Evangelism Principles

The Christian and Witnessing

Ten Basic Steps

Bill Bright

EIGHT ESSENTIALS FOR INTRODUCING OTHERS TO JESUS CHRIST

  1. You must know Christ personally.
  2. You must have no unconfessed sin in your life.
  3. You must be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  4. You must be prepared to witness.
  5. You must pray.
  6. You must go to those who need Christ.
  7. You must talk about Jesus Christ.
  8. You must expect results.

FACTS TO HELP YOU IN WITNESSING

No man, regardless of his rank or status, is complete without Christ.

Basically, every man is hungry for God. St. Augustine said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”

Properly understood, the evidences regarding the deity and person of Jesus Christ are overwhelmingly conclusive.

LESSON 1: WHY WITNESS?

Objective: To understand the reasons to witness for Christ

Memorize: 2 Cor. 5:14,15 

Read: Galatians 1 and 2 One friend may say to you, “I think a man’s religion is such a personal matter that we should not discuss it.” Another may say, “I don’t like people who are dogmatic and fanatical, who try to force their views of religion on everybody they meet.” Yet, Christ considered the human soul to be of such transcendent value that He gladly exchanged the shining courts of glory for a life of poverty, sufferein, shame and death as an expression of His desire to “seek and save the lost.” He was “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentence” (2 Peter 3:9).

Christ has a concern for the individual and for the multitude. His concern was so deep that at times the flood of manly tears could no longer be restrained, and rolled down His compassionate face. Jesus, the manliest of men, wept. Paul, the brave, besought men night and day with tears to be reconciled to God. When a young missionary who had been sent home by illness was asked why he was so eager to get back to his people, he said, “because I cannot sleep for thinking about them.” The aim of this lesson is to discuss why it is important that we share Christ with others.

A. WHAT IS A WITNESS

  1. What is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you?  
  2. What is the greatest kindness that we can show to another?  
  3. What are you admonished to do in Psalm 107:2?

B. THE MOTIVATION FOR WITNESSING

  1. What did Jesus command us to do (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18,19)?  
  2. Read Acts 20:24-27, 31, 32 How important would you say Paul’s ministry of witnessing was to him?
  3. In 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15: What caused Paul to witness? What effect should Christ have on people?
  4. What does Jesus Christ say about the one who is ashamed of Him (Luke 9:26)?
  5. If you are faithful to follow Jesus, what does He promise to do (Matthew 4:19)?

C. THE MESSAGE

  1. What are we called, according to 2 Cor. 5:20?*
    (*An ambassador is one who is appointed to interpret the mind of his ruler to those in a foreign land.)
  2. As a representative of Christ, what should be your message to those who do not know Him personally (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)?
  3. Why did Jesus say He came into this world (Luke 19:10; Mark 10:45)?

LIFE APPLICATION

  1. How would you define the work “witness” as it relates to Christ?
  2. State one reason you feel it is important that you, personally, be a witness for Christ. 

LESSON 2: JESUS SHOWS HOW TO WITNESS

Objective: To follow Christ’s example in witnessing

Memorize: John 4:35; Read: Galatians 3 and 4

In the Gospel of John, chapter four, Jesus demonstrated how to witness in the most effective manner as He talked to the woman of Samaria. Study this passage carefully to discover new approaches and techniques of witnessing. Try to add to the questions listed below.

A. EXAMPLE OF JESUS

Read John 4:1-42

  1. What everyday experience did Jesus use as a situation for witnessing (verses 6-9)?
  2. What is the advantage of beginning a conversation on the level of a person’s immediate interest?
  3. List some of your natural opportunities to witness for Christ:
  4. Why do you think Jesus sent all 12 disciples to buy provisions when two of them could have done it?  
  5. Who spoke first – Jesus or the woman of Samaria?
    • Why is this significant when considering witnessing techniques?  
  6. What did Jesus do repeatedly when the woman tried to divert his attention from her sin? 

B. RESPONSES OF THE SAMARITAN WOMAN

  1. How did the woman first respond to Jesus’ approach (verses 9-12) ? 
    • How did her attitude change (verse 15)?
    • What do you think brought it about?  
  2. What did Jesus say that demonstrated His divine powers (verses 16-18)?
  3. How did Jesus describe God (verse 24)?
    • What do you think is important about this statement?
  4. For whom was the woman looking and why?
  5. What did Jesus claim for Himself ?

C. EFFECTIVENESS OF JESUS’ WITNESS

  1. State briefly your analysis of the approach Jesus used in witnessing to this woman.
  2. What was the result of His witness?
  3. How did the people to whom she witnessed respond?

There are three “sound barriers” to witnessing. These are much like the sound barrier through which an airplane passes. There is much stress and nervousness. The first “sound barrier” is just starting to mention to a person the name of Jesus Christ and the value of knowing Him. Once we get the conversation around from girls, guys, politics, etc., to spiritual things, we have broken the first barrier. It is hard to do, and it never becomes easy. Never!

The second “sound barrier” is to ask the person if he would like to receive Christ. That nervous feeling returns once again. We must blast through this one also. Remember, many people, when they understand who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for them, will want Him in their lives.

The last barrier is the most difficult. It is to ask him to receive Christ right now. This is the most important step. Often we tell the person how and then just leave him high and dry. We have not really witnessed until we ask the person to trust Christ.

LIFE APPLICATION

  1. State at least one thing you have learned from Christ’s example that you can apply in your own witnessing.
  2. What do you think most hinders you witnessing?
  3. How can you overcome it?

LESSON 3: QUALIFICATIONS FOR WITNESSING

Objective: To take “spiritual inventory” in preparation for witnessing.

Memorize: Matthew 4:19; Read: Galatians 5 and 6

Every sincere Christian desires to be an effective witness for Christ. A careful study of the eighth chapter of Acts will call attention to certain qualifications for witnessing. Ask the Holy Spirit to make these qualities real in your own life.

A. PHILIP’S OPPORTUNITY

Read Acts 8:25-40  

  1. According to verses 25 and 26, why do you think God called Philip for this particular assignment?
  2. To whom did Philip witness (verse 27)?
  3. Who told Philip to join the chariot (verse 29)?
    • Does the Holy Spirit lead us in this same way today?  
  4. Describe Philip’s response (verse 30):
  5. How would you describe Philip’s approach in vs. 30?
  6. Was the man ready?
    • Why?
    • What was his response?
  7. What Old Testament reference was the Ethiopian reading (verses 28, 32,33)? 
    • To whom did this reference refer?  
  8. What was Philip’s message? 

B. PHILIP’S QUALIFICATIONS

There are at least eight definite qualities stated or referred to in Philip’s life that contributed to his effectiveness for Christ. Place appropriate reference verses after the following words:

  1. Knowledge of Word of God _________________________________________
  2. Boldness ________________________________________________________
  3. Compassion ______________________________________________________
  4. Humility _________________________________________________________
  5. Obedience _______________________________________________________
  6. Receptivity, sensitivity to guidance ____________________________________
  7. Tact  ____________________________________________________________
  8. Enthusiasm ______________________________________________________

C. POSSIBLE HINDRANCES TO OUR WITNESS

  1. Lack of preparation. Personal dedication to Chrsit and understanding of how to witness and what to say are imperative.
  2. Fear of Man. We possibly will be persecuted by unbelievers, as well as believers, but “the fear of man bringeth a snare” (Proverbs 29:25). Christ said of those who feared to confess His name, “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
  3. Fear of failure. “They won’t believe; they won’t accept such simple truth.” Certainly some will reject or neglect the gospel, but you should never believe the lie of Satan that people aren’t interested. Christ said, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are (present tense ... ‘now’) white already to harvest.” Matthew 9:37 says, “Then saith He unto His disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ... that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.”
  4. Fear that the new Christian will not go on and grow in the Lord. Review the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23). Every seed of the Word of God will fall on one of these types of soil; wayside, thorny, rocky and good. Some will be disciples. Keep up the faithful search for these disciples!

LIFE APPLICATION

  1. What hindrance is the greatest problem to you?
  2. What steps will you take to overcome it?
  3. Look back through the list of qualities in Philip’s life and list the ones you would like to have God develop in your life.
  4. Spend some time in prayer, asking God for those characteristics to be shown through your life and witness.

LESSON 4: WITNESSING AND THE WORD

Objective: To learn to appropriate and use the power of the Bible in witnessing.

Memorize: 1 Peter 3:15; Read: Ephesians 1 and 2

When the miracle of Pentecost began, the news spread quickly throughout Jerusalem, and a large crowd gathered, seeking the meaning of this phenomenon. Peter, under the control and in the power of the Holy Spirit , addressed the inquisitive crowd, some of whom had, 50 days earlier, cried during Christ’s trial, “Crucify Him,” and “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Matthew 27:25). Possibly in the front row Peter saw many before whom he had used profanity in denying Christ before the cock crowed (Matthew 26:73,74).

Peter’s resources had to be the Holy Spirit and God’s Word under these circumstances of fear and trembling. The purpose of this lesson is to demonstrate the use of the Word of God in witnessing, and its results.

A. PETER’S WITNESS

Read Acts 2

  1. Of all the disciples, why was Peter the least, and yet the most qualified to witness for Christ as suggested in Acts 2 and in the above paragraph?
  2. How much of Peter’s sermon involves quotations from the Bible (i.e., David, Joel, etc.)?
    • How much Scripture memorization do you suppose Peter had done in his early life?  
  3. What part does the Holy Spirit play: In those who share Christ’s message (John 14:26)?
    • In those who hear Christ’s message (John 16:8-11)?  
  4. What did Peter say to convict them of sin (Acts 2:23,36,37)?
  5. What great things does Peter preach about God (verses 24, 34, 35, 38,39)? 

B. THE CROWD’S RESPONSE

  1. How many became Christians that day?
  2. List the emotions experienced by the hearers before and after conversion  
  3. What caused anger toward the witnessing Christians?

C. THE POWER OF THE WORD

  1. Summarize Isaiah 55:11
  2. How does the Word of God affect the non-Christian as you witness, according to Hebrews 4:12?
  3. In Ephesians 6:17, what is the Bible called?
    • Why?

As you shall see in more detail in Lesson 6, it is the Holy Spirit who brings men to grips with the issues as we witness.

D. THE VALUE OF SCRIPTURE MEMORY

Committing portions of Scripture to memory is the best way to know the Word of God, and as a result, to know Christ. Also, by haveing the promises and commands of the Word memorized, we can apply them to any life situation at a moment’s notice, especially when we desire to use them in an unexpected witnessing opportunity.

  1. List some things you can know from 2 Peter 1:2-4.
  2. List some ways having Scripture memorized will help you according to: 1 Peter 2:2, 3 and Heb. 5:12-14
    • Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1:1-3
    • Psalm 32:8  
  3. List some ways in which the Scriptures will nourish your growth: Romans 10:17
    • Psalm 119:11
    • Psalm 119:165
  4. And one thing God’s Word was absolutely essential for: 1 Peter 1:23

LIFE APPLICATION

  1. List specific ways the above Scriptures will help you in your witnessing.
  2. Which one do you feel you need the most?
  3. How will you apply it?
  4. Have you memorized it?

LESSON 5: WITNESSING AND PRAYER

Objective: To make prayer a vital part of witnessing

Memorize: Acts 4:31; Read: Ephesians 3 and 4

“And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bond-servants may speak Thy word with all confidence ... And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:29,31).

Many times our efforts to lead people to Christ are fruitless. The reason for this may lie in the fact that we go about it the wrong way. The divine order is first to talk to God about men, and then to talk to men about God. If we follow this formula we will see results. Prayer is really the place where people are won to Christ; service is just gathering in the fruit. The aim of this lesson is to demonstrate that prayer played a major part in the witness of the early church.

A. WHAT THE EARLY CHRISTIANS PRAYED FOR

Read Acts 4

  1. State the problem faced by these Christians  
  2. What would have happened to Christianity had they stopped witnessing?  
  3. Of what importance to the cause of Christ today is the soul-winning witness?
  4. How did the Christians solve their dilernma:
    • Before magistrates?  
    • In private?  
    • In public?  
  5. What protected them (Acts 4:21)?  
  6. For what did they pray?

B. THE ANSWER TO THEIR PRAYER

  1. What was the result of their prayer?

    The answer to their prayer was immediate and definite. It was in the affirmative. They prayed, and God answered as He had promised. The place in which they were praying was shaken; they were filled, or controlled and directed by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the gospel with boldness. None could stand against them, and they were victorious in Christ.
  2. How have you profited from their courage, prayer and effective witness?
  3. In what ways can other people depend on your courage, prayer and witness?

C. THE CHRISTIAN OPPOSITION

1. Were the witnessing Christians persecuted by the religious or nonreligious people of their day?  

2. Whom do you believe to be the author of resistance to Christian witness, and why?

LIFE APPLICATION

  1. What specific opposition have you encountered recently, and how did you deal with it?
  2. How could you have handled it better?
  3. List at least one prospective witnessing situation and spend a few moments praying specifically for God’s leading and empowering through your life.

LESSON 6: WITNESSING AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

Objective: To understand and trust in the Holy Spirit’s leading as you witness.

Memorize: John 15:26,27; Read: Ephesians 5 and 6

Self-consciousness and fear of what others will say are great foes to our witness. Stephen as a tablewaiter (Acts 6:2-5), not as an apostle, was put before Christianity’s most skilled and wicked opponents. Though he might have retreated, conscious of his inadequacy, he yielded to the Holy Spirit’s control of his life. By so doing, he became the first Christian martyr, mightily moved the unbelievers and laid the basis for Saul’s conversion. The purpose of this lesson is to demonstrate how the power of the Holy Spirit relates to our witness.

A. READ ACTS 6 AND 7

  1. Underline every mention of the Holy Spirit.
  2. What part did the Holy Spirit play in Stephen’s life?
  3. What was the spiritual indictment upon his hearers which cut them to the heart?
  4. As a Spirit-filled man, what two purposes were Stephen’s greatest concerns, as seen in his desire to witness and in his dying prayer?
  5. How do these concerns show the fullness of the Holy Spirit in Stephen (Galatians 5:22,23, and 2 Corinthians 5:14,15)?

B. WORK OF THE SPIRIT IN WITNESSING

  1. What is the ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26; 16:13, 14)?
  2. How is it accomplished in a person who witnesses of Christ (Acts 1:8; 6:10)?
  3. What will the Holy Spirit do for the witnessing person (Acts 8:29, 4:31)?
  4. What will the Holy Spirit do for the person being witnessed to, according to 1 Corithians 2:10-12?
  5. How would you compare that to 2 Cor. 4:3, 4?

    It is the Holy Spirit who brings a man face to face with the facts regarding his condition and his need. This action is called “convicting, reproving, exposing, bringing to light.” If we were to witness on our own, we would accomplish nothing, but when the Holy Spirit uses our witness, He brings a man face to face with important facts - presenting them so forcefully that these facts must be acknowledged and considered.
  6. What are these three basic facts (John 16:7-11)?
  7. What final result is the full responsibility of the Holy Spirit to bring about in the hearer (John 3:5, 6)?

    Ask the Holy Spirit of God to prepare individuals to whom you can witness. Ask Him to free the minds of specific individuals (2 Corinthians 4:3,4) so that they can see the issues at stake (John 16:8-11) and be able to make a logical, rational, intelligent choice to receive Christ as Lord and Savior. Record the names of at least three persons you feel God would have you speak to about Christ within the next week.

    Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to these individuals at the proper time, and to speak through you in confronting them with the message of Christ. As you witness, be conscious of the fact that it is the Holy Spirit who is penetrating the mind of the other person, revealing spiritual truth.

LESSON 7: REVIEW

Review all verses memorized; Reread Galatians and Ephesians

  1. What is the most important reason you have learned for witnessing for Christ?
  2. Have you overcome the thing that most hinders your witnessing?
  3. What is the next most effective hindrance for you and how do you plan to overcome it?
  4. Summarize why you think a knowledge of the Word of God is important in witnessing.
  5. How will prayer specifically help you?
  6. Why do you think the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself ?

Write a three-minute testimony of your personal experience with Christ. Briefly share what your life was like before your decision; how you became a Christian; and explain in greater detail what it is like to be a Christian.

A CHALLENGE

Some years ago at the opening of a disarmament conference, in the midst of a speech by King George of England, someone trippedover the wires of the Columbia Broadcasting Company, tearing them loose and interrupting the service. The chief operator quickly grasped the loose wires in his bare hands, holding them in contact, and for 20 minutes the current passed through him while repairs were being made. His hands were slightly burned, but through them the words of the king passed on to millions of listeners, and were heard distinctly. Without his courage and endurance, the king’s message would have failed to reach its destination.

Jesus Christ, the King of kings, has chosen to send His message of salvation to a lost and dying world through human means. Whatever the cost, the message must reach those who have never heard. Every faithful Christian who is willing is a human instrument through which the King’s voice is reaching the lost with a message of deliverance, freedom and peace (vastly more important than the message from London).

HOW TO SHARE CHRIST WITH OTHERS

Every Christian desires to share Christ with his friends or with others whom he meets. The Four Spiritual Laws booklet, presents a clear and simple explanation of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Every Christian desires to share Christ with his friends or with others whom he meets. The Four Spiritual Laws booklet, presents a clear and simple explanation of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This booklet has been developed as a result of more than 30 years of experience in counseling with thousands of college students on campuses of the world as well as with a comparable number of laymen and pastors and high school students. It represents one way to share your faith effectively.

Some of the obvious benefits of using a booklet like this to share your faith in Christ are:

  1. It can be used to open the conversation. You can simply say, “Have you heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?”
  2. It begins with the positive, “God loves you.”
  3. It presents the claims of Christ clearly.
  4. It includes an invitation to receive Christ.
  5. It offers suggestions for growth, including the importance of the church.
  6. It gives you confidence, because you know what you are going to say and how you are going to say it.
  7. It enables you to stay on the subject – to control the conversation.
  8. It enables you to always be prepared. 
  9. It makes it possible for you to be brief. Learn to present the Four Laws without unnecessary comments, yet remaining sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
  10. It represents a “transferable technique” for presenting Christ to others, Many Christians are effective in their own personal ministries, but are unable to communicate to others how to present Christ in such a way that they also become fruitful. 

Several ways that you can use to introduce the Four Spiritual Laws booklet would be as follows:

  1. “Have you heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?”
  2. “Would you help me by giving me your opinion of the Four Spiritual Laws?”
  3. “Has anyone ever taken the time to share with you this little booklet called the Four Spiritual Laws?”

HOW TO PRESENT THE FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS

Be sensitive to an individual’s interest and the leading of the Holy Spirit. The simplest way to explain the Four Spiritual Laws is to read the booklet aloud. However, be careful not to allow the presentation to become mechanical. Remember, you are not just sharing principles - you are introducing the person to Christ. The Four Spiritual Laws are simply a tool to help you effectively communicate the gospel. Pray for God’s love to be expressed through you.


Adapted from “Ten Basic Steps to Christian Maturity” by Bill Bright Copyright ©1994, 2006 by Bill Bright, NewLife Publications, Cru All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Dr. Bill Bright was the founder of Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ International.

©2019 GCMN - A ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International. All Right Reserved.