What is the Holy Spirit's normal way for leading us?
What did Jesus do before He Baptized His Apostles in the
Holy Spirit and sent them out?
What is the mistake that most Christians make?
What does Training in Evangelism do for a Christian and how
does this relate to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
While attending a Christian University, I developed and
taught a class on Evangelism. In this class I taught in four areas: Evangelism,
Discipleship, Basic Counseling and Apologetics. In Evangelism I taught the
student how to explain to a total stranger what it means to be a Christian and
how to become one.
The development of this program came about as the result of
Christians coming up to me constantly and saying, I want to share my faith
with my friends and others, but I just do not know what to say or how to go
about it? Will you teach me how to share my faith with others?
These Christians were Holy Spirit Baptized believers. I am a
Holy Spirit Baptized believer with evidence of speaking in tongues. They knew
all about the power of God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. What was the
problem then? They discovered that experiencing all the gifts of the Holy Spirit
was not enough. What they discovered was that the Holy Spirit does not work in a
vacuum. Normally, The Holy Spirit leads us by what we know.
I was walking to Chapel one day with one of the students in
my training program. A female student that was one of his friends came walking
up along side of us. As we were talking she looked at me and said, "Donít I know
you from somewhere?" My friend said to her in response, "He teaches a class on
Evangelism!" She said in response, "What do you teach in this class?" I
responded, "I teach students how to share the Gospel with others." She said in
response, "Donít you believe in being led of the Holy Spirit?" I did not say it
out loud, but I thought to myself, "If this is her concept of what it means to
be led of the Holy Spirit, then why is she going to school?"
This young lady makes the same mis- take that many Christians
make and that is that they think that being led of the Holy Spirit means to be
empty headed. But what did Jesus say about the Holy Spirit? We read in the
Gospel of John 14:26,
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send
in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance
all that I said to you."
Jesus taught us in His Word that the Holy Spirit does not
work in a vacuum. The Holy Spirit leads us according to the knowledge that we
have. Jesus educated his disciples for three and one-half years. He next
Baptized them in the Holy Spirit and then they went out. Today most
Christians have the cart before the horse. They understand the importance of the
work of the Holy Spirit in their lives but are deceived about the importance of
Education and Training in Evangelism. Training stores your library, the mind,
with necessary information that the Holy Spirit can use when appropriate in any
A CASE EXAMPLE
Several years ago, one night after Church, some brothers and
sisters and I went to a restaurant to have some coffee and fellowship. After we
had been there for a while a couple of sisters walked in all excited because
they had been sharing their faith with some truck drivers outside. One of these
sisters had been a Christian for ten years, the other for four months. I pulled
out a couple of Evangelism Tracts and handed them to them and said, "Go back out
and share these with them." With that they went back out.
About an hour later we all got up to go home. When we walked
out of the restaurant I noticed that the two sisters were still talking to the
truck drivers. I decided to stay around just to be sure they would be okay.
Twenty minutes later one of the sisters walked over to me to
find out why I was standing there waiting. I told her I was just making sure
nothing would happen to them. She wanted me to join them, but I felt it was
Jesusí opportunity for them and told her I would wait until they were done.
Another twenty minutes passed and she came over to me again.
She explained to me that though they knew how to share what Jesus meant in His
relationship with them, they did not know how to tell these men how to know
When I walked over, one of them had gone to sleep and they
were just chatting with one of the fellows. I picked up my Bible and began going
through Scriptures I had memorized through training in Campus Crusade for
Christ, Navigators, and Evangelism Explosion as Jesus was leading me by the Holy
Spirit. I went through all of these programs at one time in my past. An hour
later the young man accepted Jesus into his life by
repeating a prayer
similar to what is in the back of my Evangelism Tract titled,
What Is Eternal Life?.
One of these girls had been walking with Jesus for ten years
and yet could not lead this man to the Lord. This was because she had never been
trained how to. On the other hand, I too had been walking with the Lord for ten
years up to that point, but had been through many Evangelism Training Programs
in the past. Because this was so, Jesus through the Holy Spirit had a vast
reservoir of information in my memory banks to bring to my memory as it applied
to the situation at hand. Because this was true, the Holy Spirit was able to
successfully lead this man to Jesus through me.
These two sisters knew what it meant to receive Jesus Christ
into their lives, but they had never learned how to effectively communicate it
to others. Because this was true the Holy Spirit did not have an adequate
reservoir of knowledge from which to draw upon to successfully lead this man to
Jesus through them.
In John 14:26 Jesus plainly tells us that the Holy
Spirit does not work in a vacuum but is sent to be our helper by
teaching us and bringing to our remembrance what we have been taught by Jesus in
the past through the Holy Spirit, through His Word and through others.
This is certainly true in Evangelism. It is not wrong for us to receive training
in Evangelism. The more we know, the more the Holy Spirit has to work with in
leading us in our efforts to minister to others effectively.
As a young Christian I realized how important training
was. For this reason I signed up for and went through every Evangelism Training
Program that came along. I did not want there to be any situation in
Evangelism that the Holy Spirit could not use me in because of ignorance. The
Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy,
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman
who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the Word of Truth." (2 Tim
The Apostle Peter wrote,
"But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being
ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope
that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." (1 Pet 3:15)
I find nothing in the Bible which indicates that to be led of
the Holy Spirit means to be empty headed. Everything in the Scripture commands
us to study to be prepared to adequately present and defend the Gospel in any
THE BENEFITS OF TRAINING
The PURPOSE OF TRAINING is to:
One, give you the ability to
communicate clearly what it means to
be a Christian and how to become one.
Two, teach you how to lead a person into prayer
Three, teach you how to
disciple the new Christian so he grows in his relationship
with Christ and becomes a stable fruitful Christian.
Four, teach you
how to respond to difficult questions you will encounter on
the field when sharing your faith.
Fifth, teach you how to properly counsel people
concerning their problems and needs and to show them how to draw upon Jesus as
the answer to all their needs.
Sixth, teach you what the leading of the Holy Spirit
is and what it is not.
Seventh, teach you
Witnessing Ethics: which is what and what not to do when
sharing the Gospel with men.
The BENEFITS OF TRAINING
in Evangelism are:
in communicating the Gospel.
Boldness in witnessing since you know exactly
what to say and how to say it.
The ability to keep the conversation centered on
Christ and not get side tracked to other non-essential issues.
And leaving with a satisfied feeling of
knowing that you have communicated clearly what it means to be a Christian and
how to become one whether the person accepts Christ or not, because then when
the person is ready he will know what to do and how to do it and who to get in
contact with when he does.
The first step to successful ongoing Evangelism is going
through a Training Program in Evangelism. In the next Chapter we will talk about
what ingredients are necessary in an Evangelism Training Program in order for it
to equip you to do Evangelism successfully and how this school of Evangelism
more than meets these requirements.