10 Ways to “Jump Start” Your Personal Evangelism

April 29, 2020

By Chuck Lawless

 Even as a professor of evangelism, I have to continually push myself to do evangelism. For what it’s worth (and frankly, as a matter of accountability), here are some steps I’m taking to move in the right direction:

  1. Ask God daily to let me see people as He sees them. I tend to see people as the driver in the car who cut me off, the cashier at the gas station, and the neighbor whose name I don’t know. God sees them as sheep without a shepherd and souls for whom Jesus died. 
  2. Ask other believers to pray at least once a week that I will speak the gospel boldly and clearly. This approach is nothing more than what Paul asked the Ephesians and the Colossians to do for him (Eph. 6:18-20; Col. 4:2-4). If Paul needed that kind of prayer support, I surely do.
  3. Ask God to renew my fire for Him. The bottom line for me is this: I do evangelism when I’m most amazed by Jesus. That’s why I wrote Nobodies for Jesus, and now I’m being challenged like never before to apply personally my own teachings.
  4. Pray by name for non-believers at least once a week. I often pray every day for some non-believer, but I have also set up one weekly focused time for praying that God would open the blinded minds of non-believers (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
  5. Strive to speak a good word about God to somebody each day. God is so majestic and His blessings are so numerous that I have no reason not to speak of His goodness. Even if I daily speak those words to only a believer, I develop the practice of moving conversations toward God.
  6. Force myself to get to know people I don’t know. I’m an introvert who would prefer to read a book, but that tendency obviously hinders evangelism. With God’s grace and in His power, I’m learning to push myself out of my shell.
  7. Offer to pray for others. Simply letting people know I’m committed to praying for them can open doors for deeper conversations. Life hurts sometimes, and folks who bear burdens alone are often both surprised by and appreciative of the offer of prayer.
  8. Commit to telling a non-believer what Jesus means to me at least once a week. If one of the above strategies doesn’t open this door, here’s the approach I take: “I’m a follower of Jesus, and I’ve made a personal commitment to tell others what He means to me each week. May I have five minutes to tell you my story, and you help me to know if anything is unclear?” I’ve been surprised by how many people are open to listen.
  9. Use social media to tell the gospel. I need to do evangelism face-to-face, but the Internet also provides multiple avenues for telling others about Jesus. I do not want to miss any opportunities.
  10. Just be obedient because I want to please God. Anything less than a lifestyle of telling others about Jesus – and initiating those conversations because it models our God who came to us while we were yet sinners – would be disobedience.

 What other steps would you add to this list? 

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13 Comments

  • Thank you for your great points on evangelism. Mr Lawless, I would like to share with you through email about the outreach ministry my pastor asked me to create while I was still on church staff, (now full time with: It’s 4 uMom, outreach). It has been so successful connecting with community moms we do not know, build relationships, witness, win them & grow the church; that my husband and our pastor asked me to write a manual, for churches to use implementing this same type of outreach in their ministries..
    It’s 4 uMom. Check it out. http://www.its4umom.com
    Would you please email me so I can share all about this non confrontational way to reach souls? Thank you

  • cotton mathis says on

    There needs to be a renewed focus on “everyone is an evangelist.”

    During the 1984 oil embargo, a car dealer got caught with an acre of cars with big motors. When it seemed he needed to increase his sales force, he brought everyone in to a meeting: everybody – all the way down to the car wash and clean up guys.

    He said two things: “Who do you know who needs a new or better car”?

    And then he said, “How can we get them to buy one of our —— (he named the brand).”

    Then, he said, “Everyone here is now on commission,” and he gave the percent. He said, “You bring them here; we will do the paper work.”

    People then went to the people with whom they had the most influence (family, friends, associates, etc.)

    They not only survived, they thrived.

    Somehow, there needs to be a renewed interest among the laypeople in the church that everybody is on “commission” (the great commission).

    But, people have to be asked “to buy.” A “sale” is not complete until the buyer says yes.

    It was never Jesus’ intention that evangelists were only “paid professionals.” They were “satisfied customers” – they had been with Jesus.

    That is all it takes – when people have been with Jesus, they introduce others to him.

    And a little training – not much. Four verses will do it (Roman road). Being saved does not mean passing a theology exam.

  • D av id G Tr ou bl efi eld , PhD, DMin says on

    11. Learn which of the six styles of evangelism described in the New Testament that I may have, and then practice it as God intends—and help other believers to do the same 🙂

    Cf. Becoming a Contagious Christian

  • For starters, act like a Christian and not just in the church house. It is obvious that some people who may be Christians sure don’t act like it while the Buddhists I know are some of the nicest people in the world. I have been surprised when someone I thought was a Christian said they were Buddhist and their monks were just as nice to me as they were to anyone else. Pay attention to how you act in daily life and who you deem to be beneath you.

  • Steven Blake says on

    Great suggestions to help us keep that heart for reaching the lost. One more suggestion as a preacher I feel if I am going to preach on that subject to my church I need to be able to share an example from my own life in witnessing. And not just the ones where individuals turned to Jesus as a result of sharing but even the times where it’s just the seed that has been planted. If I can’t share in my messages how I’m sharing faithfully then how can I expect those listening to feel compelled to do the same.

  • Amen. Great stuff!
    I would add,
    1) Commit to pray earnestly for 5 unbelievers you know every day
    2) Pray and believe God for at least one person to come to Christ every year.
    3) Pastor, make it a priority to equip your people for personal evangelism
    4) Pastor keep the one-a-year commitment at top-of-mind for your members constantly. It’s not a quota. It’s something you believe God for, and you’re serious about it.

  • Very good material.

  • Amen – Good stuff

    • Chuck Lawless says on

      Thanks, Jay!

    • Thinking in terms of the word “evangelism” may do more harm than good…maybe it’s better to think in terms of what it means to be a Christian. I mean if the unsaved are going to hell, (and as a Christian I do believe this, correct?) and our #2 prime directive is “…love him/her (our neighbor), then we MUST introduce all we encounter in our day’s travels and activities (our neighbors) to our living, loving Lord. And so isn’t it more a question of whether or not we are a Christian vs. conducting evangelism?

      • Chuck Lawless says on

        I think we’re on the same page in that neither of us would dichotomize those — though unless we work hard to connect the the two, one or the other is generally weak. Either we claim to be walking deeply with Christ while not evangelizing (which doesn’t make sense), or a few folks do evangelism without regard for whether their lives actually reflect Christ (another position that doesn’t make sense).

  • William Effler says on

    I, too, am teaching a Personal Evangelism class at a university in a day where evangelism is “not a thing”. Thank you so much for your writing today. As I enter into the summer months this has given me a fresh outlook as to “get my game back” so I can get my students back in their game.