It is said that Jesus, ‘Came to seek and save that which was lost’. Luke 19:20. Before we can teach, we must first seek. This should be a mindset, a part of our thinking. We should be constantly looking, observing, and seeking out people that we can teach. A sign on the outside of our buildings which says, ‘Visitors Welcome’ isn’t seeking. True, we prefer that people come to us, but it doesn’t work this way. We must go to them since few will ever be coming to us. Thus, we must become seekers because we don’t seek, we eliminate abundant opportunities to reach the lost.

We often convince ourselves that it isn’t appropriate, even politically incorrect, to bring up the subject of religion, the truth is, it is always appropriate. We often look for the perfect time and circumstance, but this is not usually the case. Paul said, ‘Be ready in season, out of season’. 2 Timothy 4:2

So whether it appears to be an opportunity or not, be sure and teach. Paul if in a market place might meet a total stranger, yet he would seek the opportunity to teach that person.

On one occasion Jesus sent the apostles into Sychar, a Samaritan village to purchase food. On the way, they probably brushed by a woman coming to fetch water from Jacob’s well where Jesus was sitting and resting. He immediately struck up a conversation with her.

When they returned they were astonished to find Jesus speaking to this Samaritan woman. She would soon return with the entire village to hear Jesus preach. The disciples failed to see the opportunities they had to teach. Jesus told them, ‘Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest.’

The woman and the people of the village were open to teaching yet the disciples never gave it a second thought. Jesus remained for two days teaching them, John 4:5-42.

When we look at someone we should always see a soul worth more than the entire world. Just as Jesus called the first disciples to be ‘fishers of men,’ in Matthew 4:19 we too are called to be fishers of men.

Characteristics Of The Master Teacher

1. He showed compassion for the people, Matthew 9:36.

2. He was light to a dark world, John 1:4 / John 4:9.

Paul wrote, ‘He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love’. Colossians 1:13

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said we are to be light. Matthew 5:24.

3. He manifested love.

He once said, ‘And you shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ Mark 12:30

4. He created curiosity. There was something about Jesus that caused people to become interested in what he had to say, John 1:35–39.

5. He saw Himself as a servant.

He once told His disciples He came not to be served but to serve. Matthew 20:28. He demonstrated this by washing the disciple’s feet. He was not below washing dirty feet, John 13:1-17.

6. He risked the disfavour of men.

He was ‘despised and rejected’ by men. In Luke 12:8 He tells His disciples not to be ashamed to confess ‘Him before men.’

7. He lamented over the lost, Matthew 23:37 / Luke 14:34

8. He was humble, Luke 14:11.

Paul tells us that Jesus ‘emptied Himself’ in coming to this world. Philippians 2:6-8.

9. He befriended the outcast, the Samaritans, adulterers, sinners and publicans. The Pharisees asked His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ Matthew 9:11

Methods Of The Master Teacher

1. He often employed parables or stories.

We need to use stories. Tell your own story. Sometimes your own story of how you learned the truth, from whom, and what changed your thinking, maybe a powerful story for someone who is in a similar situation as you were.

2. He often asked questions.

As an example, the lawyer who came to try him asked ‘who is my neighbour?’

After telling the story of the man beaten by robbers and left to die, Jesus asked the lawyer which of the those who passed by the dying man was neighbour to him? While it may conflict with his personal beliefs, to answer correctly, a person is often put in the position of answering with the truth. Luke 10:25-37.

3. He was careful not to give them more than they could comprehend.

An example is John 16:12 wherein speaking to the disciples he said, ‘I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.’

We should never overload a student with more than he can carry in his plate at the moment.

4. He often surprised those He taught.

At the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount it is said, ‘The people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.’ Mark 1:22-24.

The Master Teacher Prayed For The Lost

1. He made such a request in John 17:20

2. He encouraged His disciples to pray for labourers to go into the fields. Matthew 9:38.

3. He encourages us to pray also, John 15:16.

4. Sometimes there are lost people who are praying for knowledge.

This was true with Cornelius. He told Peter that in answer to his prayer he was told to send to Joppa and ask for Peter, ‘who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ Acts 11:14

While the miraculous age has passed and people no longer have visions as Cornelius had, people do pray to God for guidance who are not Christians. It may be that through the providence of God you will be led to someone who is seeking truth. Therefore, we should never let any opportunity pass us by where we can teach.

Questions for thought

1. Which characteristics do you think would best fit your style of teaching others?

2. What impresses you the most about Jesus’ methods?

3. Can prayer help you to be a better soul winner?

4. What can help you be a better seeker?

5. Seemingly Jesus avoided the priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and other high officials.

Why do you think He did this? Does this suggest who the best prospects might be?

6. Who do you think are the best prospects for you?

7. Is your story of conversion one that would fit someone else that you know?

8. What part does humility play in teaching the lost?

Motivation For Evangelism

Jonah, a prophet of God, was commanded by God to go to Nineveh to preach to the people. Jonah flat out refused and went in the opposite direction. He ended up in the belly of a big fish. Desperately he prayed to God and God caused the fish to vomit him up onto dry land but he still had problems with accepting his mission to Nineveh.

Jonah’s case has to be the worst example of evangelism you can imagine, yet his attitude is often shared by God’s people today.

Do we flee from the mission God has given us? Are there those of us who have no desire whatever to reach others? Are there souls that do not care if they are saved or not? Like Jonah, is it sometimes possible there are some souls we don’t want to be saved?

According to one study, less than five per cent of Christians ever lead a soul to Christ. Motivating members to become active in reaching the lost is probably the greatest challenge facing the Lord’s church today. So how do we motivate those who are timid, afraid, embarrassed, or have no interest or desire to lead others to Christ?

Misconceptions About How To Reach Souls

It has been estimated that no more than ten per cent of the English-speaking population of the world attend a religious service during their lifetime. Ninety per cent of the unsaved will never enter a church building except for a funeral or a wedding. For several generations, we have been perfectly content to let them remain outside.

We’re partly the victims of previous generations who depended on ‘Gospel meetings’ to do our evangelism. While Gospel meetings have been very successful this isn’t the way the Gospel was spread in the first century. Those who did the evangelising went to the people rather than the people coming to them.

The church’s mission is to bring the saving gospel to the individual. Men and women are born one at a time, and they must be ‘born again’ one at a time. Our failure is waiting for them to come to us inside a building.

Evangelism was never intended to be restricted to church buildings. It must be done outside the four walls of our buildings, out where the lost are. The building is a meeting place for those already won. Doing evangelism means going outside our buildings.

Unless we grasp this simple fact, we will go on repeating our inability to win souls for Christ. The church cannot afford to fence itself in. Our fenced-in buildings declare our unconcern about the spiritual needs of the lost within a stone’s throw of our buildings.

We become content to settle down to a quiet life of coexistence with the world. This lack of individual involvement is difficult to defend in view of what God plainly teaches us, Matthew 28:18-19 / Mark 16:15-16.

Where Soul Winning Was Done

Beginning with Acts 2 and going forward for thirty years, personal soul winning was the unbroken operation of the New Testament church, no church buildings existed. Paul and others often spoke in a synagogue but between Sabbaths, most teaching was done outside of buildings.

Sinners were reached in the marketplace, in the streets, in houses, on mountainsides, and on seashores where they persuaded lost souls to believe in Jesus, Acts 5:42.

the early Christians told the story of Jesus. They didn’t even have a New Testament to read from. They knew Jesus was the Son of God and they wanted others to believe this too. They didn’t have structured programs as we think we must have.

God’s plan from the beginning was to reach men where they were

First, win them to Christ, then bring them to a building or house to worship. It’s just likely that our buildings are the single greatest hindrance to evangelism. Not because the buildings are wrong but because they fence in the Gospel and enable us to shirk our responsibility to go, seek and teach.

This isn’t to say people shouldn’t and cannot be converted in a building but the Gospel meeting, Sunday through a Wednesday isn’t going to get the job done that God wants done. to be done Hosting special events in a building can be a useful way of sharing the Gospel, especially if they are informal events such as coffee mornings but we must remember that we should be pointing people to Jesus, not to the church building.

Evangelism Was Christ-Centred

Being Christ centred makes a big difference. It doesn’t come without cost. Paul wrote, ‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me’. Galatians 2:20

Paul was Christ centred. It was no longer Saul of Tarsus but Christ living in Paul. Jesus said, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’ He also said, ‘Behold I send you forth as lambs among wolves’. Luke 10:3

No one ever said it would be easy.

Have you ever seen someone who was so excited about something he or she could hardly wait to tell someone else? When a baby is born how long does the father remain silent? He runs to tell everyone the good news.

When we get excited about Jesus, and what he has done for us we can’t contain ourselves. Then go out and tell others the good news. Tell your own story. Tell what He means to you. Tell what He has done for you. Or as John Wesley said, ‘Gossip the gospel’

The greatest example of genuine concern for the lost is Jesus. He left the splendours of heaven and set aside the glory of being God, to come to earth as a sacrifice for us, Philippians 2:5-8.

Had he not come, where would I be today? Here is where our motivation comes from. If Christ saved a wretch like me, should I not want to share this good news with others or even better how can I refuse to share the good news?

Questions for thought

1. Describe your emotions when you were baptized. How did you feel?

2. Did you want to tell others about your becoming a Christian?

3. Do you feel happy now, that you are a Christian, a child of God?

4. Has some of the excitement and joy you had in the beginning been lost?

5. Do you get excited about heaven and eternity?

6. Do you feel confident about your salvation?

7. What excites you the most about Jesus?

8. Can you pass this excitement on to others who are lost?

9. What one thing, more than anything else, do you think would motivate a congregation to reach out to others with the Word of God?

We Need To Understand The Cross

When we understand the cross, we see that the love of God was expressed, the holiness of God was upheld and the justice of God was satisfied. We may not be able to explain every mystery in the Bible, we may not understand all the millennial theories.

We may not have a lot of knowledge about minor prophecy, but we need to be able to explain what the cross was about. We need to be able to explain to our friend that God has made an offer in Christ Jesus that no other religion in the world can match.

Do and Done

Now there are many ways we can do this, sometimes we can explain the Gospel using the words, ‘do’ and ‘done’. We explain how most religions’ theories of how you get to heaven are summed up in the word ‘do’, they just have a different list of what you do. But the Christian religion is summed up in the word ‘done’.

Jesus said, ‘it is finished,’ on the cross. Matthew 19:30. And so, we can use those two words to explain the offer of God in Christ Jesus.

The Bridge

Some people like to use the bridge illustration, where we have a man on one side and God on the other with a big gulf in between. And we explain how the only thing that can bridge that gulf of sin that has separated man and God is the cross of Jesus.

Roman Road

Some people like to use the Romans road. Romans 3:23 says, ‘All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’ Romans 6:23 says, ‘The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ.’ And Romans 10:13 says, ‘All who call in Christ’s name will be saved.’

But the point is, that we need to be able to share what happened at the cross.


Sometimes we can go to 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, now we know it was written to Christians but it can be shown to non-Christians what God has offered.

We know about the greatest give away in the universe and it all hinges on whether or not a person believes in the claims of Jesus Christ.

Choosing Your Own Style And Approach For Evangelism

‘Peter’s Confrontational Approach’

Peter was not a beat around the bush kind of guy, he was a ‘get in your face kind of guy.’ He was the perfect choice for Acts 2 to preach at Pentecost. Acts 2:22-23.

Peter is a ready, aim, fire, kind of evangelist. And there are some people in this world that are never going to take Christ seriously unless somebody gets up in their face and says, ‘You better make a decision because you’re in trouble.’

And maybe that’s your style, and if it is, God will open up doors for you to use that kind of style.

‘Paul’s Intellectual Approach’

Some in the kingdom are called to give a reasoned, logical presentation of the Gospel’s claim. There was a reason that God selected this schooled, educated, rabbi, to be the man that would write most of the New Testament and particularly those great epistles that explain the doctrines of the faith.

You remember, for example, Paul going to a place like Athens known for her wise men and philosophers and Paul said in Acts 17:23 ‘As I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.’

And if you read the rest of the chapter, you realise that he took on the sceptics. And it says, ‘at the end of his talks some of them sneered and said that’s foolishness’ but some of them came back and said, ‘This resurrection thing, I want to hear more about that.’ Acts 17:32

There’s always going to be a need in the church for great minds that can take on sceptics in intelligent debate. People who can talk about why we believe in the resurrection, why we believe the Bible is the word of God, and why we believe God exists. And maybe that’s you, and there’s a place for you in the kingdom of God.

‘Matthew’s Relational Approach’

Remember that Matthew was a tax collector and sometimes he’s called Levi in our Bible. Jesus said, ‘Come follow me’ and he did. Look what he did in Luke 5:29, ‘Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them.’

Now let me tell you what Matthew did, he had some new friends in Christ called disciples of Jesus, Peter, and John, those guys but he also had his old tax collecting mates.

So as soon as he followed Christ, do you know what he did? He threw a party and he intentionally mixed the two crowds. He said, ‘I want all my new mates that follow Christ and I want my old tax collecting mates at my house, I’m going to throw a big party and I’m going to let them mingle.’

Most people know how to throw a party and that may your thing, to have some of your friends who don’t know Christ and some of your friends who do know Christ, get them together in your home and let them mix.

‘The Samaritan Woman’s Invitational Approach’

In John 4 after talking with Jesus, she leaves her water jug and goes back into town, verse 29 says, ‘And she said to the people in town, Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’

And do you know what? A bunch of people from town went. So many that Jesus said to his disciples, ‘look up the fields are ripe for harvesting.’ John 4:35

I heard that 25% of un-churched people in Britain say, they would attend a church service if they were invited to do so. Now they might be just saying that but suppose half of them are telling the truth.

Let’s suppose that 12% were telling the truth. That means if all of us were to ask one person a week, and you do the maths and work out how many first-time visitors would be in this assembly every week! Now that’s what some of us can do, we could be that woman that says, ‘come see a man, I’ve met, you’ve got to check him out, come with me.’

‘The Dorcas Service Approach’

Acts 9:36 ‘In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.’

And we find out, that Dorcas was known all over town because she was a woman of good deeds. And remember that when we give a cup of water in Jesus’ name, it often opens the way for us to offer them living water.

‘The Blind Man’s Testimonial Approach’

Remember in John 9 the religious rulers began to attack this man who was praising Jesus for healing him? Saying, ‘he couldn’t possibly be from God.’

Look at John 9:25 ‘He replied, ‘Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!’

That’s a marvellous style of evangelism. Just say, ‘I don’t know a lot, but I can tell you for a fact, how my life is different since I’ve met Jesus.’

You see, in the New Testament, Jesus is often pictured as being on trial by the world. And imagine Jesus is on trial and the Holy Spirit is Jesus’ defence lawyer. Now what the Holy Spirit wants to do is to call witnesses, who can take the stand and say to the court, ‘I’m here to tell you what has happened to me since I’ve met this man.’

Personal Testimonies

Now please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not talking about standing up in the front on a Sunday morning sharing your ‘testimony’ with the church but we need to be alert for opportunities to give your personal testimony but do it in the style that’s consistent with our personality. Three times in the Book of Acts, Paul gives his personal testimony. He tells people what happened to him because he’s met, Jesus Christ.

And the last time in Acts 26 he’s before king Agrippa and he asks Agrippa to make a decision and Agrippa says, ‘Paul, you think in such a short time I’m going to become a Christian’ and in verse 29 Paul says, ‘Short time or long, I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am except for these chains.’

Paul had a reason for giving his testimony, he would share his testimony because his prayer was that when people heard his testimony they would say, ‘what he’s got, I want.’

Your testimony is basically, how did your story intercept God’s redemptive story? And your testimony needs three things.

1. Your former dissatisfaction.

2. How it was that you came to encounter Christ.

3. What are the results?

Now let me tell you what’s holding some people back, sometimes when we hear testimonies they are rather dramatic, of people that used to live in the streets. People that used to be hardened criminals. People that used to have addictions. Alcoholism and they met Christ and now they are delivered and that’s dramatic and were impressed.

That’s nice and you’re thinking, ‘I just don’t have a dramatic testimony’ I was raised in the church. I’ve had a Bible since I was a baby. I’ve been a Christian since I was a teenager. I’ve got nothing to share. Wrong! What you have to share, is really what most people need, because most people aren’t living on the street or having addictions.

Most people have a little dab of religion and what they need to hear is how you moved from religion to a relationship with Jesus Christ, so you in fact have a very powerful testimony. As you share how you moved from just some moral principles to an encounter with a living person who is changing your life. Remember, Christianity isn’t just something to believe, it’s a person to receive.

Leafleting and handing out leaflets

I believe there’s a place for leaflet dropping into people’s homes in our evangelism outreach efforts, although studies show that this isn’t a very effective way of reaching the lost. Saying that, if it does anything, it reminds people of the Gospel message and reminds people that the church is active in the community trying to help and serve the community in any way we can.

If the church has a website, it’s a great way for people to go online and read the study material available there. I’ve personally found that people would rather go online for a study than call us to have a personal study.

Handing out leaflets is a little more effective because at least you get to meet and talk to people face to face about Jesus. This can sometimes lead to someone wanting to know more but more often than not, most people are simply not interested.

In all of this, we must remember that we’re responsible for sharing that good news with others, but we’re not responsible for people’s responses.

Questions for thought

1. Can you explain to someone what happened at the cross?

2. Can you explain the Gospel to a stranger? If not, go ahead and ask someone to help you with how to do that.

3. Would you prefer the share the Gospel with other Christians around you?

4. Do you remember when someone shared the Gospel with you? Can you use the same style?

5. Did you relate to any of the evangelism styles mentioned above? If so, which one?

6. Do you feel confident sharing your testimony with someone else?

7. What fears do you have in sharing the Gospel with someone else?

8. Do you feel confident enough to share the Gospel, but humble enough to say you don’t know the answers to everything?

9. In what way can the church help you be better equipped for service in any of the areas mentioned above?



"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."