I came across these two quotes recently.
From the Gospel Coalition:
Francis Schaeffer was asked what he’d do if he had an hour to share the gospel with someone. He responded by saying he’d listen for 55 minutes and then, in the last 5 minutes, have something meaningful to say. In other words, he listened in order to speak the gospel.
From Reformissionary (quoting Tim Keller):
…a gospel-shaped apologetic starts not with telling people what to believe, but by showing them their real problem. In this case we are showing secular people that they have less warrant for their faith assumptions than we do for ours. We need to show that it takes faith even to doubt.
There is a way of telling the gospel that makes people say, “I don’t believe it’s true, but I wish it were.” You have to get to the beauty of it, and then go back to the reasons for it.
I couldn’t agree more. At CSO, we talk about the 3 stages of the evangelistic process
– Cultivating where you build relationships with people and uncover their worldview (what Keller refers to as their faith assumptions)
– Sowing where you share truth with people – all kinds of truth related to their worldview/faith assumptions as well as a biblical worldview
– Reaping where you help people make decisions – not just the decision to trust Jesus but to believe in God, that he is a personal being, that he desires a relationship with that person, that there is a problem in that relationship, that they cannot overcome the problem on their own, all leading up to trusting Jesus to solve this problem.