SOUL WINNING GUIDELINES
1. PRAY FERVENTLY:
Pray privately (i.e. at home) well in advance of outings and pray privately for the people you make contact with. Pray as if the eternal destiny of people's souls depended on God hearing and answering your prayers, remembering how Moses interceded for rebellious Israel many times (Exodus 32, Numbers 14, etc.) and how Paul prayed for his fellow Jews (Romans 9:3). Pray according to God's promises in His Word. For example, you could pray that God would give you the joy of the Lord for your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Remember: "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it" (Psalm 127:1)
2. THINK LIKE AN AMBASSADOR:
Remind yourself that you are going out with the intention of trying to best represent your precious Lord and
Saviour. Groom yourself as if your appearance really matters. Dress neat, be clean, use breath-mints, etc.
3. A WORKMAN BRINGS THE RIGHT TOOLS:
Carry an easy to read Bible: avoid anything too large or too small and avoid computer Bibles and anything else that would be distracting to you or to others.
B. Bring an extra New Testament with you to give to someone that may not have a Bible but would like one. The Bible should be labeled with your church
or ministry's contact information to provide a way for the person to obtain
follow-up information and additional discipleship.
C. Bring tracts appropriate for who you will meet: tracts in various foreign languages
(Spanish, Hindi for people from India, Arabic for Muslims, etc. Bring
tracts that , Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, etc. Be sure to check out our
article "Good Versus Not-So-Good Evangelistic Literature
D. Bring something to write down information about people you contact and prayer requests or other needs they may inform you of.
4. ACT LIKE TRUE MEN AND WOMEN OF GOD:
Arrive early for soul-winning outings to ensure that there is adequate time to prepare materials and to pray together.
B. Avoid talking outside of people's doors so they won't hear something you would not want them to hear and so they won't think you gossip about them or others: "Abstain from all appearance of evil." (1 Thess 5:22)
C. Be polite to one another. Do not interrupt your partner or hand a person literature while your partner is talking to the person. One should silently pray while the other one preaches and the one who is not talking can also be looking in their tract bag for appropriate literature to leave with the person. Give each other a chance to talk also.
5. COMPEL THE LOST TO COME IN TO YOUR FATHER'S HOUSE:
Don't be afraid to loudly knock on someone's door or ring their doorbell twice. Many people may not hear the first ring because they are hard of hearing or because they had the TV or radio on.
6. TREAT THEM WITH RESPECT AND CONSIDERATION:
Do NOT hand a person a crumpled up or folded tract. Do your best to provide people with undamaged, high-quality reading material.
B. Do not interrupt the person you are talking to or the person you are with. If you give someone time to talk, they are more apt to listen to you too. Some people have no one to talk to or have problems or concern that they do feel other people do not want to here.
7. STARTING CONVERSATIONS:
First, greet people warmly. You can say something as simple as "Hello. How are you today?"
B. Identify yourselves right up front, verbally as well as in print. People don't like to be kept in the dark as to who it is that has invaded their turf and their day. You can just say "We're from such-and-such a church. Here is a pamphlet that explains more about us and about what we believe."
C. When the person says "What do you want?", you can say something like: "We have something of great importance that we would like to share with you... something that will matter to you personally someday." Be creative, asking God to give you wisdom - that is the key to successful soul winning: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5)
D. If they say they are busy or not interested, then ask them if you can leave something for them to look at on (not in) their mailbox. It is illegal to put anything in other people's mailboxes.
E. Ask questions to begin conversations, in order to give people a chance to explain where they are at spiritually. You can ask them "Do you know where you will be a hundred years from now? The Bible gives us the answer to that question. Would you like to hear it?"
8. BE STRAIGHTFORWARD AND FRIENDLY:
Depending on how the Lord leads you and how much time the person gives you, you may wish to convey to them that:
A. They are always welcome to visit you at the church.
B. There is Sunday school or other programs for them and their children.
C. You are from a Bible-believing Christian church.
D. They should feel free to contact the church at the phone number on the back of the leaflet if they have any questions about you or the Bible or if they would like you to pray for them or their families.
E. You are interested in seeing them in heaven someday and so you are distributing literature that explains God's wonderful plan of salvation.
9. USE WISDOM AND DISCERNMENT:
Do not share the Gospel with people who are drunk or high. Offer them a tract, say 'have a nice day', and move on!
B. If the person says, "I'm Jewish" offer them a Jewish tract.
C. If a person says, "I'm a Hindu" ask them if they speak Hindi or Urdu or Punjabi, and if they say yes to any of these, offer them a tract in that language. NOTE: Hindi is the most common.
D. If a person says, "I'm a Muslim", ask them if they read Arabic. If they say yes, offer them an Arabic tract.
E. If a person says, "I'm a Catholic", you could tell them: "Then I have something just for you" and then give them a Catholic-oriented tract.
F. If you notice the person has a strong accent, ask them if they read any other languages besides English. Very often people will gladly tell you what language they would prefer to read and then you can offer them a tract in that language.
G. If a person's body language is telling you that they don't want you there or that they have heard enough, don't wear out your welcome. Remember - it is God's job to save a soul. He desires to use us but don't think that you need to read the entire Bible to someone before you leave. God's Word is powerful. The right verses at the right time (i.e. when people are paying attention) can be most effective.
10. WRAPPING UP CONVERSATIONS:
When you are leaving, ask the person if there is anything that you could pray about for them or their families.
B. After you leave, jot down the person's house or apartment number and details about the visit and plan to visit them again SOON if they showed interest in knowing more about the Gospel. Plan to visit them again anyway, in the future, realizing that God may be working in their lives even though they showed no interest during your first visit.
11. CONCLUDING AN OUTREACH:
A. When your outing is over, discuss, in a loving, caring way, any ideas you have for improving each other's soul winning approaches. It is essential that we be open to constructive criticism! God wants humble servants who are anxious to learn from their mistakes and from the experience of others.
B. Close in group prayer asking God to water the seed you have just sown.
C. Don't forget to thank God for using you and for what He is going to do through your efforts!