One of the topics that every Bible College and seminary student, Christian and church worker will wrestle with is; how do we engage people well with the good news of Jesus?
It isn’t always easy to share the gospel with people, the word evangelism has a knack of emptying a room of Christians. But that is what we are called to do, to proclaim the good news to the world, to point people to Christ and to call them to repentance. How can we do it well?
People use all different means to share the gospel;
- Street preaching
- Social media
- Church events
- One to ones
- Friendship evangelism
- Invitation to church
The list could go on, but even if we use these ways how can we communicate the gospel well? How can we engage the world in a way that is helpful? Here are just a few thoughts…
1. Know the message
Anytime we want to engage people with the good news of Jesus we need to know the message that we are conveying. If we want to tell people how they are in need of forgiveness, if we want to point them to the only person who has made forgiveness possible then we need to know where we can find those truths. The gospel is a vast topic that starts in the book of Genesis and runs through to the book of Revelation. We should know the message of the gospel well enough to be able to point to the problem of the world and to the solution of that problem.
2. Know the audience
Communicating uncomfortable and offensive truths (that we are all sinners and deserving of God’s wrath) to the world means that we will almost certainly come under fire. The best thing that we can do is to know the people and the audience well enough to convey the gospel in a way that doesn’t build up walls and obstacles, but that invites them to listen to us. This does not mean that we soften the gospel or that we hide certain parts of it because it’ll offend, but it means that we communicate important truths in an understandable way. We do this by knowing the culture, knowing (to whatever extent) the people we are speaking to and identifying with them.
3. Know the objections
Most of the time when we talk to people about the gospel we will get asked questions and we will be met with objections, but that doesn’t mean that we need to be unprepared. Many of us remember the objections that we had when we first heard the gospel and having them in the back of our mind will help us. Our own previous objections can be very helpful when sharing the gospel because we can bring in our own story and explain how we were won over by the gospel.
There are numerous objections that people will bring to the gospel but if we know a few of them, even just a few of the common ones, then we might feel a bit more comfortable and willing to share the gospel with people.
4. Know the pointers
By pointers I mean, the things in culture which highlight the need for something more and desire for true satisfaction that can only be found in God. People know that there are things wrong in the world (war, pain, death, etc.) and Christians can use these them to point out the need in the world and the beauty and solution that the gospel brings.
The gospel is the most wonderful news in the world and We are called to share it with the world, to call people to repentance and to point people towards our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Hopefully these few thoughts will help us all on our way to sharing Jesus with more people and in a way that is helpful and understandable to all people.