Outreach/Evangelism

Being Prepared to Give an Answer

Dr. Larry Gilbert

Some of us are gifted evangelists and others are not.

Even if your dominant spiritual gift is not evangelism, there are times when you need to verbalize your faith.

You don’t have to be confrontational, but you need to share your faith when the opportunities arise. This is being a witness.

Jesus said, “and you will be my witnesses…” Acts 1:8

What is a witness? I have seen definitions ranging from “living a good life” to “you need to lead three people to Christ every week.”

Acts 22:15 states, “You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.”

The words seen and heard are keys in this verse. Just like in a courtroom, a witness gives testimony of what he or she has seen and heard. And also like in a courtroom, a witness gives testimony when questioned. A witness never needs to go from door to door testifying to everyone. But every witness needs to be prepared to give a testimony when called upon.

Even still, I think we should go one step further. If you were sitting in a courtroom and you knew that your testimony would make a difference in the outcome of a trial, you would feel the obligation to speak up. Sometimes as Christians we must do the same.

You have a testimony as a Christian.

You should be able to think of some things that the Lord has done for you through the years; how He has healed you or provided for a need just at the right time or how He has given you insight and wisdom in a situation or answered your prayers or a multitude of other possibilities.

Above all, He sacrificed Himself to provide salvation from the eternal consequences of sin…your sin; my sin; all sin.

In addition to, or as part of your testimony, you should prepare your own simple Gospel presentation – something with which you are familiar and comfortable expressing to others – to be prepared when opportunities arise. Be sure to clearly reveal the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. You may be comfortable with the Roman Road, the Four Spiritual Laws or another common Gospel presentation. You may have your own compilation of Scriptures and comments to show someone how to receive Christ as Savior. Here is one we offer on our website.

The point is, be prepared.

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15

You may or may not be the one who prays with a person at the moment they accept Jesus Christ as Savior, but you can play a vital role in helping that person to take one more step closer to accepting Christ.

The best part of all is, you only have to be yourself.

 


 

This article is excerpted from the book Team Evangelism: How to Influence Your Loved Ones for Christ When You Don’t Have the Gift of Evangelism by Larry Gilbert. Copyright © ChurchGrowth.org

For help on teaching others about how to share their personal testimony, see Team Evangelism: Everyday Evangelism for Everyday People

Dr. Larry Gilbert is founder and chairman of Ephesians Four Ministries, and founder of ChurchGrowth.org. For more on spiritual gifts, see Dr. Gilbert’s books: Team Ministry: Gifted to Serve (for pastors and group leaders) and Your Gifts: Discover God’s Unique Design for You (for individuals and groups).

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