4 Practical Ways to Share the Gospel
God put you where you are for a reason. The sphere of influence you have is no accident. God hand-picked your neighbors, family members, coworkers, children, friends, and even random strangers at the supermarket. All these people need to hear the Gospel. They need to hear how Christ lived the life they could never live and died the death they deserve to die and how He is their only hope.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
God creates divine appointments for us, and we are blessed with opportunities to share the Good News about Jesus with these people. Since we are commanded to preach the Gospel, we should take that duty seriously. And how could we not? For it is this Good News that saves (1 Corinthians 15:2). There is no one-size-fits-all formula for sharing the Gospel with the people God places in our lives, but I want to share some practical tips that have helped me.
Firstly, I want to preface with the reminder we are not ultimately responsible for someone else’s salvation. Do not confuse your duty in sharing the Gospel with the role the Holy Spirit plays in regenerating someone’s heart. God definitely can and does use faithful witness to save others. This means we cannot just sit back and avoid telling people about Jesus. It does mean we can share the Truth with unbelievers without trying to control the situation or summon a response and without feeling discouraged when they don’t respond well.
This particular truth was foundational in changing my perspective and approach after I was saved by God’s grace at the age of 19. I was the only Christian in my family, and I wanted so badly for my family members to know the truth God had revealed to me. My limited view of God’s sovereignty combined with the intense zeal I had for my loved ones to know the truth about Christ resulted in an aggressive approach. It wouldn’t take long for me to get frustrated with an individual when they weren’t responding positively to my Gospel presentation. It seemed every conversation ended in an argument, and I would leave feeling discouraged. That being said, learning about God’s sovereignty in salvation was imperative for me. It freed me to be patient, loving, and understanding when someone just wasn’t hearing me. At the end of the day, God is in charge of softening someone’s heart. I can plant seeds and God can use my efforts as a means to an end, but I am not responsible for creating a Christian. Only He can do that.
Now that we understand our duty versus God’s role, let’s look at some helpful tips:
1. Build a Relationship
Every Christian has heard this before, but it’s worth repeating. There’s a time and place for street evangelism and passing out Gospel tracts to strangers, but I truly think the value of building a relationship with an individual cannot be overstated enough.
We should be about loving people and building a level of trust with them that shows we value who they are. If I were to awkwardly insert a Gospel presentation in the first conversation I have with my new next door neighbor, God could certainly use it for good, but it could also create the impression that all I want is for them is to see things my way simply because I say so.
Building a relationship creates a foundation of trust, and it shows this person I really do love them and want them to be set free by the truth of the Gospel, not because I say so, but because God’s Word shows it is the only way to salvation and true life.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Say, “I Don’t Know.”
One of the biggest reasons Christians skip out on Gospel-sharing opportunities is the feeling of inadequacy: “What if I don’t have all the answers to their questions?”
One of the benefits of having conversations with unbelievers is it forces us to seek the Scriptures, seek counsel, and research to build a strong case for our faith. If you are posed with a question you don’t know, don’t be afraid to admit you are lacking in that area of expertise. Just because you do not know the answer off the top of your head does not mean there isn’t one.
Be diligent in seeking out that answer and following up with the individual who asked. This will show the person you truly care and want to help them understand, but it will also help you grow in the knowledge of your faith.
“…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3:15
3. Ask Questions!
This is perhaps my favorite piece of advice when it comes to sharing the Gospel. It’s amazing how quickly asking questions makes conversation fruitful.
Often, when we share the Gospel, people instantly become defensive. When defensiveness arises, the conversation can turn south quickly. While you are making an argument, the other party is already preparing a defense in their favor, and at this point, we stop listening to each other and become more concerned about winning an argument than hearing the opposing point of view.
To avoid going this route, it’s wise to ask the unbeliever questions after they make claims and assertions. This forces them to stop, internalize what you are asking, and thoughtfully come up with their answer. This not only helps the flow of conversation, it also creates a thoughtful, challenging, and engaging discussion.
4. Pray and Trust
When you received the Holy Spirit, you were given the most powerful tool for sharing the Gospel. This means you don’t need to worry about how you will handle future interactions. Trust God is with you and His Spirit is working through you.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
At the end of the day, God promises to equip and use you. It’s easy to worry about what we will say and how the conversation will go, but we can trust we are going to be given grace in that moment.
“And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke 12:11-12
So, when you are given an opportunity to share the Gospel, remember it is no accident, and since God has called you to be His witness, He will also equip you. Once you’ve done your job, you can rest in God’s sovereignty, knowing He is good and will do whatever He wills!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chelsey Meissner is obsessed with seeing and savoring Jesus. She is a lover of books, coffee, cats, running, and all things vintage. Chelsey is excited to travel the the world with her husband, Eric, who is a Marine Officer.