REACHING THE LOST – STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
By Rob Whitacre
Providing directions requires two essential parts. First, you must know the person’s destination. Second, you need to know the person’s current location. As with our Father, we want everyone to have the desire for Heaven as their destination (2 Peter 3:9), but the directions we provide will depend upon each person’s current location. If you are traveling to Nashville, Tennessee, the directions given depend upon the departing city. The directions from Dallas, Texas, will differ significantly from those starting in New York.
Those who do not believe in God have a different starting point than those who do believe. Those who question the authenticity of the Bible cannot begin with a study that assumes the student accepts its Divine authority. Those who do not know Christ or perhaps deny His deity are not starting at the same place as those who do.
People may say they accept God, the Bible, and Christ, but they may not have accepted the truth about God and Jesus as shown in the Bible. Religious confusion is difficult to unravel, and many times, those who are confused do not even know it. Learning their salvation story is essential to providing the right direction. Are they saved? How were they saved? When were they saved? Have they been baptized? How were they baptized? Were they saved before or after the baptism?
Honesty is vital; getting honest answers becomes more difficult after someone learns the truth. There is a tendency to change one’s answer to align with the truth after the fact. Therefore, the questions found in the religious survey should be asked at the beginning. Here are a few suggestions from some experienced evangelists on how to administer these questions.
● Read the questions several times and become familiar with them.
● Make the questions conversational rather than like a test.
● Include examples of your answers in the discussion/questions.
● Repeat their answers to ensure accuracy.
● Look for specific facts and ask follow-up questions to get them.
● Have your silent partner write down their answers on the survey.
● Be prepared to adjust your study if the answers require it.
● Keep the survey for use later if needed.
Our religious survey is in the Evangelism Simplified Guidebook, Evangelism Visualized, and the Back to the Bible Green Bookmark. Those who have access to our online website can also download the survey. Spend time practicing your technique and be ready to begin the Bible study.