“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.
Last week we discussed Pastor Aubrey Maye’s encouragement that all Holy Spirit filled believers can be soulwinners. He touched on the fact that telling our personal experience in committing to Jesus has a powerful effect on soulwinning, then he gave some personal requirements to become a soulwinner, like sharing our personal experience, the importance of living a consecrated and Holy Spirit filled life, having a dynamic and powerful prayer life, steadily studying and having a deep knowledge of God’s Word, and lastly . . . acquiring a deep compassion for lost souls.
This week we’ll cap off Chapter 4 by talking about what Pastor Aubrey Maye said are the mental attitudes a soulwinner must possess to share Jesus with people. Then we’ll end the session with discussing the benefits of engaging in some personal training and developing a planned approach to soulwinning.
THE SOULWINNER’S MENTAL ATTITUDES
Pastor Aubrey Maye emphasized there are certain positive mental attitudes which the Christian who would be a soulwinner must possess.
- Be convinced that we should be soulwinners.
- Before we will ever be consistent and effective witnessing Christians, we must be firmly convinced that we should be soulwinners, and that the Holy Spirit living inside us empowers us be one. Then we can do so with great confidence.
- Be convinced of the great need for personal evangelism.
- We must become keenly aware of the possibility that there are people who will never be reached with the gospel unless you and I reach them.
- We must see the real value of a soul. Jesus said in Mark 8:36, “For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life” (or soul).
- We must see it’s worth the effort for us to win just one soul through personal evangelism.
- We must be convinced the Church will never be able to fulfill its responsibility to evangelize lost people of this generation unless there is a revival of personal evangelism.
- We must become interested in encouraging and training others to join us in this challenging work.
- Be dependent on the Holy Spirit.
- We should always keep in mind in doing personal evangelism that we aren’t presenting "a religion "; we’re presenting a Person—the Lord Jesus Christ. To do this effectively, we must learn to depend heavily upon the Spirit of God. Our ability to reason and to present the facts of salvation will be useless until we depend on and learn to work with the Holy Spirit in our witnessing.
- We must remember that only the Holy Spirit can bring true conviction of sin and genuine salvation in the heart of a sinner.
- We must become sensitive to the Spirit’s presence and expect Him to be there when we are dealing with lost souls.
- We must trust the Holy Spirit to guide and help us lead sinners through the plan of salvation.
THE SOULWINNER'S PERSONAL TRAINING
Pastor Aubrey Maye wrote that in New Testament times witnessing and personal evangelism seemed to be the normal thing for Spirit-filled Christians to do. This was the example set before them and it was what they had been taught.
Since most twentieth century, and I will say now twenty-first century Christians have not had this example or teaching, they will need help to get started. There is a need for training.
Pastor Maye wrote that we need a plan for personal evangelism. He emphasized the benefits of having a plan:
- A plan will give us confidence.
- One of the major problems for the average Christian in talking to others about Christ is fear. This fear can be greatly alleviated by having the confidence of knowing what to say and which Scriptures to use.
- Remember that most Christians experience some fear when they begin witnessing to the unsaved. You mustn’t allow this initial fear to overcome your determination to become a soulwinner. You can overcome much of this fear by learning well a soulwinning plan.
- A plan will enable us to present the gospel systematically.
- By learning a plan, we’ll be able to explain the way of salvation clearly and simply to the unsaved person. This is very important because most unsaved people don’t know what the Bible teaches about being saved. They may have certain ideas about conversion; but when it comes to what the Bible teaches, most of them don't have a clear understanding.
- Our goal is to present the simple, Bible plan of salvation in such a way as to bring about the following desired results in the sinner:
- (1) Genuine conviction of sin.
- (2) Genuine repentance.
- (3) Genuine faith in Christ as his or her Savior.
- A plan will eliminate blundering and haphazardness.
- By having a plan, we will be less likely to antagonize the unsaved person. If the prospect who doesn’t get saved, is left in a good attitude, there’s a good chance that you can deal with him or her again sometime.
- Careless, haphazard attempts at personal evangelism can close the door to future opportunities.
- A plan will help avoid the following problems:
- Learning a plan will immediately eliminate the excuse of not knowing what to say.
- It will help us to avoid the prospect's unrelated questions and other attempts to get away from the subject of his or her salvation.
We need to remember that we aren’t the pastor. We’re soulwinners, so it isn’t necessary to answer many of the questions which the unsaved ask. We’re there to present Christ and should stick to the subject.
Pastor Maye gave the following precautions when evangelizing.
- Never argue when attempting to win someone to Christ.
- When the conversation deteriorates to the point of argument, we have lost the opportunity to win the person to Christ.
- It’s better to change the subject completely than to destroy our future chances of winning the person by hardening him or her against us through an argument.
- We need to remember that there are many unsaved people who enjoy talking and arguing about religion, so we should try to avoid this.
- Don't condemn the person with whom we are dealing.
- We must trust the Spirit and the Word of God to bring condemnation to the sinner for his or her wrong doings. We aren’t the judge. We’re there to help, not to embitter them by making harsh personal judgments.
- The Word of God is adequate for this task. The writer of Hebrews 4:12 wrote: "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
- Don't criticize what the individual believes.
- If we disagree with some belief they express, it would be better to simply avoid the issue for the time being. The first need is salvation. Beliefs of the unsaved person can best be dealt with after conversion.
- If they have serious difficulties, it would probably be wise to direct them to our pastor, even after conversion.
- Don't criticize the church mentioned by the person and what the church believes, even though sometimes we’ll be asked our opinion of them.
Pastor Maye wrote before concluding Chapter 4, it should again be pointed out that although a plan is important, our own spiritual condition is more important.
Pastor Maye encouraged remembering again the verse from Daniel 12:3: “Those who have insight will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
And lastly, Pastor Maye reiterated, “You can be a soulwinner!”
See you next time,