The best advice I ever heard regarding evangelism came from Dr. Ted Kersh, pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church. He said, “Talk to them like they are Christians until they realize that they aren’t.” This advice comes from one of the most skilled cold call evangelists I have ever known, and he’s right.
We often miss opportunities to share the Gospel while waiting for the perfect moment to do so. While it’s a good thing to rehearse a testimony, practice opening questions, and memorize Scripture sequences, it’s perhaps an even better thing to talk about Jesus in casual conversation with non-Christians on a consistent basis without set-up or apology, just as you would discuss the blizzard that never happened or the federal budget cuts that did. In doing so, you give others ample opportunity to realize that they are missing something, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Let me illustrate.
I have spent a lot of time on WebMD, but that doesn’t make me a doctor, a truth that is very evident when I spend time in my doctor’s office. Now, I can hold my own with terms like asthma and anemia, but when he starts talking about anything ending in “oma” or “itis” and the procedures he has performed, I see very clearly that he is the professional and I only know enough about medicine to give myself an ulcer. In all my time with the man, never once has he asked me, “You know you’re not a doctor, don’t you?” He doesn’t have to.
The same thing happens when Christians talk about their Savior, showing intimate knowledge of someone most people only know a little about. So, go ahead and tell everyone about your new puppy, your mother’s surgery, and the Pinterest idea you can’t wait to try, but make time to talk about Jesus as well. If he gave you the strength to kick a bad habit, the patience to deal with a difficult customer, the compassion to forgive an enemy, or the resolve to take charge of your finances, say so. Be transparent. Speak the Truth with authority. Let people know that Jesus is not only real, but the reason for the joy that you have. Then, when they realize their need for your Savior, help them pray and accept Him.
You may never get the chance to ask any of the opening questions you learned in EE or FAITH training, but that’s okay. If you let the Spirit lead, you may not have to.