Chapter 7 - Some places to go | Book | Sharing Your Faith
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Chapter 7

Jump to section:
Go into neighborhoods
Convalescent hospitals
Public places
Truck stops
Short-term missionary trips
Outreaches
Prison or jail ministry
Sharing in existing minitries
Share where you work
Share wherever you go
Continue being flexible
Your assignment


If you have been thinking about sharing the gospel somewhere, the Holy Spirit has probably been speaking to you. If you haven’t been thinking about sharing anywhere, or you have no clue where you would go, this chapter could give you some ideas. Of course, you can always just go anywhere. That’s what the disciples did. Jesus didn’t tell those He sent out exactly where to go, He just told them to go, and, “...they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.” (Luke 9:6) Any place there are people qualifies as a mission field.

Go into neighborhoods
One of the most convenient places to evangelize is your neighborhood. You usually don’t have to go far because there is no shortage of houses. Sometimes all you have to do is walk across the street. After I taught people how to share the gospel, we usually put it into practice by going door to door in the local neighborhood. Some believers don’t like going door to door because the cults do a lot, but that would be a reason why we should go door to door. Many people have come to Christ as a result of going door to door. Entire families have received Christ as well as and large groups of teenagers hanging out on driveways. The disciples went to homes. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42)

A disadvantage of sharing the gospel in neighborhoods takes a while to walk up to each door and you can’t tell when people are preoccupied. It’s also easy to get discouraged because people are bombarded with solicitors, and many people are not receptive, and may not even answer the door. God has a way of opening those doors however and getting people out of their houses, even before you get there, because God knows where you are headed and He is more than able to prepare everything.

One man I approached was in his front yard looking up in the sky because he heard an airplane that sounded interesting. Another man was standing in his driveway waiting for a medical delivery for his wife who was dying of cancer. It was easy to start talking about how we will not live forever and then go into the gospel. On another occasion no one was answering their doors, so two believers prayed they could somehow talk to people. Almost immediately there was a minor, but loud, automobile accident that brought people out of their homes. They used the situation to remind people they will not live forever, and that we don’t know how long we are going to live.

When I trained a church in a small town, and we shared in their neighborhood, three different teams knocked on the same woman’s door throughout the day. She did not answer the door the first two times, thinking they were a cult. When the third group knocked, she thought, “Who are these guys anyway?” Out of curiosity, she came to the door. She listened to the gospel, took some information about the gospel and the church, but did not receive Christ. She went to church the next day and received Christ.

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Convalescent hospitals
Most believers in our group felt that convalescent hospitals were an easy place to share, and a great place for believers to learn how to share. When we approached people we often told them we’re learning how to share the gospel and they are helping us. This made them feel valued, and it took some pressure off. Some believers would even put their notes on a patient’s bed and referred to them. Sharing at convalescent hospitals reminded us that evangelism is not about the eloquence of the mouth—it’s about the empowering of the Spirit. Many people in convalescent hospitals are open to the gospel because they don’t feel well and they know they may not have much time left. Also there are many who are lonely and bored and would love someone to talk to.

Call the hospital ahead of time to get permission to visit with patients. Remember that some patients don’t feel well and they may be sleeping or indecent. Some people may have difficulty hearing or responding so you may need to keep things short and simple. Ask questions periodically so you know that they understand. Show love, kindness, and respect. Some people cannot communicate at all due to their physical condition, but just share the gospel anyway, ask if they would like to receive Christ, and pray the sinner’s prayer like anyone else. The Holy Spirit may reveal to you whether they are receptive. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Also, don’t limit yourself to just patients. God may lead you to share with visiting family members or hospital employees. Remember the example of sharing the gospel with Mike in the third chapter. He was an employee at a convalescent hospital we approached in the hallway.

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Public places
Sharing at public places is sometimes referred to as street witnessing. This includes parks, malls, the beach, or anywhere there are a lot of people. Unlike going door to door there are more people around so you can watch people and get an idea of whether they appear receptive. When people aren’t interested, you usually don’t have to go very far to find someone else. It’s usually better to approach those who aren’t preoccupied. At parks, it was often people sitting on a park bench. At malls, it was often the same or bored men waiting for their wives. As always, let the Lord lead because He may want you to share with someone who appears busy in a conversation, etc.

You can share with several people at once. People may even join your small group after you start sharing or some could leave. Friends, relatives, and complete strangers have come to know the Lord as a group. Sharing with several people were some of my most memorable experiences. Sharing on the street, parks, or malls was one of my favorite places to evangelize because there are so many people to choose from.

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Truck stops
Truck stops are like missionary trips in reverse because the world is coming to you. Truckers are coming from everywhere. You can ask them where home is, what it is like there, or what the weather is like in various parts of the country. Most truckers are willing to listen because they don’t have many opportunities to talk with people. Some are waiting for a new assignment and have no place to go so they are even more willing to listen.

Truck stops are noisy and dirty, and there may not be many areas where people are sitting down relaxing. You may have to go up to several truckers standing on a curb talking and smoking cigarettes. I don’t think you could find a more diverse group. Truckers come from all parts of the country, including Canada, and from just about every background. There are former executives that want a change from the corporate world and ex prisoners trying to make a life. Most truckers are simply need a job, but some just want to see the country. Some belong to cults and some are Christians who need fellowship and encouragement. Truckers often have strong opinions and misconceptions about God, so consider this an opportunity to show grace and help them understand.

There are often drugs dealers and prostitutes in the area so you should take some precautions. Men should accompany women and this is probably not the best place to send youth groups. At least you don’t have to call ahead to get permission to go there, and you don’t have to leave at any particular time. Trucks are pulling in all hours of the night. One believer in our group often stayed there past midnight.

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Short-term missionary trips
If you want some on the job training and really put your evangelism career on “fast forward,” go on a short-term missionary trip. Try to go on a trip that the purpose is evangelism and you will have plenty of opportunities to evangelize. There is an intensity that is often hard to explain. Sometimes we shared the gospel for twelve hours a day and forgot all about having a meal or using the rest room. God gave us a sense of urgency that these people really need to hear the gospel. When people are receptive, and many people are receiving Christ, we often found it hard to stop.

There are people in other parts of the world that have never heard the gospel, been to a church, prayed, or seen a Christian. Some are taken back by our peace, joy, and even our smiles. You could be the first person to share the gospel with some, or the last person that will give them an opportunity to receive Christ. Some people in Russia were so appreciative that they stroked my face and arms, and couldn’t stop crying and thanking me. As poor and needy as they were, some left for two hours to go home, so they could give us their most prized possessions. We had to take them because it would have been rude not to. Many of us came back humbled and had a greater desire to evangelize. They understood what Paul meant when he said, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tiding of good things!” (Romans 10:15)

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Outreaches
Try to think of some things you can do to reach out to your local community. You may want to get together with other believers from your church, pray, and have a few brainstorming sessions and see if you can come up with some ways to reach out to your community. If your church ministers to people in need or to the homeless, you can easily incorporate the gospel message as you reach out to them. After teaching one church they contacted some local grocery stores to see if they would donate food to those in need. They shared the gospel as people were standing in line and as they distributed the food. Some churches do a ministry called “Angel Tree” where they give gifts to the children of inmates. As you deliver gifts to kids, ask if you can share about the gift of eternal life God wants to give to them. You could do outreaches in parks where you have games and food, put up booths at fairs, or reach out to victims of tragedies or crimes.

One of my favorite outreach is setting up an evangelism booth for churches that have an alternative for Halloween on October 31. Since unbelievers are coming to church, why not give them the gospel. You can literally preach the gospel to every creature, just as the Bible says. (Mark 16:15) Use Satan’s day to destroy his work and bring people to Christ. You could do the same thing, or something similar, at church on Sunday’s, because not everyone who attends church knows the Lord or listens to the pastor’s teaching. We asked kids (and adults) Biblical questions, which opened the door to ask the two diagnostic questions.

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Prison or jail ministry
You really don’t have to wonder if God wants us to share the gospel in prisons and jails. Jesus Himself said, “I was in prison and ye came unto Me”...and...“Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:36, 40) Many people have come to Christ while in prison or in jail. I believe, as do many inmates, that God has them there so they would listen to the gospel and start walking with the Lord. This may be especially true for those in jail because they are there for less than a year and many are only there a few days. If you went there every week, you would have a different group each time. Consequently, you could share the gospel every time you are there. I have been involved in both prison ministry and jail ministry, and I enjoy both.

If you are a little hesitant about this, keep in mind that the cults and others false religions go into prisons. I see their material there all the time. It is also important to remember that we are all sinners, and many of us could have ended up there if it were not for the grace of God, especially when you consider that many inmates have a history of being abused, and have not had the opportunities most people have. Paul, Peter, John the Baptist, the Apostle John, and many others, spent time in prison. Ironically, Paul killed Christians and never went to prison, but did when he preached the gospel.

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Sharing in existing ministries
There could be opportunities to share the gospel in ministries that are already at your church. Think about, and pray about, getting involved in the work of the Lord in some way. You might also consider creating new ministries and outreaches so that you can share the gospel. There are kids in Sunday school that never heard the gospel. Some parents drop their kids off at church and pick them up an hour later and never go to church themselves. If they receive Christ, they may become the evangelist in the family. If you lead a small Bible study, or are involved in anything around people, there may be those who don’t know the Lord. Don’t assume everyone you see at your church knows the Lord. Many churches have men and women’s ministries, and there are many who go to these who don’t know the Lord. You could have events or guest speakers in any ministry where you could invite friends and neighbors who don’t know the Lord. Don’t assume that everyone at your church knows the Lord either. I’ve been on missionary trips with people who don’t know the Lord.

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Share where you work
Since you’re already going to work, share the gospel there. I love going on missionary trips, but between missionary trips I had to go to work. This could be your greatest mission field, and why God has you there. As a school teacher, I felt it was for me because I usually saw over a hundred students every day, which was far more people than I saw at other times. There were times when I was direct and to the point just like on a missionary trip, other times I responded to something someone said and shared part of the gospel, and sometimes I was able to share the gospel because I had established friendships.

There were times I just shared the gospel. Some teachers I worked with just ask me what I believed or had questions about evolution. We were actually required to teach about Christianity, which opened door to share what Christians believe and the gospel. As far as I was concerned, the door doesn’t get any wider than this, or more obvious. After they changed the names of Christmas and Easter vacation to winter and spring break, I told students what these holidays use to be called, and why people still celebrate them. In other words, I created my own opportunity to share the gospel.

Other times I would respond to something someone said. Some teachers and students would actually ask me what I did on missionary trips, which created opportunities to part of share the gospel. I did the same when students asked me about my life. When people asked what I did last weekend, I often told them I was in prison, which lead to talking about prison ministry, what we do there, or what it’s like there. I often told them of some famous inmates I talked to, which sometimes provided opportunities to share. Be creative and look for opportunities even it doesn’t look like you have any. Sometimes you can turn negatives into positives. For example, when I taught what evolutionists believed, I also told students that other qualified scientists believed in intelligent design, and then explained that they believed, which lead to sharing the gospel. I did the same when we studied about people who worshipped idols or believed in other false religions.

Sometimes it’s better to establish a relationship and wait for the Lord to open a door to share the gospel. This is often true for people who have heard the gospel and have some negative feelings about it. As you talk about other things, you are hoping they see the peace and joy, or see the Holy Spirit working in your life. Many call this “relationship” or “friendship” evangelism. As you establish relationships, be ready to share testimonies or part of the gospel. People will start to trust you and they will often begin to tell you things they may not tell anyone else. When this happens, be a good listener, tell them that you will pray for them, (and really pray for them) and then check up on them to see how they are doing. God could answer your prayers by giving them a hunger to seek Him, which can lead to sharing part, or all, of the gospel. Sometimes, “People need to know how much you care before they care about how much you know.”

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Share wherever you go
Sometimes you don’t have to “go” anywhere. You’re already out doing things among people who need to hear the gospel so look for opportunities. God knows this too and He can lead people your way if you are willing. I have found that after going on missionary trips and outreaches, it’s a lot easier to bring up the gospel with people you see everyday. I’m sure the reverse is also true, that is, if you regularly share with people you know, it’s a lot easier to share on outreaches. The main thing is to just be ready when there are opportunities. When you talk to people, and tell them a little about your life in regards to your Christian faith and watch how they respond. If they seem interested, share a testimony or ask some questions, (like I went over in chapter four) and see if you can get started. If they’re not interested, just continue what you’re doing.

Be on the look out for opportunities when you go to the doctor, go out to eat, get a haircut, or go anywhere for that matter. When people indicate they aren’t having a good day, share a testimony and tell them about how Jesus has made a difference in your life. Even the most professional looking people have bad days and could be very interested in hearing about the hope you have. Tell them that you will pray for them, and then really pray for them. Better yet, ask if you can pray for them right now.

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Continue being flexible
You not only need to be flexible when you share the gospel, you need to be flexible when you go out to share the gospel or when you’re out doing anything for that matter. It’s OK to make plans, just be willing to change them, and be willing to be interrupted. Jesus and His disciples did this all the time. There have been many times that we set out to go somewhere, but ended up going somewhere else. Sometimes we saw other opportunities and other times we just couldn’t get there due to traffic. You may head out to share at a convalescent hospital, but end up sharing in a neighborhood nearby instead or vise versa. After you share with several hospital patients, God may want you to share with an employee or with a relative who is visiting someone. After you go to a specific place for a while, don’t think you have to keep going back to the same place every time. Be open to try new places. This is part of letting Holy Spirit lead. You could share with a dozen people who aren’t busy, and then God may want you to approach someone who is busy.

If you are still a little (or a lot) hesitant about sharing the gospel, just remember that God wants us all to share the gospel. You don’t have to be outgoing, a Bible scholar, or a gifted evangelist. Timothy was not an evangelist, but Paul told him to, “Do the work of an evangelist.” (2 Timothy 4:5) Never underestimate what God can do when you are willing.


Your assignment
I bet you can probably guess what you next assignment is. Go somewhere and share the gospel. Pray first, go with a friend if you prefer, but go somewhere and share the gospel. This is exactly what Jesus told His disciples to do.

« Back to chapter 6 | Continue to chapter 8 »

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