Wednesday, October 26, 2016

13 Strategies for Sharing the Gospel the next 75 Days

birthday, christmas, gift

75 days puts us somewhere close to January 10 which is probably post 'holiday season' for most everyone. I know posts like this come out this time of year, but what I hope to do is to give you some practical ideas for using this season to your advantage for sharing the gospel. Certainly, some of these strategies could and should be used at other times of the year, but this seems to be a good time to employ them as even the lost world appears more naturally inclined to giving and receiving. Let's use this to our advantage on being intentional for getting the message of Christ out there.

1. Buy some tracts (here and here are some suggestions).

2. Give out tracts on Halloween. Maybe you don't 'celebrate' Halloween, and I am totally fine with that. But also, you have a night where perhaps lots of people will be coming to you. Load 'em up with some candy and a gospel tract!

3. Buy someone's meal and leave them a card and a tract. You have to plan for this but it's just October, so set a little money back the next two months. In December pick out a person or a couple and anonymously buy their meal. Then ask the waitress to simply give them a card. In the card wish them a Merry Christmas and either include a tract or share the gospel yourself inside.

4. Leave a generous tip for your waitress or barber or the mailman or any other service industry and include a tract with it. DO NOT USE A TRACT IN LIEU OF A TIP. Seriously. Instead, be generous and include the tract. You can also include your contact or your church's contact information on the tract so they could follow up with you or you could (and should) make a point to follow-up with them.

5. Bake your neighbors some cookies, or make them a holiday gift basket, or buy them a holiday candle. Or if you live on a street with lots of neighbors make them all a little bag of cookies. This is a great way to meet them if you don't know them and a way to make contact with them if you've been out of touch for a while. Don't waste the opportunity! Either plan to talk with them about the gospel or give them a tract that includes your contact information on it.

6. Have a men's football gathering. Use a Saturday, or Monday Night, or Thursday Night to get together to watch the game. Let folks know that at halftime you plan to share a short devotional. Use this time to share the gospel!

7. Offer your services to rake leaves or set up Christmas decorations. You'd be surprised at how many elderly people cannot do these things on their own but don't know who to ask (or may be embarrassed to ask). Do you have an elderly neighbor you could help? Serve them as an opportunity to share the gospel. It might be a great way to build a lasting relationship just by offering to help them.

8. Take your family or church or small group caroling. And you guessed it - Bring some tracts!

9. Ask people if you can share with them what you believe about Christmas. This time of year affords many conversations where people say things like "I'm so ready for Christmas to be over!" Or bemoan the busyness and commercialism. When people say something like that, be intentional about asking if you can share about what you believe Christmas is. And then share the good news of God incarnate!

10. Use Thanksgiving to share the gospel with unsaved family members. Say "Hey, before we pray over the meal I just want to mention a word about Jesus..." Take 60 seconds to share the gospel.

11. Use the New Year. Be intentional about asking your coworkers, neighbors, friends, and family about how you can pray for them in 2017. And use that conversation as a launching point to talking about Christ.

12. Always carry the tracts with you the next two months. You can say "I'd like to give you this. It talks about the true meaning of Christmas." You can give one to your boss, your stylist, your hunting buddies, or the greeter at Walmart. Literally anyone you come into contact with! Again, if appropriate, leave your or your church's contact info on them.

13. Read the Bible with some people. You could ask coworkers or friends or family members if they'd like to go through the Christmas story this year. Get together with them over lunch once a week during December or another time. They may say no. But I guarantee you it won't happen if you don't ask! Wouldn't it be wonderful to read the Bible with those who need to know Jesus?

This is about being intentional. Be sure and follow up with people when possible. Also, don't just hand a tract and run! If possible, share yourself verbally and let the tract just be a tool they can look at later. This requires being versed in the gospel ourselves.

I love this time of year. But it's also a time of year when people are hurting and depressed. Let's be salt and light in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, in our homes, in our circles of influence. Use this time of year intentionally for the glory of God. Remember, our good deeds are important, but don't forget that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. You can't just be a little 'nicer' this time of year, you must share the message of hope!

I'd love to hear any other ideas you may have...

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