Public Evangelism Resources
Current Experiences in Personal Evangelism
By Steve Cook
My approach: Take some of the best small literature you have; if you’re having evangelistic meetings, a series handbill is just right. Be sure and bring along some literature to leave at empty homes. Pray. Knock on the door. Smile and say: “My name is ________ and this is _________ (if someone is with you). “We’re from the Adventist Church here in __________ and we’re out inviting people to this prophecy seminar,” or “we’re encouraging people to study the Bible and we wanted to share this with you.” Hand them the material. Then say after a brief pause: “May we have prayer with you?” Pause for their reply. With their permission given, then say: “What is your first name? Is there any special need you have that you would like us to pray about?” Pause. Then after their response. Pray. Keep the prayer positive. Pray for their health, a deeper walk with God, protection for their family, etc. Make sure to use their name somewhere in the prayer. Then when you are finished be on your way!
Recently in Spring City, TN where I am holding meetings, I shared my approach to personal evangelism with the Sabbath School. Later that day, a lady told me of her conviction to do something like I had described. I encouraged her to do it; another man then approached me, wanting to accompany me. We’re going out this coming Sabbath.
Yesterday evening Toni, the church treasurer, asked if she could come with me. Sure! We made an appointment to go out the next day at 11 AM - and in the 45 minutes or so that we were out there, it seemed like the Lord introduced us to a wide spectrum of door-to-door experiences.
The second home we approached is a great example. After we introduced ourselves and shared an evangelistic handbill, we asked one lady if we could pray with her. “Leave,” she said. “Just leave!” I thanked her for her time and we walked away. (I’ve learned that it’s not productive to argue with people who are demanding my absence. I can also say, after knocking on hundreds of doors, that this is a very rare experience.) A few doors away from her house, we met a man who had a completely opposite attitude - pleasant and talkative. We prayed with him - and then he said as we were leaving: “You have blessed my day!” Wow! That more than compensated us for time we’d been out there.
At the last door, we met a early- to middle-aged woman. Again, after introducing ourselves and sharing a handbill and tract, we offered to pray with her. “Do you have any special needs?” I asked. Somewhat embarrassed, she said that she was scheduled to have a mammogram soon, and she was fearful that it would reveal something. I asked Toni, the lady visiting along with me, to pray for her. After we were back in the car, we discussed the visits and Toni felt that she could call back on this woman in a couple of weeks to see how her visit has gone.
I truly believe that our members need some way to come into contact with the community so they can express their spiritual interest in people. I believe that this approach is one effective and simple way to do this. It disarms people’s prejudice because they are expecting to have to say ‘I have my church’. But when you ask them to pray—it is very difficult for Christians to turn it down. It leavens the community with a positive picture of Seventh-day Adventists. I try and make sure they know who we are.
This simple approach also presupposes that God is already at work in the community, trying to lead people higher in their spiritual journey - a premise that has been validated time and again.
Fellow ministers, why not step out and try this? Map out a territory. Try it for a month and then as God blesses you with experiences, tell your members what happened and invite them to come along. See if it does not breathe the breath of the Spirit into your outreach ministry!
Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Steve Cook
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