How to Begin a Witnessing Conversation*
In any conversation, it is very important to just be natural. Be yourself and allow your own unique personality to come out as you talk. Smile and enjoy people with whom you will have an opportunity to share. Remember, you are reflecting the life and love of Jesus.
QUESTION: When you are in a conversation with someone, what are typical topics you discuss?
Starting an evangelistic conversation is really no different than starting any other conversation. Enthusiastically seek to build a relationship, especially a relationship of trust and sincerity.
QUESTION: What are signs and of gaining or earning someone’s trust (or attention)?
Key words and phrases to listen for or to use:
confess Jesus is Lord
I’m a good person
The Blood of Jesus
I’ve always believed
I read the Bible
C.A.S.T. into the person’s life!
C is for CONNECT. Seek to make a connection. Ask about the person’s background: Where are you from? How long have you lived here? Show interest in their family and friends.
A is for ACTIVITIES. Find out about the person’s work, hobbies, or interests. Ask: What kind of work do you do? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Students might ask: What courses are you taking? Or, what sports/instruments do you play? If you notice evidence of their interests such as sports, books, pets, traveling, etc., identify things you might have in common. Show interest!
S is for SPIRITUAL MATTERS. Shift the conversation to spiritual matters. Ask: Would you consider yourself to be a spiritual person? Or, do you ever think about spiritual things? If they are not sure what you mean, say: things like heaven, prayer, God, or “what Jesus did on the cross.” Sometimes diagnostic questions work:
– In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven and have eternal life? Or,
– Do you know for sure that you will go to heaven when your life is over?
Consider their response, then ask: Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness and His gift of eternal life?
T is for TELL your Story and/or TELL the plan of salvation.
Tell what your life was like before you became a Christian.
Tell how you became a Christian (your life-changing experience).
Tell how Jesus changed your life since you became a Christian.
Tips for telling your testimony:
Your personal testimony should be no longer than 60-90 seconds.
Be specific, but leave out unnecessary details.
Try to avoid Christian words that the hearer may not understand.
Say that even though Jesus changed your life, you’re not perfect.
* From One-Hour Witnessing Workshop, ©2003, North American Mission Board
Tell the plan of salvation
ASK: Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness and His gift of eternal life?
SUGGESTED PRAYER: Jesus, I want to follow you. I turn from my sin and place my trust in You alone and ask for Your forgiveness. Right now, I receive Your free gift of eternal life and welcome Your control of my life. Thank you for loving me and dying for me. And thank You for giving me new life.
SAY: Your decision to become a member of God’s family is the most important decision you will ever make. Tell someone today who would be happy to hear of your commitment to Jesus. Make a decision to become active in a Bible-believing church.
Orientation to Spiritual Commitment Guide**
Which one of these statements best describes why you want to talk with someone right now:
Section One: Knowing God
Section Two: Returning to God’s way/recommitment
Section Three: Understanding God’s call
Section Four: How do I know that I am a Christian?
Section Five: Questions about the next step
Praying for each other: Obviously there are many reasons to pray together. The Bible encourages people to take care of each other during difficult times and pray for one another (Galatians 6:1-2; Ephesians 4:1-3). But, it is really important to know before we pray that you already connected your life to Jesus. Can you identify in your life when you were forgiven of your sin and became a follower of Jesus?
If you have questions about your relationship with Jesus, let’s turn to page 3 for more information about Knowing Jesus. If you are confident that you have a relationship with Jesus, how can we pray together right now?
** From Spiritual Commitment Guide, ©2012, North American Mission Board