* Focus on being rather than doing. Know that people aren’t attracted to your methods; they’re attracted to your life. Realize that being a faithful person is much more important than doing something impressive when you evangelize. Ask God to transform you into the person He wants you to become so you can represent Him well.


* Meet people where they are. Rather than expecting people to come to you (such as by joining you at church before you’ve developed close friendships with them), become part of their lives, on their terms. Genuinely get to know them and help meet their needs as you can. Remember that people are often most open to God when they’re going through a crisis, such as an illness, divorce, or job loss. Listen to their fears and concerns, and pray for them. Trust that, over time, God will use these relationships you build to draw people to Himself.


* Set healthy boundaries to recharge. Don’t neglect taking time away from people to recharge when you need to do so. Don’ t be afraid to say “no” to people when their demands on your time and energy are depleting you and you don’t sense God calling you to meet their particular needs at that particular time.


* Stretch beyond your comfort zone. Don’t use your introvert temperament as an excuse to avoid tackling a task God is calling you to undertake. Remember that, while He doesn’t want you to become someone you’re not, He may lead you outside your comfort zone to build your faith. If you’re nervous, take your focus off yourself and place it onto God, trusting that He will help you do anything He calls you to do.


* Avoid canned presentations. With each person you’re evangelizing, take the time to get to know that person well and discuss spiritual concerns that directly relate to that person’s life. Don’t necessarily bring up faith in the first conversation; first find common ground to build a relationship. Ask open-ended questions, listen carefully, and seek to learn something from the person. Make sure you’re informed about current events that may become discussion topics. Get to know the Bible well. Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you while you’re talking with the person. If you don’t know how to respond to something, say you’ll think about it and get back with the person later – then be sure to do so. Be creative about the ways you evangelize; realize that it doesn’t always have to involve talking. For example, writing through exchanged e-mails can be an effective way to evangelize. Make yourself available for whatever ways God wants to use you to help reach people.


Adapted from Evangelism for the Rest of Us: Sharing Christ within Your Personality Style, copyright 2006 by Mike Bechtle.  Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.bakerbooks.com.