I have been studying the book of Acts and feeling more inspired than ever to share the gospel of the kingdom everywhere like the early church did. But like many of us, oftentimes I feel constrained because I do not have the ‘depth’ or ‘utterance’ like some people I know so I refrain from sharing altogether. However, I have recently been reminded that we are all called to minister, even if we are not all called to ministerial offices like pastors and evangelists. By God’s design, we are all different and so my personality determines, or at least impacts, the style of evangelism/ministration that I could adopt.
In this post, I am going to share very briefly on six effective evangelistic styles inspired by a little exhortation I was recently blessed by. The intent is that as we identify with these character types we will be encouraged to see opportunities to minister to others and realize that God can do more with each of us. I also hope it inspires us to see what style works for us and stops us from wanting to be reflect a particular style before we can share the gospel of the kingdom with others.
Style 1: Confrontational/ Direct/Assertive (CDA)
Mr. CDA is confident and bold and is not impressed by beating about the bush. He has very strong convictions backed by strong utterances as well. He is well assured of what he knows and is more concerned with getting straight to the point than with wondering how the message is being received. Often hasty and considered brash, he is driven by an intense passion and love for the kingdom that can only be expressed via his typical confrontational style. A Biblical example of this confrontational approach is Peter in Acts 2 where he addresses the crowd just after the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Honestly, not everyone responds well to this method, as many may find it too aggressive and in your face. However, without a doubt and with the help of the Spirit, the direct method is the most effective way to get to many people. It is often popular with evangelistic people ministering to large numbers.
Style 2: Intellectual/Analytical
If you enjoy intelligent discussions and debates on difficult issues, can hold your own and tend to gravitate towards logical analysis of problems, this is you. If asking WHY is a predominant part of your reasoning and you like to get to the deeper reasons for opinions held by others, you might fall into the intellectual category. You are able to put pieces of random information together in your head and string them together flawlessly from first principles to aid your discourse whilst holding the attention of your listeners. Paul is the prime example of this evangelistic style. In Acts 9 and 17 for instance and infact, throughout Paul’s ministry, he debates with Jews and Gentiles alike as he spreads the Gospel.
Style 3: Testimonial/Storytelling
Are you conversational with good listening skills and strong conviction about God’s power? Are you excited and passionate about your walk with God and always willing to share about your personal experience? You just may be a testimonial witness. You simply minister by showing people what God has done for you and those you know, and when people listen to you, they are encouraged to seek God for themselves in the hope that they too will experience this God. The blind man in John 9 is a perfect example. He said, “I do not know whether he is a sinner or not, but this I know, I was blind but now I see.” You may not have the force of the confrontational or the depth of the intellectual but you have the testimony that people can see and relate with. For some, this is what is needed to bring them into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Style 4: Interpersonal/Relational
Are you a ‘friendship’ person? You know those people that everyone is attracted to? Some people have a knack for nurturing and developing deep friendships and then pouring themselves into those inner circle friends. If you prefer to develop a close friendship first before sharing your testimony, this is likely you. You probably have an interpersonal style. Matthew, also known as Levi, in Luke 5:29, is shown to be a good representative of this evangelical style. A former tax collector, Levi hosts a banquet for Jesus and invites all his friends, including other sinners. Think about all the ways you could share with your close friends using this style. A random breakfast after a jog could easily become a worship meeting. You could have people over for drinks, a sleep-over; to watch football or bake cookies which create the atmosphere for you to share your testimony of Jesus.
Style 5: Invitational
When I think about this style, what comes to mind is the Samaritan woman whom Jesus encountered at Jacob’s well in John 4: 1-32. Verse 23 says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony…” Similar to the testimonial style, an invitational witness is people-oriented, except that the object of the invitation is typically an acquaintance rather than a close friend. Are you that person that has no issues engaging others and sharing about your conviction even with those you rarely know? You probably have an invitational style.
Style 6: Serving
Think about someone who simply lives and funds a Christ based conviction to help others without needing or seeking public commendation. Dorcas in Acts 9:36-42 is a fantastic example. So impactful was her life in her little corner that when she died, the believers mourned so much and Peter raised her up. After her death and revival by Peter, many people came to believe in the Lord. I love this style because it shows that living out the love of Christ is just as powerful as the confrontational style or any other obvious style and that evangelism doesn’t need to be dramatic to bless others or win souls.
In addition though, I would like to say that irrespective of your predominant style, the Holy Spirit can inspire you to respond in any way to meet a need. So you could be typically interpersonal and in the face of injustice or sin, the Holy Spirit stirs you up to be confrontational. Or you are typically service oriented and God gives you utterance so you sound intellectual to reach a particular audience. It is always by the help of the Spirit.
Now don’t you just feel encouraged to minister in whatever style suits your personality? What style do you think you dominantly exhibit? Go out there and share…the kingdom is depending on me and you.
I think I am testimonial, although a part of me says I may be a tad intellectual. What do you think?
Okay, in a fun twist, let us try and identify ourselves by one of these styles. Would love to see your responses in the comment box.