In the last post, we discussed the power of listening to others. In order to truly understand where people are at, we need to ask them questions; give them a chance to tell us what’s on their hearts. Once we know the questions in their minds or the stance that they may take on certain subjects, then we have an amazing opportunity to meet them where they’re at and lead them to a lasting relationship with Jesus Christ.
The problem comes when we don’t know enough about the Scriptures to be able to adequately answer their concerns. Sure, most Christians know the basic Scriptures that spell out the path to salvation: John 3:13, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23. But what happens when the person you are trying to witness to brings up a subject or an objection that has nothing to do with the plan of salvation that you have memorized.
For example, let’s say that after a wonderful heart to heart conversation, the person to whom you’re trying to witness brings up a tough question: “If God is so loving, why does he let bad things happen to people who haven’t done anything wrong?”
This is by no means an easy question to answer, let alone use it to lead someone to the Lord. But if your answer to the question is, “Well the Bible says that everyone is a sinner, and that the wages of that sin is death.”
To this answer, the person then says, “So you’re saying that my wife died of cancer because she was a sinner?”
Not only have you now offended this person, but you may have lost that soul instead of saving it. There’s no point in meeting people where they’re at if we are unprepared to take it any further than that. We need to be in the Word.
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Roman 1:16 ESV)
The Word of God has the power to lead anyone to Christ. As my amazing pastor has said, “Perhaps what we need to say has already been said…by God.”
It’s so important that we are in the Word every single day so that we can be ready to answer any question that people may pose for us. (1 Peter 3:15) And it’s not just enough to say, “Well the Bible says…..” We need to be specific. We should be able to direct people to the exact place in Scripture that backs up what we are saying, and preferably be able to give them the context of the Scripture as well.
But remember–and this is incredibly important–if you don’t know the answer, don’t give one. It’s ok to admit that you don’t know the answer to a question. One of the worst things you can do is give someone the wrong answer to an important question. Likewise, an answer that lacks authenticity can drive a person away. People are looking for the truth. They don’t want some sugar-coated Gospel that tells them what they want to hear.
In order to witness to people, we must be able to ask the questions that will help us meet them where they’re at. But we must prepare ourselves to take it from there. And the best way to prepare is to know the Word of God. Studying is great, but we need to cement the Word in our minds so that we can recall the necessary Scriptures when the moment calls for it. Give yourself a goal, maybe one verse or passage a week. Don’t try to win people with your words when the Word of God is more than able to handle the job.