What if I told you that right now there are three, and possibly even four people groups you can influence to heaven? You are probably thinking, I do not know how to preach, I have never been a teacher, and half the things in the Bible still go over my head. How can I influence anyone to faith in christ?
Yes, I have been there, sitting the sidelines, desiring to get in the game, but not having the confidence to leap out there. I will be totally honest with you, I have never been a great relationship communicator. If it were not for the ministry I would prefer to be a mountain man somewhere GPS devices could not even find. What? you’re a pastor, a missionary, how could you even say such a thing!
All of us face fears, this is life as we know it. The fear of putting yourself out there. The fear of the ALL POWERFUL NO (has no power at all and we will deal with this later in another post)!
But did you know you have people waiting right now to hear what you have to say? Did you know there are people in your life at this very moment, that are on a preverbal seesaw on whether or not they should accept this Jesus stuff everyone is talking about? And, did you know that you alone may be that one deciding factor that will enable them to chose the path of destruction or the path of life?
I remember the I was sitting in church one Sunday morning, and the song director asked us to sing the song “Almost Persuaded.” Now, I had sung that song probably thousands of times and I never impacted my life until that day. That day, this song haunted my life as I thought, “how many people in my life were almost persuaded?” and “How many of those people, could I have made an impact on their final decision?”
I realized that day, this day that will be forever embedded in my mind, that I was going to do whatever it took to become a soul winner. I researched in books, got my hands on DVD’s, I read articles (this was pre-web, so no blogs yet). I determined that not only was I going to win souls but I would teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2)!
This is the Benefit to You!
There are three, and possibly four people groups, right now, in your life that can be influenced and won by the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is in you. I am assuming that you are reading this because you (like me back then hearing that song) truly have a desire to see people saved. So here it is, the short list of those you personally can influence for the Gospel with nothing but a few scriptures and what God has done in your PERSONAL life!
STOP, before you go any further, you need to realize one thing…
Your Testimony is your most valuable player. Yes, you are your own MVP! People who listen to you in these circles, do not want to hear how God saved Johasaphat Jones, 28 years prior to the 2nd world war, they want to hear what God has done for you! It took me a long time to realize that I cannot get a job with someone else’s resume, and I cannot win a soul with someone else’s life testimony (alone) either. I need to share the one person’s testimony that I know 100% (because I was there) and that mine.
Three People Groups you can Influence:
You probably guessed it by now, the first group is your personal friends.
This Group is so close to my heart, as the very first person I introduced to the Creator, was at that time my closest friend. I was thinking the same thing you may be thinking right now …
“He knows me …”
This may not seem like a big deal to some, but for those of us saved later in life … well, lets just say have probably done some things (bad things) that no are longer important cause they are now under the blood. Many of your friends were probably with you in your darkest moments, and this may be deterring your witness with things running in your head like “…he does know half the things I have done …” Let me tell you, yes they do know what you were, they weep with you! They also know you have changed … That’s right they know you’re different now. As Christ said our salvation is like a candle, and even we try to hide it, it’s going to show forth like the burning bush to Moses! This is powerful. Because they have seen the change, even if you think you have not changed that much, trust me they know. This is why you are the MVP here! The man for the job! Your testimony is a peer house to their should, the light they need in their life, and the true words of Christ to lead them to the salvation of God.
2) People you serve.
This Group is the easiest ones on the list if you are willing toward for them. What’s the price of a soul? How much time would you put into an investment, knowing that if you put that time in, it was going to reward you without fail? We are going to talk about planting seeds in a later post, but for now what I want you to know is, any time you talk to someone about the creator, you have already won! That’s right,just by sharing the salvation message, even if it’s a hundred times and no one responds, you have already won just by showing up! While I do not like presenting that philosophy to my kids in regards to sports and life, it applies here, because of its ultimately not our work, but God doing His work through us!
So you may be asking what does serving have to do with anything you just said? Everything. How do you truly meet people you have never met, and present them with a life changing presentation? By offering them something for their time! People are so, and too much so busy, in today’s age. gone are the days of sitting into park feeding pigeons, we are all in the rush today. What I want you to do is sit down and think about 3 things that you have to stop and use the time to accomplish. Guess what, others do as well. Whether its exercise, laundry, eat or go to the park with the kids, we all have things that stop us and slow us down. We as soul winners have to be aware of these things, and capitalize on them!
Here is an example of what we did in one of our church plants. We did laundry. That’s right, we washed people’s dirty clothes for them. This was the biggest blessing I have received since I was on the mission field. How far would you walk if someone had a basket full of your unmentionables? You’re right we slowed them down long enough to talk to them. This is nothing new, Jesus did this almost everywhere He went. He met a physical need to meet a spiritual one. Are you starting to see it? we will talk more about the giving ministries in a later post, but we must give to give.
3) Acquaintances, the people you know but you don’t know.
You know these people, you may even see them quite often, but really do not know anything abut them. I call acquaintances, my future friends. In order to witness to them, you have to converse with them. What, I do not have anything in common with them? I actually had someone tell me this while teaching this course. Trust me beloved, if you see them this much, there is some magnet drawing you into the same places at the same time. Whether it be at work, or a social gathering, you are probably there for the same or similar reason.
One example if this, was when I was at a friend party. Trust when I say I used that word loosely because it was more that our wives knew each other and so we were invited. I saw a man sitting off o the side and I started to think, I keep seeing this man at these events. Now this is where the Holy Spirit is stepping in whispering your ear. So, I started watching, and sure enough at the next one, he was there, sitting in the same corner. Then after the third time, I saw him, same place, same corner sitting all alone. This time, I approached him and simply said, “So, your wife made you come too, huh?” That simple phrase and we both started hanging out at these things, and to make a long story short, he became a very faithful friend and church member down the line.
The biggest thing with this group is, be aware of everything! You may not get to approach them on the first or even the second encounter, but when the time is right, another soul in heaven!
The fourth and final group we need to be cautioned about, but still a bit bold …
4) Your Family
While your voice resonates with this group, they may never see you as the person you are, but rather often times see yours the person you were. Our families have a tendency to view us in the past tense. This may not be the case with you, and only you know that it is with the majority of people.
This is why often times, we sit in a dining room with the family, and the subject of “remember when” comes up. Families are geared to historical pasts. even Jesus struggled with this, “A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” In Mark 6, where Jesus said this, we see a struggle between family and faith.
So now you are probably asking, “Why on earth did he add this to the list then?” Great question and the answer is because of the history of the scriptures and personal experience. We see the brothers (or the kin) mentioned here, become not only believers but the authors of two of my most beloved books of the Bible, James, and Jude. They were saved and became ultimately instrumental to the case of their brother Jesus, and to our faith. I also witnessed a very dear friend of our family, who had been praying for his parents as long as I can remember, and I was able to see after many years of himself and thousands around the world praying for them, come to know their Creator.
In close, I hope this has helped you to get to know the four groups you have witness at this very moment, and I want you to develop a prayer time and possible a prayer team that will empower you to reach them with the Gospel, and introduce the Creatures you know, to the Creator you know!