There are plenty of books written on the topic of evangelism and plenty of books written about evangelism strategies for church, by there are few books (to my very limited knowledge!) on actually how to tell people the gospel.
Turning everyday conversations into gospel conversations is a good short book that helps the ‘average Christian’ (whatever that is) think through how to transition from normal conversations about life, politics, children, work… to having gospel centred conversations. The authors say;
“Scripture is clear that the Great Commission isn’t just given to a select few trained pastors. It’s given to everyone. I’m convinced that more people are interested in hearing the gospel than most Christians are in sharing it.”
So often you get the feeling that people assume Church leaders and people in full-time ministry are being paid to do evangelism and they can take a back seat. This is just not the case. So often people in full-time ministry are in a Christian bubble and don’t actually know many non-Christians, which is a sad thing. This idea that only trained people, people with a theology degree, or only the most energetic and ‘holy people’ can evangelise is just wrong. The global church wouldn’t be the size that it is now if throughout history we only let the ‘educated ones’ spread the gospel, in fact the gospel wouldn’t have even left Jerusalem all those years ago!
The authors describe our world as Humpty Dumpty; we have fallen of the wall, we are all broken, and we can’t figure out how to put all the pieces back together again. That’s where you come in!
Every Christian is called to be an ambassador for Christ, a declarer of the gospel. For some that will mean preaching from a pulpit, for some that might mean having a conversation over coffee but for every Christian out there it means to take the opportunity and to tell people the good mews about Jesus.
This book gives you an example of how to transition from a normal everyday conversation and turn it into a gospel conversation. It also comes with a simple system of ‘three circles’ that help the individual explain the gospel message, and if that involves too much drawing for you they’ve even developed an app. Here is an image of what the final picture should look like:
This is one of the few ‘systems’ that I have seen that starts its explanation right at the beginning with God’s design of the world. The great thing about this system is that you can make it your own, use the Bible verses you know and bring in your own story, it helps you get the conversation going.
The authors can come across in a slightly ‘use this to see people coming to faith’ but I don’t think that this was their intention. This system, whilst being very helpful, is not a guarantee that people will understand and become Christians, but it is a way to get people sharing the gospel from the get go.
Coupling this method with good biblical discipleship in which you wrestle with the Bible and some difficult questions could mean that many more Christians feel equipped to evangelise. The only thing that stand in people’s way are their own excuses and fears.
Whenever I speak about evangelism and the need for it this quote from Spurgeon always comes to mind and it stresses the importance of evangelism and the effects of not telling people the gospel.
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”