There are lots of ways to share our faith. Discover a few approaches.
Evangelism, while scary when attempted for the first time, can be done with many different approaches. In this Resolute Leadership Podcast, Vince Miller is joined by Bill Mast, director of Search Ministries in Minnesota, and a long time expert in the field of evangelism. Today hear as Bill and Vince discuss a few common approaches and how they are different.
This is resolute and the resolute leadership podcast. I’m Vince Miller. You’re founder and host, and today we’re in a series on evangelism discussing specifically the topic of types of evangelistic approaches.
Welcome to the program. If this is in fact, your very first time tuning in then thank you for joining us. Our mission at resolute is to disciple and developmental lead, so if you’re looking for content for your men’s group or men’s ministry, then you need to go to our website today at www.beresolute.org. Also, if you want to follow us, you can find us on all forms of social media. We would love to have you follow us on Facebook and if you’d like to listen along on a regular basis, of course, you can find us on every major feed including iTunes and SoundCloud. We’d love to have you follow us there, but now let’s dive in. Well, today we are joined by bill, Mass Bill Masters, a long time good friend of mine and also the team leader and director for Search Ministries in Minnesota. I would call Bill a master evangelist.
No, he might be humbled by those terms and, but that’s how I think of him. This guy has shared his faith effectively with lots of men over many years and today tradesman on how to do that. And so I’m just really excited to have him with us as we learn how to share our faith with other people. Bill, welcome to the show events. It is a delight to be here today. I’m excited to have you because, uh, in my mind you are the expert on evangelism, especially for men. I mean, I got to say, you know, leading search ministries is not an easy effort, especially in this area and I am sure that it can be challenging for men to really engage in an evangelistic activity. Uh, I’m sure you’ve bumped into a guy every once in awhile who was extremely scared of sharing their faith with other people, haven’t you?
Uh, more than one guy. I think it’s safe to say that most of us, including myself, have some fears with that. Don’t wait. We’re guys, we don’t like to be rejected. We don’t like to be seen as silly or stupid or weird, and so we’re all battling that. Yes.
Oh, I’d say we all battle it, but, you know, can we speak candidly to this? Like I think we live in a world today where it’s not just scary for us to do it. We’re afraid of what might happen, right? Yes. Uh, oftentimes as I’m teaching people how to share their faith, a question that does come up as, what if I get asked a question, I don’t know how to answer. And as such, people won’t venture into this realm, then they won’t start a spiritual conversation. They’re afraid of getting caught and they should have a good answer for their faith as I read in First Peter, right? Absolutely. It says ready to give a defense of why we believe what we believe, to give a reason for the hope that lies within them.
Right? Exactly. And so this can be challenging. So I want to ask you a few questions, especially in this podcast, just about different evangelistic approaches because there are all kinds of different ways to even approach it. So let’s just set fear aside for a moment and assume that we are ready to go. We’re ready to head out there. There are different ways that we can go about this, right?
You’re right. There are different ways and we see them in scripture. One perhaps that we’re most familiar with is known as proclamation evangelism. Billy Graham comes to mind, right? Or the crusade approach, sort of idea. I think a good example of that is is Peter in the book of Acts, the second chapter where he, upon being filled with the Holy Spirit, they kind of spill outside their door, the upper room and go out into the streets of Jerusalem and proclaim the good news and we see a great response. Don’t we on that on the day of Pentecost. So you’re right that there are different styles. That’s one. What else do we have? A second style is often called confrontational evangelism. I learned that when I was in campus ministry. Oftentimes it’s stranger to stranger. I’m confronting someone. I may just come up and start a conversation. Sometimes we think of street evangelism and that is confrontational by the way.
I have some very, very good friends who do that on regular basis and God bless them, they, they are really seeing effective work with that. It’s not something I’m all that comfortable with, but they’re doing great things with it. Yeah. So some, some people can actually be effective with it. I mean, it’s not my preferred approach, and it doesn’t sound like it’s necessarily yours.
Correct. But we can be effective with it. Yes. And uh, and we see examples in scripture of that is who is, it’s Philip who comes upon the Ethiopian Eunuch. He just approaches, doesn’t know this person comes right up to the chariot and hey, what are you reading? Right? You’re paraphrasing, but he’s reading from the book of Isaiah and he doesn’t get it. Then he, so that would be considered confrontational. Comes up to a stranger and explains the good news and leads us man to Christ.
Yeah, that’s really good. I, you know, I think sometimes we have these inhibitions about evangelism because of that method though, don’t we? Like sometimes we see people engage in that style and because maybe it’s not our preference, it puts people out, but I would say it’s, you know, that’s a simple problem solving, a kind of approach to caring about another person as long as we’re not hurting them. Right? Confrontational can be a good method. And I liked the example of the Ethiopian Eunuch because while confrontational, it’s still loving, right? We’re still loving the person. We’re not hating them. We’re not yelling at them, we’re not calling them foolish or anything, right? We’re just helping them along. It’s just a different style or a different approach. You mentioned there was another one though.
Another style is sometimes simply called friendship evangelism or relational evangelism. So think of a friend of a friend visiting with people that we know, finding common ground with those in our workplace, our neighborhood, the people that we coach, little league soccer with, people that we know and already have a trusted relationship with. So, uh, it’s, it’s how I came to faith and, and I know in your background if I recall a relative influence use. So, someone, you knew in my case, it was in college to friends, came alongside me, uh, were intentional. They were not confrontational. I would call it intentional. They befriended me, they asked me good questions, and then they started to answer my questions from the scripture. Yeah, that’s a good example of friendship evangelism and they lead and they lead me to Christ eventually.
You know, I, I like these approaches, Bill. So like I’m thinking about you though, and you’ve done from my standpoint, a good job at kind of laying out at least three approaches. There could be more, you know, in scripture, obviously we see all these different kinds of approaches, but you see these approaches and you have done, I think, a really good job from my perspective of deploying all three at different points.
Like I actually think that you, you, you mean, you may say that you’re not confrontational, but I think you’re good at exhortation. You know, you’re good at saying, but that’s not the way it is or. But there is another perspective. You’ve done that with me before. And, uh, I would say that you’re also good at the proclamation style because you’re very well versed in God’s Word. So I’ve seen you do that as well. Stand up and share your faith with other people or proclaim the good news, right? I’ve seen you do that. And then finally, this relational style or this friendship style, of course, that’s probably the one you deploy the most though. Would you not say? Oh, very much. So why do you choose that one is your preference?
Well, uh, one, uh, I’m more comfortable doing that. I feel I’m more gifted in that area – A Plus. I want to be involved in people’s lives that I’m with on a regular basis. Uh, we like to say that evangelism is a process and God is responsible for the results will, if it’s a process, I’d like to be at the beginning of that process when a conversation first starts, continue that process and be there hopefully prayerfully at the end where I can have a part in seeing that person come to faith in Christ and really participate in that whole process and that best works in someone that you’re going to be around, right? It doesn’t necessarily happen in the other forms of evangelism and God bless those neither Uri or denigrating those. God has used him and continues to use them. I liked the idea of a being with a neighbor that I’m going to be around perhaps for years and see them come to faith in Christ and use myself and others in that process.
Yeah, so when I think now I’m starting to categorize people and I’m hearing your preferences starting to think of, yeah, a proclamation is probably something where we invite somebody to church and they hear a proclamation of the Gospel and a preacher from the platform does that. So it lacks a little bit of that relationship, confrontational, of course in my mind, all I see as a bullhorn and the guy’s standing on a street corner, right? But, but, uh, and that lacks relationship but can be effective. And then this relational approach means, look, I’m going to invest some serious time. Right? And I hear you say too that we’re not choosing to denigrate those other models, right? Because they can be effective and there are times when all three can come together because hopefully even in a relationship were proclaiming the Gospel. We’re not avoiding the gospel and just living it.
We’re proclaiming it. But, uh, this is, it forces us to think through what another person might need to hear at different points in time. And when you say it’s a process, not just a method, it’s a process and an experience for a person. We get the great joy of being in a divine process that God has control of and we have to keep our antenna up for what God may be doing in a given moment. And when I don’t have to think about just a method, I think about a process, I get to join in with what God is doing and kind of look for what he’s doing. Right. That’s a great way to say advanced. Cause if I, if I develop a friendship with a neighbor, I want to get to know them. I want to find the things that they enjoy and move into their life.
I want to have them in my home. I want to be in their home and I get to learn so much about them. And there’s gonna be some times where we’re going to have spiritual conversations, but times when we don’t, right? We just go out and play golf and hang out on the golf course. When we talk about our game and maybe our families and we’re just getting to know one another. That’s part of the process as I see it. So this person is comfortable being around me hopefully, and that they know every time I show up, I’m not going to be pounding them as they write, see it. Right. But it really is a friendship that’s developed and they get to know me and they see my weaknesses as well, and I’m going to know what theirs are. Plus, I also haven’t got an in to know what their barriers are to the gospel.
Right, exactly. And learn over time, you know, I was a part of Young Life as you know, and I know you were a part of Campus Crusade for Christ now called Cru, I think, um, and very different styles of evangelism, right? I think actually Cru it did. A group has done a great job of really embracing a variety of different styles of evangelism over the years. And while there are all sorts of different styles, the challenges to doing something with our hands. You know, there’s a couple of verses I wrote down here that I think kind of stretches between two poles, right? The first one is Psalm 56, verses three through four, which reads when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you, in God whose word I praise in God, I put my trust. I shall not be afraid. What can a mere mortal man do to me?
So on one side of the fence, I think we’re afraid of doing anything right. Sometimes we forget. We got this big guy behind us. On the other hand, there are 2 Timothy 1 verses 7-8, which reads, for God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and of love and a discipline, therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me, his prisoner, but joined with me and suffering for the Gospel according to the power of God. I love those two words because really at the end of it all, this comes down to us opening up our life and opening up some courage, living between the fear and the boldness that we have an understanding that God is behind us because it’s his word and it’s his life that he wants the world to know about. He just wants us to join in with him through the process. As we begin to close down our time today, what? What actionable would you give guys today? Listening on the other side of the mic, just as they’re listening today, what is something that they could do today to begin to expand the gospel well in other people’s lives?
I think a great starting point is just to simply make a list of the people in our lives that either we’re pretty certain they don’t know Christ or we just don’t know where they are with the Lord or uncertain. Make a list. It could be 2 people, 4 people, 10 people, whatever that list is. It could be something you put on your smartphone. It could be something that we actually write out, but make a list of people that we have regular contact with and begin praying for them. Collagen’s for is a great starting point where Paul, the Apostle Paul asked for prayer as he ministers to outsiders and he prays for open doors with those outsiders, meaning those who don’t yet know Christ. So, uh, that’s, that’s the action point. Start praying for people. Yeah. Just like literally as you’re driving today, you can think of somebody or as you’re walking along today or did you go to work? You can think of somebody that does not know Christ and begin to pray for them, identify and specifically pray for them. Bill, I love that. Thanks so much for being with us today
and that’s the show. Thanks for listening guys. As we close, I want to give you two incredible opportunities. The first one is this, Bill mast, a team leader for search ministries, Minnesota. Each year puts on one or two straight talk and breakfast and these breakfasts or opportunity for us as men together around round tables to be served a plated breakfast and to allow us the opportunity to invite non-believing friends to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel here in a couple of months. They’re featuring Jay Warner Wallace. He is an American homicide detective and a Christian apologist. Now imagine putting those two things together. He has authored several books including cold case Christianity and God’s crime scene in which he applies principles of cold case homicide investigation, too, apologetic concerns such as things like does God really exist, and what is the actual reliability of the gospels. You will be mesmerized by this guy, not just as a Christian, but by the opportunity to bring a non-believing friend with you, to hear from this man as he presents a clear case for the Gospel and for Jesus Christ.
If you are interested in all in coming to this and bringing believing friends with you, it would greatly benefit you and these friends lives. You can find more out about this event www.beresolute.org, forward slash search. Just type in the word search after our domain name and you’ll find all the information there and you can actually register an also, as we close, I want to remind you that we got great content for you, your men and your men’s group. Uh, you can find this all at our website, be resolute.org. And guys, I hope you enjoy this podcast today, but please know that the time that we spent together is worthless unless you act on it. You just have to do something with it. Pray for our friend. Invite a friend of this incredible event, but do something today by getting off the bench and into the game, and I’ll see you right back here next time for another edition of the resolute podcast.