Randy Newman, in his excellent book Questioning Evangelism, outlines nine guidelines to help us be more effective in sharing the hope we have in Jesus. Take note:
- Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
- Give honest, sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
Good advice but nothing special. Indeed, these guidelines are just common sense and have been lifted straight out of Dale Carnegie’s 1936 best seller, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Can such simple advice really be that critical for effective evangelism? I believe it can and is.
Three things matter above all else when it comes to sharing our faith.
- Knowing a gospel outline down pat,
- Having answers to all the tricky questions,
- Possessing the gift of the gab.
What matters above all else is;
- To love God with all our heart, soul, and mind,
- To have a heart that breaks for the lost,
- To treat people decently, as we should, as Christ would.