Witnessing to anyone … in any form, can be a challenging task—especially for those persons who fear the task. Nevertheless, since God admonishes us all to go and preach the Gospel, witnessing is just a task that we have to get done. This doesn’t mean we should approach witnessing using only one technique. On the contrary, we need to apply unique strategies with each individual or group of people, according to their needs and background.
Take a look at Paul’s example in 1 Corinthians 9:24-26:
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.”
Paul’s strategy is clear, he used the familiar to explain the unfamiliar. As stated in the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide: Biblical Missionaries, Lesson 12:
“Paul took everyday features of the Greco-Roman world to illustrate the practical reality of a new life in Christ. He drew from specific areas of his convert’s world for his teaching metaphors.”
Paul knew that those he was trying to reach were huge sports fans who reveled in athletic accomplishments. Hence, he tailored his speech to incorporate their interest in order to effectively deliver the message of Christ.
This successful missionary applied the same technique again in 2 Timothy 2:3-4, and Ephesians 6:11-17 this time, using their experiences of being soldiers or working with soldiers. Paul could have chosen to use a “one-size-fits-all” strategy. He could have just prepared one sermon and used it wherever he went. Instead, he took the time to individualize his message so that he could meet the Greeks and Romans where they were, including their culture and interest.
In the true spirit of witnessing, Paul recognized the advantage of customizing the message of the Gospel, without changing its content, to save others. This is evident in the statement he made in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Let us follow Paul’s example, as we witness to others.
If you have an unsaved friend who loves listening to music, considering giving him/her a gospel CD or one with a sermon on it. If an unsaved family member enjoys reading, offer him/her a good inspirational book or a Bible. If a co-worker loves food, invite him/her to dinner and Bible study. You get the idea. Like Paul, without compromising facts, try and become all things to all people, with the hope of saving some.
Who will you witness to today? And what strategy will you use?