“I’m not sure what to say.” “What if I don’t know the answer to a question they ask?” “I don’t want them to think I’m pushing my religion on them.” “If I talk to them about my faith, they may not want to hang out with me anymore.” “I would like to invite them to church, but I’m afraid they won’t like it.”
These and countless other concerns are on the minds of WELS members when the subject of personal witnessing is raised. While God’s people want to reach lost souls with the good news of sins forgiven and eternal life in Christ, their questions and concerns often keep them from boldly and confidently doing so.
This is precisely why the WELS Commission on Evangelism is producing resources like Let’s Go, a video-based personal witness training. It consists of seven lessons in which Christians are taught a simple, three-part process for sharing their faith—Love the unchurched people God has brought into your life; Listen carefully to their cares, concerns, and questions; and Lead them to the gospel so that the Holy Spirit can change their hearts and lives. The lessons can be used in a large- or small-group Bible study setting or by an individual. Our prayer is that this training will make us more confident in our personal witnessing.
In our increasingly unchurched culture, it is more important than ever for Christians to personally share Jesus with the unchurched people God has brought into their lives. In his book, You Found Me, author Rick Richardson reports that when unchurched people were asked “How effective would invitations to church be through the following methods?” 51 percent said an invitation from friends would be very effective. Compare this to just 29 percent for an online video invitation and 18 percent from a Facebook ad. In a 2019 survey conducted by the Barna Group, unchurched people were asked how they would like to explore faith. Thirty percent said a casual one-on-one conversation was preferred—the highest percentage of any method. Compare this to just five percent who would prefer a tract and seven percent who would prefer to explore faith via video. These findings only confirm what we likely already know by intuition and experience: personal witnessing is the most important form of evangelism.
As excited as we are to see how God will bless users of Let’s Go, we know more resources are needed to train the army of witnesses that is WELS. The more equipped our people are, the more likely they will be to share the joy and peace they already know in their Savior. Programs being developed include a Bible study entitled In Season and Out of Season, which will encourage participants to share Jesus both when it is planned and when it is unplanned. Another resource is Entertaining Angels, which will help WELS members understand the important role Christian hospitality can play in personal witnessing.
If you have a heart for helping these important resources become a reality, please pray for the Lord’s blessing on their development and use. Please also consider financially supporting their production.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
Rev. Eric Roecker
WELS Director for the Commission on Evangelism
P.S. You can check out the Let’s Go resources at welscongregationalservices.net.