We recently launched our fall soulwinning season for the thirty-second consecutive year at Lancaster Baptist Church.
Of all the different types of outreach we do as a church, nothing beats consistently sharing the gospel one person at a time. And biblically, this is a process that is to be taught and replicated one person at a time as well.
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.—2 Timothy 2:2
We’ve often said that “soulwinning is better caught than taught.” You can learn the mechanics of giving a clear gospel presentation in a classroom setting, but learning to be a Spirit-led, effective soulwinner is really a hands-on, experiential process.
In fact, key to the soulwinning ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church is experienced soulwinners regularly training new soulwinners in how to share the gospel.
What does this process look like? Here are a few tips:
1. Invite a New Christian to Go with You
Would you like to involve someone in sharing the gospel? Sometimes all it takes is a personal invitation: “Hey would you be free to go out with me this Saturday to invite people to church and share the gospel? You won’t have to do anything—you can just watch.” Or better yet, “Pastor has been preaching about being a witness. I go out each Saturday to share the gospel in our community. Would you want to start coming with me?”
2. Plan a consistent Day and Time
We should be soulwinners everywhere we go. But the most fruitful soulwinners I know are also the most consistent in making time for it in their weekly schedule.
Additionally, if you are training someone, it helps to have a regular time and place commitment rather than making it a hit and miss activity from one week to the next. Ideally, your time could be scheduled at a time your church has structured outreach so you can receive follow up visits and be part of strategically reaching your community with your church family.
3. Make a Variety of Visits
Don’t only go house to house or only make guest follow up calls. Teach the person you are training how to use a prospect list and how to share the gospel in a variety of settings.
Ultimately, we know that, in reality, we aren’t the “soulwinners” at all—the Holy Spirit is the one who convicts hearts and leads people to Christ. We are simply witnesses sharing the gospel.
This means that we must remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be flexible in our conversations. Once again, this is better caught than taught.
4. Maintain a Training Mindset
After making a visit or finishing a door knocking map, talk about how it went. Perhaps a situation arose that was unusual…or that you wish you would have handled differently. Talk about that. Ask for questions. And be willing to give constructive criticism for your partner.
5. Encourage Growth
If your church provides classroom training in sharing the gospel, encourage your partner to take advantage of it. If you come across a resource for soulwinning that is instructive or motivating, share it. (Two I can recommend are Take It Personally and Out of Commission. )
If you’re a pastor or a class teacher, you can also encourage growth by regularly preaching and teaching on the biblical commands to share our faith and witness for Christ.
6. Give Opportunities to Talk
Perhaps not the first week, but allow the person you are teaching to have opportunities to use what they are learning. Learning to share the gospel doesn’t only come by listening, but also by doing!
7. Ask God for Fruit
There is nothing more encouraging to a new soulwinner than seeing someone saved as a result of the effort in witnessing!
We know that any eternal fruit is a work of the Holy Spirit, not something we can manufacture. So ask the Holy Spirit for fruit!
Teach Others Also
There is no shortage these days (and probably any other days in history!) of opinions about ministry, ministry philosophy, and ministers. And of course, much of it is good and helpful talk.
But if there is one area where we tend to be hearers of the Word—and even chatter about how closely we believe others follow the Word—without actually being doers, it is in the matter of soulwinning.
It’s so easy to develop more strategy than action…and all while a ripe harvest is perishing in the field.
I get that there are many different types of fields and that the fruit of faithful laborers will be different from week to week and from one field to the next. But regardless of the immediate results of our efforts, we can all be faithful witnesses of the gospel.
And what’s more, we can all be training “others also” to share their faith.