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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

A Different Way to Share the Gospel

My background

I learned to share the Gospel with the Four Spiritual Laws, Evangelism Explosion, and a couple other approaches.

These all had their strengths, but I was not satisfied.

What I was looking for

I was looking for a Gospel-presentation that –

  • told a story — God’s work in history from Creation through Fall to Redemption and Restoration.
  • connected — with people in their longing for joy and heart-satisfaction
  • glorified God — as our highest joy and satisfaction
  • explained sin — not just as breaking commands, but also as turning from the God who is our joy — and that this turning  deserves God’s wrath
  • explained faith — not just as trusting Christ to save me from hell, but also as trusting Christ to bring me to God, who is fulness of joy
  • was Bible-based — had people read specific Scriptures
  • was conversational — not just a one-way speech, but which encouraged discussion
  • was relatively easy — did not require a lot of memorization for the one sharing.

What I found

I discovered an approach explained by William Fay in his book Share Jesus without Fear.

He uses 7 scriptures.  He opens to the first one, has the person read it, and then asks “what is that saying?”

After some discussion, he moves on to the second verse, and continues verse by verse until they finish discussing the seventh Scripture.

Why I liked that approach

It’s because it’s Bible-based, conversational, and relatively easy.

My church leaders did suggest a helpful change.  Many people are not comfortable reading out loud.  So my leaders suggested that after opening the Bible, we read each verse to the person as he or she looks at the page with us.

What Scriptures to use?

I wanted to find Scriptures that addressed the concerns I listed above.

So here’s the seven Scriptures I use –

Genesis 1:1 — “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

What is this saying?  That God created everything.

Psalm 16:11 — “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

What is this saying?  That full and never-ending joy is found in God’s presence.

Jeremiah 2:12-13 — “Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD,  for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

What is this saying?  That we have all sinned by turning from God — the only living water that will satisfy our thirsty souls.

Romans 1:18-21 — “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

What is this saying?  That God’s wrath is against us because we have turned from Him.

I Peter 3:18  — “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”

What is this saying?  That Jesus died for our sins, receiving God’s wrath in Himself, so we could be forgiven and brought to the all-satisfying joy of knowing God.

Acts 3:19 — “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.”

What is this saying?  That if I repent — turn from whatever else I have been trusting to satisfy me — and turn to trust Jesus — then because of Jesus’ death my sins will be blotted out.

John 7:37-38 — “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

What is this saying?  That if I believe in Jesus, He will satisfy my thirst with living water — the all-satisfying and eternal joy of knowing God.

What next?

If you have read each Scripture, and he understands each Scripture, you could ask –

  • Do you see that you can only be fully satisfied in knowing God?
  • Do you understand that you are under God’s wrath because you have turned from Him?
  • Do you see that Jesus died to pay for your sins and bring you to God?
  • Are you ready to repent and trust Jesus to save, direct, and satisfy you?

If he agrees with the above, lead him in prayer through each point.

Notes in the margin

To make this even easier, in the margin of Genesis 1:1 you could write the second Scripture and the page number on which it occurs — so you can know where to go next.

Do this for every Scripture — and you won’t need to worry about remembering all seven Scriptures in the proper order.

Feedback?  Thoughts?  Comments? 

I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to leave a reply below.

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Category: Help with Evangelism

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15 Responses

  1. Craig Forbes says:

    Steve,
    As usual, I love this post. I too have had multiple indoctrinations. The approach you post is a good one. Yet it is just an approach. Jesus used multiple approaches (street-corner, scripture thumping, preaching, dialogical, relational) and we can and should get comfortable with multiple. We need to be confident in being salt and light (a reflection) and also confident in the context. I thank you for your service in His kingdom and know this approach you’ve shared will get put to good use.
    Thank you my friend.
    For Him,
    Craig

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Craig.

      It’s helpful to have you mention that there are many helpful approaches — and that Jesus shared in many different ways. And of course what’s more important than the approach is humble hearts, love for the lost, and God’s saving grace.

      We are encouraging our people to start by learning one approach — and then to keep growing by adapting it to fit their personalities, and adding to it so they can do what will best connect in their specific situation.

      I’m so glad to be on mission with you here in the Bay Area, brother. I value your encouragement, wisdom, and friendship.

      Steve

  2. Caesar says:

    I love the idea of this conversational manner of sharing the gospel, however I would not say that it is story-based. It is a series of propositions to a person if they do not have the context of the entire story of God in which to “hang these truths” upon. It would also be tough if after sharing the first verse the person says, “Yeah, but I don’t believe the Bible is true…” This happens all the time.

    Additionally, I have hundreds of not yet believing friends that after reading those verses one at a time would not answer anything close to the answers you suggested. I think only someone with a very churched background would even have the categories to answer in this manner.

    I grew up as a part of a church (now I’m a pastor) and one of my (our) biggest challenges is to NOT talk and share the Gospel via church/evangelical assumptive slang. Such an immediate turnoff to our friends… I’m learning all the time.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts, Caesar.

      You are right, there’s so much more to God’s story than what these Scriptures cover. My aim was to give a bare-bones outline.

      And thanks for helping me see a possible misunderstanding of my post. My answers after the “what do you think this means” is what I myself think the verses mean — and what I would hope to help the person see after some discussion. You are right that lost people would not come up with these answers on their own.

      I love what you guys are doing in Soma — keep learning, and passing on what you are learning to the rest of us!

      Steve

  3. Chuck says:

    The last of the 7 scripture references Revelation 3:20. I have often struggled with that being used out of context. It really isnt speaking to individuals but the 7 churches in Revelation, right?

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Good to meet you, Chuck. And I checked out your website — looks powerful.

      I was puzzled by your question — since I did not use Rev 3:20 as one of my seven Scriptures. But then I looked again at William Fay’s approach which DOES use that as its 7th Scripture. Is that what you are asking?

      I would not hesitate to use it in evangelism. Even though it IS directed to believers — it surely has implications for unbelievers. I just checked Mounce’s commentary on Revelation — he agrees :)

      Anyway, it’s good to meet you, and may the Father continue to bless your blogging and ministry.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  4. Nathanael says:

    Finally, God answered my prayer. Thanks for this outline. it really helps :)

  5. Doug Boys says:

    Steve,

    I have enjoyed your blog and was blessed by this method of sharing the gospel.

    As your father says, “We preach the same gospel to non-believers and believers.” Namely, put your hope–today–in what Jesus promises to do for you in the future.

    I believe this came from a conversation your dad had with your grandfather as he drove him across LA to a speaking engagement. Your grandfather was fretting over how much of the message should be devoted believers, and how many minutes should be given to non-believers.

    As you know, your dad’s new insight at that time was that this isn’t really a problem. One must simply exhort both groups to put their trust in Jesus’ great love.

    Then we watch for what He does next in showing us the next step on the path of life (Ps. 16:11, above).

    So I was blessed (as a believer) by your promise-based approach to sharing the gospel with a non-believer. Thank you.

    Doug

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Doug –

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

      I, too, have been greatly encouraged by this promise-based approach. And as we have trained people in our church to use this approach, a few of them have commented that it has deeply stirred their own faith in Christ.

      And I fully agree that we give the same message to both believers and unbelievers.

      May the Lord richly bless you, Doug –

      Steve

  6. Bob says:

    Steve,
    I stumbled on your blog from the challies.com website. We have been using the Willliam Fay method for about a year. We set up a table at various places with heavy pedestrian traffic with a sign that says “Answer 10 Questions and You Get A Real $5 Bill”. We use the 3 initial questions from the book, then the 7 scriptures from the book. After we are finished we give them a Bible with a $5 in it. This attracts many people to come and read or hear the gospel. May the Lord bless your ministry.

  7. Bishop Isidore says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for diversifying your evangelism strategies. It’s great, wonderful and educative. May the Lord inspire you, more and more.

  8. Uncle David says:

    Great Stuff, Steve! Thanks for this.

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