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I feel that one of the biggest hindrances in spreading the Gospel is that we often don’t know how to break the ice with people. It’s almost like how it was back in your dating days (of course, some of you are still in that dating phase!) when you wanted with all of your might to approach the beautiful girl and acquire her phone number, only to fearfully hold back because you’re too afraid of saying the wrong thing and potentially pushing her away forever.
How about something even more important than finding a potential mate: telling people about the saving Good News of Jesus Christ. Talk about pressure; this is eternity we are dealing with, after all! And what about introducing the undiluted, foundational mechanics of Christianity into conversation? We can definitely throw lost people for a loop when we go from “zero to 60” in less than four seconds by audaciously throwing out concepts like “you are a sinner!” into their faces. Without sugar-coating or watering down the Gospel, how can we better evangelize the lost while still reaching them on a more gracious and personal level?
We can tell a story.
People will tend to listen more and connect deeper when there’s a relatable tale to go along with the ideas we want to convey. Consider of some of your favorite stories in film and in books. Just about all of them will follow the general structure of a protagonist being introduced, the protagonist facing a problem, and then the protagonist finding a way to overcome that adversity and triumph in the end. Boom, boom, boom – that’s a three-part storytelling framework.
You can apply that structure by talking about our own lives and experiences. For instance, we can recount how we were lost in sin, and possibly even describing addictions, habits and dark traits that brought us down to the pits of despair. When it seemed like we were at the end of our proverbial rope, we accepted Jesus Christ into our lives as Lord and Savior. After that, we were saved, restored by God, born again, and set free from the bondage of sin, ultimately becoming new creations in Christ, and on our way into becoming the husbands and fathers we were predestined to be.
We could even take the larger, overarching epic of God and creation and relay that as a story where mankind fell into sin and needed a Savior. God loved us so much that He entered the story and became a human in Jesus Christ and paid the penalty for our sins on the cross, and that we can have a restored relationship in God through Him.
Even in the Book of Acts, the Apostles employed this storytelling method to outline the history of the Jewish faith that finally led up to Jesus fulfilling Old Testament prophecies of the promised Savior and Messiah.
So whenever you have the opportunity to share the Gospel and don’t know to introduce blunt theological concepts, remember to share your testimony. Or tell them the basic Biblical story of Jesus. Your newfound conversation partner will be much more receptive to the Gospel message, and may consider accepting Jesus themselves. Try it. And the more you do this, the better you get at evangelizing!