Over the last several decades, influential witness training methods like Evangelism Explosion (1962), Continuing Witness Training (1982), Becoming a Contagious Christian (1995) and FAITH Evangelism (1999) became a key driver of church growth.
Across America and around the world, a fresh Acts 1:8 history lesson was learned: Develop an intentional witness training plan, maintain a growing prospect list and build a sustained churchwide evangelism focus.
The influence of these programs continues in churches that have made them a part of their vision and DNA. In other churches, they ran their course and petered out, leaving exhausted pastors and congregations in their wake.
It seems likely that some of us (and I count myself in this group) over thought and over complicated what should have been a simple proposition: Mobilize as many believers as possible to live a lifestyle of sharing.
More than ever, I believe that mobilizing more people with simplified evangelism “handles” is the best way forward. If you’re a believer, then you can share your faith. Let’s return to basics and embrace KISS methodology: “Keep it short and simple.”
At First West, our evangelism plan asks for 3 commitments:
- 1 Story – Learn to share your 1 story.
- 1 Verse – Memorize 1 verse to share the gospel.
- 1 Person – Identify and share with your 1 person.
1 Story. Experience tells us that a person’s testimony is the easiest way to share with someone else. Every believer has a story! Teaching believers to share about their life before they met Jesus, how they came to accept Jesus into their life and about their life since they met Jesus is the best foundation for sustained lifestyle evangelism.
1 Verse. We use Romans 6:23 to equip all ages to share the gospel. It’s easy to use key words from this one verse to present God’s plan to save the world:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23 (ESV)
Key words like “wages,” “sin” and “death” illustrate that our sin has earned us a death sentence. That’s the bad news. The word “but” offers some good news. “Free gift,” “of God” and “eternal life” tell us that God’s gift is the eternal life alternative to the death we deserve.
1 Person. We lead our church to know who their one person is. We ask believers to pray for their one person. We ask them to start faith conversations with their one person. We ask them to invite their one person to a weekend service or special community event. And we ask them to share the gospel when the relational chips have been earned to do so.
So what’s the Big Idea?
Provide evangelism “handles” like 1 story, 1 verse, 1 person to keep witness training short and simple. Mobilize as many believers as possible to live a lifestyle of sharing.
- 1 Story, 1 Verse, 1 Person Flyer
- 1 Story, 1 Verse, 1 Person Prayer Card
- 1 Story, 1 Verse, 1 Person Group Discussion Questions & Timeline
- 1 Story, 1 Verse, 1 Person Commitment Card
- Becoming a Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg
- Life on Mission by Dustin Willis and Aaron Coe
- Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels
- One Focus
- Every Believer a Witness
- Contagious Christian
- Three Circles: Life Conversation Guide
Gary Watkins says
Tim. ….thanks for your work and sharing. You are on target. I’ve used all the evangelism opportunity tools in my ministry and the 1, 1, 1 is very much needed today. We must get out of our offices and staff meetings to the people. Love you Friend