Summary: When the Holy Spirit opens doors for us to share our faith, we need to maximize these opportunities with a Christlike attitude and kindness toward others. They are hurting people who need our compassion and a genuine presentation of the gospel.
In my last post, I talked about evangelism styles that fit you. In this post, I will finish talking about the spiritual discipline of evangelism by talking about the opportunities you have to share your faith.
So, we’ve discussed the spiritual discipline of evangelism in general, how to reach people with your personal evangelism style, and now we’ll talk about the opportunities to use your evangelism style and witness to others.
It doesn’t go far enough to understand evangelism and to know your personal evangelism style. You have to put it into practice. The only way to do that is to realize the opportunities around you and take advantage of them for Jesus.
We all need to grow in learning how to witness about Jesus. When you don’t have the gift of evangelism, you must take a percentage of the opportunities to learn how to evangelize better. Church conferences, sermon series, and small groups equipped every believer to become more effective at evangelism.
I can’t cover everything about how to make the most of every opportunity. But I wanted you to have a leg up on witnessing for Jesus in your world. After explaining evangelism, I wanted you to be equipped to comfortably share Jesus, and now I am showing you the open doors to use your evangelism style. Let’s get started!
When people are looking for a person to date, they bring a wingman with them. The wingman’s job is to talk about the person seeking the date. But sometimes this turns out the opposite. The wing man ends up getting all the attention.
The Holy Spirit is not our wingmen. But He helps us witness to others. First, He speaks through us to introduce the gospel to those who need it. But Christians overlook the power He gives by showing them who needs to hear about Jesus.
Divine appointments are those moments we see the opportunity to speak to someone about Jesus, and then proclaim the gospel to them. The Holy Spirit is involved in every aspect of evangelism. He shows us who to talk to, the opportunity to share our faith, and what to share in each case.
When the Holy Spirit guides us to the right person at the right moment, we call these “divine appointments.” It is God giving us the right person to speak to in the right situation of vulnerability and needing hope, the right timing to speak about Jesus, and the ability to speak to them about Jesus by the Holy Spirit’s power in us.
The Holy Spirit guides our steps to that person. He prompts us to speak to them about Jesus. And He does the talking through us and saves the person into God’s Kingdom. But we must be open to hearing from, and ready for the opportunity.
How do you know the Holy Spirit is prompting you to go to someone and share your faith? It’s hard to describe, but it’s like the Spirit nudges you when you notice a person. That person is desperately in need of help but doesn’t know who to talk to or how their problem will be resolved.
That’s when the Holy Spirit connects us to them. We have the cup of cold water in their dry desert. We know who can change their life and minister to their situation. Like Philip in the desert with the Ethiopian eunuch, the Holy Spirit does whatever it takes to give us the opportunity to speak to the lost and dying people around us, bringing the hope of Jesus to them.
Open up to the doors the Holy Spirit wants you to walk through. You may be the only Christian a person knows or talks to. There is no pressure to speak to people because He places you in their lives for this purpose.
If you are afraid you can’t lead someone to Christ, remember this: God has entrusted the souls of the people around you into your care. Yes, that’s an incredible responsibility. But it’s also an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to minister to them through you. God has planted you where you are on purpose. And He leads you to the right person at the right time in their life to receive your message of the gospel.
One way the Spirit prevents divine appointments is through your personal conversations with family members, friends, and even strangers. We talked about preparation for evangelism in our first post on this spiritual discipline. Before you talk to anyone about Jesus, you must prepare yourself by knowing what parts of your story with Jesus are the most impactful. You must also know the essential parts of the gospel to proclaim to others.
You can even practice with a Christian friend to help you break the ice with those you witness to. When you are prepared, the Holy Spirit will put people in your path to lead to Christ one step at a time. You don’t have to do it all in one sitting.
If you’re still concerned you may talk to the wrong person about Jesus, that’s not possible! He has prepared you to speak about Him to others. He has chosen you to speak to this person. And if you don’t feel confident already, you must know by the Spirit God has placed this person in your life for this moment.
Jesus didn’t save you two have amazing experiences with Him and that’s all. He put these people in your path because He wants to speak through you to them. How did you feel when I talked about giving a cup of cold water on a hot day to people?
Jesus has been working in your life so you could touch those around you. He wants you to reach out to everyone around you and share your Faith life then. You may be the only Christian year of the people around you. The Holy Spirit is calling you to reach out and give the story of Jesus to them. They may be searching for answers. They generally found this in the truth of the Spirit of truth ().
Jesus entrusts this responsibility, no, privilege, to partner with the Holy Spirit in evangelism. It’s a powerful thing to play a small part in the salvation of people around you. They need Jesus more than you could know.
When I was in youth group, our youth pastor took advantage of a new movie at the time, The Sixth Sense. One of the most famous quotations from the movie is, “I see dead people.” In the spiritual sense, people who don’t know Jesus around you are dead people. Their spirits are not alive to Jesus yet. These are hurting people.
Through your personal conversations with them, they will see a difference in you. They will see that you don’t suffer as much with trials as they do. They will see you have an inner strength and peace. And their most dire need, they will want a relationship with Jesus like you have.
As you speak with your family, friends, and strangers in your life, the Holy Spirit opens the door through your conversations with people. You must be watching and waiting for those opportunities. You could miss them if you “push Jesus” on people.” Following the Spirit’s lead, He will show you the open doors. All you have to do is walk through them.
Street and Door-to-Door Evangelism
God builds some people’s personality to handle confrontational evangelism efforts like street and door-to-door evangelism with ease. They are outgoing people, perhaps boisterous at times, who thrive in crowds, and able to make a friend in the matter of minutes.
They can strike up a conversation with anyone. He ministers through these types of people, and it’s the perfect way for people with this personality to evangelize. For them, evangelism in these arenas is their best opportunity. It fits their personality. God has made them with this ability. And He takes advantage of the personality He gave them to minister through them.
We all have the image of the person with the bullhorn standing on street corners and yelling at people. That is not street evangelism. It is a distortion of what the Spirit can do in extroverted people. I’ve never stood on a street corner with a bullhorn. But I have passed out tracts and spoken to people on the street and door-to-door.
But if this is not your personality, it will drain you to take this approach. You will be tired at the end of your outings. You will feel stress and pressure when you are evangelizing this way. Some Christians are never taught there are multiple forms of evangelism that fit different personalities as we discussed in our previous post.
If you are an outgoing person who makes friends easily and contact anyone, consider Street and tour-to-door evangelism. God can use your gift of outreach to reach the lost. You may feel most comfortable with this evangelistic approach.
Other people are the greatest hosts in hospitality. They thrive by making people feel welcome. They could be in the middle of a crowd and make a gesture of compassion that Jesus uses to bring the lost into His light.
Jesus had compassion on people in crowds throughout His ministry. Writers of the epistles talk about hospitality and compassion as gifts from God. Not everybody is compassionate or hospitable. Even some Christians find compassion hard.
Jesus can use big hearts of compassion in big ways. Compassion opens the door to share the gospel. But we must not just be compassionate and leave it at that. We must proclaim the gospel with words in every act of compassion. Otherwise, people will think we’re just being nice. We must explain that Jesus has taught us how to be compassionate and caring.
Apologetics is the act of giving a reason for our hope and faith. People have genuine questions about Jesus, the Bible, and what we believe. Jesus gives some people the gift of apologetics to defend the faith and answer the hard questions people raise when they witness to them.
This great ministry happens in conversational and contentious opportunities to share the faith. It takes a lot of study to prepare for apologetics in evangelism. Many people are not cut out for it. That’s why it has special giftings and certain personalities to be effective.
If you have the gift to learn how to answer questions, the patience to deal with contentious people, and allow the Holy Spirit to use these gifts in apologetics, you do great service to the Church. You can also help people to learn how to do apologetics.
Allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you and answer the hard questions people ask about Christianity and Jesus. Answering people’s questions about Christianity fosters discussion and helps people realize the intelligence of Christians.
We get a bad rap among the atheistic intellectuals and diagnostics around us. They see Christianity, and any religion, as a crutch for the weak. Paul talked about a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, but when we answer questions about Jesus, we show the power of God on the intellectual individual’s level. We don’t have to speak eloquently to be used by the Spirit to win the intellectual and hurt lost people around us.
Prayer and Engagement
Before you employ your gifts in evangelism on desperate and lost people, you must be “prayed up.” You never know what you’ll run into. You could meet people who have demonic spirits plaguing them, people hurt by the Church who want to have nothing to do with Jesus or Christians, and people who long to have meaning in their lives.
Because you will deal with all kinds of people, you must be prepared. Not only must you be prayed up, but you must have a vibrant relationship with Jesus. His authority comes from your relationship with Him.
Approach everyone with respect, kindness, and God’s unconditional love. Even the most bitter atheists is made in God’s image, and God loves every person you speak with. Peter told us to be gentle as we give the reason for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15-16).
Be humble but confident. Don’t start a conversation with, “You’re wrong,” or “I know better than you.” Take the time to find out a person’s struggles, hurts, needs, and desires. Don’t come out swinging or acting like a know it all. Meet people where they are.
These are some tactics the Holy Spirit can use and powerful ways. Don’t put people off, and they will give you the opportunity to talk about Jesus. Earn the right to speak to others. Treat them like real people, and ask Jesus to see them as He sees them.
Reach out to someone with your evangelism style. See them as Jesus sees them. Respectfully answer questions about Jesus. Bless people with God’s presence as you bear witness of Jesus to them. Share your faith with at least one person this week.
Now that we have completed talking about evangelism and the opportunities you have to share your faith, I will discuss the importance of lifelong learning.