BARF People/Organization Profile
Evangelism Explosion International
Book Excerpt: "Do's and Don'ts"
IV. DO'S AND DON'TS
After several years of hitting our heads against stone walls and finding that in many cases the same stone walls bruised our heads in the same way, we have searched for ways of avoiding the collision. Following is a list of some practical do's and don'ts that help contribute to the success of our lay evangelism ministry.
Don't carry a large Bible on your visit! A New Testament in your pocket or purse will furnish all the Scriptures you will need. A large Bible in your lap can have the same effect as a .45 revolver. Your prospect will wonder, "What's he going to do with
that?" Never show your "weapon" until you are ready to use it. At the right time you can "draw and shoot him alive!"
Don't give the reference when you quote Scripture. You need to know the reference, but giving the location of each verse you use can interrupt your prospect's train of thought.
Do quote just the relevant portion of the verse. For example, we use 1 John 5:13 when we affirm that the Bible was written that men might know they have eternal life. We quote only: "These things have I written.., that ye may know that ye have eternal life." The rest of the verse would introduce matters not germane to the discussion at that point. People do not get all the meaning in a long verse. They can be easily lost. Concentrate on the portion of the verse that bears on the discussion at the moment.
Do anticipate objections and preclude them, if possible. When an objection arises, deal with it in a manner that indicates that you are not threatened by it. Handle objections in a straightforward, matter-of-fact manner and return to the main course of the discussion.
Do stress the positive benefits of the Gospel. Some indicate by their manner of presentation that coming to Christ is one of the greatest disasters of life. Certainly this is not the case.
Don't use leading questions. If you know just a little psychology, you can get your prospect to say yes to anything. However, you cannot manipulate a person into the kingdom of God.
Don't use misleading questions. For example, "Tell me, Mr. Jones, what do you think you have to do to earn your way to heaven?" Such a question misleads your prospect. He may be trusting in Christ, but you come with a voice of authority implying that he can do something to save himself. You have misled him. He may give you information he does not truly believe, and the rest of your conversation would be in vain.
Do start where the person is. Do not assume that people today know very much about the contents of the Bible.
Do dangle your bait in front of the prospect. Do not shove the hook down his throat.
Do ask permission to ask questions. It is wise also, occasionally, to ask your prospect's permission to continue discussing the matters at hand, particularly if you sense some reticence on his part to continue. His simple "Yes" to "Would you like me to share with you what I learned about how to get to heaven?" will preclude his seething with rage as you proceed.
Do ask your prospect's opinion. He will feel more kindly toward you if you indicate that you are an intelligent person who values his opinion.
Do listen to your prospect talk so you can intelligently refer to statements he has made as you make your presentation.
Do be conservative in your estimation of what happens on your visit. You may see
a profession of faith. Only time will tell whether your prospect was born again and has really accepted the Lord and been converted.
Don't feel you have to secure a profession regardless of what you might have to do to get it. High-pressure tactics are to be abhorred.
Do be overly modest as you talk about your church. Do not convey the idea that yours is the only church that presents the Gospel.
Do avoid critical comments about other congregations, ministers, and denomina tions. It is true that many are unfaithful to the Lord, but you will lose your prospect's confidence if he feels you try to build your flock by tearing others down.
Do smile, especially as you ask the two commitment questions. If you are too intense, your prospect may feel he is being pinned down and resent it.
Do make your exit sweet - even if the Gospel is rejected. Remember: It is the Gospel - not you - that has been rejected. The harvest is not until the end of the world - the prospect may yet be drawn to Christ.
Do watch your grooming and manner of dress. Sloppy shoes and unpressed suits do not speak well of the King you represent. Skirts that are too short can be distracting. Neatness is most important. A good rule: Dress in a way that will not draw attention away from your message.
Do ask a friend if you have bad breath, and encourage an honest answer. If you have it, do something to get rid of it or your prospect will be thinking of ways to get rid of you! The only thing worse than bad breath is no breath at all!
Don't sit in the car at the prospect's house and pray before you go to the door. Pray before you get to your prospect's residence.
Don't laugh outside the home en route to your car. He may misunderstand your reasons for laughing. Wait until you are on your way back to the church to discuss the prospect and your visit (see Appendix B for contact analysis).
Evangelism Explosion by D. James Kennedy. Fourth Edition. Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, 1996. Pages 62-64.
Text of this document provided by Biblical America Resistance Front solely for the purposes of research, education, and comment.
Last updated August 29, 1999