Sharing Christ Text Version

Published by
Mercy Street Ministries
Copyright© 2006

The use of short quotations or occasional page copying for personal or group study is permitted with the written permission of the author. All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.


Everyday we have an opportunity to share Christ with someone that may never know Him unless we take time to share our testimony, faith, or message of Christ with another. Many feel that sharing Christ is difficult with those they do not know. When we come to realize that it simply takes a few minutes to make friends with someone, then we know that it is possible to allow God to use us to fulfill the Great Commission. Indeed, if you can make a new friend then you can introduce them to another friend whose Name is Jesus.

The techniques and information in this book are from my experiences while sharing Christ in many different situations. The Holy Spirit led me as I shared Christ with thousands of souls. I began to notice how people respond to the Gospel when we minister with assurance and understanding. You will discover that the Holy Spirit will lead you as you commit your life to help save lives from an eternity in hell. Knowing that a few minutes can change eternity for a soul then you must ask yourself how can we ignore the lostness in this world. If you know Christ then He is already speaking to you and demonstrating the need to share His life with another. If you don't know Him as your Lord then read the Scriptures within this book as they contain the Words of eternal life and accept Him as your Lord.

Chapter One

Reliance on the Holy Spirit

God's desire is to lead us with our heart through His Words. In His Words He has placed His own thoughts, emotions, and wisdom. His Words alone will help us on this journey to follow Him in the way that He desires. Through our relationship in Him we will receive sensitivity of heart. From this sensitivity of heart to the voice of the Holy Spirit, we can yield to His leading. So many people search for wisdom and struggle to find God's will and yet God has recorded more wisdom in His Written Word than all the books ever written containing the wisdom of man.

Deuteronomy 6
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

Deuteronomy 5
33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

I remember the many ways that God had led me and has spoken to my heart. It is my prayer that you would be led to the lost whose heart has been prepared to hear the Gospel. The following are some of the ways that God has led me to people in need or lost and without Christ. I hope the four points below will help you to recognize the leading of the Holy Spirit and identify ways that you can help others.

His Compassion Can Lead You
Often, I will feel the compassion the Lord has for others in areas where I am sharing Christ. I yield to this compassion that I feel in my heart for those who have hurting hearts and then it seems my heart is led by the Holy Spirit. It seems that at times like this I am changed as lives are changed. Jesus walked this earth and went from need to need and person to person. Matthew 9:36 describes the heart of Christ, "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." Jesus feels for His people and will use your heart to care for others. Sometimes as I am walking I can somehow sense the need and will turn in the direction that I feel led. I remember one night I was in my hotel room alone in LA and the Lord wanted me to go out into the streets of the night. I walked block after block as I was led and would look back to see if I could see the top of the hotel in hopes I could find my way back. I met several gang members who seemed angered that I was in their area. I explained why I was there and how God had led me from my hotel room to here. They apologized and were willing to hear my message. The Lord had compassion on these young men and used me to express His heart to them.

You Can See the Need
Many times when I walk the streets, I simply see the need and reach out to feed the hungry and bring comforting words to those that are hurting. I was in Biloxi, Mississippi and was walking into a fast-food restaurant one Sunday morning when I saw two men near the door who appeared to be homeless. I went in to eat and noticed person after person dressed in their Sunday best walking by those who were hungry. I saw these men coming in to get free coffee and sharing a cup they had found. I was so disappointed in the people who simply walked by with an uncaring heart. Could they not see the need? If we have the ability to help others we should not be afraid to extend our heart to them. The Scriptures expressed this same point in Proverbs 3:27, "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it." I simply bought them a gift certificate and gave it to them. One of them reached out to shake my hand and cried and held on to my hand for several minutes. He was more touched by my heart than the food. I too received such a great blessing as he touched my heart with his thankfulness. The people of Biloxi that walked by that day missed such a blessing when they did not reach out to care.

You can Hear the Need
I can recall so many times that I have heard someone talking and I could clearly hear the words of lostness, fear, depression, or even words of despair. How can we walk by and not offer an encouraging word or to present a living Savior to them? I was walking by a payphone one night and a young lady was crying and talking to her mom in another state. When she hung up the phone I spoke a few words and her heart broke and indeed she needed ministry and we were there to help. When Jesus heard about the death of a young girl He went to the home to raise her from the dead as recorded in Luke 8:50, "But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole." He went from need to need and shared His heart with them. He was fulfilling the will of the His Father and reaching out to a hurting and lost world. Our Lord Jesus has asked us to do the same in Matthew 16:15, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

We Can Hear the Holy Spirit Speaking
Indeed, the Holy Spirit can speak to your heart and lead you into the streets and to those that are in need of hope in Christ. Isaiah 30:21, a Scripture beautifully describing the leading of the Lord, states, "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." In Psalms 119:105 we can see the importance of the Word in leading us, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Walk in an attitude of prayer and expectation for the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you.

The Lord will make a way for everyone to have an opportunity to receive Christ. It is the Word that will change someone's heart as it is planted as a seed into their life. So often I have watched a life change as the Word of God is sown into a person's heart.

2 Peter 1
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Although Jesus Christ died on the Cross for all, there are many who have never heard the Gospel of salvation and others who have not taken the opportunity to pray to receive Christ. We must be willing to share the Gospel with this lost world and be willing to do so soon.

Chapter Two

The Approach

Approaching someone can oftentimes be the most important part of the witness. As Jesus Christ approached someone, He approached with an overwhelming love and friendship. Some were overwhelmed with what they had never felt before. They experienced a supernatural expression of God being shared through Him. As we can see in the Scriptures below, Jesus has told us how He prepared Himself to share with others. He sanctified Himself so others may be sanctified. He prayed that others may believe in Him through the Word. He asked the Father to give others the same relationship He had. He shared His Glory and wanted all to have it. This is the attitude that we need when we approach someone. We want to present all that God is to them in the hope that they will commit all that they are to God. Yes, the approach begins with us as we spend time in prayer and sanctification. Prepare your heart and your life to allow the Holy Spirit to flow through you to others. Remember that your witness is an expression of your life and the life you experience in God. Be prepared to share by spending time in preparation.

John 17
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them

When witnessing on sidewalks, at airports, door-to-door, or other public places you should have something to give someone. The material serves as a point of contact and they will stop for a few moments to listen to what you have to say. If you try to stop someone by speaking to them it can be more difficult to get their attention. Remember that material is not a substitute for you sharing Christ with God's Word. We are to be the witness and not rely on material alone. Whether or not someone receives your tract or a material has a lot to do with what you say. If you say, "Do you want this?," most people will say, "no," and continue walking. If you say, "Let me give this to you," people will extend their hand and stop to talk with you.

Don't Be Ashamed
We must not fear rejection nor be ashamed to share the Gospel. What helps me is to think about their eternity and what would be their future if I had not shared Christ with them. With our focus upon eternity and the need to share Christ we must go beyond our fears and share Christ because we are not ashamed of the Gospel. To be used of God you will need to place His needs and His desires for your life and the lives of others above your own. Jesus came to fulfill the will of His Father in all that He did. In the eyes of man He was shamed and humiliated, however, in the eyes of God He was fulfilling the will of the Father and had joy knowing that He faced the challenge before Him. Whether we are ashamed or not will depend upon our focus. We need to focus our lives upon the Kingdom of God and not this world alone and our perspective will change on sharing Christ. God will give you the strength and the courage to face your fears as you step out in faith and place your cares upon Him.

Romans 1
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God Unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

How Do You See Others?
As an evangelist I notice people's actions and emotions. When I am in public I see so often men's responses to how women are dressed. One day in an airport I saw the shoeshine man stop brushing, and the person on the stand was looking in the same direction. People were turning around in the walkway, as hundreds of men were looking around in this congested airport. I thought that maybe a famous person was coming down the walkway. I looked in expectation to see what the disturbance was all about. Then all of a sudden a lady was walking down the walkway dressed inappropriately. Men were turning their heads and staring. How sad that their focus was upon the flesh. As a soul winner you must bring your life under submission to God and bring your own flesh under submission to Him. How can we see through the eyes of God and listen to someone's heart if we can only focus upon the flesh? Men are not alone in temptation but seem to be more obvious with their reactions. We will have to determine which world we will place our focus.

Many people seem to have trained themselves to ignore the needs in others lives. I watch people as they walk by a homeless person and they never focus their eyes upon them. It seems that so many people have allowed the world to shape their hearts. God can and will change people's hearts as they submit their life unto Him.

James 1
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.

Reach into their Heart
Your words and your care must reach into a person's heart as you share the Gospel with them. Show the person that you are genuinely concerned for them. Extend a few Scriptures with your witness as you approach them with the subject of salvation. When you use the Word and speak in a non-judging way it will be felt by their heart. All hearts were created to respond to the Gospel. The Holy Spirit will flow through the words that you speak and enter into the heart. As you reach out to extend your heart to someone realize that more is happening than what is seen. While you are speaking to someone the Holy Spirit is speaking to them. Their own heart and mind is reminding them of sin in their life along with their own thoughts on eternity. So much is rushing through their mind. I have interviewed many people to see why they responded so quickly to the Gospel and they told me similar stories. Many people tell me that the last sin they committed was in their mind as they were talking with me. Most people find themselves under conviction and hoping you will help lead them in forgiveness of sin along with a relationship with Christ. People need help and are in need of someone to lead them. Don't look for outward expressions of an inward miracle. Continue with your witness in faith and expectation for their heart to be changed. So many people witness by following the expression of someone's face or those watching. Speak to the heart and yield to the Holy Spirit as He leads you.

Have Faith
Simply have faith that God will prepare the way for your witness and send the Holy Spirit before you. It is through faith that God responds to our prayers and actions. When we have faith for our witness we are simply in agreement with Him. To have faith is to trust in what God has promised in His Word. The Word of God contains faith for us to believe for our witness and the faith for the lost to respond as recorded in Romans 10:8, "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach"

Don't Be Embarrassed
Initially, it seemed to be difficult for me to approach a large group of people. I was concerned that I might be embarrassed by their reaction. However, after I have spent so much time in the streets I have seen the Holy Spirit save several people at one time. Don't let fear have an effect on your witness. When I feel the Holy Spirit say that it is time I say, "Take my hand now. I'll lead you in prayer to receive Jesus Christ as Lord." I continue to say, "Be bold and do it right now!" as I take their hand. I have seen even those in a street gang take my hand to receive Christ. Don't expect a negative reaction. Also, as you approach, don't distinguish someone's dress or actions. If we let the way people look affect how we witness to them, then we are trying to do the works within ourselves rather than with the Person of the Holy Spirit. Allow Jesus Christ to have compassion on this world and speak through you to the homeless, the poor, and all that come across your path. As you allow this love of God to stir your heart, you too will be blessed. God loves all people and wants to use you to share with them.

John 3
16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

After spending time sharing Christ, I am comfortable talking to most people in most situations. I also feel the rejection or rudeness by some but I know I must continue on in expectation that at least one person will come to know Him. It is so wonderful to see the one come to know Jesus Christ. You will see the same results as you share your heart and Christ with others. Let the Holy Spirit help you approach others in hopes that a life will be changed to such an extent that those they meet will see the expression of Christ in them.

Chapter Three

Listening to the Heart

When I witness to people they often deal with emotions of their heart that they were no longer aware of and some that they were. When the convicting power of God deals with a heart, the darkness is lifted and the truth is exposed. I remember a man named Jeff that I met at a bus station. God led me to follow him, and I did as he started to walk off into the darkness. I encouraged him to stop and I began to share with him my concern for his soul and shared Christ with him. He listened and was eager to pray and to receive Christ into his life.

Jeff shared with me and said, "The words you spoke were so truthful and full of light." This man's words gave me an insight into what was happening in his heart as I spoke to him. Somehow God used my simple words and pierced this man's heart and reached down deep into his soul and shined the light of the Gospel into it. This man shared with me that he had lived with prostitutes and drug dealers and he felt he had to leave and get away from all of it. Other sins in his life were exposed and he began to walk the best way he knew how but still did not have a relationship with Christ. He said he took a job as far as he could from where he had lived and tried to stay busy so he would not revert back to his old life.

Jeff was following his heart, the best way he knew how and his heart was leading him to Christ all along, without him even knowing it. I found it encouraging that God was dealing with him so intensely and He was leading Jeff to Him. Every day Jeff was walking further away from sin. Then one day God arranged for me to share Christ with him and to help him complete his new life. Now Jeff has a heart that is new and a heart that will not fail him but will lead him into eternity with Christ. Oh, how precious is our Lord who can direct our lives if we will just listen to our heart.

I am reminded of a Scripture in the book of Acts that is much like others who heard the Word and their heart responded to what they heard. Remember, when we share Christ with others there is more happening than what can be seen. The person of the Holy Spirit will speak to their heart with such intensity that they will hear Him, that they will come to knowledge of Christ, become saved, walk away from their past, and repent of their sin.

Acts 2
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, 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.

Most of us deal with certain aspects of our heart on a daily basis. We must let God examine our lives and allow Him to expose our heart to the Light of the Gospel. God is speaking to His creation, but are we listening? In my own life when God called me, He began to cause me to deal with certain things in my life. For years, He has spoken about what I needed to change in my life and I had to deal with these areas of my life to walk further in my calling with God. It is a choice to follow God further and we must be willing to change.

Our walk with God would become so clear if we could simply change our focus. Most people have their eyes and lives focused on this world and life's struggles. Our life must be focused upon the Kingdom of God. This life is so short and the rewards are so meaningless. Only our relationship in Christ will endure eternity. The question is, where is your focus?

Many people have asked me how they can hear God. The most powerful and assured way to hear God is in His Word. The Word of God was inspired by God and therefore contains His voice. You can hear His voice as you begin to read His Word. The more you can hear His voice in the Word the more you will hear His voice. This concept is so simple and yet so true. I enjoy following the life of Christ through the Gospels and see Christ walking from one need to another. He spent so much of His time sowing His life into those that would simply follow Him. He is looking for those who will follow Him today. I see a Jesus in the Scriptures who stopped along a street one day, saw a man in a tree named Zacchaeus and spoke to him and said, "Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house." He spent time with people and spoke to them regardless of wealth or their stature. This same Jesus is alive today and extending His hand to the lost as you extend your hand. Be a follower of Jesus Christ and listen to His voice!

John 10
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

It is time for all of us to begin to listen to the Scriptures for ourselves. Many Christians will go from church to church to hear from God and yet He was with them all along. We must obey the voice of God to continue to hear His voice. Adam and Eve heard God's voice and failed to obey it. In the beginning man was given the ability to hear from God. Adam walked with God. The longer that sin grips a person's heart, the further that heart will lead them away from God. After Adam and Eve sinned they could still hear from God.

Genesis 3
8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

Although Adam and Eve heard from God, they were not looking for Him. They already had their heart full of sin. They were walking in rebellion and they choose to ignore the things of God. Only an encounter with the convicting power of God will expose their sin and allow them to hear God. It was God's desire to restore His creation back to Him.

Moses heard from God and God used him to direct the lives of many. He enjoyed the fellowship of God on a daily basis. Others that followed Moses often found themselves in disobedience and wanting to go back to Egypt. Although God was speaking through Moses, the people were not hearing for themselves. It is the will of God to speak personally to all of His creation. We must put ourselves in a position to hear Him.

John 5
37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

I challenge you to walk closer to God and He will walk closer to you. Listen for His voice in your daily life and in the Scriptures. What I enjoy so much about God is that I find great comfort in knowing that He is always listening to our prayers and thoughts we have of Him.

We Must Speak to the Heart
So many people in the streets are dealing with emotions of their heart. They are aware of the problems they will face tomorrow and the struggles of the past. Every person has needs in their life and face struggles in this world. For example, I attended a technology convention in Kansas City, Missouri and was walking back to the convention hall. My friend named Rich and I noticed a man walking towards us with the physical signs of multiple sclerosis. His hands were swaying back and forth and had much difficulty walking. Rich spoke to him and encouraged him and told him how well he was doing. I was so surprised that his body responded and the man walked perfectly approximately twenty steps. His body responded to words of hope. I told Rich that I do the same in the streets and bring hope but through the Words of Christ. Many people respond quickly as years of depression are lifted. This man's heart heard the words and his body had responded. The Scripture says in 3rd John 1:2, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." How much more would this man have responded with words of hope and salvation through the Words of Christ?

People Can Feel Your Heart
Every time I am in the streets I notice that many people genuinely know that I care for them and have a desire to help them. It seems that often they respond to the fact that I value them and care for them. One very cold night in St. Louis we drove until we would see someone in the streets walking. We would park a block ahead and walk back to the person we saw in the streets. One man was very drunk and walking along a sidewalk. Within minutes, he sobered up and was so glad that we cared enough to be in the streets. The wind chill was ten degrees below zero. We had noticed earlier when we tried to write the names of the people saved our pen would not write because the ink would freeze within minutes. I had never seen this before. When we led him to Christ and three of us hugged him separately. He looked at us and said, "You have it and you have it, but you do not have it." One of the members of the team heard what this man had said. It was the next day that my friend told me that he can still hear the words of this man. He knew there were areas in his heart that must be changed. Indeed people can feel our hearts when we minister to them. Take time and prepare your life and allow the Lord to reach further into your heart.

Listening to the Heart
Listen to the words of the person you are speaking to and trust that the Holy Spirit will not only lead you in your conversation but lead them. We must take time to listen and be slow to respond and the Scriptures indicate in James 1:19, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:" When you are listening, the other person feels as if you value them. I have learned so much from listening to someone. I remember one night in St. Louis, Missouri as I was sitting on a park bench between two homeless people. I was doing an Internet radio broadcast and asked them if they would like to tell people how we can help someone homeless. I had spoken to them for sometime and did not judge them with my words describing them as homeless. One man said, "If you give us soap we could be clean. If you give us food we could live. If you smile and speak to us we could live one more day." How powerful was this statement and I am so thankful that I took time to listen. As we listen we can hear more than the words and can hear the pain and sometimes joy.

Listening to the Holy Spirit
One that truly knows and hears the heart of mankind is the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that we can hear the intents and responses of the heart. Often in the streets I am listening to the person while hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. I remember one day that I went to lunch with a friend of mine who has walked along side of me in the streets for many years. Suddenly the Holy Spirit gave me the answer to the question that He had asked in prayer to God. He did not remember the question and then as clearly as I heard the answer the Holy Spirit gave me the question. I told him the question and the answer. Then he was certain that only God would have known what He had prayed only twenty minutes before. The Holy Spirit is alive and can speak to your heart and make known to you the words to say to change a heart and thereby change a life. Be in expectation of the Holy Spirit to lead you, speak to your heart, and encourage you along the way as you encourage others.

King Nebuchadnezzar was in search of someone that could not only interpret his dream but tell him the dream too. Daniel 2:5 records this request, "The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it." David was able to share the dream and interpretation with the King through the God he served. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in His Word and in your heart and you will hear the mind of God.

Sensitivity of heart comes from our fellowship with the Word of God. So many people are in search of a personal Word from God, yet He has written the Word of God in such a loving and marvelous way that it was written for all. As we read the Scriptures we should take time to experience them and to feel as Christ felt and to see as He saw as He walked among the people. As we spend more and more time in fellowship in His Word we will be changed. Somehow the more we read of Him the more we receive of Him!

Chapter Four

Building a Bridge

While I witness, I often notice many people who want to come to Christ lack the courage to respond. It is important that we build a bridge to help them find the strength to overcome the hindrances that discourage them from accepting Christ. We can build a bridge in many different ways.

I was witnessing to a young man in Gray Rock, Arkansas, and he had a genuine interest in coming back to Christ. However, as I witnessed, his father was watching, and the son felt uncomfortable responding to Christ. I took a few steps sideways and blocked the view between him and his father and spoke more quietly. I was creating a better environment for the witness. I tried to make it easier for him to come back to Christ. The young man rededicated his life to Christ.

In Paris, Arkansas, I was witnessing to three ladies in a park. I sensed that two of the ladies did not have a relationship with Christ. When I issued the invitation to come to Christ, the ladies looked at each other but no one would admit they were away from Christ. It was time to help them come to Christ. I said, "Let's all take hands and I want to lead you in a prayer." I told them to pray this prayer like they meant it. I led them together in the sinners' prayer. I asked, "Who prayed that prayer and meant it and came back to Christ?" Again, they both looked at each other and no one said anything. I said, "You two ladies came back to Christ didn't you?" They admitted that they did and now tears seemed to come to their eyes. This was the first time I noticed that people really need help to express their emotions, and to build a bridge to Christ. All of us have different emotions and I believe that we should do anything we can do to help someone to Christ. We helped them overcome embarrassment and find Christ.

Also, when I am witnessing I will issue an invitation for someone to come to Christ. I have seen some issue an invitation by simply saying, "Do you want to pray to receive Christ?" Most will say, "No," because they do not know how to pray and they are too embarrassed to do this on their own. They do not understand what it is they are being asked to do. I make it easy for them to respond to Christ and make it clear what they can do to receive Christ. Again, this bridge will help them to respond. I have noticed that many people want, with all of their heart, to respond but just cannot. I will say to the person, "If you want to receive Christ, take my hand." I warmly extend my hand close to them and make it easy for them to take my hand. I will then say, "I will pray now, and you can follow me in a prayer to invite Christ into your heart." Helping others pray is an important bridge to Christ.

I sat down on a curb beside a homeless man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to be closer to him and not look down on him. By sitting with him, I was able to identify more with the man and build a bridge to Christ. He became comfortable with me sitting with him, and we had an enjoyable discussion. After a few minutes, I changed the focus to Christ. The man quickly came to Christ and seemed to be saved and became my friend. I recorded Morris's name in my journal so that I will always remember our talk on the curb. It is so important that we learn how to identify with those we speak to and create the best possible opportunity for them to hear the Gospel and be converted to Christ.

The technique of building a bridge is what we see in church services. When we see a pastor invite people in a service to Christ, we see an invitation given with everyone's eyes closed and for those wanting to accept Christ to raise their hand. While the techniques vary, the idea is still the same. We are trying to make the person feel comfortable in coming to Christ. In church, a pastor is asking for a response of a raised hand. In the public we are asking for a response of an extended hand.

While techniques are useful and important, it is most important to allow the Holy Spirit to give the person the courage and conviction to come to Christ. All of us can remember when we came to Christ. We can remember the conviction that we felt and the courage we had to respond. The most important bridge to Christ is by the person of the Holy Spirit.

Through our Words and Actions
Through our words and actions we can build a bridge from a person's heart to their Savior. Sin can separate people from their own emotions and make it difficult to respond to what they feel. It is our hope as a witness that we will reach into the heart of God as we search for words to speak to the lost that would cause them to find the faith to respond. Hearts are searching all over this world and lack the ability and courage to reach further than their fears and failures in this world. Hearts are lonely and in despair and will wander through life and never know the freedom that is available through the One who is in search of them. How interesting to know that Christ is searching for them. This is what I feel when I am in the streets. I see a heart in need wanting help to reach for peace with God and peace for their soul. Let your heart feel for those that cannot feel for themselves.

1 Peter 4
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Demonstrate Your Concern
As a follower of Christ we must demonstrate our concern for those in need and willing to demonstrate our care by helping others. So many times I have been able to build a bridge to homeless people through simply a hot meal. I love to get a bag of hamburgers and visit parks where homeless people are resting. I will many times wake them up by placing a hamburger in their hand. They know you care when you take time to feed them. If you do not have food and someone is hungry then walk them to a restaurant and buy them a meal. It is our responsibility to feed the homeless. Also, I enjoy simply sitting down and eating with them and making conversation. I have received the same welcome all over America as I took time to care.

Matthew 25
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, 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.

Mother's hearts seem to open to the witness of Christ when you give them toys for their children. We have a bag of toys in our vehicle and we will let the children pick out their own toys. So many times we have seen moms give their heart to Christ after we give their child a toy and issue an invitation for the mom to come to Christ. What joy we receive when we see the smiles on the children's faces.

Completing the Bridge
We must complete the bridge in our witness by issuing the invitation for them to come to Christ. Many people have been witnessed to and walked away lost because the invitation was never issued and the person was not lead in a prayer inviting Christ into their heart. We must be their courage and have courage to lead them fully to Christ. In Revelation 3:20 the Scriptures reveal that Christ is waiting to enter a heart, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." As you bring them to a point of decision invite them to pray with you asking Christ into their heart.

Chapter Five

Preparatory Prayer

As you share Christ with others you will see people reject your witness. I saw several people that did not come to Christ one day and I prayed about it. I said, "Lord what is wrong? Why didn't those people get saved?" The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, "You did not pray for them." I knew I had heard from God and couldn't wait to share Christ with the next person. I knew that I would see many come to Christ. Sometimes those that had fallen away from God had become hardened to the Scriptures and to God. Other times people's lives may be spiritually influenced by the enemy. Therefore, I offer to have a word of prayer with them before I share the Scriptures. I call this prayer the "Preparatory Prayer."

The Lord showed me that by having a prayer with someone who I felt would be a difficult witness would enable the Holy Spirit to have access to their heart. The preparatory prayer is a request for the application of the Blood of Jesus on their heart. Through prayer the Lord will cause the enemy to be bound from interrupting the witness. In the prayer we ask that the Holy Spirit would make my words clear and help them to understand. The Holy Spirit will cause your words to penetrate deep into their heart. Also, they are now expecting us to share something with them before they go. Lastly, we ask that they would have long life and long health as it is mentioned in Psalm 91:16, "With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation." Certainly you would listen to anyone that prayed for you to have long life and health. Also, we are using the power of agreement with the person. If the person and you are in agreement with your prayer it sets the stage for God to produce a miracle in the person's life. In Matthew Chapter 18, we can see the power of prayer available to bind the enemy in verse eighteen. The power of agreement is in verse nineteen. The Lord has promised in verse twenty to be present when we are gathered in His name.

Matthew 18
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

I have seen example after example where people rejected my initial witness; I prayed the preparatory prayer with them; and then I would see them come to Christ. As you pray it is a good opportunity to touch their shoulder or hold their hand, if appropriate. I believe that by touching them on the shoulder or taking their hand contact is made in a spiritual way. They can feel the love of God and His anointing can flow through you into their heart. I pray similar to this prayer:

"Father in Jesus Name, we ask that you would touch them and strike the Blood of Jesus across their heart. Father, give understanding to my words as I speak and help them to know you in a more personal way. Lord, it is our prayer that the Holy Spirit would surround them with conviction and that your mercy would be poured into their life. And Lord, give them long life and health and help them to follow you all the days of their life. Lord, we ask for a hedge of protection about them. In Jesus name we pray. Amen."

After the prayer, I read Romans 10:8-10 to them and issue another invitation and I have seen person after person pray to receive Christ. I feel that praying for them made the difference. When I am in a bad area in the heart of an inner city, I will often begin my witnesses with the preparatory prayer. When I approach them and introduce myself I will say, "Let me pray and ask God to bless you." As I am asking, if I can pray for them, I reach and place my hand on their shoulder. Most people will respond and allow you to pray for them.

I remember the first time that I prayed the preparatory prayer. I was visiting a friend's mother that was thought to have a terminal illness. It was imperative that she become saved since it was not known if she would live or die. Family members and others had tried to share Christ with her and she would not pray with them. I approached her bedside and was about to pray when I thought it was important to follow the leading of the Lord. He wanted me to first pray for her before I issued the invitation. I prayed a simple prayer and then issued the invitation. To everyone's surprise she held my hand and followed me in a prayer inviting Christ into her heart. The presence of the Holy Spirit was so wonderful that day as she was saved. Although she departed this earth from her illness, we knew that she had indeed received Christ. She was the first of thousands that would come to know Christ from the preparatory prayer. Let the Lord touch lives as you reach out and pray the preparatory prayer.

Chapter Six

Delay of the Heart

Understanding more about witnessing will help us be a more effective witness. I have witnessed to so many individuals that I have noticed something I will call a delay of the heart. The Lord deals with all of us differently and our hearts are all different. I noticed as I spent more time with some individuals, I saw interesting results. Many who had already said they were saved or those who said that they were not interested seemed to experience conviction and the Holy Spirit would begin to deal with their hearts. Oftentimes these responses would surprise me. It seems that some individuals need more time with the Holy Spirit. It is so important to sow the Word of God into someone's heart and be sure and wait for it to be nourished.

1 Peter 1
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

It seems the delay is as if a seed is growing and a war is being waged for the soul. Is the delay from the heart? Could it be that the world that has entered the heart tries to choke the Word and we must give time for the Word to come forth as a seed?

Mark 4
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

A pastor and I were going to witness for about an hour since it was so cold outside. I could see he was really enjoying going door to door. Now the pastor and I walked back to the same park that I had witnessed in earlier. We saw several kids playing basketball. We walked across the park and talked to the kids. It was a textbook witness. We asked the kids if they were saved and they said, "Yes." Then I probed further and asked if they had ever prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and they had not. One young boy was eager to give his heart to the Lord and as I took his hand the pastor and I noticed something happening to the other young boy. We noticed he was crying and reaching out like he was blind while trying to take our hands. It seemed that he was experiencing a tremendous conviction by the Holy Spirit. The pastor asked if he wanted to give his heart to the Lord and he said, "Yes." Both young men accepted Jesus as Lord. It was a beautiful witness day. I will remember this day and I will return in hopes of more souls.

Several months later a deacon from my church and I went back to this same park to witness. We met the eleven year old boy who was saved as the Holy Spirit seemingly convicted so strong. He was playing basketball on the same basketball court where I had spoken to him before. I remember this boy had something unusual happen to him as the pastor and I witnessed to the other boy that day.

This boy told us his story in his own words. It was a powerful testimony and so pure. He told us that he had been saved on the basketball court and he has new friends. It seemed that he had not chosen the friends but they found him. The Lord prepared him new friends. I told him that I remembered him standing beside a pastor as we started to pray for another young man. I said that I remembered him crying, reaching out, and being overtaken by God as he asked for salvation. I asked him to tell us what had happened that day. He said that God spoke to him that he must be saved at that moment and that he felt the presence of God going through him. It was interesting to hear what happened to this boy in his own words. Surely God was on the basketball court that day through the person of the Holy Spirit.

We gave him a WWJD bracelet and explained what it meant. I am sure God will keep this young man. It seems that He chose him on the basketball court. I was excited to see that day on the court as we saw the convicting power of the Holy Spirit radiate onto this young man as we prayed with another.

This is what it is all about. The fruit remains and the young boy was changed, not by us but by the power of God. Continue to pray for those that come to know Christ in the streets that God would keep them from evil.

I thought later that the convicting power of God took longer for Robert than his friend. We should be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and allow Him time to work in the hearts of those who we speak to. We need to take our time with the one person we are speaking to and not be concerned or distracted with anything else. Have we missed opportunities to win others to Christ by expecting an immediate response? While we see people saved sometimes as quickly as in ten seconds, we need to be prepared for those that require longer for the Lord to deal with them.

Psalms 25
2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4 Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

On another occasion, we met a young girl in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and her name was Candy. She was sitting on the passenger side of an old red pickup truck. We shared with her about Christ, and I asked the Question as I extended my hand and placed it on the ledge of the pickup window. She looked at my hand, and for some reason, just sat there and trembled with conviction. At an early age, Candy had already been involved so deep in sin that it was difficult for her to make a decision. It was so sad to watch as she tried but could not take my hand to receive Christ.

Her mother returned to the truck, and I spoke to her as I left my hand on the truck window's ledge for Candy to take. The mother said that they both were Christians. I told her mother that Candy was not a Christian and was lost in this world and for her to begin praying that her daughter would come to Christ. As her mother cried, I waited and waited. Finally, about ten minutes later it seemed to take all her strength to reach and take my hand. Candy took my hand that day and I was glad that I waited for her to come to Christ. I was so excited to see this miracle of salvation as Candy was born again. There seemed to be a delay in Candy's heart as the Holy Spirit worked within her soul. Candy wanted to make the decision, once and for all, for Christ. Was it unusual to lead someone to Christ in a pickup truck? Should I have waited until she somehow found the front door of a church? Would she have had the courage to come? Only God knows!

In the Bible, we have seen many examples of delays working in the life of an individual. We can see that the answer to Daniel's prayer was delayed twenty-one days.

Daniel 10
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

While the Lord answers immediately, it seems that Daniel's prayer was delayed from spiritual influences in this world. Oftentimes, we see this in the lives of those that we speak to as they try to choose between Christ and that which they plan to do even that night or next week. The Holy Spirit causes all of us to deal with sin and offers us a choice to receive Christ.

Psalms 130
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

Watch their Emotions
Watching someone's emotions can help you see if you are reaching their heart. Many of us can read emotions and know when someone is impatient or understanding. Tears are an outward sign of an inward expression and will often let you see our Lord touching someone. Some people's expressions are almost impossible to read. I remember one time I was in Seattle, Washington and speaking to a congregation and one couple seemed to frown and look at each other during my preaching. I try to find people in the congregation that are agreeing with me and preach to them and I don't let someone negative distract me. However, they seemed to be so disturbed with me that I tried to over simplify my message to reach their hearts. When the service was over they immediately approached me and told me how much they enjoyed my message. I said, "Thank you." I thought to myself then why did they not express it. So I have decided that I cannot always read emotions and mainly regard the positive acknowledgements. I would recommend that you do the same. However, I feel there are times that you will know if someone is really disturbed and you may need to shorten your witness or get to the point you are making quicker. I see some people that sound too religious in their witness and will anger people. There is a balance that you will need to maintain and watch as their emotion may help you to lead them to Christ.

The more you share Christ with people the more you will understand people and their emotions. Everyone wants to feel comfortable talking with someone. We have to be flexible with our witness and understanding of the person. Many times when I am sharing with a homeless or impoverished person I will say I am no better than you and I am here because I care. Many people will tell you how hard their life has been and their struggles. Many people feel comfortable if you tell them that you are not here to judge their sin but to help them to ask for forgiveness and have a relationship with Christ. I will tell the person that Christ does not judge you but cares for you just as you are and only He can change a life.

People can tell very quickly if you do not value them or if you really do not care about them. Your emotions will need to be expressed with your heart as well as your voice. The more you share Christ from a heart of compassion the more the person will feel comfortable speaking to you. When you witness for Christ simply go out and seek to make friends while all the time leading them to Christ.

Chapter Seven

The Ask

The Question
It is always a good idea to make general conversation first and try to enjoy their friendship. When you feel the timing is right then say, "Let me ask you a question. If you died tonight would you know without a doubt that you would go to heaven? Answer as if God were listening." Optionally you could ask them, "If you died tonight and stood before God, why would He allow you into heaven?"

While they are thinking, you should pray silently and ask the Holy Spirit to search their heart. Pray with your eyes open and don't let them see you pray. It will create confusion if they see you pray for them. If they respond with a yes, then check further for assurance of salvation by asking, "Have you prayed a prayer aloud and personally invited Him into your heart?" Optionally you could ask them, "When did you invite Christ into your heart?" or "Are you living for Christ at this time in your life?"

Continue your conversation further as the Holy Spirit leads and share Scriptures on salvation with them.

Sharing the Scriptures
Open your pocket New Testament and show them Romans 10: 8-10 as you read it to them. Place their name in the Scriptures where it seems appropriate. This makes the Word of God even more personal. It is a good idea to explain the Scriptures as you go along. The following Scriptures have some suggested comments added in them. The suggested comments that I use are in parentheses in the Scriptures below.

Romans 10
8 But what saith it? (Everyone wants to know what God is saying to them. The Scriptures are asking what does God say. Well, let's see together.) The word is nigh thee, (Hold the Bible out and show them. This says that the Word is near you. Even right in front of you.) even in thy mouth, (It is in my mouth right now and it could be in yours. I am speaking it now.) And in thy heart: (The Word is in my heart and it can be in yours.) That is, the word of faith, which we preach; (The Bible says that faith comes by hearing God's Word. The Word of God will actually give you the ability to believe. But, we must say it aloud and let our heart hear it and faith will come.)
9That if thou (Place their name in place of thou.) shalt confess with thy (Place their name in place of "thy".) mouth the Lord Jesus, (The Bible says that we make a confession out loud. Let's see what happens when we do this.) And shalt believe in thine (Place their name in place of thine.) heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Ok, it says that if we say we believe that Jesus is Lord and God raised Jesus from the dead, we will be saved. But, He has asked us to confess the Scriptures out loud. He will help us to believe. Let's look at the next verse.)
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; (Remember He will give you the ability to believe.) And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Our role as a witness is to sow the seeds into hearts of lost souls. The seed is the Word of God and the Bible says in Matthew 13:38 that the field is the world. The seeds sown into a heart will bring conviction of sin and a need for a Saviour. The Holy Spirit will enter the heart through the Scriptures sown into a life. As we discussed in chapter six, "Delay of the Heart," wait a few minutes and issue another invitation. Be in expectation as you extend your hand inviting them to Christ.

Chapter Eight

The Prayer

Search Your Heart
When praying the sinner's prayer with someone, I search my heart and pray with my whole heart as if I am inviting Christ into my heart for the first time. I encourage you to do the same. Also, when I present the Gospel I present it as if it were to myself. I experience my witness with them and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. Many times His convicting power is so intense that I feel what they feel and the reality of His presence. Every time I begin my witness I search my own heart and ask for my own forgiveness. I want to present God to others from a heart that is dependent upon the redemption of Christ. I am no better than anyone I present the message of Christ to. I too am a sinner saved by the same grace I am extending to others. Romans 3:10 declares, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" With this reality we should go to the streets with a sense of humility and understanding for all. How can we judge one another when we are all the same in the eyes of God? He can look upon us through the redemption we receive through Christ. We can look upon Him because He first knew us.

After I have read and explained the Scriptures, I tell them, "You too can have the Word in your heart and be saved right this moment and you can know without a doubt that you will go to heaven when you die. If you would like to pray that prayer to confess Christ as your Lord then simply take my hand right now and follow me in a prayer." You see it is easier to take someone's hand and thereby say yes than to first say yes with their voice. Also, this gives you a point of contact as you pray for them.

Now pray the sinners' prayer with them that we discussed and tell them about this new life that they have just received. It is always a good idea to give them a tract that has the Scriptures you used in it and to give them a Bible. I always like to write their name in their Bible and the date they were saved. Also, I write the Scripture references that I used in the front of the Bible.

Prayer of Rededication
Oftentimes while someone has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior once in their life, they may not be living for Him right now. They may be backsliden and according to their own words feel they do not have the assurance of salvation. I find that almost one-third of those I speak to in the streets once knew Christ and have fallen away. It is so important to ask the Question and issue the invitation to receive Christ even if they have once been saved. I generally use the same techniques on those that have backslidden as I use with those that have never known Christ. We do ask them if they want to come back to Christ instead of asking if they want to know Christ. Sometimes those that have fallen away have become hardened to the Scriptures and God or may had never fully accepted Christ in the first place.

Now you may ask them if they would like to rededicate their life. And say the following:
"If you feel that He is not as close to you as when you first began to walk with Him or if you have fallen away, would you like to pray and rededicate your life right now? Then simply take my hand and we will pray together."

This gives you a point of contact as you pray for them. It is a very important point to note that you will lead the prayer. I have seen some confused and did not want to come to Christ because they did not know how to pray. Make it clear that you will lead them in prayer. Also, I have seen that those that I train will have more success if they ask for someone to respond by an acknowledgment of simply taking your hand, and thereby saying yes in their heart to praying with you.

If they say yes, then have them pray the following aloud. Tell them sometimes it is best to begin new with Christ when you don't have assurance or have walked away.

Sinner's Prayer

Chapter Nine

Follow-up Evangelism

Follow-up for those that recently come to Christ is very important. Ensure that information is obtained from new converts to ensure you have sufficient information to visit them. Help your church's visitation team follow-up on those that have been led to Christ. If you don't have a follow-up team, form one. If you have enough knowledge to witness you have enough knowledge to lead a follow-up group. Follow-up will produce results in the lives of those who come to Christ. You will see a higher rate of individuals attending church or becoming discipled for Christ if you visit them again. Follow-up is a key to effective evangelism.

In Acts 14, we can see Paul determined to follow-up on those he had shared his life with. Although Paul was stoned and left for dead, he picked himself up and went back to the cities from where he came. This sets the pattern for the concept of "follow-up" work among new converts. This emphasizes the need to return to those you have ministered to and help them to resist the temptations that all face and to share how to follow Christ.

Acts 14
19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Another purpose of follow-up is to remind the person to become water baptized. Their need to fulfill the commission of Christ to be baptized may be the very opportunity the Lord will use to bring this person to your church and thus begin the discipleship process. It is important to help bring the new converts to church and be around others who can help them. Be prepared to explain water baptism but not to pressure the person. So often I have seen God change people's lives over the period of many years. Allow God this opportunity and be patient with the person. A friend of mine was saved and I knew many areas of his life that were not right but I never condemned him. Over a period of time, I watched and was shocked that nearly a year later he cleaned his home of the things that were not of God, he changed his music, continually studied the Word, and began attending church. When you see God work like this in the life of an individual it is a testimony to the saving grace of our Lord. However, your follow-up and encouragement can help ensure the person will continue to follow Christ and become part of a local church fellowship.

I pray that you have clearly heard the heart of God for His people though the words He inspired me to write from the many experiences He has given me and the Scriptures that show the need to share Christ with all people of this world. We cannot let generations perish from this earth without an opportunity to know Christ as Lord and Savior. Choose to serve God with a pure heart and follow the ways of Christ by showing His love for all people.

May God lead you to the streets and homes of this world to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. May your life reflect the Glory of the Lord. I hope that many will come to know Christ as you share the witness of the Word. Always trust that God will be with you.