July 2010

How Many Different Ways to Christ? - Chris Walker

“When I was 8 years old, I was invited to a bible camp for kids.”
“My father helped me see my need for Jesus and I put my trust in Him.
“A friend invited me to church, and after a few weeks, I responded to the message.”
“I had a mystical encounter with God.  A few weeks later, I learned I needed to follow Jesus to know this God.”
“I met a group of Christians.  After watching them for a while, I wanted what they had.”
“A missionary team from another country was doing drama at the park where I was hanging out.  What they said touched my soul.”
“When I was 10, I was lying in bed one night after reading my bible, and I decided I needed to follow Jesus.”
“I talked with a friend about how to find forgiveness and he told me how it was found in Jesus.”
“I had coffee with a pastor and asked him how to find unconditional love.  He described the love of God for me and all I desperately wanted to do was to know that love.”

Spiritual Journey
The above list is just a sample of stories of people that I know.

Last night, while leading a bible study on evangelism, I heard 8 different stories of how people came to faith in Jesus and started to follow him.

·         An invitation to church.

·         A message at a camp / conference center.

·         A mystical encounter with God.

·         Restlessness in the soul that prompted more discussion.

These key events came through contact with family members, with friends, and with random strangers. 

·         Diversity of stories.

·         Diversity of means.

·         Diversity of gospel explanations.

·         Diversity of responses.

With such diversity, how do you DO evangelism training?

As I listened to those stories, I saw 5 themes that give us some guidance in how we might do evangelism training for members of a local church.

1.  Find the spiritual thirst.
People experience spiritual thirst as that restlessness in the human heart that drives a person to seek God, seek out answers about God, and search to encounter God personally.

In listening to those stories that night, there were a variety of expressions of that thirst. 

Evangelism Skill:  How can we help our members discover and describe their own spiritual thirst that led them initially to seek God? 

Evangelism Skill:  How can we train others to listen for a person’s spiritual thirst?

 2.  Be part of the process of evangelism.
Each story reflected a journey that took months, sometimes years before coming to a place of faith. 

Evangelism Skill:  How can we help people know their own journeys and become comfortable in talking about God’s work in their life?

Evangelism Skill:  How can we train others to discern where a person is in the process of their journey to Jesus, as well as discover how to help a person make another step forward?

3.  Identify significant moments in the process.
Each story had more than one key turning point in the discovery of God.

Each story had more than one significant person who did something impactful or asked one significant key question that cleared up a misconception about God.

It might have been: 

·         A conversation.

·         A sermon.

·         An invitation to a church or event.

·         Life circumstances.

·         Late night musings over deep issues. 

Evangelism Skill:  How can we help our members describe those key moments in their own journey to Christ?

Evangelism Skill:  How can we recognize these divine appointments to help a person move one step closer to faith in Christ?

4.  Simple Gospel presentation connected to that thirst.
As we dug into the stories, each person responded to a different message, anchored in the basic elements of the gospel. 

The beauty of the Christian gospel is that it appeals to our spiritual thirst.

But each heard a presentation that was structured, clear, and spoke directly to their need.

Evangelism Skill:  How can we lead people into remembering the presentation that helped them come to faith?  What were the key elements that connected with their spiritual thirst?

Evangelism Skill:  How can we help people grow in their confidence to simply explain the gospel that fits the context of a person’s spiritual thirst?

5. The influence of friends and family members.
Each story seemed to have friends or family members who played a significant part in the process of evangelism.   A few were “chance” encounters with strangers, but a majority of these people were influenced by people around them. 

Evangelism Skill:  How can we help our members identify those key people in their own journey to Christ?

Evangelism Skill:  How can we intentionally become people of significant spiritual influence for those around us?

Helping our church members develop these 5 skills can increase their passion for personal evangelism, as well as lower the fear level that many of them feel.  

Imagine the impact on your church’s transformation if her people would more confidently share their faith in Christ with their friends and peers! 

Intentional evangelism training is a tool to make that happen.


Chris Walker is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is the principal writer for Evangelism Coach (  He has studied evangelism and church growth ever since working for a Billy Graham crusade over 20 years ago, and has led countless training seminars throughout North and South America in many different denominations.

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