Most Christians are not preachers or teachers, and fewer still are evangelists, but all Christians are called to proclaim, to instruct, and to share their faith.
In Ephesians 4, we learn that the Holy Spirit gives preachers, teachers, and evangelists as a gift to the Church. These women and men are given to the body to help all believers be ‘mature’ and active in their ministry of proclamation, teaching, and evangelism. All Christians, then, should be growing and active in sharing their faith, instructing others about Scripture, and proclaiming good news in Christ. This includes helping non-Christians cross the line of faith.
So often, Christians assume that people’s decision to follow Jesus should best be made with a pastor or ‘professional evangelist.’ So often, Christians do the hard relational work of walking with a non-Christian for weeks, months, or even years, but never experience the joyful moment of his or her new birth.
Thinking that somehow/someway the person will eventually get it, many Christians think of evangelism as nothing more than a constant witnessing opportunity. I hear things like “I’m just planting the seed” or “I’m trying to be a good witness” but often we never have any intention of calling for a decision. There is one important thing that you can and should do in your witness—ask for a decision.
Asking for a decision can be terrifying no matter what the response is!
When we ask for a decision, we are putting everything on the table; we are opening the door (or closing the door) to a new normal in the relationship. There is a weight to asking for a decision for Jesus, make no mistake about it.
Asking, however, is just as much a part of our duty under Christ as is loving people. There are frequently three responses we can experience in response to asking for a decision for Jesus: yes, no, or I’m not sure. All three responses, however, are a part of a person’s journey toward or away from God, and asking for a decision helps facilitate that person’s journey.
If asking is important, how do we do it?
Here is a simple technique to help both us and the person we are asking to focus on the gospel and come to a place where a decision is possible. The technique is called ‘SPREAD,’ an acronym that helps us pastorally and prophetically move a person to seriously consider following Jesus. Here is how it works:
To be continued…………