4 lessons the life of Bruce Lee can teach us about evangelism

Greg Stier
Greg Stier
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I’ve always been a huge Bruce Lee fan. When his movie, Enter the Dragon, came out to theaters in the 70’s, I was hooked. Soon after watching Bruce Lee’s epic and, sadly, last film before his premature death,I signed up for Kung Fu lessons at the nearest and cheapest dojo I could find.

3A101DB0-6E42-4FD6-B34D-203BFE9172DEBruce Lee was a game changer when it came to martial arts, not just for me, but for millions around the world. His movies inspired a generation to take up martial arts. Bruce Lee was not just a one-of-a-kind action star, he was a brilliant trail blazer.

It’s hard to believe that on November 27, 2020, Bruce Lee would have turned 80 years old! It seems like yesterday he was beating up Chuck Norris in The Way of the Dragon or playing the high-flying, hard-kicking Kato on Green Hornet or showing the world how to do a one-inch punch and a two finger push up.

Although Bruce Lee, as far as I know, was not a Christian, I believe there are 4 lessons his life can teach us about evangelism:

1.  Practice. Practice. Practice.

As a young teenager in Hong Kong, Bruce Lee started learning martial arts after getting into some street fights. He wanted to know not just how to fight, but how to win every fight. He went on to master his craft and become a world class martial artist.

To achieve his level of excellence he practiced relentlessly. To this day, the intense training regiment he developed over the years is legendary among members of the martial arts community. 

In the same way, if we as Christians want to become effective at evangelism, we must practice sharing our faith to the point of mastery. We must learn how to ask good questions (like Jesus in John 4), share our stories (like Paul in Acts 26) and articulate the message of Jesus in a clear and compelling way (like John in John 3.)

Getting your “black belt” in evangelism takes precision, persistence and power – divine power (Acts 1:8.) It also takes a Bruce Lee level of practice.

For all you white belts out there, here’s a 4 minute video we filmed a few years back called “A Crash Course in Evangelism.” It will give you some basic evangelism “moves” to start practicing.

2.  Share the beauty of your message to a world hungry for it.

IntBecause of Bruce Lee’s frequent street fights and gang affiliations as a young man, his parents sent him to America soon after he turned 18. Within a few years he settled in, went to college and started teaching the beauty of Chinese culture, as demonstrated through martial arts, to Americans who were hungry to learn.

Although some of the old school Chinese didn’t like him teaching their secrets to “outsiders“, Bruce Lee persisted and began to successfully train many Americans in the secrets of all things Kung Fu.

The secrets of martial arts are hardly a secret anymore. Drive through any town and you will see martial arts schools that range from Kung Fu to Karate to Jiu-Jitsu. Bruce Lee helped to popularize martial arts across America and around the world. His blockbuster hit, Enter the Dragon, mainstreamed martial arts globally.

Christianity had its own “Bruce Lee” of sorts that took ancient secrets and made them known to the world. His name was the Apostle Paul.

In Ephesians 3:8,9 Paul wrote, “Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.”

The ancient secret hidden away in the Old Testament scrolls was Jesus and his Good News message! And, just like Bruce Lee made the secrets of Chinese martial arts known to the world, Paul made the secrets of the gospel of Jesus Christ known to both Jews and Gentiles.

We are to follow Paul’s example. We are to let the world see the beauty of the Christian message and hear the good news of Jesus. It is our sacred duty to make these secrets known (Matthew 28:18-20.)

The world is your dojo! Start recruiting students!

3.  Keep what works and throw away the rest.

Eventually, Bruce Lee created his own style of martial arts called Jeet Kune Do. He felt that many of the martial arts styles were filled with wasted motions and moves. He borrowed what worked best in every style of fighting and mixed them together to form his own. This is where we get the modern term “Mixed Martial Arts.” The UFC and Bellator are huge global fighting businesses that owe their existence, in large part, to the pioneering fighting style of Bruce Lee. 

In the same way, when it comes to evangelism, we need to adapt from various methodologies to find out what works best. Then we need to build it into our own personal evangelism style.

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In many ways that’s what we, at Dare 2 Share, have done with our G.O.S.P.E.L. acrostic.

Early on as a teenager I was trained by my youth leaders to use seven key statements when sharing the gospel. I liked these seven statements but they seemed clunky and hard to memorize. So I honed them down to six sentences and developed an acrostic to go with it, so that it would be easier to memorize.That acrostic spells out the word “G.O.S.P.E.L.” 

Over the years we have sharpened and adjusted it to be what it is today. Eventually, this acrostic became the basis for a powerful video we produced with the spoken word artist Propaganda that has been seen by millions.

 

44.4.  Master your “weapon.”

Bruce Lee was well known for his mastery of nunchucks. It was his use of this fighting weapon that got me practicing nunchucks for countless hours when I was a teenager.

By God’s grace, and, after a lot of bruises, I got semi-decent at using them. Below is a video of me and my buddy, Doug Holliday, Executive Director of Sonlife North America, doing our version of dueling nunchucks at one of the Lead THE Cause events where we were training teens to share their faith. Doug’s a big Bruce Lee fan too (he’s the one on the right.)

 

We have our own version of nunchucks at Dare 2 Share that can make a big dent in the kingdom of darkness when it comes to evangelism. It’s the Life in 6 Words app.

This faith sharing app helps teenagers and adults communicate the gospel using technology in a simple and natural way. This app is robust, powerful and easy to use. It even comes in 8 different languages!

Take a look at the overview video of what this amazing (and free) tool can do!

 

But, like nunchucks, a tool is only as good as one masters using it. So go to your App Store, download the Life in 6 Words app and start practicing! If you master it, you will be able to effectively share the gospel with those you meet.

May Bruce Lee’s legendary legacy and the four lessons we can learn about evangelism from his life, inspire you to be a more effective witness for the Lord Jesus Christ…and deliver a knock out blow to Satan in the process!

Unlikely Fighter

Coming november 9

The story of how a fatherless street kid overcame violence, chaos, and confusion to become a radical Christ follower.

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