Editor: Ricky Kirk, a pastor from Ohio, blogs at Panta ta Ethne, where this post recently appeared. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Our church as recently been studying/exploring evangelism as we prepare for an upcoming revival and Easter weekend. I am modifying material from several sources and approaching evangelism as something more than the Romans Road or the rote memorization and sharing of a few particular verses. I am also challenging our church to have a greater understanding of God’s overarching story of the Bible, so we have covered God, creation, man, fall, Christ, and consummation as well as OT promises made and NT promises kept.
Part of our learning is utilizing Bible storying and incorporating biblical stories with our personal testimonies, thus giving the Word of God, which has authority and power, greater emphasis and our testimonies a secondary emphasis. This is pushing me and others to present the gospel in ways that truly connect with others where they are at, rather than recite a few verses to them, or what is more common, telling our story with out really telling His story.
For example, I had the opportunity this week to share the gospel in a rather unique setting. I am a ‘partner’ for a registered sex offender in a sex offender treatment program. I attend meetings with him and provide encouragement, support, and accountability with him. One thing led to another and the Holy Spirit opened a door and I was allowed to go through it.
To make a long story short, a spiritual issue was being addressed and when the opportunity presented itself I began sharing the gospel and began with the story of David and Bathsheba. I explained that David is called a man after God’s own heart, and he loved and worship God in such a way that he wrote many songs to God called Psalms. I then storied the account of David not serving on the battlefield, his lust, his sin with Bathsheba, the conspiracy to commit murder and the consequences of his sin. This led to his discussion with Nathan and David’s conviction and confession of sin before God (Psalm 51). I then moved to sharing how David’s guilt and shame were removed by the forgiveness of God, and likewise we see this demonstrated through the sacrificial death of Jesus. In His death He bore the wrath of God against sin and removes the guilt and shame of sin for those who receive Him.
That is the summary, and I am sure there was more that I shared, but honestly can’t remember everything. The Holy Spirit just took over and I shared as succinctly as I could in a way that spoke to the context of the group. I might have just used the Roman Road presentation, or something similar, but storying David and his sexual sin with this group resonated with them. The particular gentleman I was sharing with connected with the story which connected to the gospel.
I don’t know where that will lead him, I didn’t ‘close the deal’ and lead him (or any others) in a sinner’s prayer (in fact I didn’t begin nor end my presentation with a prayer), and I didn’t ask him to personally receive Jesus Christ as His personal Lord and Savior. What I did was allow the Holy Spirit to lead and share a biblical story that connected not only to his context but built a bridge to the gospel and presented to him (and the group) the gospel of Jesus Christ. Obedience and honoring God was most important, not ‘closing a deal’. I pray the Holy Spirit continues to speak to this man and that he will respond to God’s offer of salvation.
As we share the gospel, may we remember that while our personal testimonies might be real, personal, and meaningful, they are not the Word of God. By having an understanding of the overall biblical storyline, we find there is a wealth of stories that can be used to speak to a person where they are and if we use the Word of God (more than just a tract or a particular tool) as the Holy Spirit leads to make much of Jesus we will find sharing the gospel brings such joy to our lives.
I would love to your experiences sharing the gospel. Share away!