Let me ask you this. If Jesus saved every person you shared the gospel with this month, how many people would that be? That literally should be all I have to write on this one.
When it’s all said and done, this literally is the most important thing we can do as a follower of Jesus. If we really believe that you have to trust Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and the alternative is an eternity in a place called Hell…then what in the world are we doing other than sharing this with other people? How can we go through a week or even a day without telling someone about Jesus and what he has done for them and then call ourselves “loving”? The most loving thing we can do for someone is to point them to life and hope.
Yes there are very appropriate times to provide for someone’s immediate need first. If someone is starving, the scriptures tell us to feed them. (James 1:27). If someone is outside and cold with no shelter, the scriptures tell us to clothe and house them. (James 2:15). See also:
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes, or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” Matthew 25:44
If you have a neighbor who moves in — it’s appropriate to introduce ourselves first, invite them to dinner and then share with them the hope we have in Jesus. I do not believe in a “long term” approach to sharing the gospel. I don’t think we have to formulate strategy or a long range plan in which to finally arrive at the day when we ask someone “Hey, on a scale of 0–10 how confident are you that you would go to heaven if you died today?” That should be a normal question we ask people to transition the conversation to Jesus. This is one of those normative practices that we do on a regular basis to the point where we don’t have to ask, “How do I do this?” — but it always starts that way. Most of us do not share the Gospel. We don’t know how. We are scared. We don’t know what to say, and we just don’t think that’s our thing.
I’ve never actually met the guy who says, “My gift is evangelism.” (and mean it from a daily, one on one conversationalist standpoint. They always mean, “I’m gifted to be the main speaker at an event about Jesus.”) Evangelism=telling someone what Jesus has done for us, is something that has to be practiced. This is a tool or a muscle that we have to flex on a regular basis to make it strong and keep it that way. We should be pushing ourselves every day to be looking for opportunities to either take or create to share with others about Jesus.
A great test I always like to encourage us to ask is: “If Jesus saved everyone I shared the gospel with this month — how many more people would be going to heaven?” There are days when I am deeply ashamed by the answer to that question and there are other days when I’ve worked hard to flex that muscle. Times when I’ve been intentional all day long, all week long, all month long to plan out speaking with certain people as well as seeing the windows of opportunity to do so with others completely unprompted.
The coolest thing I’ve found in practicing the art of sharing the gospel is: I’m more alive in the moments I’m doing this than any other time in life. During the moments (usually minutes) of going through the scriptures and explaining the gospel to someone are the moments when everything else fades to the background. It’s the time when it’s clear that nothing that holds no enteral value is worth the time or distraction when it compares to this. It stirs my affections for Jesus. It stirs my affections for my wife. It stirs my affections for my kids. It stirs my affections for life and the desire to share it more.
This may be one of if not the most difficult things we as Christians wrestle with to actually do what we are told to do regularly and vigorously the way we are supposed to. So… how do we do this?
I stole this from the one who has influenced me the most in this area of life:
P — Pray:
1. Pray for opportunities to share and the moment before you do. Literally every day I take my kids to school and we pray on the way. I always wrap my time with “Jesus, help us to do something for your kingdom today to make it bigger.” — “God, please give me an opportunity today to share the gospel with _______.” — or “Jesus, please help me to create an opportunity to tell someone about you today.” Praying that prayer helps to set my heart and mind on that for the day. It reminds me of why I am here and to get to work.
2. Pray just before you jump off that cliff. When you see the moment: “Jesus, please save this person.” or “Jesus, please give me the right words and the courage.” …and go.
When we pray, we are clearly inviting Jesus into the conversation. We are inviting the creator of the world to do a little work with us in the moment. We are reminding ourselves that we only have to do our best and Jesus can take the rest. (as cheesy as that sounds — but sometimes cheese is good.)
E — Engage
Engage in a conversation with someone. If you are sitting on an airplane, when someone sits down next to you — Pray and then say, “Hello, my name is Case. What’s yours?” Congratulations! You’ve just engaged someone. It’s surprising how easy it is to start a conversation with someone we don’t know in an everyday situation. Check out this article from May Pangon how to create intimacy with any person you meet. (Not like that. Intimacy like — good deep conversation and healthy human interaction type). May took like 400+ Uber, Lift, plane, bus, etc…rides to practice the art of engaging with others. May shares some great but very basic tips in engaging with others. All to say: engaging with people really isn’t that hard. Just start doing it and then keep doing, and you will get better at it.
T — Transition
Transition the conversation to Jesus. “So do you go to church anywhere?” I’ve found this is the easiest transition sentence for me and surprisingly people don’t get nearly as weird or offended as we tend to think they do. Most people I’ve encountered are fairly open once you actually ask them transitional question: unless it’s a difficult question to understand. I like this one because it’s simple, easy for them to answer or to think of the answer and immediately let’s all parties in the conversation know where we are going next. We I had a student ministry staff or would be with a group of pastors out to eat we used to play a game with the wait staff. I would put a $20 bill on the table and challenge them that if they could guess what we all did for a living then they would get the $20. If not, they would agree to visit us at “our place of business”. Fun way to open up a conversation with someone who is serving you and a great way to give them more $… The point is, this doesn’t have to be some scary big event when we move people into a Jesus conversation. Be creative, have fun, allow yourself to not feel pressure, but feel challenged.
S — Share
Share the gospel. Don’t confuse sharing the Gospel with inviting someone to church or asking them if they attend somewhere. “Hey you want to come to church with me…” isn’t planting a seed, it’s us being to lazy or scared to actually say, “Hey, can I tell you what the scriptures say about the hope we have in Jesus?” There are two questions I always ask someone when finding out where we need to begin Gospel/scripture wise. I always ask:
1 — “On a scale of 0 to 10, if you died today, how confident are you that you would go to heaven?”
2 — “If Jesus asked you, ‘why should I let you in, what would you say?”
If someone says, “9” and “Well, you know there’s always that last 10% that you just don’t know.” — followed by “I’ve trusted Jesus to forgive me.” Then I’m going straight to
“For it is by grace that you are saved through faith, not of works so that no one can boast.” Eph. 2:8–9
If they say, “4 or 5” and “I’ve tried to be good, I try to do the right things. I’m a good person, I’ve never done anything all that bad.” We are then going to walk thru the 6 basic passages that we use to share the Gospel with people
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:23
“God demonstrates his great love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead then you will be saved…for everyone that calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9 & 13
“It is by grace that you are saved through faith, it is a gift of God so that no one can boast.” Eph. 2:8–9
“For he saved us not because of our righteous deeds, but because of his mercy, by the washing and regeneration of the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5
We don’t have to memorize the Bible to share the Gospel. We don’t have to have thousands of hours of study or a Graduate degree in theology to share with someone else why we have the hope of eternal life with Jesus.
Another way I judge if I’ve been consistently sharing the gospel is if I can rattle these 6 verses off or not. Yes, I memorized them when I was 13 years old, but I also didn’t share them but a handful of times between 12 and 31… which means I couldn’t rattle them off quickly. I double checked Romans 3:23 when I wrote this because I sometimes mix up Romans 3 and 6, but I’ve shared these verses consistently and recently enough that I don’t have to look them up. I know them because I use them. I didn’t come up with some new way to do this, or have to formulate this extravegant plan to tell someone about Jesus. I literally just pray, engage a convo with someone and then ask them if they go to church. I then will ask them my 2 questions and then if they would be willing to let me share with them those 6 scriptures. I typically have my phone with me, so I can open my Bible app, and I’ve highlighted those verses so that I can show them rather than just tell them the verses.
Depending on how the conversation is going I will wrap it up with, “What keeps you from trusting Jesus today?”, or “If I could answer one question to convince you this is real, what would it be?”
Sharing the Gospel is basic. It’s simple, but we have decided that it’s not easy. The more we do these kinds of things, the more comfortable we get and the better we get at it. You may be surprised to find that you may just have this “gifting” of evangelism after all, you just never used it or developed it correctly.
The more we do these kinds of things, the more comfortable we get and the better we get at it. You may be surprised to find that you may just have this “gifting” after all.
My name is Casey Hubbart – (“Case”). I am a former pastor living in Texas. I own a business with my wife, coach high school football & pole vault, and I write about: Faith, Family, Fashion and Fitness. I believe those of us who say we know Jesus are in desperate need of a change in the way we do things. I’ve spent my entire life as part of the church in some capacity. I met Jesus when I was 18 and have spent the last 20 years serving in the church in some capacity. 13+ years of that was as a paid staff member or “professional Christian” — The last 4 years of my life I’ve been trying to process what it means to not be on a church staff and still hold that as such a vital part of mine and my family’s life. It’s been educational to say the least having lived on this side of the table now for a few years, giving me a better understanding of what I was truly asking the people who sat in the churches I served in. Trying to find a way to appropriately handle all that I’ve experienced in the church I decided to begin to write.
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