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From the Archives
January 2005
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Soul Winning Tips

Past Soul Winning Tips

» 04/17/2006
by: Glen Moore

Soul Winning Tips:  (listed in reverse order - last to first - for best understanding read the tips in numerical order with last tip listed first on this page) 

“He that winneth souls wise” - Proverbs 11:30

Are you wise?  We all hope we are wise in the eyes of God as he leads and instructs us through His Word.  The best instruction you can receive in life is not from “self help” books, but from the Bible, and one of the best books in the Bible to gain wisdom is - Proverbs.  And what does Proverbs say a wise man or women does - they winneth souls.  Just what does that mean - winneth souls?

First, understand you don’t winneth the soul - God does! But this verse means God wants you to “participate” in the winning of souls.  That means God calls on believers who want to be wise in His eyes to do their part in the winning of souls. Most people don’t think of themselves as “soul winners.”  They usually think “Isn’t that the preacher’s job?” as Roger Olson says in his book - I’m Just A Laymen. The fact is God calls all of us to share the gospel with people, and guess what, when you do that you are “preaching” the gospel.  Listed below are a few tips to help you.

  • First - your life is a witness - guard your witness - guard your life from the world - How can you witness for him when your life looks like the world?
  • Are you walking with Him - in His Word, prayer, & fellowship with the brethren? You should be.
  • Are you praying for your lost family members, friends, and co-workers.  You should be.
  • Pray for opportunities to share the gospel with family members, friends, co-workers, and anyone God will put in your path - It’s called “Keeping Divine Appointment,” and as author Roger Olson describes it in his book, “It can be as natural as breathing,” and it can be!  You just need to be looking and anticipating those appointments. 

(Tip #3) What to say when they hesitate.

Soul winning is not like selling a product, even though it can sometimes seem as though you are giving the same “pitch” all the time.  The truth of it is the “pitch” (the gospel) does remain the same; there is no way to change it.  There is no way to change the path to God; it is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).  However, your approach to getting the person you’re talking with to a point of sitting with you may change as the Holy Spirit leads you into a conversation. 

Keeping in mind that the Holy Spirit may lead you to a different approach, we have found that if we stick to the approaches which have proven to work we will see much more success at getting someone to sit with you and look at the scriptures.  After you have asked the diagnostic questions to get to the bottom of their spiritual condition, and determined that the person is not sure of their position with God, then comes the “transition” time of getting them from a conversation to looking at the scriptures with you.  I understand that we don’t “have too” have the scriptures to lead someone to the Lord, but the power is in the Word, and showing them is the best way.  Many times I have witnessed a “doubting” person I was having a conversation with change completely as I “showed” them what the Bible says; NOT what I say!

Of course you will run into people who are sure of their salvation and will answer your questions with real authority based on what the Bible says.  You should be able to determine these folks and we will cover this issue in greater detail in a later blog.

Assuming you have asked the diagnostic questions and have gotten a response which leads you to believe that the person your talking with is not sure of their salvation (position with God), then your desire is to get them to the scriptures.  This can sometimes be a difficult transition for them, and if we can make it easier on them, then it will be a much better situation for both you and the lost person.  One thing to remember is we never accomplish anything by arguing with someone or insulting anyone’s intelligence by making some careless remark at this point in the conversation.  If you have already told them they can be sure of heaven using 1 John 5:13 (previous blog tip) as your Biblical authority you will want to ask them would they like to see from the Bible.

This is the “point of transition” where they will say “yes” or “no.”  If they give you an definite “NO” then you will quickly make sure they have a tract in hand and tell them to “read this information, it will help you.”  (Of course every situation varies and you may not be able to do it exactly as I have described here, but you should get the idea: you cannot force anyone into heaven; they are obviously not ready yet, let them go.) 

NOW - if the person hesitates and does not give you an immediate “NO,” then the door is still open for you to continue the conversation without hesitation on your part.  There are several ways to proceed.  BUT, whatever you do - DO NOT get into an argument or create a confrontation at this point (or at any point), but try to transition into  making giving a several “pleas” as well as asking other questions.  Below are just a few responses you can use at this point:

  • “Why don’t you let me show you, it will only take a few minutes, it will be the best few minutes of your life.”
  • “If you had a choice between heaven or hell which would you choose?”
    • Most will say heaven, then you can say, “well, it’s your choice, and this is one of the few opportunities you may have in your life to see, let me show you.”
  • “If you could KNOW 100% how to get to heaven wouldn’t you want to know that?  Why don’t you take a few minutes and let me show you the most important information you ever see in your life.
  • Or you could try: “Let me show you the most important information you’ll ever see.

One of the best transitions I have seen used at this very critical point in the conversation I learned for a 12 year-old boy who is the son of one of our missionaries.  While watching this young boy engage in conversations with people at the North Dakota State fair in 2005, I witnessed him use the following question at this very critical time when the person hesitated (trying make up their mind to see what the Bible says or not).  I have used the following transition question hundreds, if not thousands of times since: 

“Let me ask you:  Do you think heaven is a gift or something you have to earn?”

The answer 9 times out of 10 you get from a person that is not sure of their salvation is:  “you’ve got to earn it.”

Well, of course, this can lead you to giving them the simple response of:  “Well, the Bible says, it’s a gift.” (Rom 6:23, Eph 2:8, Rom 5:15-18)

Using this exchange with the lost person seems to have a very “disarming” impact on their demeanor, and usually they express much surprise at the fact that they don’t have to earn heaven, but that it is the “gift of God.” 

Usually by this time I have put a smile tract in their hand and will say something like this: “You see that little smiley; it is a gift, I didn’t ask you to pay for it and I didn’t ask you to work for it, it’s a gift.  But just like when I offered it to you, you had an opportunity to reject it and say you didn’t want it, or you could have walked off and ignored the offer, either way you would not have the gift.”  Then I would say something like, “You need to know how to receive the gift of eternal life, because if you don’t receive it you won’t have it, and without receiving it you will not enter into heaven.  Wouldn’t you like to see how you can receive the gift of eternal life?  Come on let me show you.”  If at this point they aren’t interested I usually put another available tract in their hand and tell them to read it as soon as they can.  At this point most people will want to end the conversation, but if they continue to seem interested in the subject you may want to go further; you’ll have to let the Holy Spirit continue to guide you, but don’t in the “flesh” continue to “brow beat” them. 

There are a few other things you could say at this point in the conversation (when they have rejected the offer to see), and according to the situation you are in.  You may want to say a few things to make them think about their lost opportunity to see the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But, remember, you don’t want to alienate them by giving a snide remark which will cause more harm than good and may keep them from ever listening to any attempt in the future from someone else sharing with them, or they will never read the tracts you’ve put in their hand.  Soul winning is about what God is doing through the Holy Spirit in the heart of the person you are talking with.  You don’t want a soul saved by you; you want a soul saved by the Holy Spirit. 

  • You may say:
    • “Something to think about is that God gives us all only a certain number of “divine appointments” and you just had one to hear the truth; you don’t want to wait to long”
    • A strong comment: “What happens if you are driving in your car today and someone runs a traffic light and hits your car broadside and in a flash you out into eternity; you weren’t at fault, you were innocent; you thought you had plenty of time to get this God thing taken care of, but friend it will be to late.”

If, after all these attempts the person is not interested you have to realize you did all you could and God is in control; you have done your part, and that is all God ask of you.


(Tip #2) What do I say next?

Once you understand what not to say, (previous tip - #1) and you have learned the best questions to ask someone who is not sure of heaven, then you’ll need to know how to respond to them with you’re next response.  From the last Soul Winning Tips email I gave you some sample questions you can ask which will get to the “heart of the matter.”  Every circumstance and opportunity is different when you have the occasion to share the truth of the gospel of Jesus, “the Christ,” with someone, but the central issue which must be addressed is: what is their “spiritual condition.”  Now in this day and age of many different religions and beliefs that there are many ways to heaven, the term “spiritual condition” can be misunderstood.  Don’t use that term with someone you are talking to, but I want you to understand that YOU need to determine their “spiritual condition” by the responses they will give you from your “diagnostic question.”  In the atmosphere of a fair or festival such as what AGM workers encounter, we don’t waste much time on “chit-chat” we get to the point quickly with a series of diagnostic questions and responses which have proven over the years to get to the heart of the situation: does a person have any assurance of heaven based on what the Bible says (what God’s Word says), and not on what they “believe” will get them to heaven.  What a person “believes” is important as long as it is based on the Bible (God’s Word) and not “through philosophy and vain deceit” (Col2:8).  What we encounter when a person uses the word “believe” is it is most often used in the context of the world’s idea of salvation, not God’s, which is why it is so important you use these simple diagnostic questions and responses to determine a persons “spiritual condition.”

Now, don’t get all concerned thinking this is something hard; this is not “rocket science” as they say, this is really simple stuff.  If you will use these methods you will get directly to the heart of the matter.  If you will begin to use these methods in your efforts to share with people you will begin to see things happen that you never thought you could do before in the sharing of the gospel.  You see, the person you are talking to must first realize their need of a Saviour before they can be saved, and that is exactly what these questions and responses will help them see.  It will also help you to move to the next step in helping them find the truth.

When you are talking with someone you are concerned may not be saved be praying the Lord will give you an “opening” in the conversation to introduce the “question.”  After all, the most important part of the conversation with a lost person is the conversation which will lead them to Christ.  Now, if you have talked with this person many times before, and they have expressed no interest knowing the truth, then be careful not to “beat it to death” with them, because it won’t do any good, BUT God will give the opportunity when the time is right.  With most folks though we are just to “scared” to bring it up.  You’ll have to deal with that in your own heart, but we will try to give you some simple tools to help when you do.

OK - “What do I say next?” Once you have given them the first question (listed in Tip #1 - below), and their response is, “I’m not really sure” (or something like this which leads to your response).  The next best response is to say something like this: “Well, YOU CAN BE SURE; the Word of God (Bible) tells us in 1 John 5:13…”These things have I written unto you…that ye may know that ye have eternal life,….”  Continuing with - “you don’t have to go through life hoping so, thinking so, guessing so, but you can KNOW SO!”  Continuing with - “has anyone every taken the time to sit with you and show you from the Bible what God says is the way to heaven?  And guess what it’s not about you being good, it’s about the free gift of eternal life provided through Jesus Christ.  Why don’t you let me show you?”  At this point some people, not all, but some will say - “yes, show me.”  I know what you’re saying,  “Oh that will never happen, it can’t be that easy.”  I’m here to tell you it is that easy.  If God has prepared someone’s heart to hear the truth it truly can be that easy.  I’m not going to tell you it will always be this easy, but it will sometimes be just this easy.  The problem is most Christians never get to this point because they won’t try.  Of course you need to be ready with the scripture available to show them.  If you have not done this often, then have the Bible you are going to use “marked and/or tabbed” with the scriptures you will need to show them.  Then show them!  Don’t tell them; show them “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom 1:16) & (Rom 10:17) “hearing by the word of God.”

Summary:

1.       What Not to Say (last issue - listed below #1).

2.       Pray for an opportunity to ask the question - then take it!  The opportunities are often there, we just don’t take them.

3.       Determine their spiritual condition by asking the right questions.

4.       This is not “rocket science” it’s really simple stuff - just follow the methods (questions & responses).

5.       Your response - “You can be sure…”

6.       Offer to show them from the Bible.

7.       Have your Bible ready - tabbed and/or highlighted with the scriptures (always be ready - you never know when God will provide an opportunity).

8.       Show them!  Talking about salvation is not near as powerful as showing them from the Word of God.

9.      If they seem to “get it” - then ask them if they would like to settle it right now by “call(ing) upon the name of the Lord” (Rom 10:13)(we’ll cover this in detail in a later tips newsletter), but in the mean time here is a link to a prayer to help you (Click Here).

(Tip #1)  What is the worst question you can ask a lost person?

Believe it or not the worst question to ask a lost person is:Are you a Christian?  You say - What! Asking someone if they are a Christian is the worst question………How can that be?

It’s very simple - in our country (USA) many people claim to be Christian. Hey, if they have ever gone to church in their lives, they think they are Christian.  If they say, “I believe in God,” they think they are a Christian.  If they were baptized sometime in the past, they will label themselves as a Christian.  Often they will believe they are Christian, solely due to being a citizen of a so called Christian nation. Sometimes they believe they are Christian due to being a member of a religious family. Some think because they live morally and don’t commit big sins they are Christian.   But, we all know that none of these things make a person Christian.

The point is, when you ask someone if they are a Christian and they say “yes” (and they really think they are - right or wrong), and you assume they are a Christian because they said “yes” you may be giving someone the false impression they are if you say, “OH - Ok, great!”  Listen folks it’s not great.  Most people who think they are Christians are in fact - NOT!

The other problem with asking if they are Christian is: as you inquire deeper about what it means to be a Christian you will immediately put them on the defensive when you begin to ask more questions trying to determine their spiritual condition. As soon as your questions or statements begin to show doubt about their Christianity you will cause a problem in the conversation which could have been avoided. Why put you and them in that position when it’s not necessary.

How do you prevent this?  It’s simple; don’t ask the “Christian question.”  Instead, ask them a question like this.  “Are you sure you are going to heaven when you die, (slight pause) or is that something you have some doubt about.”  When you ask this question it gets to the point of the problem, rather that asking about a label name (Christian) which is highly misunderstood and misrepresented in America.  You might add to the front of the above question this additional part at the beginning: “Let me ask you a serious question.” When they say Ok, then follow up with “Are you sure…….”  It seems that when you start the inquiry with the “serious question” the person stops “dead in their tracts” and will listen to the rest of the question about being “sure.”  TRY IT - IT WORKS!

**See The Methods Used By AGM To Fish For Souls (Click Here)**  
Go to the bottom of page to view a video of leading someone to the Lord