I HAD to. I just ABSOLUTELY HAD to. There was no doubt in my mind that what I had just heard from the man at the pulpit was a call on my life. He was sharing about a ministry that he was the director of and they needed summer workers. The call was so clear to me, I remember even my mom being shocked (and delighted) that it was so apparent. God had called me to be a summer missionary with Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Answering the Call
After years of listening to Sunday School teachers, VBS teachers, Good News Club and 5-Day Club teachers talking about “going into all the world,” I finally knew how He could use me to go into the world too. I committed that summer and the following three to CEF and teaching children about Jesus. Those summers are some of the most challenging but the most enriching summers of my life. During the training camps (2 weeks at the beginning of each summer) we went through the material, learned how and where to share Salvation points, memorized Bible verses and passages, quizzed one another, listened to each other practice and gave feedback, etc.
The training that I received during that time was invaluable. It has stuck with me and has served me through adulthood, in training my own children to know and understand Jesus and Salvation, as well as in my youth ministry.
Knowing where to begin
So maybe you aren’t recognizing a clear call on your life the way that I did, and maybe you’re thinking, but “how do I share the gospel with someone,” because you are surrounded by people that need Jesus to be their Savior, what do you do? There’s no training camp for that, right?
Yea, probably not. And our churches don’t do much as far as how to walk through that Salvation message either.
So, what do you do?
You start by having a conversation. Much of the evangelism that happens in day-to-day life happens simply through having genuine conversations with people and eventually answering their questions.
I know, the term Bible-thumper comes to mind, and the, “I don’t want to force it down their throats” thing comes up, but what if it doesn’t have to be like that?
What if it was simply praying for an opportunity to minister, and then being open to letting the Spirit speak through you in one of those day-to-day conversations? Truly, that’s where it begins. How to share the Gospel with someone starts with praying and seizing that opportunity!
But what do I say?
Right, that can be tough. And the confidence here comes from practice. Sometimes you might say the wrong thing. It happens, but God can redeem anything for His glory. If they have questions about what Salvation is, why they need to be saved, what do they need to be saved from, etc. the most simple way that I can share with you to answer those questions is with a simple tool called The Wordless Book.
This tool was developed by Charles Spurgeon in 1866, and adapted after by Child Evangelism Fellowship and taught to all of their summer missionaries and trainees. It’s the perfect, simple way to share the Gospel, and I created cards derived from this idea for you to share simply, and effectively, the Salvation message.
How to share the Gospel with someone using the Steps of Salvation
How to share the Gospel with someone can be broken down into approximately 6 steps:
Always begin with Heaven. That’s where everything began. God was there in the beginning and He lives in Heaven now. Share about His holiness, His goodness, how He is the creator of everything, including them, and He loves them. Use the verse, John 3:16 and talk about it a little bit. Expand on what it means for God to be holy. What is holy? And then you begin the first transition. Something like, “because God is holy, nothing unclean can be in heaven with Him. We are all made unclean by sin and holiness needs to be separated from sin.“
Sin cannot be in heaven with God because God is holy and sin is not. Share Romans 3:23 and talk about what it means to fall short of the glory of God. Talk about what sin is, what examples of sin are, WHO has sinned, and the punishment for sin. Once it seems like they have a good understanding of sin and who has sinned, then share Isaiah 53:6. This will help your transition to the next step.
3. The Blood of Jesus
Share about how Jesus is the solution to sin, the salvation from eternal damnation (make sure you don’t overlook the punishment for sin being death when you talk about sin). Who is Jesus? Why is He important? Why is what He did so important? Talk about these questions, going to scripture if one comes to mind. You can use 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 in this part of the conversation. Once you feel like they are understanding that Jesus took THEIR punishment, transition to the next step. Remember NOT to leave Jesus dead. He ROSE AGAIN!!!! And because of that, we can be…
This is the place where if the message has resonated with their spirit, they will likely be ready to “accept Jesus” and you can pray with them. Use John 1:12 and talk about what it means to receive Jesus and what it means to be a child of God. Talk about Matthew 16:24-26 and what it means to “pick up our cross.” By this time, if they don’t have questions and are still truly invested in the conversation, you can ask, “would you like to receive Jesus today?”
If they say no, don’t worry, you have sowed the seeds of the gospel and you can just carry on with the conversation. Maybe they have more questions, or maybe they just need some time to process. No scripture shared with the goal of salvation is ever wasted. Feel free to ask if you can pray with them or for them, and if they decline, decide whether to change the topic, or ask if they have more questions. Make sure they know you’re there for them if they are wondering anything – there’s no pressure from you.
If they say YES, this is a time to celebrate. Go ahead and just pray with them. Help them with prompts if they need it, I usually say something like, “just let Jesus know that you want Him, that you are thankful for what He did and you want to surrender the rest of your life to Him.” The Holy Spirit can do the work from there.
After this, share some assurance with them. Look up the passages, John 5:24, John 3:36, and Ephesians 2:8-9. Help them to understand that their salvation is permanent when they lay down their old ways and follow after Jesus. Now, you can transition with something like: “so what’s next?”
5. Grow in Faith
Share 2 Peter 3:18 and talk about what this means. Talk about repentance, confessing sin, prayer, reading your Bible, joining a body of believers (a church or a home church), and then sharing with others. Make sure at this point this person knows you are there for them, or that you will help them get connected however they need. Don’t let them feel like they’re on their own now. They have just become a family member, help them grasp that.
You can then transition with something like, “don’t keep this to yourself, share your faith with others!”
6. Tell Others
Look up Matthew 28:19 with them and talk about it. Talk about how you share your faith and ask them if they have questions. Talk to them about baptism – you can look up Acts 2:38. If you feel satisfied that they don’t have more questions, or the conversation has lulled, go ahead and offer to pray with that person.
And then you follow up
Part of our responsibility in leading others to Christ is including them, helping them to understand that they have become part of a family. You are now a spiritual discipler to this person and you cannot just leave them in the dust. Ask them if they have a Bible, offer them literature, or a Bible study, invite them for dinner or to youth group or Bible study. Make sure that you help them to get plugged in with people around them to support them and encourage them on their new journey.
Check in on them regularly, and pray for them. Offer to pray with them. Don’t leave them hanging.
This can sound like a lot, but if you help them get connected with the right mentors and disciplers, so much will come off of you. It’s all about fitting them into the family of Christ.
I’d love to chat with you if you have questions or would like a walk-through of the Salvation message. How to share the gospel with someone is not a lonely thing, and it’s not something that needs to be fumbled through! Feel free to leave a comment, or message me and I’ll be sure to get back to you!