To honor Biola’s evangelistic heritage and renew our commitment to the Great Commission, Biola has dedicated the 2012–13 school year to the theme “From This Place: Proclaiming Good News in a Changing World,” which is being explored in chapels, lectures and special events throughout the year.
Here, as part of the “Year of Proclamation,” we offer 30 tips for evangelism as well as a collection of chapel messages on the proclamation of the gospel. For the full collection of this year’s chapels, visit Open Biola.
30 Tips for Evangelism
1. Pray. Pray for those in your sphere of influence, your friends, family, colleagues. Occasionally, tell them you are praying for them.
2. Spend time around evangelistic Christians. Let their passion for sharing the gospel inspire and encourage you.
3. Know your audience. Become acquainted with the people around you so you know how best to communicate with them.
4. Recognize that nonverbal witness is powerful, though not sufficient. We need to speak the gospel as well.
5. Trust the Spirit. He is working even if we can’t see results. Listen for promptings from the Holy Spirit and be willing to respond in action.
6. Listen to God and let him lead you.
7. Start local. A family member, a close friend, a coworker. No need to go across the world to be an evangelist.
8. Reflect on the evil and suffering in the world. When we see clearly the condition of our world and the people in it, our compassion for them and our passion for the gospel will grow.
9. Think about what God has done in your life and how he reached you.
10. Abide in God’s love and allow yourself to be loved.
11. Meditate on key passages in Scripture that value evangelism (e.g. the story of Jesus with the Samaritan woman in John 4).
12. Make sure you know the gospel. Re-tell it to yourself regularly.
13. Aspire to live virtuously and represent the gospel well.
14. Share your story. Practice it aloud and be willing to tell it in a variety of ways (short, long, highlighting certain details over others) given the context.
15. Don’t feel like you need to “close the deal” right away, but do include an invitation of some sort. Listen to the leading of the Spirit.
16. “Be prepared to give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15).
17. Use Scripture. Memorize a few appropriate Scriptures in your articulation of the gospel.
18. Get out of the bubble. Find opportunities to have actual face-to-face interaction with people who don’t know Christ.
19. It’s not about being perfect. It’s better to have a flawed approach to evangelism than none at all.
20. Don’t be arrogant or condescending in your sharing of the gospel.
21. Consider using social media or blogs evangelistically. Be open and public on those platforms about your faith, about how God has transformed your life.
22. Have something to talk about. Have a variety of interests, be widely read. It gives you more points of connection with a variety of people.
23. The gospel should be declared and shared, but never force-fed.
24. Consider pop culture as a conversation starter: Books, movies, music and more can be great “raw material” for meaningful conversations.
25. Be yourself. For example, evangelism for introverts may look different than it does for extroverts.
26. Learn the art of asking questions.
27. Learn the art of listening well.
28. Keep resources — like small books or CDs — with you in case you have the opportunity to give them to a new convert or someone seriously searching.
29. Don’t assume the burden of someone’s eternal destiny or feel like their salvation is up to you. It’s not. God does the saving, not you. You are just a catalyst.
30. It doesn’t end when they “pray the prayer.” Be sure new converts are growing spiritually through discipleship, prayer, Bible study, worship and fellowship with other believers.