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7 Steps to Share the Gospel with a Stranger

7 Steps to Share the Gospel with a Stranger
Brought to you by Christianity.com

You want to share the gospel with someone, but to be honest, you have no idea where to start, and you're completely terrified. Let's admit that it can feel awkward. What if you say it wrong? What if you look stupid? What if you misrepresent Christ?

This article will give a straightforward approach that has worked for me to be genuine and loving hundreds of times, and I am confident that it will work for you as well.

1. Pray for Boldness

It's going to be scary, and you will be nervous. Many people believe that if you are meant to share the gospel with someone, you will "feel peace" about it. Sometimes you will feel a supernatural peace, but more often than not, you will still feel nervous.

Jesus never said, "If you feel like it, then go and make disciples." He did not say, "If you are a bold, extroverted person, then preach." No, he commissioned all believers in Matthew 28:19-20,

"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."

If you feel afraid, that is ok! I have shared the gospel hundreds of times and still feel scared every time I am about to do it again. Even the apostles got nervous after getting punished for preaching.

But what did they do? The Book of Acts tells us that they gathered together and cried out to God to give them more boldness.

"And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness” (Acts 4:29, ESV).

If the apostles had to ask God to give them the boldness to take a risk, how much more do we need to.

2. Don't Assume Everyone Knows

For some reason, I grew up believing that everyone in first-world nations had heard about Jesus, and they didn't want him. So, I thought I would have to argue with them and convince them into the kingdom.

I was shocked one day when I walked up to three guys playing basketball in Los Angeles. I asked them if they had heard about Jesus.

"Who?" They responded.

"You know, Jesus." They stared at me blankly. "The cross?" I said, hoping it would click.

"The what?"

What about "Adam and Eve?" I said, trying to spark something.

"Who’s that?" One said like I was name-dropping random friends of mine.

"Come one," I pushed, "like creation?'

"What are you talking about, man?" Another said, frustrated.

"God!" I tried to emphasize.

Finally, one guy remarked, "We have no idea what you are saying. Can you get to the point?"

Shocked, I realized that these teenagers had secular parents, went to a secular school, and no one had ever mentioned any other option besides atheism to them.

I shared the gospel with them, and one of them said, "Wow, that makes a lot of sense." They then gave their hearts to Jesus right there.

We must never assume people have heard the gospel. There are people all around us every day who have no idea such a thing even exists!

3. Take the Risk

We often think that God will set up the perfect moment for us to share the gospel. So, we throw out prayers like, "If this person walks in right now and then starts talking to me, and then they ask me about Jesus, then I will know to share."

God definitely can and does answer those prayers, but you will find more often than not, God will allow you to create the moment.

There doesn't need to be a sign from heaven or a rainbow in the sky as confirmation. It can be as normal as you see someone at the coffee shop and decide you will take a leap of faith and try and share with them.

Does God love everyone? Yes, John 3:16 tells us that. Does he long for everyone to be saved? Yes, 1 Timothy 2:3-4 shares that.

The Bible is enough confirmation to tell you that God wants you to talk to that person. It is up to you to take the risk.

4. Be Yourself

When you approach them, be normal. Smile and introduce yourself. You don't need to be a preacher with some eloquent message and a 15-point sermon. You don't need to be a theologian with three masters, two doctorates, and be fluent in Latin.

Be you. God created you to share the gospel in a way that no one else will be able to. The theologian has his place in God's plan, and so do you. You are not disqualified from sharing the gospel because you don't have a lot of verses memorized.

You will find that God has a strange ability to bring you to the exact people who need to hear from you. Most people aren't trained atheists ready to attack you when you say you believe in Jesus.

The majority of people are regular moms, dads, students, employees, grandparents. They have dreams, hopes, and fears. They want to know they are loved, their life has a purpose, and God cares.

I walk up to people, introduce myself and then say something like, "Hey, this is random, but I am a Christian, and just wanted to let you know that you are on God's heart today, and he loves you."

Nothing fancy. Just be you.

5. Share Your Story

Never underestimate the power of your testimony. When you tell the story of what Jesus has done for you, it can destroy the works of Satan.

"And they have conquered him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death" (Revelation 12:11, ESV).

Share who you were before meeting Jesus. How you met him, how it felt, what it was like, and how your life has transformed.

People can argue your theology forever. But they can't argue your testimony. They can call you a liar, and that is ok. But it still doesn't change your testimony. People crave authenticity and can tell when you share the truth about your story.

This also helps it not come off as preachy but vulnerable instead and opens the door to their hearts. It will also give them hope that if your life can change, maybe theirs can as well.

6. Share the Foundation of the Gospel

Many people share way too much when trying to share the gospel. They start to talk about the 10 Commandments, the law of the Old Testament, sacrificed animals, Pharisees, etc.

That makes sense if you have been to church for a while, but the random person who hasn't heard a thing about Jesus will be so confused. "Killing goats? Moses? What in the world does this have to do with me?"

Just get to the main points and try to leave out the Christianized words only churchy people understand.

I share differently every time, but I make sure I share the crucial points:

  • There is a God who created everything and loves you.
  • Humans fell from God. We have hatred, murder, evil, etc.
  • He came for us by becoming a man named Jesus.
  • He took the punishment we deserved and died on the cross for us; he rose three days later from the dead.
  • He said that all who ask for forgiveness and ask him to be their Lord and follow him will be saved.

You can do it all in two minutes. I once saw my pastor start the conversation in line for a cheeseburger. They shared the whole gospel and prayed for salvation for someone all before they got to the front of the line!

You can do it too.

7. Ask Them if They Want Jesus

Once you share the gospel with them, take a moment and ask them if they want Jesus in their life.

Too often, people share and then move on without ever asking. We assume this unsaved person will know what to do next. We must remember they have no idea what is going on. We have to allow them to respond.

They may say no, and that is ok. Thank them for listening and remind them that whenever they want, Jesus is ready for them.

They may also say yes, and that will make it all worth it!

Pray with them right then and there and have them in their own words tell Jesus they believe in him, are sorry for their sins, and want him to be the Lord of their lives.

Invite them to join you at church or help them find one so they can grow in their faith! If it is messy, don’t worry, you are learning. The more you share, the better you will get! God is so proud of you for trying and will honor your obedience to the Great Commission.

For further reading:

What Is the Gospel and Why Is it Good News?

How the Power of the Gospel Supersedes All Else

What Did Jesus Mean to 'Go and Make Disciples’?

What Does it Mean to Be Fishers of Men?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/freedom007

C.com writerTaylor Jensen is a missionary, pastor, and world traveler. His passion is to help equip believers with practical ways to ignite their faith and bring Jesus into the world around them. That is the goal of his personal blog Fireplace Faith. Want to Learn How to Hear God's Voice? Subscribe here to get his Free Ebook “8 Biblical Ways to Hear God's Voice.”  Reach out to him any time through his blog or through his social media accounts @taylorcjensen.

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