I’ve learned a lot from Tim Keller, including how to evangelize through networking and understand the relationship between mercy ministry and engaging lostness in my community. Not too long ago, Tim Keller spoke at Lausanne and shared 10 best practices for everyday living. Martin Salter records them and shares Keller’s explanation as follows:
- Let people around you know you are a Christian (in a natural, unforced way)
- Ask friends about their faith – and just listen!
- Listen to your friends problems – maybe offer to pray for them
- Share your problems with others – testify to how your faith helps you
- Give them a book to read
- Share your story
- Answer objections and questions
- Invite them to a church event
- Offer to read the Bible with them
- Take them to an explore course
What Keller also advises is that we (generally) start with 1-4. If people are interested and want to talk more you can move them to stages 5-7. If they’re still interested go on to stages 8-10. Sometimes people will want to go straight to 10, but often people start from way back and need some time to think and discuss things in a non-pressured way. We often think that only stages 8-10 count and invest all our energy there. TK suggests that to get people at stages 8,9,10 you have to put the work in at 1-4. Sometimes you’ll have to keep going round the loop multiple times.
When I read this, my went to other helpful resources on evangelism, including Gary Rohrmayer’s engaging spiritual conversations stuff. Resources like this demystify the practice of evangelism, as Total Church does (most ministry takes place when ordinary people do ordinary things with gospel intentionality).
Do you have a hard time leveraging everyday opportunities for gospel proclamation? What do you think are the biggest hindrances to being a faithful witness? Anyone willing to share methods, rhythms, or daily practices of intentionally seeking to evangelize those in your community?