Okay . . . so you're not Billy Graham! God still wants to use you to bring people to himself. Knowing your evangelistic style helps.
In their book, Becoming A Contagious Christian, Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg identify six evangelistic styles or approaches to sharing your faith. Here is a brief snapshot of each.
- The Confrontational Approach: You look people in the eye and ask them where they stand. Biblical example: Peter. Passage to study: Acts 2:14-41. Present-day example: Bill Hybels,Chuck Colson.
- The Intellectual Approach: You give people a logical and reasoned argument to believe. Biblical example: Paul. Passage to study: Acts 17:16-34. Present-day example: Ravi Zacharias.
- The Testimonial Approach: You simply tell people how Christ has changed your life. Biblical example: The blind man. Passage to study: John 9. Present-day example:Joni Erickson Tada.
- The Interpersonal Approach: You build a relationship bridge over which the gospel travels. Biblical example: Matthew. Passage to study: Luke 5:27-32. Present-day example: Becky Pippert.
- The Invitational Approach: You are great at inviting friends to your church or to a gospel-centered event. Biblical example: Samaritan woman. Passage to study: John 4:1-45. Present-day example: You?
- The Service Approach: You touch people's lives through quiet acts of service, and then people want to listen to what you have to say.Biblical example: Dorcas. Passages to study: Acts 9:36-43; Matthew 5:13-16. Present-day example:Jimmy Carter.
Understanding your evangelistic style is important because you've got a mission from your Leader:
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:18-20 ESV
Jesus' great commission is for all of us, not just the "gifted."
Does that intimidate you?
When you know your style you can relax. God has wired you the way he has for a reason. He wants you to be you -- not Billy Graham, or your pastor, or some radio preacher. Besides, your style is not the difference-maker. Jesus is! He's the one who commissioned you and he is the one who promises to be with you every step of the way. He said, "I am with you always."
Trust that promise. Rest in his power.
May God help you to discover, develop, and enjoy sharing his life-transforming message of grace using your unique style.
NOTE TO THE SRC FAMILY: We are launching a brand new class on how to share your faith on Saturday, May 12th at EquipU. Click here to register.