“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” (Mark 16:15)
The Bible tells us many times to evangelize, to teach the word to all. But how? It’s really difficult to stand in front of people and firmly tell them what you believe and why. It can be challenging to find the right words so that you’re admonishing in truth but not being rude.
The easiest way to start teaching others is through example. Wait, I don’t have to say anything? Well, not at first. If you show Christ through everything you do, eventually someone will start asking questions. It is a lot easier to tell someone about your faith when they truly want to know.
Ways you can lead through example are:
- Going out of your way to be the nice person. Don’t just stand there when someone drops a pencil in class, go be the first to pick it up for them, then add “Have a great day.” When a friend needs some money to purchase their meal, give it to them, and don’t accept anything in return.
- Showing Christ through every activity. Even though your practice leads to you getting that home run or lead role, God should still be thanked for the opportunity of getting that far. Bringing up Christ throughout all your daily activities will show others how you really mean it when you say “Christ lives in me.” Next time the new schedule is given out for that club you are in, tell them ahead of time, “I won’t be here on (these dates) because I participate in Bible Bowl with my youth group / I have Wednesday night Bible class.” Stand firm in how you dedicate your life to Christ.
- Humbling yourself. Just because you are a good person doesn’t mean you “deserve” to be class president. Don’t go around talking others down or talking yourself up because you feel bad; channel that anger elsewhere (see point one).
To lead someone to Christ, Bible studies are key. In order for someone who came from a different doctrine to fully understand the scriptures, they’re going to need some help. By asking them to meet up and discuss a few Bible topics, you could give them the final encouragement or knowledge they need to obey the gospel. The hardest thing is knowing what to say (trust me, I know). You can overcome this obstacle by asking someone who knows a lot about the Bible (your preacher, an elder, a parent, a friend) to come and help with the Bible studies. My first time was late one night at Bible camp, and I was so nervous that I would forget where a verse was or something, that I had my preacher come and help. There is no shame is being prepared.
Once you’ve invited them to study and set a date and time, you’re ready to go. To start, you could talk to them about Biblical matters they are unsure of (if you already know what they have questions about). If not, three questions to start with could be: Is there a God? Is heaven real? How do you obey the gospel? First, they need to have an understanding of God and the Bible before they can really understand why they have to “obey the gospel” and follow the Bible, so I would start with their understanding of God (His mercy, His love, how He is constant, He is all-powerful, etc.).
Some tips with Bible studies:
- Never argue/target them. When people argue, they do it to prove their side, not learn from the other side. While you don’t need to beat around the bush, debating them just makes them put up their guard and try to defend what they still believe. Try to ask them why they think certain ways, then show them what the scriptures say. Show them the logic in what is right, and explain with examples.
- Don’t jump from topic to topic, until the last one is resolved. When a person is proven wrong, they will try to avoid the subject. Until they affirm that the truth is right, they’re still fighting that belief that they are wrong. It’s hard to be told what you know is not right, do give them time to prove to themselves what the evidence shows.
- Be sensitive. If you study with someone who is Baptist, it’s not the brightest idea to say “They were stupid for believing _____” or “Those denominations don’t know what they’re talking about.” Whether it’s true or not, it doesn’t have to be said. This person you are studying with probably has an entire family in the Baptist church, and insulting them will likely make them feel hurt or upset.
- Lastly, Scriptures, scriptures, scriptures! You cannot make someone believe the sky is red without lots of proof/evidence. The same is with faith: you have to use verses to back up your claims. Just saying “Baptism is essential to becoming a Christian” won’t change their views. But, after saying it, showing them Galatians 3:27, 1Pter 3:21, Acts 2:38 and 22:18, and Romans 6:3-5 might persuade them.
You don’t have to take this information and do it, but you could bring many to Christ by doing so. Everyone is called to teach the word; there are too many lost souls to sit back and let others do the work.
By Lydia Todd
Lydia is from Yorkville, TN (the middle of nowhere) and is a 16-year-old sophomore in high school. Lydia loves to do just about everything.. if she’s tried it she most likely still does it now. She plays soccer, is in the band, and plans to go to Freed-Hardeman University and eventually become a counselor/psychologist.