Richard Cunningham interviewed Rebecca Manley Pippet from Salt Shaker Ministries one evening at New Word Alive about evangelism in place of a sermon.
She spoke about how “torpedo evangelism” was not helpful. She gave the example of a woman who quite literally threw a gospel tract at her once.
People are afraid of evangelism.
We are afraid of offending. Becky’s recommendation is to try beginning the conversation by telling the person, “Look, I want to tell you about Jesus, but I am afraid I will offend you, would you tell me if it feels like I am coming on too strong?”
We are afraid of not being able to answer the questions. We don’t have to be able to answer all the questions, and should be confident enough to say, “I don’t know” if we don’t.
We are afraid that people will discover we are not perfect. But in fact, being real is attractive. We should be willing to let people know who we are, warts and all, and point to Jesus, not us.
How do we do it? Jesus was in the world and radically different but radically identified. Jesus loved people and listened to them. We mustn’t become so identified we become identical.
There are often three phases to successful personal evangelism: cultivate curiosity, proclaim the gospel, then reap the harvest.
We need to learn to use language which intrigues people, e.g. find their likely objection and mention it before them.
Becky is a very inspirational communicator, and at the end of the talk the vast majority of people responded by standing to indicate that they wanted to recommit themselves to sharing the gospel.