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Summary: Let us ask the Lord’s help in exploring the different ways to learn how to speak to the people’s points of interests. This will help us practice wise evangelism as is advocated by Eccl. 10:10:``If the axe is dull and its edge is unsharpened, more strength

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How To Speak To People’s Interests in Evangelism

Learning Objectives

1. The students will explain why it is important to appeal to people’s interests in evangelism.

2. The students will write a paper describing how to appeal to people’s interests in evangelism and church planting.

3. The students will explain what we can learn from the way Paul and Jesus Christ appealed to people’s interests in evangelism.

Introduction - Many missionaries by faith have used the verse in Isaiah 55:11 which says,

``So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.’’

These missionaries should be commended for their faith in the power of the word of God to accomplish His purposes. Yet, this verse does not give us an excuse for not using our minds to explore the best ways to evangelize a people group. One missionary worked for 30 years without any fruit. When he left, an indigenous missionary replaced him. The new man instantly saw fruit. What is it that makes some missionaries effective and others fruitless?

Let us ask the Lord’s help in exploring the different ways to learn how to speak to the people’s points of interests. This will help us practice wise evangelism as is advocated by Eccl. 10:10:

``If the axe is dull and its edge is unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success!’’

I. Why is it Important to Appeal to People’s Interests?

A. If we aim to meet felt, perceived, and real needs, the people will be more apt to want to hear what we are preaching.

B. If people know we have their best interests at heart they will be happy to receive help from us.

C. If people know that our teaching is aimed at helping them solve some of their problems, they will welcome it.

D. If people know that our teaching is not evil or deceptive in its intentions, they will be more apt to believe it.

E. People are more likely to come to hear a teacher who knows their needs than someone who just preaches without consideration for the backgrounds, culture, and needs of his audience.

F. Many people followed Jesus because they knew He had their interests (Physical, social, mental, cultural, and spiritual) needs in mind when He taught.

G. People are more responsive, receptive, and open to news that affects their interests. For instance, a local newspaper is more apt to be read than one from overseas. Discuss issues that are near and dear to the people’s felt level interests. Then move on to what they perceive to be important. Finally, you may proceed to discussing their real spiritual needs.

II. What Should We Appeal To?

A. People’s interests generally will include their physical well-being, their spiritual peace, their human joy, their families’ needs, their problems of disease and sickness, their disputes with the people around them, or their desires to succeed, have a family, and produce prosperous children!

B. We should learn what motivates people in different cultures.

C. We should make different appeals to different people (Youth, children, women, men, elders, chiefs, workers, farmers, teachers, governmental employees etc.)

D. Appeal to people’s needs for forgiveness, eternal life, and escape from the fears of death. (John 3:16)

E. Appeal to the needs people have for encouragement, love, and a sense of belonging. (John 10:10)

F. Appeal to the needs for information. (John 4:24)

G. Appeal to people sense of what is good, fair, and right. Help them see that unless their righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, they will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

H. Appeal to people’s need to overcome their enemies. (I Jn.4:4)

I. Appeal to people’s need to overcome their fears. (Mt. 10:31)

J. Appeal to people’s need for a family. (John 1:12)

K. Appeal to people’s need to satisfy their curiosity. (Jn.4:9)

L. Appeal to the things that people look to for their everyday satisfactions. (Matt. 4:4)

III. How Did Jesus Appeal to People’s Interests

A. Begin by praying that the Lord would give you wisdom, understanding, and insights into the felt, perceived, and real needs of the people.

B. Study the culture of the people to learn what are their most important needs, interests, and goals in life.

C. Ask indigenous Christians what really motivates the people.

D. Ask the people themselves what is it that they really want out of life. Ask the men, women, youth, children, and elderly separately. Each group of people will have different priorities.

E. Study Jesus Christ’s encounter with the woman at the well in John 4:7-45 to see how the Master appealed to the interests of people.

1). Christ began by asking a question, rather than telling a truth about the woman’s adulterous lifestyle.

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