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Stages of Soul Winning

Before we get into the 5 steps for effective evangelism you need to understand the general process of soul winning.

There are stages of soul wining and acceptance of new light (each of these should be considered when using any of the ideas in this website). These stages can happen in 5 minutes (thief on the cross) or take 50 years. They also repeat as you draw closer to God and experience personal growth.

Many of the evangelism tools can be used for more than one of these stages but you should be aware of at what stage your contact is at. You need to know if you should ask them if they are ready for Bible studies or if they need help just to get out of bed in the morning or quit drinking. This is NOT judging. You need to know people! But how? Learn more about people and communication here.>>>

That doesn't mean you need degree in psychology, just that you are aware of people's needs and open to God leading you. You can simply hand out tracts, wear a TV with a Bible verse, or put on a seminar, ANYTHING is better than nothing but it will be MORE effective if you understand the process of soul winning and learn how the different ways people communicate.

The 3 stages or parts come from the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13.

1. Preparation of the soil or cultivation - Mostly done by the Holy Spirit we can have a part in this. Ellen White says this, "The sowers of the seed have a work to do in preparing hearts to receive the gospel."

2. Seed sowing - Here is where people see they need something different in their lives. They begin to see they have a void.

3. Harvest - Bible studies that lead to baptism or an in depth study that leads to acceptance of truth.

Most evangelistic programs or tools fall into MORE than one of the above stages. You can sow seeds using a Depression Recovery Program, you can cultivate a seed sown by someone else or sown early, or you can even have a harvest using a Depression Recovery Program although not as common. It works best as seed sowing or cultivation. Understanding how people are led to Christ is VITAL to effective outreach.

 

Lets dig digger into each of these stages.

 

Part 1. Preparation of the soil or cultivation

Mostly done by the Holy Spirit we can have a part in this. "The sowers of the seed have a work to do in preparing hearts to receive the gospel. In the ministry of the word there is too much sermonizing, and too little of real heart-to-heart work. There is need of personal labor for the souls of the lost. In Christlike sympathy we should come close to men individually, and seek to awaken their interest in the great things of eternal life. Their hearts may be as hard as the beaten highway, and apparently it may be a useless effort to present the Saviour to them; but while logic may fail to move, and argument be powerless to convince, the love of Christ, revealed in personal ministry, may soften the stony heart, so that the seed of truth can take root." {COL 57.1}

Personal ministry - Reaching out to lost souls sharing the LOVE of Christ in an active way. Soup kitchens, street ministry, stop smoking programs, drug rehab or "intervention", visiting the sick, befriending those with no friends, big brothers & sisters, and so on. Ever heard of the 1000's marbles (download it here)? This is cultivating the soil. "The mission of Christ was to heal the sick, encourage the hopeless, bind up the brokenhearted. This work of restoration is to be carried on among the needy, suffering ones of humanity. God calls not only for your benevolence, but your cheerful countenance, your hopeful words, the grasp of your hand. Relieve some of God's afflicted ones. Some are sick, and hope has departed. Bring back the sunlight to them. There are souls who have lost their courage; speak to them, pray for them. There are those who need the bread of life. Read to them from the Word of God. There is a soul sickness no balm can reach, no medicine heal. Pray for these, and bring them to Jesus Christ. And in all your work, Christ will be present to make impressions upon human hearts." {CME 22.5}

Silent witness - your life, your character. Your own salvation & personal growth is a silent witness that is very powerful. Family and friends see you are more patient, smile under trial, trust in hardship. You much be converted to truly be an effective witness. "Character is power. The silent witness of a true, unselfish, godly life carries an almost irresistible influence. By revealing in our own life the character of Christ we co-operate with Him in the work of saving souls. It is only by revealing in our life His character that we can co-operate with Him. And the wider the sphere of our influence, the more good we may do. When those who profess to serve God follow Christ's example, practicing the principles of the law in their daily life; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, then will the church have power to move the world." {COL 340.2}

 

PART 2. Seed sowing

Here is where people see they need something different in their lives. They begin to see they have a void. It doesn't have to be dramatic or and it is very often not singular (IE: many seeds are sown before one takes root). The most important part of seed sowing is reaching out in ANY way that points to Christ but especially refers to sharing the word of God in some way! Although Bible tracts are definitely seed sowing our own example and testimony is also a witnessing tool we should use (to prepare your own heart click here). By precept and example seeds are sown.

"In that first promise spoken to our fallen race in Eden, Christ was sowing the gospel seed... The word of God is the seed. Every seed has in itself a germinating principle. In it the life of the plant is enfolded. So there is life in God’s word. Christ says, “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. 'He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life.' John 5:24. In every command and in every promise of the word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God." {CSA 19}

Seed can lie dormant. Do NOT give up, claim the following promise!!! "The good seed may for a time lie unnoticed in a cold, selfish, worldly heart, giving no evidence that it has taken root; but afterward, as the Spirit of God breathes on the soul, the hidden seed springs up, and at last bears fruit to the glory of God. In our lifework we know not which shall prosper, this or that. This is not a question for us to settle. We are to do our work, and leave the results with God... we in the spiritual sowing to labor, trusting His assurance, 'So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.' Isaiah 55:11. 'He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.' Psalm 126:6." {COL 65.1}

"The teachings of Christ, in precept and example, were the sowing of the seed to be afterward cultivated by His disciples." {CTr 243.6}

 

PART 3. The Harvest

Bible studies that lead to baptism and/or acceptance of new truth and implimentation of that truth into your/their life. There are people waiting to be part of the harvest.

"We are living in the closing scenes of this earth's history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing. We have no time—not a moment—to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his works: 'My Lord delayeth His coming.' Let the message of Christ's soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come. Let us arouse them to immediate preparation, for we little know what is before us. Let ministers and lay members go forth into the ripening fields to tell the unconcerned and indifferent to seek the Lord while He may be found. The workers will find their harvest wherever they proclaim the forgotten truths of the Bible. They will find those who will accept the truth and will devote their lives to winning souls to Christ." {CCh 356.3}

BUT do not try to pick unripe fruit or hurry it along! "As an interest is about to close up, be careful not to ripen it off abruptly. Keep the confidence of the people, if possible, that the souls who are in the valley of decision may find the true path, and walk in the way to life." {20MR 136.2}

Learn about people!

Learn about preaching!

 

How to be part of the Harvest Reapers

Most evangelistic programs or tools fall into MORE than one of the 3 stages we have looked at. You can sow seeds using a Depression Recovery Program, you can cultivate a seed sown by someone else or sown early, or you can even have a harvest using a Depression Recovery Program although not as common. It works best as seed sowing or cultivation. Understanding how people are led to Christ is VITAL to effective outreach. See the 5 STEPS to public outreach and church evangelism if you haven't already!

 

NOW -- Get started with PERSONAL OUTREACH!

 

System of Evangelism