Evangelism Ideas to Impact Your World

In addition to speaking engagements, I love doing one-on-one evangelism and witnessing. I want to share a few of my many "witness encounters" that will motivate you to reach your world for Christ.

Atheist Professor

An atheist professor walked into our ministry center during an event. He said to me, "There is no God and I can prove it." I said, "Really? Let's talk." He shared several scientific theories he thought would convince me. Then I asked him, "When has life ever come from non-life? Where can you show me design without a designer?" While my questions and comments somewhat neutralized his theories, I led him into my office and pulled out my "Impossible" records notebook. I began sharing with him the documentation for some of the hundreds of miraculous interventions the Lord has done in my life and ministry. I said, "Maybe an isolated one or two of these could be accredited to mere coincidence, but all of these in context are impossible to be refuted as mere coincidence." He had no response to the overwhelming evidence and shortly thereafter humbly walked out of the building.

Agnostic Philosopher

A young man walked into the ministry center after business hours. He identified himself as an agnostic philosopher and wanted to know if I would talk to him about belief in God. I said, "Sure, come into my office."

For over an hour I answered his many questions and shared evidence for Jesus and the Bible. As he was leaving he said, "You are the first minister who invited me in and actually had answers. Most either are intimidated or won't take time."

I explained that ultimate truth will eventually lead one to Jesus Christ and I'm not threatened by other theories because I have examined the evidence and am confident in my faith.

He asked as he was leaving, "May I come back and talk again?" I said, "Sure. I don't have time to repeatedly meet with those who are biased, argumentative, and not open to the truth, but I will spend time with serious searchers."

Appearance Counts

I was on a Western tour speaking in Arizona and California. Driving back to Pennsylvania through Texas, I was heading to Bourbon Street in New Orleans to do some street ministry. I decided to let my beard grow and was wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and a bandanna.

I got lost in San Antonio, Texas and needed directions. So I walked into a McDonald's seeking directions from two policemen because I saw their cruiser outside. I thought they'd be happy to help me since I'm a minister and a law-abiding citizen, but I forgot what I looked like.

They looked at me, and I felt instantly the hatred and hostility I had felt before I was a Christian when I was running around with gangs and getting into trouble.

Could you imagine me trying to convince these police officers: "I'm a minister; I went to four years of Bible college. Let me tell you about Jesus." They already had a roadblock. We have to be careful we don't put up roadblocks.

I was dressed like that because I was heading to Bourbon Street to do street ministry. But realize, although God looks at the heart, what does man look at? The external appearance. So, we must be careful that we don't turn people off by our appearance and behavior.

Considering Eternity

I overheard two businessmen talking at the YMCA in San Diego where I was working out. They were discussing death. One said, "I am not sure what's beyond the grave, but no one will immortalize me anyway, or remember me years from now." The other man said, "I figure whatever is out there will have to accept me as I am." I said, "I don't mean to jump in, but don't you think eternity is a long time? Therefore, it might be wise to spend a little more time considering its implications. Besides, if there is a God who created us and this universe, are you going to say to Him, 'You must accept me on my terms'?" Their look affirmed that I was relating, so I continued. "No, if there is a creator, then I want to come to Him on His terms, not mine."

They listened intently and their body language indicated they agreed with what I said so far, so I shared how I had rejected Christianity and spent many years searching in atheism, occultism, Eastern disciplines, and New Ageism until my search for truth brought me back to the God of the Bible. The one guy asked, "Then Jesus Christ is the only way?" I said, "Without a doubt, because He alone has the overwhelming evidence to validate His claims." After sharing some of the evidence for the inspiration of the Bible and the claims of Christ, I thanked them for listening and they thanked me for sharing.

Cousin Grace

For 43 years my mother's cousin Grace had been a member of the Christian Science church, although she claimed to be a Christian. For ten years we witnessed to her. Many times when we were new Christians we came on too strong and turned her off. However, after many years of dealing with cultists we learned much and gained wisdom in sharing Christ. Instead of calling her group a cult, one day we sat together and I asked if we could study the Bible together. I shared Scriptures concerning the deity of Christ and salvation through faith. She began to ask questions.

Then I explained how various cults (never insinuating her group was a cult) distort the deity of Christ and the plan of salvation and how they have extra-Biblical teachings. Her eyes lit up as she questioned if Christian Science did this. I asked her, "Do they?" To which she replied, "Yes."

I encouraged her to get into Bible studies. We got her a Bible study series through our church and she started attending one at her apartment. Each week she would change more and more. She was close with the Christian Science church people who had helped her in many ways and tried to get her back. Although difficult to leave, she began to break all ties. Two of her friends involved had already left.

She read my article, What Is a Christian?, and got copies for all her friends and also sent one with her letter of resignation to the Christian Science mother church in Boston. She also had all their literature removed from her home.

She asked me to have her buried instead of being cremated, since the Christian Science church cremates. In 1999, I fulfilled that promise as a funeral home buried her for only the $1,000 life insurance she had.

I Don't Know Who You Are

I shared the following illustration with a couple (the husband had cancer and didn't have much time to live) who were religious, knowing about God, but not knowing the Lord in a personal way. I said, "If a stranger would walk in your front door and say, 'Hi, I'm home! I'm going up to my room,' you would respond by quickly saying, 'I don't know who you are. Get out of here!' However, if one of your own children walked in and said the same thing, you'd say, 'Glad to see you! Come on in!' "

In the Bible, Jesus said there will be those who think that they are His children because they go to church or profess to believe in Him, but when they stand before Him, He will in essence say,

"Get out of here. I never knew you –– you're not My child" (Matthew 7:21-23).

In contrast, Jesus will say to those He knows,

"I know you. You're mine - enter into the joy of your Lord."

I assured them that we can know now what type of greeting we will receive when we meet the Lord. I shared the words of Paul in II Timothy 1:12,

"... I know Whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day."

Knowing God as Father

While I was buying blueberries, the young lady selling them told me about the recent death of her father. She was still grieving, so I asked her if her father knew the Lord. I wanted to find out her perspective in an attempt to bring her some hope and encouragement. She said, "Yes, he made his peace with God." I asked, "How about you?" She informed me she went to church but wasn't close to the Lord.

I said to her, "You can tell me about your father and even show me pictures, and although I can know all about him, I will never have a personal relationship with him like you had." I continued, "Most people who go to church know about God like I would about your father, but God wants us to know Him in a personal way as you knew your father." Her eyes lit up as she told me that this is what she longed for.

After prayer, she hugged me as tears streamed down her face. She said, "This was not a chance meeting; I was meant to talk to you." I invited her to Jim Weikal's Bible study where she could grow in her relationship with Jesus Christ and she enthusiastically accepted.

Intimately Knowing the Lord

It is interesting to note that the Greek word for "know" (ginosko), used when Jesus said, "I never knew you; depart from Me ..." (Matthew 7:23) is the very same word used for "know," which was used by Mary when she said to the angel Gabriel (who had come to announce the birth of Jesus), "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34). She never had an intimate relationship with a man. The same Greek word for "know" was used again when Jesus said ––

"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."  (John 17:3)

Scripture teaches that we must know the Lord by having an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A Christian is someone who has a restored relationship with God the Father through a personal faith and acceptance of His Son Jesus and His finished work on the cross. The true concept of Biblical Christianity is not a lifeless external form of religion, but a living vital personal relationship with the God of the universe who is knowable and seeks to be known.

God Bless You, Mister!

While ministering at the Presidio of Monterey, Karen and I walked from the military base down to the wharf on Monterey Bay. In one of the shops was a sampling of corn chips and various dips. A sign in front of one of the dips said, "Very Hot." I tried it and quickly bought a small bottle of water for $1.25.

A few minutes later a skinny kid about 11 came in. He looked and dressed just like Erkel. I said, "Don't try that one, kid; it's really hot!" He looked at me and said, "You're looking at the toughest kid in the world!" So I said, "Go for it, kid, but you better have a buck and a quarter in your pocket to buy some water." He took a large bite and then walked around the store smiling and saying, "No problem." About 10 seconds later, he ran to the cooler to get some water, but he couldn't get the bottle opened. He ran over to me and pleaded, "Please give me some water! " I said, "Open your mouth, kid," as I squirted his mouth full of water. He swallowed and said, "God bless you, mister. God bless you!"

A few minutes later I saw the same boy walking down the wharf with several adults. He was fanning his mouth as he was trying to explain that he ate something hot and needed something to drink. I walked into the middle of the people and said, "Hey kid, open your mouth." The adults looked bewildered as he did. Then I squirted his mouth full of water again. He swallowed and said, "God bless you, mister. God bless you!" as the adults all smiled. Likewise, there is a world of spiritually thirsty people whose thirst can only be quenched with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.

John 7:37 –– "On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.'"

Revelation 22:17 –– "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life."