How to minister to the ungodly: Fifth, be effective. Initiate, inquire, invest, and influence.
- Initiate: Make contact. Start a conversation. Be winsome. Let the love of God be shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost.
- Generally, you won't change anything. You'll initiate by talking about hobbies, interests, things you have in common, backgrounds, work, family members, current issues, religion, or whatever. If Jesus is really part of your life, that will naturally come out in your speech.
- Inquire: Care about others.
- Question statements, sarcasm, and rhetorical questions. Only answer honest questions.
- Even though you may know that a person is affiliated with a certain type of belief system, you do not know what that person believes until they tell you. Whoever answers a matter before hearing it, it is a folly and a shame to him. Proverbs 18:13 There is a lot of variation out there. The carnal mind can go anywhere.
- If they make untrue statements, hear them out. Ask how they know that statement is true. When they tell you how they know, they will give a basis. When they give a basis, ask how they know that--how can they be so sure that their basis is solid? They will answer with the basis of the basis. Ask how they know that that answer is valid. Continue to drill down to understand their reasoning until they become less emphatic or even questioning. What makes them so sure? Ask if you can see their data and research? With a person who depends on anything but revelation from God, you will eventually get down to the point where they either use circular reasoning or just become irrational. With many of the Eastern Religions, Mormonism, New Age, UFO Cults and some other false religions, you may find that they actually have powerful demons (spirit guides) speaking to them and telling them things. This is a form of revelation, but demons lie with enough true facts mixed in to make the lie sound plausible. Make every effort to avoid embarrassing the ungodly person when it becomes apparent that they are not being rational. Give them respect. Protect their dignity. They are creations of the Almighty, All-wise, God. Avoid "you" talk. Don't say, "You are wrong." It might be better to start something like: "Would you like to know the way that I see this? Avoid saying, "I disagree, and here is why..." Instead, say, "Would you be willing to hear my thoughts on this?" Don't let yourself be tempted into saying something like, "You aren't really making any sense." A better approach would be, "Help me to understand that." Rather than pointing out, "You have violated the rules of logic," try, "So are you saying (paraphrase back what they just said in a way that makes the violation of logic clearly visible)?"
- If they become aggressive or angry, draw them out. This is a spiritual battle, and the spirit of the ungodly will try to project itself on you. Don't allow yourself to be drawn out of the anointing and love of God. Listen rather than argue. Ask clarifying questions. If you look to Jesus, He will ask questions through you that help to get the unbeliever to to the place that Christ wants for unbeliever at this time.
- Invest: Invite them for a meal, a home sing-along, or a Bible study. Pray for them when they have problems or are sick. If they have a sick child, ask if you can come to their home to pray for the child's healing. Help them in any way that you can. Show them love.
- Influence: After you have listened, you can ask, "Would you like to know my reasoning for believing (your view of whatever you have been discussing).
- Conversation goes back and forth. You can guide it with questions. Don't ask tons of questions without telling what you are thinking. Don't talk for long periods of time. A single thought that takes 10 second is plenty before asking another question.
- Focus on Jesus, not yourself.
- If you are verbally attacked, don't bother defending yourself. Focus on Jesus. You can even say that you are nothing but Jesus is everything.
- This cannot be effective if you allow Satan to trick you into getting upset? If you yield to Satan, you will minister the wrong Spirit.
- Have confidence that God will give you a word to say. If you don't know what to say, then listen until God gives you a word. When God gives you a word, say it.
- Concentrate on what Christ does in you and in His Church today. Concentrate on God's awesome power today. No one wants to hear a sermon, but people will tend to listen if you talk about your experience with Christ. It is often much more effective to tell of experiences, yours and other people's, rather than trying to explain philosophically or theoretically. People can understand what happened to other people and then apply it to their own lives. Emotional or competitive intellectual debates are seldom helpful to anyone.
- Transitional questions and statements:
- What is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you?
- Would you consider yourself to be a spiritual person or are you still in the process? What does that mean?
- Do you ever think about spiritual things?
- Have you ever thought about eternity?
- Have you ever thought about death?
- Have you ever thought about how everything came into existence?
- Do you ever think about God? ... heaven? ... prayer?
- What about heaven and hell?
- Do you know what will happen when you die? Will you go to heaven or hell? How do you know that?
- In response to something that they say, you can use something like this: "I have a similar view, but..."
- So they say that they believe that aliens are watching over us and will one day return when we are ready. "I have a similar view except that I believe that Jesus is watching over me, He speaks with me daily and leads me and protects me, and He will one day return for me."
- Ask questions like this:
- Are you interested in knowing what I believe and why?
- Would you like to hear how I came to follow Jesus?
- Would you like to know about my person experience with Christ?
- Give your testimony
- What your life was like before Christ came in. No need to go into detail on any sin. Emphasize loneliness, lack of purpose, no hope, or whatever you had. Emphasize that your own problems are part of the problem caused by sin being in the world.
- Talk about how you came to know Jesus. If you tell your story, some people can just relate to it. You may not remember accepting Christ if you did so at a very young age, but you are bound to have had many life-changing moments when God brought you to a higher level. You can say that you don't remember receiving Christ, but then tell about how Christ has led you and changed your life.
- Tell how your life has changed, how it is now. Emphasize the personal relationship with Christ, His leading moment by moment, that you are learning and growing every day.
- Use Acts 22:3-16 as an example that you can follow.
- Your personal experience has four wonderful elements. It has authority. Though some may argue against it, they cannot do so without being irrational. It is irrational to tell someone that they are not experiencing what they are experiencing unless you can present hard evidence. It communicated the Spirit of Christ. When you speak of these things and allow the Holy Spirit to flow through you, you can sense the Holy Spirit and so can they. People can relate to a testimony. It is very powerful and God has always used testimony for His work.
- This is true whether speaking to a person who has never met Christ or speaking to a Christian and showing them that there is more available in Christ Jesus than they have discovered so far.
- It would be a good idea to write down your testimonies. Write down the various times that God has moved in your life and what changed and how you feel about it. Once you have written this down, it focuses you and makes the memory of it more clear.
- Ask questions like this: Would you like to receive God's forgiveness and His gift of eternal life?
- Ask questions like this: Would you like me to pray with you that Jesus would come into your life?
- If they are not receptive, ask if they are open-minded enough that if God were to make Himself real to them that they would be able to receive Him. Ask them if you could pray for them. They will probably say yes. Pray that God would make Himself real to them and that He would give them the ability to believe Him and to trust Him.
Last updated: Jan, 2012
How to Minister/Witness
Fifth, Be Effective
Toons & Vids
How to minister to the ungodly: First, draw near to God.
How to minister to the ungodly: Second, discern Christ the Body.
How to minister to the ungodly: Third, understand faith.
How to minister to the ungodly: Fourth, Pray
How to minister to the ungodly: Fifth , be effective
How to minister to the ungodly: Sixth, Don't get bogged down.
Answer to Critic
Appeal to Possibility
Argument to the Future
Love Between a Man and Woman
Righteousness & Holiness
Proof by Atheism
Scriptures About Marriage
The Reason for Rejecting Truth
Witness on the Internet
Flaky Human Reasoning
How Do You Know?
The Real Purpose of the Church
The Real Purpose of Life
From Glory to Glory
REAL Faith--What it IS & IS NOT
REAL Love--What it IS & IS NOT
How to be Led by God
How to Witness
Wisdom: Righteousness & Reality
Holiness & Mind/Soul
Redemption: Free From Sin
Stories Versus Revelation
Circular Reasoning-Who is Guilty?
How Can We Know Anything?
Mind Designed to Relate to God
Answers for the Confused
Fossil Record Says: "Creation"
Avoid These Pitfalls
Public School's Religion
Public School Failures
How can we know anything about anything?
That's the real question