Evangelistic Method #1 – The Romans Road is an “Intellectual” Method of Evangelism. Romans Road lays out the “path” of salvation through a series of Bible verses from the book of Romans. When arranged in order, these verses form an easy systematic way of explaining the message of salvation. There are many different versions with slight variations in scriptures, but the basic message and method is the same. The Romans Road method is an easy way to explain: who needs salvation, why we need salvation, how God provides salvation, how we receive salvation and finally the results of salvation.
The first step on the path is, Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (KJV) The second step is, Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The third step is, Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The fourth step is, Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” As well as Romans 10:13, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” The final step contains Romans 5:1; 8:1; 8:38-39, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (5:1), “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (8:1), “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (8:38-39)
The advantage to this method is that it is easily understood, simple and appealing to even children. It is very straightforward about sin and the need for salvation. I remember as a youth, we had an outreach ministry at our church that used this method to witness to the teens, and it was very effective because of the simplicity.
I think the only disadvantage I see is that it may be too impersonal and detached for a lot of people who are looking for that personal, compassionate connection in order to make their decision for Christ. It would be best for the person ministering to make sure that he or she is showing love and compassion while delivering this method.
Evangelistic Method #2 – Lifestyle Evangelism is a “Relational” Method of Evangelism. Lifestyle Evangelism can be described as: Proclamation of the gospel with our lips and the affirmation of the gospel with our lives over a period of time through a friendship relationship. Personal relationships create a nurturing climate for the invitation to Christ to be extended. In this case, an unbeliever feels a sense of belonging before the experience of believing. A person is most likely to give you the opportunity to share your faith when your own life has first been shown as proof in order for your words to be truthful and life changing. Lifestyle Evangelism is not intrusive on the other person because you have already established a bond or connection with that person, which gives you the permission to speak into their lives.
There are many advantages to Lifestyle Evangelism. It is an easy way to plant the gospel in people’s lives. For instance, when we are going about our day walking out our relationship with Jesus, it speaks. In this way, even the most timid of people can evangelize. Demonstrating the love of God to others by establishing a relationship with them is exactly what Jesus did in His approach. Jesus was the Word of God that became Flesh and that is exactly what this type of evangelism allows us to be for others. When we use this approach we are fulfilling the command of Jesus in Acts 1:8 when He told His followers to be His witnesses. The emphasis was put on being a witness and not merely doing witnessing (p.184 Early/Wheeler)
A couple of disadvantages to this method could be that sometimes people may not be receptive to it because of some error or mistake they have seen you make in your own life. In this way it may discredit your witness to them. This happens when unbelievers have the impression that Christians are supposed to be perfect, so they get disappointed and disillusioned. There may also be an instance when a Christian isn’t sincerely living out the lifestyle that they preach, being the light in a dark world. Another disadvantage is when a Christian is living a morally sound life but refuses for whatever reason to share the gospel. In this way the unbeliever may not realize that your morally good life is rooted in Jesus Christ.
Evangelistic Method #3 – Door to Door Evangelism is a “Confrontational” Method. Some also refer to it as “Door Knocking”. This method is executed by a group of believers from a church that go out into diverse neighborhoods and witness about Jesus door to door. This method includes inviting the people in the community to church as well as offering prayer. Tracts are sometimes left at the doors where no one answers. Servant Evangelism is also found often within this method ,when people that go door to door offer food and other helps to the residents in the communities.
Like other methods of evangelism, there are some advantages and disadvantages. In view of our current culture of distrust and selfish ambition, a true gesture of Christian love is noticed and goes a long way to opening the communication lines that will lead to an opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This reality is affirmed when Jesus said in John 13:35 –“By this all shall know that you are my disciples, if you have love toward one another”. People in the communities are longing for the display of love and concern from God through others. This method fulfills that desire and is truly an advantage.
One disadvantage is that sometimes when people are attempting to execute this method, they forget to walk in humility and gentleness. If the person witnessing comes on too strong, the people being witnessed to feel intimidated, resulting in the loss of opportunity to share the Gospel. Another disadvantage is that people in our society are not open to people they don’t know, knocking on their door and interrupting their private home life. If this happens, the person you are trying to witness to will tell you to go away or they simply won’t answer the door.
Application of These Methods to Your Own Life – In my own life the Relational methods have suited me best, Lifestyle evangelism in particular. I have worked in the property management field for over fifteen years and it has given me the opportunity to meet thousands of people. During the course of the day I would have people coming in looking for apartments that would eventually move in. During this period of time relationships were developed. In these relationships God has always opened up a door for me to share the good news about His love for humanity through His Son Jesus.
When showing prospects an apartment, there have been many times that I have led them to the Lord or planted a seed by encouraging them and showing them God’s love and compassion. There have been times that existing residents would come and ask me for prayer and counsel. I remember at one property I was alone working on Sundays and those who I had witnessed to would come in to see me and we would have a time of fellowship in the Lord.
People need God and they need to see God in people. In my encounters of Lifestyle and Friendship evangelism, there have been many people that were non-Christians. Whether a person is a Christian or not, people in general want to be loved, period. When I am evangelizing with my lifestyle it is an outward representation of the Love of God. This is what draws people to God. The bible says in 1 Corinthians that against such (Love) there is no law, in other words love conquers all. Love also covers a multitude of sin, in this way those who are still in a sinful condition should feel covered with God’s love when we are ministering to them.