Our church is finishing up a sermon series called “Wildfires.” The purpose of the series was to light a fire inside of Christians and motivate them to go out into the world and win people for Christ. It was incredibly inspirational and convicting to me. So I wanted to take a few posts and hit on some of the highlights of the series and present them here for you, as I believe these are some great points that all Christians should think about. From a recent sermon comes a quote from my amazing pastor, Darrin Ronde. “You need to know what’s in people’s hearts before they know what’s in your head.”
This statement was made to emphasize the power of questions in evangelism. Sometimes, we as Christians, and I especially mean myself here, come with prepared sermons that we have just been waiting for a chance to preach. So instead of listening to people and meeting them where they’re at, we tend to launch right in to the gospel message, usually leading off with the fact that everyone is a sinner and in need of a savior. But in Acts chapter 8, Philip to a different approach in his witnessing to the Ethiopian eunuch.
“Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ The man replied, ‘How can I, unless someone instructs me?’ And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.” (Acts 8:30-31 NLT)
Philip didn’t just launch into a pre-made evangelistic approach. He didn’t recite anything from a script. He simply asked a question. The eunuch was already reading from the book of Isaiah and Philip simply asked if he understood what he was reading. That simple question helped him to see where the eunuch was at that moment in time. This has such an important application in our lives. We need to take the time to find out where people are. We need to discover what questions are in their hearts and then take it from there.
For example, if a friend of yours comes with you to church, after the service you could start with a questions like, “So, what did you think of what the pastor preached?” Or if your friend or acquaintance is commenting on the sad state of the world with all the crime and corruption, maybe you could ask a question like, “Why do you think there’s all this crime?” or “What do you think the solution for all the crime is?”
I’m sure that you can tailor your questions based on your friends and their reactions to certain topics. But the point is, don’t just launch into a sermon. Ask questions. Find out where people are and the questions on their hearts and address that. They don’t care how many Scriptures you have memorized and how much stuff you know and how many random Bible facts you can spout. But if you take the revelation that they’ve given you and meet them at that spot, then you have a chance of connecting with them on a deep level and a realistic chance of leading them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Don’t underestimate the power of questions in your evangelistic efforts.