2 Seven Principles of Personal Evangelism John 4:1-26
3 IntroductionMost Christians want to share the gospel of Christ with othersBut often feel awkward trying to talk with othersOr simply don't know how to establish contacts for a Bible studyCausing many to experience frustration and discouragement which keeps them from trying againJesus, of course, often spoke with people about GodLet’s learn some principles from His method that might help us in our efforts
4 1. Social Contact Sychar Jn 4:1-6 Pharisees avoided traveling through SamariaEven adding an extra day to their journeyJesus “needed” to go through SamariaThe need seems to be that there were people there who needed to hearDidn’t do a big preaching campaignJust went to make contactSychar
5 1. Social Contact Application If people aren't coming to Christ, we need to be going to the peopleWe can't be fishers of men by fishing in a barrelIf the fish won't come to the barrel, then we must go where the fish areThe problem with sowing the seed is not that there is not good ground to be found, but that the seed is still in the barn (Hag 2:19)Where are the people?At school, work, neighbors, the store, on the street, the post office, the restaurantEven if we have to go a bit out of the way (like Jesus did), we need to go
6 2. Establish a Common Interest Jn 4:7-8Common interests act like a bridgeThe woman had come to draw waterShe came at an uncommon time (noon)Jesus was tired and thirstySometimes we say we are too tired to look for opportunities to teachJesus kicked off the conversation with a complete stranger by linking their interest in waterWhat common interests?Work, school, friends, family, weather, travel, etcThe point is to find something to talk about
7 3. Arouse Spiritual Interest Through actionsJn 4:9As a man He speaks to her, a womanAs a rabbi He speaks to her, an immoral womanAs a Jew He speaks to her, a SamaritanHe aroused interest by simply speaking to herThrough our actionsWe can arouse spiritual interest by our exampleBy showing kindness and compassion to all, even the evil and wickedBy not harboring racial or social prejudices to those who are different
8 3. Arouse Spiritual Interest Through wordsJn 4:10-14Jesus' statement shifted their conversation to spiritual mattersHe led them into a discussion on a common spiritual interest (living water)Through our wordsQuestions or statements to shift conversations to spiritual matters"Why do you think our world is in such a mess?““I read in the Bible that..."Discussion should begin without disagreementArgument rarely leads to conversion
9 4. Slow and SteadyJn 4:15-16She wanted the "living water", but she didn’t understandJesus saw the need to slow her down and provide the proper groundworkShe needed faith in Him as the MessiahHe needed to provide evidence that He was the MessiahSo instead of giving her the "living water"...He tells her to get her husbandWhich will result in her conviction that He is a prophet
10 4. Slow and Steady Most people don't realize what they need first They'll want to talk about a particular subjectBut they really need something else firstSome want to study RevelationBut they need to be grounded on the rest of the Bible firstSome want to discuss issues related to church organization, work, worship, etc.But they ought to focus on the "first principles" of the gospelIt is important that a person not choke on the "meat" of the Word (1 Cor 3:1-2)
11 5. Don’t Condemn Unnecessarily Jn 4:17-18He could have dwelt on her being an adulteressIt was clearly sinfulIf she didn’t stop, she would be condemnedBut Jesus came to bring salvation to those willing to leave the darkness (Jn 12:46-48)In our efforts at evangelizingThough we preach against sin, our primary purpose is to save, not judge (1 Cor 5:12-13)Our focus should be to inform others of the forgiveness God offers (2 Cor 5:18-20)God seeks reconciliation with sinnersOurs is a ministry of reconciliation
12 6. Stick to the Main Point Jn 4:19-20 Jn 4:21-24 She’s trying to deflect the conversation away from herself and to a point of controversyJn 4:21-24Jesus answers her questionJews worshipped in accordance to God’s wordWorship requires spirit and truthBut returns the conversation to the main pointWhat is Jesus offering (Jn 4:10, 13-15)?After all, a moment earlier, she said she wanted itIs she willing to worship God in spirit and truth?
13 6. Stick to the Main Point Application If seeking to establish a common ground of agreement, avoid jumping aheadAs you move from common to uncommon ground . . .Take one step at a timeDo not go on until agreement at each step has occurredIf your objective is simply to obtain consent for a home Bible study, avoid getting into a detailed discussion at that time“That’s a great question. Let me jot it down and let’s discuss it in detail. How about Friday?”
14 7. Confront Directly Jn 4:25-26 After the groundwork had been laidJesus confronts her with who He isApplication: In trying to set up a home Bible studyTake advantage of social contactsDevelop common interestsBe open to comments that show a spiritual interest, while demonstrating your own faith through actions and wordsAvoid fruitless arguments, emphasize common beliefsPraise good points, encourage them in the right directionHave one primary objective: to encourage them to study the Bible even moreAsk if they’d like to learn more about Jesus, the Bible, His churchConfront them directly with the opportunity to study the BibleA specific date, time, and location
15 7. Confront DirectlyApplication: During the course of a home Bible studyContinue to develop the social contactContinue to establish common interestsTake time to accentuate common ground you share in your spiritual interestsGo from common ground to uncommon ground carefullyStress the gospel message; don't obsess on their individual shortcomingsHave one primary objective: to help them understand their need and gospel plan of salvationAfter the groundwork is laidConfront them directly with the invitation to obey the gospel of Christ; for example, by asking..."Does this make sense?""Is there anything I have said that you do not understand?""Have I been teaching you anything other than what the Bible teaches?"4) "Would you like to obey Christ now and be baptized for the remission of your sins?"
16 ConclusionPerhaps the principles learned from Jesus will help all of us to spread the gospelSocial contactEstablish a common interestArouse spiritual interest (actions and words)Slow and steadyDon’t condemn unnecessarilyStick to the main pointConfront directlyNow, there is work to do!