Archive for the ‘Witnessing Tools’ Category

This is truly the most wonderful time of the year. And at the most wonderful time of year, we all face the same dilemma and questions, “What should I give to (you fill in the name)? This is so true especially if you work in an office with various individuals. This year I bought extras gifts, at a warehouse just to have some with me in case I was given a gift by a friend/coworker.

How about that salesperson at the store where you shop? What should you give, or should you give a gift if they were to give you a little something for Christmas, a candy cane, or chocolate? What type of gift should you give?

You may have noticed that most of the membership warehouse stores have sales representatives standing by the side to greet you with an opportunity of a lifetime! (joking). I have spoken to these men for months. Yesterday, I was walking to the exit and again I was greeted by the sales representative. The man was holding up cards with the word “CASH” on the cards while stating, we offer cash off toward the purchase a new A/C or furnace unit.

As I approached the man I reached into my pocket for a gospel tract. As I handed him the tract,  with the front so he could read the cover, I said, this is a free ticket that will get you to heaven. I said, “Merry Christmas” with a big smile. The man took the gospel tract, looked at it and smiled back at me.

Salvation, is God’s free gift of eternal life, is the true gift of Christmas. God gave you salvation because someone explained or shared about Jesus Christ death, burial resurrection as payment for your sin. When you share the gospel, you are “re-gifting” God’s free gift of salvation to all who will believe.

“Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus, will be saved.” Romans 10:13.

 

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It never fails. I have had this question proposed to me while conducting evangelism training, and workshops. Pastors, staff, deacons, and Christians have asked me a similar question. “How do you begin a witnessing conversation or meeting with someone?”

In my book, Breaking the Evangelism Code, Chapter 10, I share from my personal experiences and examples by seasoned soul winners. God has used the experiences evangelizing in the inner cities across America to teach me several valuable lessons.

Let me share with you some helpful suggestions that will help you to begin a witnessing conversation.

  1. You can have peace of mind when it comes to evangelism, because God’s Spirit will lead you in the conversation. Evangelism is God’s heartbeat. Jesus said, “I have come to seek and to save that which is lost.” Luke 19:10 Aramaic Bible in Plain English
  1. You should pray, ask God’s Spirit to fill you, to lead you, and to prepare the individual(s) He wants to lead to make Jesus known to them. Jesus said, “he who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15
  2. Gods’ Spirit will direct and guide your words. John 14:26 “But he, The Redeemer of the accursed, The Spirit of Holiness, whom my Father sends in my name, he will teach you all things and he will remind you of everything whatsoever I have told you.” Aramaic Bible in Plain English
  3. God’s Spirit will direct you who to approach, when to approach them and how to begin a witnessing conversation. Acts 10:17-19 19 And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you.
  4. I learned the value of listening to the Holy Spirit, by obeying His leading I get to have effective witness encounters
  5. Start the witnessing conversation by sharing how God changed your life, “Your Grace Story/Testimony.” Write it out, shorten it. Learn a 3, 5, 10-minute version with key gospel verses.
  6. Learn how to share one verse, John 3:16, Romans 6:23. (Do an internet search for much specifics.)
  7. Become comfortable using a simple Gospel Tract. Practice does make perfect.
  8. Learn how to bring a person to the point of decision. What is the point of decision? It is offering a person the opportunity to ask Jesus to forgive his or her sin and to invite Jesus to take control of his or her life.
  9. Learn how to lead in a prayer to surrender, anyone who wants Christ as Lord and Savior, who wants a new start in life, his or her life to Jesus. Read Matthew 11:15, Mark 4:9. (This is a warning with a caution that has consequences)
  10. If you have the privilege of leading someone to trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, connect the person to your Bible study group and church. You want to make lasting disciples.

This list is just a starting point. I hope these help you and God uses these suggestions to put a fire in your bones to make Jesus Christ known.

If you want to get a copy of any of my books, go to amazon.com and do a search for Breaking the Evangelism Code, The Prepared Witness, Intentional Community Evangelism, by me, Victor H. Benavides.  Check out my website, M28evangelism.com for consulting, conferences and much more.

 

 

 

In studying and teaching Jesus’ approach of evangelism as well as His disciples, I have found Jesus and the apostles used an Intentional Community Evangelism approach. In the four Gospels we find Jesus using various approaches or methods to communicate the Kingdom Message.

After His forty day fast and prayer, in Matthew 4 we see that Jesus began to preach (12-17). He was intentional in His approach, the Scriptures say that Jesus went to live in Capernaum and began to preach “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near, (17).

In chapters five-seven of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus preached the Beatitudes to the masses of people who are following Him. Again, we see Jesus intentional approach of communicating the Gospel Message. The Gospel of Luke also gives an account of the Beatitudes as well.

Throughout the Gospels, the word spreads about the Man Jesus who is healing, feeding and resuscitating people from the dead. These were signs and wonders to validate His ministry. But it was the Kingdom message that He wanted the people to grasp and not just receive a healing from an illness or a piece of fish to eat.

Jesus sent out the twelve to proclaim the Kingdom Message, again an intentional approach. The Gospels of Matthew 10, Mark 3; 6; 13; Luke 6; 9; 10; 12; 21 also give accounts of Jesus commanding the disciples to go to the people to preach the Good News.

The Gospel accounts of Matthew 28; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8 all give the mandate for everyone who professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to go out, and do intentional evangelism in the communities across our nation, and the world.

During the years of 2001-2013, God give me the opportunity to lead and work with a team of men who had surrendered all to Jesus. They were from all walks of life. Most of the men were laymen in their churches, some were pastors, ministers and SBC leaders, but all were called by God to go out and replicate the evangelistic approach of taking the gospel to the inner cities across America.

This team of volunteers gave up a weeks’ vacation and their time to go into the inner cities of America to start evangelistic conservations with people in communities you may have heard about in the national news. The only time you hear of some of these communities is the result of shootings and killing of young black men and sometimes children.

We always worked through and with inner city churches, mostly plateau or declining and dying. We encouraged the churches to follow up with everyone. We equipped the churches in follow up, intentional evangelistic conversations, prayerwalking, and develop a presence in the community.

From the years 2001-2013 the team recorded over 23,000 professions of faith. We were able to conduct baptisms in parking lots of churches which resulted in by standers coming out of the crowds and requested baptism after a gospel presentation was given.

The approach we used has been called Inner City Evangelism and it has been called Intentional Community Evangelism. Regardless of what you call it, it is intentional and it works. And yes, we even help start churches in areas like Oahu, HI, Nashville, TN, San Antonio, TX, Phoenix, AZ, and Binghamton, NY.

If you are interested in learning more about Intentional Community Evangelism, go to amazon.com to get your copy. If you want to learn how to develop a team that using this intentional approach contact us at m28evangelism@gmail.com. 

Many have said that does door to door evangelism and surveying does not work or is not effective anymore. I have continued to train, and conduct door to door surveys and evangelism in communities across our nation. I have mentored and taught churches and believers how to do door to door evangelism.

One of the men that I have mentored is now mentoring a young church planter in the Midwest, in door to door evangelism and surveys. He sends me reports that bring me joy in reading. I wanted to share with my readers a great report how one church planter who has not bought into the lie that door to door does not work anymore.

Jerald’s Story
It has been said that door to door evangelism does not work anymore. Being a street evangelist who loves doing door to door, or “cold calls” as some say, this has really made me stop and think about whether that statement is true. I have been helping a church planter in Atchison, Kansas. He had been there about a year when I became involved. He told me I could handle evangelism however I wanted.

I didn’t know a single person when I entered the town. He and I started prayerwalking and talking to everyone we had an opportunity to engage. As we began visiting door to door, I realized that the approach of doing door to door evangelism I was using was lacking something. I started praying about it and God showed me a new way to engage the people we were meeting.

Now, I go door to door and ask people if they have any needs the church can meet. Then, I ask if I can pray for them. I carry a small notebook with me and write it down if they say yes, and I ask if I can come back in a week or so to check on them. If they agree to a second visit, I make sure to return.

Follow-up is so very important; it lets people know that I care and mean what I say. Returning to build a relationship earns me the right to share Jesus with them. Before leaving I give them a card with the church’s address, phone number, and service times – but I don’t invite them to our church. I simply ask them to pass the card on if they know someone who needs a church. More than one person has thanked me for not trying to pull them out of their own church.

The more I visit the people I have met, the more they begin to trust me. This opens the door for further ministry and evangelism in their lives. After getting to know people, we have even started Bible studies in their homes. They were willing to let us enter their homes for Bible study because we built good relationships and earned their trust. This becomes an open opportunity for true discipleship. I pray that you would give door to door evangelism a try and see how it works for you.

For more information about training your church how to do door to door evangelistic surveys, and prayer request, email m28evangelism@gmail.com. You can also go to M28evangelism.com and learn more about M28evangelism.

What could be a catalyst to change an entire communities through the local church? What could stimulate your church to intentionally begin to reach its community with the gospel?

The Intentional Community Evangelism (ICE) strategy was originally developed by Victor Benavides, in 2002. ICE combines equipping the local church in prayer, evangelism, discipleship, coaching and neighborhood events to engage entire communities.

Each ICE emphasis is a 12-month process in which a church or group of churches are guided to develop unique and personal strategies for serving the surrounding community.

The main goal in the ICE evangelism training is to discover a training method that works for the urban/inner city church within the cultural context of the people the church is trying to reach. A strategy that the church will not use is no strategy at all, so the church must be comfortable and confident with the particular evangelistic approach it chooses.

The challenge for each urban/inner city churches is that of reaching a community filled with thousands of people, of all walks of life, and economic status, many of which are unconcerned about church. To reach those folks, we’re going to have to use some non-traditional approaches. The challenge is tremendous but the end results can be very rewarding.

Through ICE, a church staff and lay leaders can meet with M28evangelism.com team members to develop strategies to actively engage the community, starting with intentional prayer.

Prayer is really the bedrock of the ICE strategy. It prepares the hearts of the community and the church for a movement of God. Prayer is God’s roto-tiller busting the hard packed, rocky and thorny soils of the hearts in communities across our cities.

Each church member participating in an ICE emphasis is trained in prayerwalking and is asked to organize prayerwalks in designated areas. The more people you mobilize to learn how to prayerwalk and participate in prayerwalking training and conduct prayerwalking their community the greater results you will see through an evangelistic effort.

As a part of ICE, you should prayerwalk block party venues, parade venues, Trunk or Treat venues, Spring Festival venues, apartment complexes, subdivisions, basically anywhere you plan to carry out evangelistic conversations.

You should also prayerwalk for a golf tournament. Men’s wild game dinners, Women’s events, felt need conferences, and food distribution venues. Any location where a church plans to distribute the gospel and have witnessing conversations with people, Church members should prayerwalk.

Churches should prayerwalk the rooms, hallways, sanctuary and parking lots of the church weeks before Vacation Bible School.

Through an ICE emphasis participants will be trained and equipped to follow up quickly with those who have made professions of faith in Jesus Christ, and to disciple them through a small group Bible study.

The ICE strategy culminates with three days of intentional community evangelistic events; however, the process does not end there.

The Intentional Community Evangelism strategy process will just begin for the local church as it will be encouraged to continue in the practices that it learned over the year.

For all churches, it means continuing to follow where the Holy Spirit is leading.

Our heartfelt desire is to reach our community for the Lord Jesus Christ. We have a burden to reach those who live all around us. To be totally honest, many churches have been in their location for some time and many have lost the passion to impact its community like it should have. We hope to change that through ICE and with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

To learn more about how your church can equip your members how to engage intentionally engage its community using Intentional Community Evangelism go to M28evangelism.com. or email m28evangelism@gmail.com.

Ways to Use My Hope Films

Church Showings: Encourage your church to pray for those who need Christ in their lives, and invite them to watch a My Hope film at the church. You could show it on Sunday morning, Wednesday evening, or at a special event. After watching the program lead the church in an invitation and prayer for people to receive Christ.

Homes and Small Groups: Pray for God to reveal himself to your friends, family, and neighbors and then invite them into your home to watch a My Hope film. Share a meal together and then watch the program. Afterwards, share how you found hope in Christ, and invite them to pray to accept Christ into their lives.

Youth Groups: Plan a gathering for youth, show a My Hope film, have one or two prepared young people give their brief testimony, then give a clear invitation and lead in prayer to receive Christ.

Community Meetings: Several families can work together to invite friends, family and neighbors to a block party or similar event where the My Hope DVD and brief testimonies are shared, followed by an invitation to receive Christ.

Coffee Houses, Parks, Informal Gatherings: The My Hope films can be shown on a smart phone or tablet to two or three friends in any informal setting. Share your testimony— then kindly ask if they want to pray to receive Christ.

One of the men I have had the opportunity to mentor since 2003 is now mentoring others. Jerald an intentional soul winner who lives in Missouri recently shared with me how God continues to use him to mentor and train churches how to do intentional evangelism. His stories are a testimony that intentional evangelism, primarily door to door is still effective. Any why wouldn’t it be, Jesus used home visits as a means for reaching lost people and explain the kingdom truths to them.

Close observation over ten years has led me to conclude that we are living in an age of what I call “a generation of Christian skeptics and Nay-Sayers.” There are church leaders and ministers who hold the misconception that intentional evangelism does not work today. They said door to door doesn’t work anymore. That passing Gospel booklets do not work anymore. I say, they are not doing it enough to know or they are using the wrong approach. (See my book Breaking Evangelism Code for further study on this topic).

God has given the church biblical principles to use in evangelism, such as personal and mass evangelism. In Scripture, we read about Jesus going to people’s homes to make home visits, such as the home of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. We read about the Apostle Peter going to the home of Cornelius in Acts 10 to proclaim Jesus to a man and his family and the entire family was saved. Are those stories just for reading about historical accounts? Or are they biblical principles that we can apply today.

I recently heard from foreign missionaries who shared that they are doing door to door evangelism in foreign countries as well as passing out Gospel tracts. It works there very well. They have shared with me how they experience the same resistance but that does not deter them from practicing the biblical principles they learned from Scripture.

My friend share with me about a church, Celebration Church, a church plant, where he is mentoring the planter how to conduct doing door to Door evangelism in Kansas, and they are seeing people save. He was excited to about the fact the a handful of pastors and churches are still carrying out the biblical

He has also worked with a church in Nixa Missouri, the Bridge Church, they have conducted door to door evangelism. The results have been people coming to faith in Christ. According to Jerald they led one lady to faith in Christ Jesus, who told them if they had not come to her home, she would probably have never known about Christ.

Jerald is mentoring a couple of young pastors how to conduct not only door to door evangelism but how to engage people in public places, like restaurants. He told me about a waitress he had prayed for during one visit.  Victoria is a waitress. He prayed for her friend who had lost their baby. And that seem to comfort her. A month, he was back in town and they visit the same establishment. Victoria remembered Jerald. She thanked him for praying for the friend. It happened that two young pastors were with Jerald so he introduced Victoria to them. Now, she knows two pastors from two churches. Now her receptivity level soared and her probability of going to church.

Jerald also mentioned the value of prayerwalking the communities in preparation for evangelizing the people. Because of the cold weather and deep snow, he decided to printed maps of areas they want to evangelize when the weather clears up. They are praying over the homes by map. So when weather does improve, then will physically go into area to prayerwalk the streets and homes.

He has coordinated some senior adults to pray over the residents of the homes using the maps. He said they can’t go out in the bad weather but they can pray.

One thing that saddens him is that people are scared to death about going door to door to evangelize neighborhoods. He took one seminary student out. When the young lady was told their assignment was to go door to door sharing the Gospel, she cried. She was scared to death. Can you imagine that anyone would be scared of telling lost people on the way to hell how they can miss hell by trusting in Jesus? It is human nature to fear. But God does not give a spirit of timidity and fear but of power (2 Timothy 1:7) The Apostle Paul asked for prayer so he would be bold to speak the truth. (Ephesians 6:19)

Why do we doubt that a method, a principle, we find in Scripture would not work? It is skepticism? It is disobedience? Or maybe we think through our own genius we have found a better way than what God has given us? Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have taught you.” Matthew 28:19-20

I agree that there are many new ways to proclaim the Gospel. But the best way I have found is the one Jesus used, face to face, person to person, talking with people on a personal level. That is what really connects with people. Nothing speaks louder than someone looking you in the eyes and listening and having a conversation. Nothing works better that one person going to a total stranger and telling them that Jesus loves them so much He gave His life for them.