Faithlife Sermons

Strategy #4 Listen to Their Story

Six Strategies of Evangelism  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The story of Abu Ali dying of Typhoid fever
151, 600 people die each day
151, 600 people die each day
That is 6,316 people dying every hour
How many of those people who die, while we sit here tonight, will die and go to heaven?
How many of them knew Jesus?
How many of them knew Jesus?
According to Jesus, the vast majority of them will be in hell before we are done tonight.
Matthew 7:
Matthew 7:13–14 ESV
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
We have to commit ourselves to telling these people about how they can go to heaven
We have to apply Christ’s command of telling people about a God who loves them.
When was the last time you shared the Gospel?
When was the last time you talked to someone about religion?
When is the last time you told someone that Jesus loves them?
Don’t let this just be another lesson series on Wednesday night that you endure for a couple of weeks and then forget
Apply this, and talk to people about Jesus
Get Your Friends to Become Their Friends
Go to Them Before They Come to You
Hangout, Sleepover, Gospel

How do I bring up Jesus in the Conversation?

You let them tell their story first
Ask the kids what they want to do for a living and then cut them off and tell them they are wrong for wanting to do that with their lives.
There is a difference between being a follower of Christ who wants to evangelize and being an arrogant know it all Christian who wants to beat everyone in arguments.
Proverbs 18:2 ESV
2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Often, because we do know the truth about eternity - who God truly is and what the route to heaven is - we become arrogant and fail to listen to other people’s point of view
Romans 12:3 ESV
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Romans 1
Instead, we should be compassionate people who seek to understand people so that we can more effectively evangelize to them.
You open up a conversation about religion by asking them prompting questions that will invite them to talk about their faith:
What spiritual beliefs do you have?
Do you have a faith?
Do you pray?
3. Do you pray?
Studies show that 80% of people in America believe in “God”
The majority of people have a faith or religion
We just have to ask them about it to get a religious conversation started
However, some people will shut down a conversation as soon as we begin to talk about relgion
The woman getting up to leave when I tried to evangelize to her at the Food Pantry
We cannot bully people into believing in Jesus
We are simply trying to listen to their story

Listen, Understand, Empathize

The goal is to listen to what they are saying, understand where they are coming from, and try to empathize with the way they see the world.
Paul in Athens:
Acts 17:22–33 ESV
22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ 29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” 32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst.
Acts 17:22-
How did Paul know about the customs and literature of the Athenians?
He knew about them because he had listened and studied them
We are called to learn about people so that we can engage them in conversation and effectively evangelize them
The way you do this is by asking as many questions about their faith as you can.
How did you become a Muslim?
Were you always a Muslim?
What are some of the customs and beliefs of your religion?
How do you worship?

Do Not

Do not interrupt them
Do not try to correct them
Do not think you know all there is to know about their religion
Do not say a word

When we let people tell their story, they will naturally ask us about our story.

If we will give people time to tell their story, they will typically give us even more time to tell our story.
Acts 17:16–20 ESV
16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.”
Acts 17:16-
Acts 17:32-
Acts 17:32–33 ESV
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst.
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