Lord to change the direction of their life and come lead them into His way, I’ll lead them through a prayer like that. If they want to make a commitment to follow Jesus, I’ll lead them through a prayer like that.
But this isn’t the sinners prayer teaching that says if they pray one prayer they’re now saved and are going to heaven. I don’t tell them that because they prayed with me for Jesus to come into their life they now are going to Heaven.
The Bible says you must be born again to see the kingdom of God. It also says those who endure to the end will be saved. It also says that the seed can wilt in the sun of pain or be choked by weeds of pleasure. So I know that saying one prayer one time does not mean that person is going to Heaven or has been born again. It’s one step, its one seed, it’s their heart beginning to open. But will that seed grow from there?
Don’t overcomplicate your roll.
I once heard someone share a true story about a Muslim man they had heard of who was heading to the mosque in his fancy clothing to pray. They can only pray when they’re clean. He saw a dirty poor garbage man and knew he was a Christian, because that’s what they make the Christians do where he’s from. He gave the man some change as the religious duty to give alms and the poor man asked to pray for him.
He said, “Jesus, let him know you are the way the truth and the life.” The Muslim was mocking the guy in his thoughts, “this guy has no idea how to pray. He’s dirty, he isn’t facing the right direction, he isn’t bowing down.” And he forgot about it. A few years later through a couple visions and dreams of Jesus he came to know Jesus is God and the only way. He left Islam which meant he was attacked by his family and almost killed. They broke his legs and left him for dead. Some people found him and took him to a hospital. To stay alive he had to run away and lost his wife, children, parents, relatives, and eventually had to flee his country as a refugee. Even when he fled to another country and continued sharing Jesus, they were still searching for him. They put bombs in his car and tried to find ways to attack him.
Any amount of the gospel or prayer you can give to someone can change their eternity. He didn’t even say the prayer himself, but the seed took root and he persevered even through trials. Just take them as far as they’re willing to go at that moment, even if it’s just letting you pray for them.
In the past:
I used to share the story of Jesus, share some parables from the bible, pray for the person, get to know their name, and hope they may go to Church one day. I didn’t know I could lead them through repentance, baptism, healing, deliverance, and receiving the Holy Spirit right there. Now I take people as far as they’re willing to go in the time they’re willing to give me. But you learn more and more through experience, so even if you do just share a parable and pray for them, just do that. Do what you can.
– There are 4 basic parts to the gospel message. Creation, Fall, Jesus, New Creation.
– There are 2 responses with 2 outcomes. Both the Holy Spirit baptism through believing and water baptism through repentance have transformational power in the spiritual realm that affect your life forever. Water baptism sets you free from the old man and Holy Spirit baptism gives you power to live as the new man.
– Salvation is not raising your hand one time, saying a prayer one time, or being dunked in water one time. You have to be born again. The old man has to die and you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then, the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. The epistles where written to people who had been baptized and recieved the Holy Spirit, but they were still being warned that if they practiced sin and fell away they wouldn’t be saved.
– Don’t overcomplicate or overanalyze your roll. You’re one small piece of the Lord’s lifelong story with that person. You’re the delivery driver, not the chef. All you do is deposit what you’ve been given and they get to eat it or not and to like it or not. All you do is deliver the meal you’ve been given.
I hope some of this has been helpful
Post by Megan Marks