Summary: There are many ways to do evangelism. The key for success is not only employing the most effective approaches, but employing the ones that best match our own individual personalities and gifts.
A. For every task that we face, there are many approaches or methods that we might employ.
1. Some methods are certainly better than others.
B. I love the story of the man who was injured on the job and had to provide further explanation of the cause of his injuries for the insurance company.
1. He wrote, “I trust that the following explanation will be sufficient.”
2. “I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date of the injury, I was working alone, laying brick around the top of a three-story building. When I finished the job, I had about 500 pounds of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to put them into a barrel and lower them by a pulley that was fastened to the top of the building.”
3. “I secured the end of the rope at ground level, went back up to the top of the building, loaded the bricks into the barrel, and pushed it over the side. I went back down to the ground and untied the rope, holding it securely to insure the slow descent of the barrel.”
4. “As you will note in block #6 of the claim form, I weigh 145 pounds. At the shock of being jerked off the ground so swiftly by the 500 pounds of bricks in the barrel, I lost my presence of mind and forget to let go of the rope.”
5. “Between the second and third floors I met the barrel. This accounts for the bruises and lacerations on my upper body. Fortunately, I retained enough presence of mind to maintain my tight hold on the rope and proceeded rapidly up the side of the building, not stopping until my right hand was jammed in the pulley. This accounts for the broken thumb.”
6. “Despite the pain, I continued to hold tightly to the rope. Unfortunately, at approximately the same time, the barrel hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed about fifty pounds. I again refer you to block #6, where my weight is listed. I began a rapid descent.”
7. “In the vicinity of the second floor, I met the barrel coming up. This explains the injury to my legs and lower body. Slowed only slightly, I continued my descent, landing on the pile of bricks. Fortunately, my back was only sprained.”
8. “I’m sorry to report, however, that at this point I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope.”
C. As I said, “Some methods are better than others.”
1. Some approaches to moving bricks from the roof to the ground are more effective than others.
2. And so it is with approaches to evangelism.
3. Some certainly are better than others.
4. And some of us are suited better for some approaches than other approaches.
5. The key for success is not only employing the most effective approaches, but employing the one that best matches our own individual personalities and gifts.
D. Last week we talked about what some might call “friendship evangelism.” (Relational Approach)
1. And I said that I believe it is one of the more effective approaches.
2. I pointed out that it was the approach that Jesus, and the apostles Matthew, and Paul often employed.
3. But I also pointed out that friendship evangelism is not the only approach that works, and said that Lord willing, we would look at some of the other possible approaches this week.
4. So, let’s do just that. What are some other approaches to reaching the lost that may be a better fit for you or for me?
I. The Proclamation Approach
A. The proclamation approach involves standing before others and proclaiming the good news about Jesus, simply and directly.
1. Peter and Paul were both used by the Lord to speak to small and large groups about Jesus.
2. They each were given a public platform from which to proclaim the gospel and they were faithful to their calling.
3. Can you think of a better person than Peter to stand before the Jews on the Day of Pentecost and proclaim that Jesus is the messiah? (Acts 2)
4. Can you think of a better person than Paul to stand before the Greek philosophers in Athens and argue that there is only one true God? (Acts 17)
5. Perhaps God has given you the gift of communication.
6. You may have a gift for teaching and reasoning and perhaps God will open doors for you to speak to groups in a public forum: like a high school, or a collage dorm room, or a living room.
7. If this is the case, then you need to employ your gifts with faith and love. You need to speak for Christ in these places and at these times.