5 Steps to Intentional Evangelism

Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.” (John 4:10)

The story of the Woman at the Well is found in John 4:1-30, 39-42

The story of the Woman at the Well is found in John 4:1-30, 39-42

If you take the time to read the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John, you’ll notice a very conspicuous conversation that takes place between Jesus and an unnamed Samaritan woman. It starts with Jesus making a simple request for a drink of water and ends with “Many more believed because of what He said.”  All Jesus wanted was a drink of water, but He saw past His want to the person in front of Him and the opportunity to make a difference in her life.  Call it intentional evangelism: He saw an opportunity most would miss and He took the time to do something about it.  It wasn’t an accident.

Life is full of opportunities. Most of the time we just let them slide right by, too absorbed in our own interests and agenda to even know they’re there. What if, after her initial hesitation to give Him a drink, Jesus had decided to give up and move on? What if He’d decided He was done being ‘spiritual’ for the day and just insisted that she give him the water? What if He’d overlooked her completely, as their culture demanded? What if He’d said to Himself, “I’m too tired to deal with this right now,” and demanded obedience?

What if it had been you at the well, wanting a drink? What would you have said?

There are a lot of possible outcomes for this conversation and most of them end without the Gospel being shared. Fortunately, Jesus doesn’t waste the opportunity. He is intentional in His approach to everyone He meets. He was deliberate and we should be the same. Because, let’s face it, people aren’t knocking down the doors to church begging for us to share Jesus with them.  If the message of Jesus is as important as we claim, maybe we should play it a little smarter.

Here are 5 steps to get you started on your own “woman at the well” moment:

  1. Be friendly.  Don’t get trapped in a clique or ‘Jesus bubble’ of friends.  Get out there and meet people.  They’re everywhere!
  2. Be genuine.  The people you’re meeting aren’t mannequins.  They have fears and dreams and troubles and hopes and you should actually be interested in those parts of their lives.  And you aren’t a mannequin either, so take off your Beats and engage!
  3. Listen attentively.  Be more interested and less interesting.  Observe body language and put down your phone while you’re talking with people.  Ask questions.
  4. Be patient.  Sharing the Gospel isn’t a game.  You don’t get more points for squeezing it all in during the first five minutes you meet someone.  Yes, sometimes that happens, but its okay to take your time and build a relationship first too.
  5. Talk FIRM: Discuss things that matter; Family, Interests/hobbies, Religious background, and finally the Message.

Sharing the Gospel doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but it often requires a good deal of trust.  So be intentional with your life. Be deliberate in your conversations.  Don’t let opportunity slip past you because you were too focused to see the people around you and the opportunities you have to make a difference…

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

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