Larry Moyer recently published 101 Evangelism Tips: Practical Ways to Enhance Your Witness. Below is a reposting of an interview he had with Hendrickson publishers.
1. What inspired your desire to help others evangelize?
The simple principle of multiplication. Take the number 10 and add the number 2 to it 10 times. Now take the number 10 and multiple it by 2 10 times. The number is vastly different. I believe that training others to evangelize is a way to impact the world for Christ.
2. Which tip do you think holds particular weight in the matter of evangelization and why?
I would say number 1! “Evangelism always starts with obedience.” God directs a moving object. He will help us overcome any struggle we have in evangelism as long as we’re willing to give Him our obedience.
3. What would you say to someone who is feeling really discouraged in regards to their attempts to evangelize?
I’d emphasize several things. First, God is on their team, not on their back. He’s a God of grace. He doesn’t lambast us for any struggle or difficulty we’re having in evangelism or any discouragement we’re facing. He’s just there to help. Secondly, with that in mind, we need to concentrate on Hebrews 4:16 and come boldly to Him in prayer, recognizing that He has the grace to help us in time of need, whatever need that might be in evangelism. A third thing that I would emphasize is the need for experience. The more you evangelize, the more there might be discouraging moments, but there are also very exciting ones. Those exciting ones make the discouraging moments fade in importance.
4. How can fear be a healthy part of the evangelism process?
It teaches us to depend on Him. When we are afraid and depend on Him, He gives us the boldness to overcome the fear, instead of the fear overcoming the boldness. God has more than food and finances, the two things that we often ask Him for. He has a generous supply of boldness. We recognize as with every area of the Christian life that we cannot do it in our own strength. We can only do it through His.
5. For a new Christian who wants to evangelize, how soon is too soon?
When it comes to sharing Christ one-to-one, no time is too soon. In fact, when I lead people to Christ, I encourage them to tell at least two people that they trusted Christ that day. It helps them start doing immediately what they should do the rest of their lives—tell others!
6. If you are evangelizing to someone of a different religion, how important is it for you to be familiar with their beliefs?
You don’t have to know what they believe; you have to know what you believe. Always remember that God sent them across your path for you to talk to them, not for them to talk to you. Besides, most people in a particular religion are not there because of what that religion believes. They are there because someone gave them a sense of belonging.
7. For some, evangelizing is a long and complicated process. What would you say to those who have been praying for the conversion of someone near and dear to them for years?
Keep praying and never stop. I know of people who have come to Christ because someone had prayed for them for over 30 years. As you pray, ask God to send someone in addition to you to speak to them. Often God uses many people to lead one person to Christ.
8. If you feel comfortable sharing, what is an evangelism experience that didn’t go the way you planned, and what did you learn from it?
I had an appointment to talk to a man about Christ who I felt was ripe and ready for the gospel. I couldn’t have been more excited. Not only did I find out that he was not ready to trust Christ, but the longer we talked, I felt that he was further from Christ than when I met him. That’s always hard for me because nobody is promised tomorrow. At the same time, I always have to remind myself of what I tell others: “God holds me responsibility for contact, not conversion.” 1 Corinthians 4:2 reminds us that the issue is faithfulness, not fruitfulness.