Summary: If you are not confrontational, or struggle with the intellectual style, perhaps you are more comfortable giving your testimony or focusing on the friends God has placed in your life. When the blind man was asked who Jesus was, he simply gave a testimony
Discovering Your Style, Part 2
Rev. Brian Bill
Now that my 40th birthday is in my rear-view mirror, I’m starting to experience the joy of a marginal memory. I can’t seem to remember all the things I used to. Someone sent me an email recently about three sisters who were all in their nineties and lived together.
One day the oldest filled up the bathtub. She put one foot in the water, paused, and then called downstairs to her sisters, “Am I getting in the tub or out of the tub?”
The middle sister started up the stairs to help, paused, and then called back downstairs, “Was I going up or coming down?”
The youngest sister, who was sitting at the kitchen table having tea, said, “I guess I’ll have to help. I hope I never get that forgetful!” and she knocked on wood.
She got up, paused, and then called upstairs, “I’ll be there as soon as I see who’s at the door!”
A recent survey asked Christian people who were ninety-five years or older what they’d do differently if they could live their lives over. Here are their top three changes:
1. They’d reflect more. They would spend more time getting away from the daily grind in order to thoughtfully examine the direction and meaning of their lives.
2. They’d risk more. These elderly people made it clear that they’d be more courageous about stepping out of their comfort zones. In short, they’d pray the Prayer of Jabez and ask God to burst their boundaries on a daily basis.
3. They’d invest in eternity. Instead of just focusing on the here-and-now, they’d share the gospel more often.
During this series we’ve learned that there are three different stages of evangelism: cultivating, planting and reaping. Last week we introduced the idea that God has given each of us different evangelistic styles. It takes all kinds of Christians to reach all kinds of non-Christians. All people cannot witness the same way, but all people can witness some way. Or, another way to say it is that God desires to use our personalities as we participate in the process of evangelism.
During this section of our series called, Becoming a Contagious Christian, we’re looking at the ways God equipped six people in the New Testament to fulfill different outreach needs. Last week we focused on Peter. Today we’ll study Paul’s approach and the Blind Man’s M.O.
Six Evangelistic Styles
Style Biblical Example Text
Confrontational Peter Acts 2
Intellectual Paul Acts 17
Testimonial Blind Man John 9
Interpersonal Matthew Luke 5
Invitational Samaritan Woman John 4
Serving Dorcas Acts 9
Paul’s Intellectual Approach
The hallmark of Paul’s style was his logical and well-reasoned presentation of the gospel message. The Book of Romans is a great example of how his mind works.
Can you think of a better person for God to send to the Athenian philosophers in Acts 17? These intellectual heavyweights would not have related well to Peter’s “turn-or-burn” approach. They needed logic that conclusively proved its point. Because of that he reasoned with them. Paul’s audience was probably more like our society than Peter’s was.