THE SOULWINNG CONVERSATION
BY MARK HANBY & V. ARLEN GUIDROZ
Each personal evangelist must develop his own unique way of leading a soul to a decision to seek the Holy Ghost There is no single conversation which will always work nor is there one which is even typical.
The soulwinning conversation builds a bridge to the prospect Rather than being a stranger, you become friends. By your sincere interest in the prospect you show that you are a friend. The soulwinning
conversation, then, begins with the human side of life, perhaps by a compliment about their home, children, furnishings or interests and special accomplishments. In this way you establish rapport a
harmonious relationship as friends.
Even humor is good, to set a rather light tone to the conversation and to keep them from being too rigid. Humor will possibly cause them to relax and change their whole attitude toward you and your message.
I. OUR MESSAGE MAKES YOUR CONVERSATION DIFFERENT
The conversation you use with your prospects will vary. The “current Line of thought” (as explained in chapter eight) keeps your approach fresh and vibrant, often changing from week to week. You must not let your words become a memorized section from a book or a rigid repetition of phrases machine-gunner style.
Most denominations use a standard, stock conversation with variations to fit the particular prospect It accomplishes their limited goals. Simply stated, the standard conversation goes like this. ” Heaven is
free and no man can deserve it nor earn entrance. Man is a sinner and cannot save himself. God is merciful and does not want to punish us. But He is also just and must punish us. At Calvary, Jesus paid the price for our sins. His death purchased our entering Heaven and we can receive this gift by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.”
We believe everything in the above statement It is a part of the Gospel in a nutshell and must be said in some way. However, saying only that much results in men only going part way with God. The full gospel must be taught namely, “the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus fulfilled in our lives by repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name and the receiving of the Holy Ghost”
The goals we have are higher and our message is more controversial.
Our goals are:
1. To provoke faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior.
2. To preach Jesus as the only Lord God.
3. To lead people into repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost as a saving experience.
4. To prepare them to know why they have believed this message by giving them a scriptural background.
II. ELEMENTS OF A SOULWINNING CONVERSATION
(Example: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman- John 4)
1. Gain Attention:
Begin where they are, gaining their attention.
“Give Me a drink.” She said, ” How is it that You … ask me .. for a drink? For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans.”
2. Determine Interest:
Use qualifying statements, to determine the depth of interest.
“If you knew who was asking you for water, you would ask Me and I would give you living water.” Note her rising interest now as she says, “Where would you get living water? The well is deep and you have
nothing to draw with. Are you greater than Jacob who gave us this well?”
3. Provoke Desire:
A modest description, factual and powerful, will whet the appetite.
“He that drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water I give will never thirst” This provoked an ardent desire in her heart.
“Give me this water so I will never thirst again or have to come here to draw.” The thirsty soul at noontime, with water available, wants “living water.” This is a troubled woman, who comes to the well not in the morning but when respectable women are not there. She says, “Give me this water.”
4. Recognize Conviction:
Jesus “read” the prospect and dealt with her need. He pin-pointed her sin.
“Go call your husband.” She had no husband but she was involved.
“I have no husband.”
“You’re right You had five husbands and the man you live with now is not your husband.” In this way He said, “You are a sinner.”
She tried to change the subject and even brought up the scriptures, talking about Abraham, Jerusalem and the place to worship. She mentioned that when Messiah comes He would tell them about those
5. Appeal For A Decision:
An appeal for a decision is always necessary. This is the “close.”
Jesus used her diversionary conversation to bring her back to the subject and make an appeal for a decision. “The time is already here when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
He is seeking for such people.”
The woman said, ” I know that Messiah is coming.” Jesus said, “I that speak to you, am He.” The time for decision is now.
III. TYPICAL SOULWINNING CONVERSATION
This is not to be memorized but is an example of hundreds of conversations which could take place. The Lord will help you do better than this.
Introduction: (after knocking on the door)
SOULWINNER: “Hello there, Mr. Evans, I’m James Jones from the First United Pentecostal Church. This is my friend, Al Stewart We wanted to stop by a moment to talk to you about spiritual things (or, ‘a very important matter’ and/or ‘to also give you a gift’). (Hand them the gift This opens the door.)
PROSPECT: “It’s nice to meet you. I’ve seen your church before. Will you come in?” (If not invited in, you say, “May we come in?”)
SOULWINNER: “Thank you, Mr. Evans. You have a lovely home. I noticed the setting as we drove up, it looks comfortable. You’ve lived here a good while, haven’t you?”
PROSPECT: “For five years. We like it here. ”
SOULWINNER: “Tell me something about yourself.” (Draw them out by asking questions that tell you about them. Be quiet listening with interest for about five minutes. His interests become yours. Pay him
a sincere compliment. Then you attempt to discover his spiritual status. Perhaps he visited a good service at the church. His impressions will tell you much about which approach you should take.)
1. Gaining Attention:
SOULWINNER. “May I call you ‘Bill?’ (“Yes”) Bill, I can see you have wide interests and you are a thinking man. Do you feel something great is about to happen in the world?”
PROSPECT. “Yes, my wife and I were discussing how concerned we are about crime, the direction our country is taking and the attitude of many young people today. I wonder where it will all end!”
SOULWINNER. “If you knew the world was coming to end, what would you do? Can you say without a doubt that you are prepared for these things?”
PROSPECT- “I would like to know more about it all. But can a man really be sure he is ready? I joined the church when I was a boy but I’ve wondered about myself since getting away from the church back
2. Determine Interest-
SOULWINNER: ” This concerns many people today. In fact I thought like you do, wondering about the rebellion against nearly everything. I was fearful for myself and my family but the amazing thing is that this fear left me suddenly. That’s tremendous, isn’t it’? When this fear left me, I also was able to really know I was right with God.
Would you like for me to tell you how it happened?”
PROSPECT: “I surely would.”
SOULWINNER. (Give a personal testimony, shortened to about two minutes with all “preachy” and “heavenly” phrases left out It is possible for you to have written it out prior, reducing it to the exciting story it really is. Practice it several times until it becomes a natural story. This is not to make it sound better than it is but to keep you from taking too much time in telling it.)
3. Provoke Desire:
SOULWINNER: “One of the greatest things I learned is that a man can have peace in a troubled world. As long as there is sin there will be wars, rumors of wars and trouble of every kind. The Bible says, ‘There
is no peace to the wicked.’ We are all born in sin. We don’t have to learn how to sin! Every man is a born sinner. And God hates sin-but He loves the sinner. We’ve all felt the condemnation for sins we have
committed. But we have also known the Lord’s love. Bill, do you know how to deserve the Lord’s love?”
PROSPECT: “Well, I don’t suppose I do.”
SOULWINNER: “Bill, no one can deserve the Lord’s love. He did not die for us because we deserved it but while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. His death paid the price for your sin, and made it possible for you to go to Heaven. Bill, what I have just told you is a part of the Gospel. Let me tell you what the Gospel is.”
SOULWINNER: “The Gospel is the ‘death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.’ There is only one gospel. The Bible teaches we must believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ Bill, if I told you to believe the gospel, what would you have to believe?”
PROSPECT: “According to what you have said, I would have to believe that Jesus died for my sins, was buried and rose from the grave.”
SOULWINNER. “You are right Now, if I told you, like the Bible does, to obey the gospel, what would you do?”
PROSPECT’ “I don’t know.”
SOULWINNER: “This is the most important point It is one thing to believe the gospel and another to obey the gospel. Very few people obey the gospel because no one tells them how to do it You are asking,
“How can I obey?” This is the same question the Jews asked on the Day of Pentecost Peter had preached the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus; the Jews had changed their minds about Him and became believers. They felt convicted in their hearts and asked, ‘What shall we do?’ This is what faith will cause you to do. Your belief in Jesus will provoke the question from your heart, ‘What shall I do?’ Bill, do you know what Peter told them?”
(Watch for signs of conviction. Tears, nervousness, or other signals must be carefully watched for.)
4. Recognize Conviction:
PROSPECT: “No. But I would like to know.”
SOULWINNER: “Bill, just like the question is the same, so is the answer. Peter said ‘ … repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost'”
PROSPECT: “Is that what happened to you?”
SOULWINNER: “Yes, Bill, I repented in my heart as I prayed to the Lord. He forgave me instantly and I felt relief. But I knew there was more for me than the removal of my sins. There was something lacking,
an emptiness. I wanted everything God had for me and I wanted to do everything He asked. Baptism in Jesus’ name was as much an experience as repentance and forgiveness. This is the only way the Apostles ever baptized.”
PROSPECT: “Well, I’ll tell you how I feel. When I come into the church I’ll do whatever is necessary to be happy. Is this all you have to do?”
SOULWINNER: “I’m glad to say that it isn’t The Apostle Peter promised that you would receive the Holy Ghost after you repent and are baptized.”
5. Appeal For A Decision:
PROSPECT: “And you have received the Holy Ghost?”
SOULWINNER: “Yes, I did. This is when the joy came and the fear left I knew then I was saved, after completely obeying the Gospel. When I received the Holy Ghost I spoke with tongues like they did on the Day of Pentecost. You can know the same joy and happiness, Bill. I would be so happy to help you, to pray with you, even right here in your home.”
PROSPECT: “Could I receive the Holy Ghost here at home?”
SOULWINNER: “Yes, you can. Or we could go to the church right now. I’ll call some of the men to meet us there. Come on, let’s go now. This is the most important matter in the world.”
IV. THE POWER OF THE “WORD” The most powerful weapon you haveis the Word of God. The force behind the Word is the Spirit of God. As a soulwinner, you are the link between the Word and the Spirit Take the Word forth in prayer and God will confirm it with signs following (Mark 16:15-18). The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). The “power witness” is used of God both to present the Word and be used in the miraculous.
“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33).
You Must Challenge Men With The Scriptures
After a reasonable time, in your prospect visitation, you are not doing the prospect good unless you challenge him to study the Word of God. This, in essence, is the central part of the Pentecostal presentation, in that many people have owned Bibles, or read and heard the Bible preached, but they have never studied it for truth. Unless you provoke a study of the scriptures in search for the truth, your extended visits often become merely “koffee klatches” or neighborly visits.
Personal evangelism cannot stop with the pat on the children’s head, the compliment about their accomplishments nor a discussion about their “antique collecting” hobby. Your soul will ache to get past all that. Admittedly, not everyone is won on the first visit or contact There are some people you must contact over and over again until finally the seed bears fruit The question is, “When do you plant the seed?” How long can you wait before you present the claims of Pentecost? How many pots of coffee do you have to drink before finally you get around to “opening and alleging that Jesus is the Christ?” How many years will you return to their home to invite, and invite, and invite-with no response? Presenting the Gospel is the answer. Each prospect must be met heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul, with the enlightening realism of an Apostolic ministry of the Word. ” Rightly dividing the word of truth” stands with the “power of the Spirit” as the strength of our witness.
Those prospects who are attending your church services are hearing the Gospel, no doubt Their need for the Word will be supplied at the church. And too, those who readily respond to your initial heart-appeal are “ripe.” They will quickly receive the Holy Ghost or begin seeking. You will, however, need to evaluate the progress you are making with the prospect in your invitation to church and decide to take your study Bible on your next visit and begin giving them lessons. There is no need to ask for permission. Just simply say, “The next time I come I want to stay longer and we’ll study the Word of God.” Very few will say not to come.
And Now… The Time Has Come!
How do I proceed to teach the Bible to my prospect? Here are three different ways. You may discover your own approach but these are proven methods that actually work.
1. Home Bible Study Course
A series of charts is available as an aid in systematically teaching the Bible. The General Home Missions Department has prepared nine colorful charts depicting the entire scope of the Bible history and
important doctrines. These full-color charts provide a six to eight lesson series but often the prospect has received the Holy Ghost by the fourth lesson. Order from the General Home Missions Department, 8855
Dunn Road, Hazelwood, Missouri 63042. Please request “The Way Of Life” home Bible study course.
2. Visual Aid Kit
It is difficult for some people to remember the sequence of thoughts and scriptures to use in presenting the message of Pentecost Recognizing also that people remember much of that which they see, a
notebook-sized kit has been printed to aid the personal worker. Page by page the prospect is led through the scriptures climaxing in the message of Acts 2:38. Visual illustrations and two-color printing emphasize the important points. Many people have received the Holy Ghost as a result of a skilled use of the Visual Aid Kit It is available in pocket size or notebook size from the same address above.
3. Systematic Study Method
“Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth”
Most people do not understand the Bible. Because a prospect has studied the Bible is no guarantee he can “rightly divide the word of truth.” Give them a simple Bible study, starting with the basics. We
believe a person can understand the Bible (I Cor. 2:10, 14), that the Bible is God’s inspired Word (II Pet 1:21) and there are no contradictions (any apparent contradiction is not the fault of the Bible but is because of a person’s limited understanding of it).
By starting with the simple divisions of the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, the soulwinner can impart much truth. Define the word “Testament” as “covenant or will” (Old Will, New Will). The Old
Testament is a foundation for the New Testament with types and shadows, introducing many subjects and ideas which become a reality in the New Testament Examples: The lamb as a sacrifice, Ex. 29:39 (Jesus in the N.T. John 1:29); Blood for remission, Gen. 9:4; Heb. 9:22 (Jesus’ blood in the N.T. I Pet 1:19); The Spirit outpouring promised, Isa. 32:15; Joel 2:28, 29 (The Holy Ghost in the N. T. Acts 2:16-21). Build upon the foundation of the Old Testament and lead the student into the New Testament, where Life is found, where Jesus lives and the Spirit brings resurrection power.
Knowing how to divide the New Testament is the number one essential in explaining the truth. The three divisions are: (1) The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John); (2) The Book of Salvation (Acts); (3) The
Epistles (Romans through Revelation). Show the prospect what is found in each:
1. The Gospels: Jesus’ life, ministry, death, burial and resurrection. No one received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and no church was born in the Gospels.
2. Book of Salvation: The Church was born here, full salvation is introduced, people received the Holy Ghost and were baptized in Jesus’ name. Different local assemblies of the one true church were
3. The Epistles: Written to already established churches. These are written to instruct Christians (not sinners) how to live for God and how to get along with one another (discipline). We find no church
established, no record of anyone being baptized or receiving the Holy Ghost.
After establishing these facts thoroughly, you are now ready to pin-point scriptures of importance. Show the prospect who is speaking, what is being said, to whom the writer is speaking and its relation (which division of the N. T.) to other parts of the Bible. Such scriptures as John 3:3-5; Matt 16:13-19; John 7:37-39; Luke 24:45-49; Acts 2:1-4; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:1517; Acts 10:44-48; and Acts 19:1-6; Rom. 8:9 and I Cor. 12:3 form a sequence, pin-pointed in the light of the three divisions of the New Testament, which keeps the truth in focus.
After you complete this simple study many of your students will say, “I have learned more about the Bible in this one hour than I have learned all my life.” When they receive the Holy Ghost they then understand the scriptural “why.”
A helpful chart to establish this truth is available from the Apostolic Bible Institute, 3175 Hudson Road, St Paul, Minnesota 55119. The price is $1.00 for 25. Order by this title, “SALVATION! You Have A Right To Know The Truth.
V. BEGIN NOW
The “Power Witness” will have life-giving words to say. Propelled by an inner power, you are a “well of (living) water springing up into everlasting life.”
The Lord will put words into the mouth of the “Power Witness.” Don’t worry about something to say but just let the healing words flow. You will never learn to speak to souls until you begin.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM “THE POWER WITNESS” AND PUBLISHED BY THE GENERAL HOME MISSIONS DEPARTMENT, UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH, HAZELWOOD, MISSOURI, PAGES 49-54.
THIS MATERIAL MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.