Ways That Work
by Berry Kercheville
Have you ever heard a preacher say to his audience that more Christians need to get out and teach the lost, set up some Bible classes, and invite people to the services of the church? After hearing such an exhortation, have you ever felt guilty that you were not doing what you could to save souls? I am sure that most of us have been in similar situations and felt some pretty strong feelings of inadequacy when it comes to talking to a person about his soul.
Yes, we desperately need more Christians involved in bringing the lost to Christ, but is it true that most Christians don’t want to do this, or is it simply the case that many Christians don’t know how to go about it? I believe the latter is the greater problem. Let us look at some solutions to getting a Bible study with a person who is not a Christian.
The first thing we need to develop is a more positive and compassionate attitude toward those who are lost, When Jesus saw the multitude, “he was moved with compassion on them” (Matthew 9:36). We need to see people in need, as “sheep having no shepherd,” and not prejudge them as stubborn, belligerent sinners who couldn’t care less about the Lord. We need to believe that the truth is exciting and interesting and therefore something that every person would want to hear,
Secondly, if we are going to muster all this courage to give an invitation, let’s offer that which will be most profitable—namely, spending an hour in a private Bible study, To invite a person to church services is to often lose the opportunity. Every situation is different but many people will agree to a one hour Bible study who are not interested in “going to church’ Besides, the sermon for the day may not be what they need at all. And if they turn you down, then it is more difficult to ask for the class.
Now with the aforementioned points as a foundation, let’s answer the question, “How do we get the class?” There are generally two situations that arise giving one an opportunity, One occasion often comes by surprise when a friend mentions something Biblical or religious, whether making a statement many Christians is to try to answer their question or elaborate on their statement even though time and the lack of a Bible prohibits a complete discussion of the subject. A more profitable use of the opportunity would be to point out that their question cannot be answered in a few minutes, and therefore it would be better to get together for an hour one evening to study the point thoroughly.
The other occasion where opportunity knocks is when you do the knocking, ln other words, it is the result of your visiting a friend or neighbor for the express purpose of getting a Bible study with them. Admittedly, this is a scary situation for many. But try this approach. just go for a visit; go to get to know the person better; go for the enjoyment of making a friend. Don’t put yourself under pressure by trying to “bring up the subject” or by trying to “work the conversation around to the Bible.” Instead, relax and have fun discussing anything and everything. If religion does not come up, that is fine too, because it is a very simple matter to ask for the class as the last point of the conversation before you leave. One could say, ‘Well, I’ve got to be going, but I did want to tell you about a Bible study you might be interested in.” You will be surprised at how many will respond positively to such a nonpressurized approach. Further, it is easiest to ask for only one class at a time instead of trying to commit someone to a number of weeks of study.
Finally, let us never forget “God who gives the increase.” Let us pray that He will help us; that He will give us boldness to speak; and that the word may have free course and be glorified.
CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE JANUARY 1984