One day a lady criticized D. L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord. Moodyâ€™s reply was “I agree with you. I donâ€™t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?” The lady replied, “I donâ€™t do it.” Moody retorted, “Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”
A lame method is better than no method at all when explaining the gospel. Why? Because even a clunky or cheesy method that clearly explains the gospel is better than keeping your mouth shut! The gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” according to Romans 1:16. So when someone unleashes the explosive force of this message it has impact. Whether its through a cube, a book, a tract, a story, a Gospel of John or a video, the Gospel message has power and effect.
People ask me all the time “What is the best method for sharing the gospel?” My answer is always the same. Don’t focus on using a method yet. Focus on the mastering the message first.
If you master the gospel message then you can attach the right method at the right time to the right audience. If you don’t master the message then your method will be robotic and rote rather than relational and real.
Your goal when sharing the gospel should not be presentations but conversations. And to have a conversation about the gospel you need to know what that message is from top to bottom and beginning to end.
At Dare 2 Share, a ministry dedicated to equipping teenagers to relationally share their faith, we train teenagers to master the message first. We use an acrostic as a mnemonic device to help them memorize Biblical bullet points so they can use them as talking points when explaining the whole story of the gospel from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22 (aka “the meta-narrative of the gospel.”) Here’s the acrostic we use to help them master the gospel message:
God created us to be with him. Genesis 1-2
Our sins separate us from God. Genesis 3
Sin cannot be removed by good deeds. Genesis 4-Malachi 4
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. Matthew-Luke
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. John
Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever. Acts-Revelation
Some youth leaders wrongly state that this is our “method” of evangelism at Dare 2 Share. It is not. This is the message that we have teenagers master during our weekend events and in our training curriculum. Then, they can attach any method of their choosing to it or they can abandon methods altogether and just use these six sentences as talking points in the midst of a conversation.
The GOSPEL can be used with methods like The Bridge, 3 Story Evangelism (as “God’s Story”), EvangeCube, How to share your faith without an argument, The LifeBook and many more. It can be easily adapted in different countries as well. The GOSPEL has been translated into Spanish, Korean, German and is being used in several English speaking countries to train Christians to evangelize.
What’s the best method for sharing the good news? I can’t really give you a pat answer. It depends on your personality, their situation and His leading. But I can tell you what the best message is…the gospel! Memorize it, personalize it and then contextualize it to whatever situation you are in and whatever method you choose to use.
For those of you believers who are cynical about evangelism altogether remember the words of DL Moody, “I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”em>