Michael Colunga (28 Sep 2011)
"Best Practices for Witnessing"

 
Hello, John and Doves,
 
I don't know if I sent this to 5 Doves when I wrote it on Sept. 9, 2011.
 
Well, here goes...
 

Best Practices for Witnessing

 

Use witnessing to communicate essential facts.

        “When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.  For I decided while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.”

                        1 Corinthians 2:1-2  NLT

 

By choosing an appropriate method for your message, your communications will be more effective.

        “When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ.  Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.”

                        1 Corinthians 9:22-23a  NLT

 

ü   Before initiating serious gospel communication, secure some back-up [in the form of prayer partners], and (if you can spare the time) say a quick prayer for yourself.

        “Ears to hear and eyes to see—both are gifts from the LORD.”

                        Proverbs 20:12  NLT

 

ü   First send the message to people that absolutely need to get it – follow a communications agenda prayerfully.

        “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.  It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.  This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight.  This is accomplished from start to finish by faith.  As the scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

                        Romans 1:16  NLT

 

ü   Think about who is standing in front of you and tailor your message accordingly.  [Acts chapter 2 (listeners with a background about what you are saying) versus Acts chapter 17(listeners with merely one or two points of common ground)]

 

ü   Include a meaningful subject line that gives a good description of your message.  God has put into every single culture at least one clear and ancient concept that points to Jesus Christ and His death as a propitiation for our sins.

 

1      “The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

                The skies display his craftsmanship.

2      “Day after day they continue to speak;

                night after night they make him known….

7      “The instructions of the LORD are perfect,

                reviving the soul.

        “The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy,

                making wise the simple.

8      “The commandments of the LORD are right,

                bringing joy to the heart.

        “The commands of the LORD are clear,

                giving insight for living.”

                    Psalm 19:(1-2 and 7-8)  NLT

 

ü   If the Holy Spirit prompts you to pray the sinner’s prayer with someone, remember,

        “While it is still called today, if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” [Hebrews 3:15  NLT] applies to all—believers and non-believers alike.

                       

ü   Place the most critical information at the beginning of your message; your recipient’s time is valuable.  There is no need to “pad” the Word of God, for it is written,

6      “The LORD’s promises are pure,

                like silver refined in a furnace,

                purified seven times over.

7      “Therefore. LORD, we know you will

                        protect the oppressed,

                preserving them forever from this

                        lying generation,

8      “even though the wicked strut about,

                and evil is praised throughout the land.”

                        Psalm 12:6-8  NLT

 

ü   When sending a single correspondence to multiple recipients in a witnessing team, clearly state what each person needs to do—be a great shepherd, like our Lord Jesus Christ.

        “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

                        John 10:27  NLT

 

When you’re listening to the other person…

ü   Read and respond as the Holy Spirit leads.

        “As many as are led by the Spirit of God,

                they are the sons of God.”

                        Romans 8:14  KJV

 

ü   Ask questions and pray on the move when you are unsure how to proceed.

        “…[B]e ye being filled by the Holy Spirit.”

                        Ephesians 5:18b (literally from the Greek)

 

ü   Keep short accounts with the LORD.

        “If we sin, we know we have an advocate with the Father.  He is Jesus Christ the righteous.”

                        1 John 2:1

        “If we confess our sins, then he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

                        1 John 1:9 KJV

 

ü   Make mental notes or a compact journal to keep your witnessing efforts organized.  Follow through accordingly as the LORD leads.

        “And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit prays for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.”

                        Romans 8:27 NLT

 

For “Broadcasting to Everyone”…

ü   Watch out for “Reply to all” syndrome.  Send replies to only relevant people.  Don’t shout in the marketplace if the Spirit is leading you towards a quiet conversation.

        “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with each other.  Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.  And don’t think you know it all!”

                        Romans 12:15-16  NLT

 

ü   Use visual illustrations and graphics only when necessary.  They can be perceived to be pretentious and can take a lot of focus off the LORD Himself.  Simply preach the gospel simply.

        “When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.  For I decided while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.”

                        1 Corinthians 2:1-2  NLT

         

ü   Instead of quoting scripture ad nauseum to the unschooled in the Word of God, carry a reader-friendly copy of the Word, and have your listener read the passage out loud.

        “So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

                        Romans 10:17

 

ü   Your unique delivery of the Eternal Gospel is your signature.

        “Let your godly conversation be known to all men.”

Philippians 4:5

 

ü   Your response to testing and God’s resultant grace to you is your testimony.

15    “The eyes of the LORD watch over

                        those who do right;

                his ears are open to their cries for help.

16    “But the LORD turns his face against

                        those who do evil;

                he will erase their memory from the earth.

17    “The LORD hears His people

                        when they cry to Him for help.

                He rescues them from all their troubles.

18    “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;

                he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

19    “The righteous person faces many troubles,

                but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.”

                        Psalm 34:15-19

 

ü   Set aside time to be with the LORD, to renew your spiritual batteries.

        “Remember your promise to me;

                it is my only hope.

        “Your promise revives me;

                it comforts me in all my troubles.”

                        Psalm 119:49-50

 

 

The bottom line:

Communication is a receiver phenomenon.

 

Baruch HaShem Yeshua Ha Mashiach,

Mike C.