This is a basic guide line to help you win souls. There is NO replacement for the power of the Holy Ghost. Only God can save a soul!
And they that be wise shall shine
as the brightness of the firmament;
and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)
I. Before You Go Out
A. Check Your Appearance
When fishing for men, try not to spook the fish. If you walk up to a door with a 3-piece suit and tie, with a big Bible under your arm, the person inside is likely to not open the door. He or she will be spooked. When visiting, it is best to go casual to semi-formal.
Men, a tie is not necessary for visitation, door-to-door, or bus visitation, however, it is a good idea to wear a tie when you visit in a hospital. Pants should rest on the top of your shoes. Long sleeve shirts should end where your hand begins. Ties should come down to your belt.
Ladies should strive to be modest at all times. Shirts and blouses should not be too tight, too sheer, or too revealing. Skirts should come past the knee and should also be loose-fitting.
Men, have a nice hair cut. Be well shaven. If you wear a beard or mustache, be sure it is clean and trimmed.
Ladies, keep your hair neat and in place. It can be difficult on windy or rainy days, but try your best.
Shoes should be clean. If they are the type that can be polished, they should be. People look at shoes! Unless you are just stepping in, such as for bus visitation, offer to take off your shoes whenever you go into a home. Say something like, "Would you like me to take off my shoes? I don't mind." or "Let me take off my shoes for a few minutes so I don't drag any dirt in the house!" If they do not respond, take off your shoes! If they say authoritatively, "Don't worry about it," you can leave them on. Use your head.
B. Have a Partner
There may be some dangers or compromising situations that you can avoid by not going out alone. Have a partner. Jesus sent His servants out two by two.
Mark 6:7 "And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;"
Luke 10:1 "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."
C. Have a Time
Meet with your partner on Sunday and decide when you will be going out that week. It is important to be a soulwinner all week, but it is also important to have a designated time sanctified solely to the cause of trying to share the gospel. Jesus implied this truth of going and preaching in:
Matthew 11:1 "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities."
Mark 1:38 "And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth."
Mark 3:14 "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,"
Luke 9:2 "And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick."
D. Meet at a Set Place and Have Prayer
Pray for power, wisdom, boldness, safety and for the people you see to be saved.
E. Go Out
You should neither wait on nor expect the pastor to give you "calls" or provide a "soulwinning program" for you. Do it because the Lord said to do it!
Where to Go:
Door to Door (just pick a street and start knocking!)
People pastor asks you to call on
New church attenders
People who haven't been to church in a while
The Whole World!
F. Watch Out For "Fellowship"
James 3:10 "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."
While with your partner resist the temptation to say negative things about other people or the church. Keep your focus on souls. Do not gossip, slander, backbite, or whisper.
Leave your problems at home. This is not a time to dump your problems on your partner, this is time to rescue the perishing. The worst day in a believer's life is better than the best day in a lost person's eternity.
Only speak what is good for edifying. Talk about your soulwinning and how you can improve. Keep your mind and passion on the lost. Think of hell, and how you might be the only one who will ever cross paths with these people.
G. Be Prepared – Take with you:
1. King James 1611 New Testament
Carry a New Testament, not a full-size Bible. Try to conceal it, perhaps in your back pocket or your purse, like you'd carry a wallet. It is best not to have anything in your hands unless you are carrying flyers for the bus ministry or a special day. If people see something in your hand, they may think you are a salesman and will take a defensive posture. If they see a Bible, they may think you are a religious nut.
Carry good gospel tracts in your shirt pocket. If they are old, bent, soiled, or folded, throw them out. We live in a day when "packaging" and "image" means everything. We must pass out nice gospel tracts. They are inexpensive, so only give out ones in good condition.
3. Paper for notes (perhaps 3x5 cards)
4. Pen or Pencil
5. Breath mints
Watch your breath – Presume it is bad!
6. Addresses of visits and an appropriate map book
H. Have a Plan
Decide ahead of time who will be the "silent partner" (this will be discussed more later) and who will speak. If you have an idea of who you will be visiting, discuss what may be expected and how to handle various problems.
I. Approaching the House
Be careful where you park your car or walk. Do not park or walk over grass. Use sidewalks or driveways. Often you'll find that the yard and driveway are very important to people. Be considerate of these.
If your car leaks oil or fluids, park by the road and walk up to the house.
II. Approaching the Door
A Communication Problem For Sure!
An energetic new Christian knocked on a door, and, when the man of the house answered, the well-meaning witness asked "Are there any Christians here?"
"No," responded the man, "the Christians live down the road. We're the Joneses."
"I mean," stammered the caller, "are you lost?"
"Oh, no," came the quick reply, "we've lived here 25 years and know the area very well."
"Well...," pressed the embarrassed novice, "where will you be on the Judgment Day?"
"I don't know. What day is it?"
"Well, we don't really know. It could be one day or another."
"Be sure to let us know," came the answer. "I'm sure my wife will want to go both days."
Communicating our faith can often be a frustrating and defeating problem. Often we hear sermons on the necessity of witnessing, but when we go out to try it, we leave feeling not only fruitless, but also confused and anxious. How do we get started? What do we talk about? Words seem to come hard, and thoughts often cannot filter through our fears.
A. Be Observant
Some people live in fear. If a sign says, "No trespassing;" "Trespassers will be shot;" "Guard Dogs on Duty;" or "No Solicitors," beware. You might accomplish more if you note the address and send a card with a gospel tract in it. The respect you show for these people's wishes might touch their hearts.
"Beware of Dogs..." Philippians 3:2. I have been bit twice while out on visitation. If you feel there is a real danger of physical harm, again, it might be better for you to write down the address and send them a note with a tract inside.
B. Use Common Sense
If someone is mowing their lawn, they probably do not want to be disturbed. If there is a big party going on it would be a better testimony to go back another day. Use some old fashioned common sense.
Note the "not-homes" and go back another time, maybe on a different day or at a different time. After you've gone back two or three times, leave a note and a tract. Don't give up after only one try!
C. Walk Briskly
Do not walk slowly or stare at houses. Be business like. Do not sit in your car. Exit as soon as you park. If you sit in the car and stare you will scare people.
D. Do Not Talk When Approaching a House
Avoid making comments about the yard or house until you engage them in conversation. Never say anything like, "They ought to fix this rain gutter" or "They could use some paint on this house" or "They must have kids." It is best to say nothing until they answer the door.
E. Knock Loudly
Knock with authority – not too soft or too loud. Do not trust door bells. If you can not hear it, knock.
F. Step Back From the Door
After knocking, take a few steps back. If there are stairs, step down one or two. Give them space! The space will give them some peace and show them that you are non-threatening. Only approach them after you have introduced yourself to shake their hand, give them a tract, or enter their house if they let you in.
G. Look Away From the Door
Knock on the door, and look away. Let them open the door and see you first. It is scary to have unknown people staring at you!
Put a smile on your face. There is a lot of power in a smile and friendliness. Try to win them to yourself, it will help you win them to the Lord.
III. What to Say
What do you say when someone answers the door? Here are two scenarios:
Begin by introducing yourself:
"Hi, my name is John and this is Joe. We're out meeting our neighbors and wanted to stop by and say ‘hi.' I'm (state your position: a member, a Sunday school teacher, a children's church worker, etc.) at the (state your church and town) and were trying to get to know more people in the area. What is your name?"
Then remember their name! Sometimes we are concentrating so much on what we should say next, we do not pay attention to what they are saying. Relax! Be friendly, be human, be real. Avoid a "canned-presentation."
Try to befriend the person. Win them to yourself so you can win them to Christ. Jesus was very personal and friendly with people. He was known as the "Friend of Publicans and Sinners."
Find a comfortable way to "break the ice." Compliment them or seriously inquire about them. For example:
"Have you lived here a long time?"
"You have a beautiful garden!"
"How many children do you have?" (If there are children around).
"What do you do for a living?"
"Where are you from originally?" (If they just moved in).
People love to talk about themselves, their children, their interests, their house, their employment. They do not like to talk about politics, religion, or money ("How much did this house cost?" "What are your car payments?" and "How much do you earn?" are no-no's.)
Eventually turn the conversation around to the condition of their souls. This can be done quite effectively by handing them a gospel tract and inviting them to the church services. If you hand them the tract showing them the church schedule part, you can say, "We would be honored to have you as a guest at our church sometime. Here's a leaflet with the schedule of our services on it." They will invariably look on the inside and cover of the tract. You can then say, "This is is a little Bible study that tells you how you can know for sure that you are going to go to heaven when you die. Do you have that assurance?"
They will probably respond, "I sure hope so" or "I think so."
You can then answer with something like, "Sir, for some time in my life I didn't know either. I thought you had to wait and find out. Then someone shared with me how I could know that I'm going to heaven. God loves us and wants to be able to know now."
At this point you can pull out the same tract or point to his, and start explaining it. Don't wait for his permission. He'll stop you if he doesn't want to hear it.
We will discuss the gospel presentation in the next section.
B. Visiting a Contact
Perhaps you are going to visit a home that has already had contact with our church somehow: They visited once, or their child rode a bus, or their teen came for a rally.
You could start by saying, "We're John and Joe from (state your church name and town), and we wanted to stop by on behalf of the church and say ‘Thank you' for letting your son Billy visit our church."
They will probably respond some way. Hopefully Billy liked it. Then, while handing Billy's mother a tract with a church service schedule on it, you could say, "We'd be honored to have you visit our church also, Mrs. Smith. You are always welcome to attend."
Again, by turning her attention to the inside of the tract you might be able to start sharing the gospel with her.
Conversation should be friendly and can take many different twists. Feel free to spend a little time with the person, but once you have started the gospel presentation, stick to the subject.
If they bring up doctrinal questions or questions about religions, you could say something like: "That's a good question and I think I might be able to give you a good answer, but just so I don't lose my train of thought, let me finish explaining this to you." If you try to answer their question during the gospel presentation, you might start a contention and get derailed. Stick to the subject. Let them talk, but try to control the conversation.
Another ice-breaking question is, "Mrs. Smith, is there any particular church you attend regularly?" By her answer you can often find out her spiritual standing. If she names a particular church you know of, you might want to compliment their building or grounds. Don't give the impression that you approve of their religion, however.
Then you could respond by saying "I'm glad to meet someone who has some interest in spiritual things. Mrs. Smith, do you know for sure that you'll go to heaven someday?" Then lead into a gospel presentation.
These two examples are your basic soul-winning opportunities in church-wide visitation: Door-to-door and visiting contacts.
IV. The Gospel Presentation
Both soulwinners should be nice, friendly, and engaging in conversation. But once the gospel presentation begins, one should stop talking and become the silent partner. Decide ahead of time which role you will play.
The silent partner should look at his partner as he shares the gospel (do not stare at the one being talked to). He should also silently pray for the Word of God to affect the lost soul, and for that soul's salvation. The silent partner should also run interference to make sure that nothing (pets, kids, other people, etc.) distracts the soul from hearing the gospel.
The easiest way for the "talking partner" to share the gospel is by simply reading and explaining a gospel tract. Here are two tracts available at our church that explain the gospel in a concise, easy-to-understand way. Use whatever tract you are the most comfortable with.
A. In Our Days of Uncertainty, Here's One Thing You Can Know For Sure
Do you know for sure that you will go to heaven someday? God wrote the Bible so that you can know! I John 5:13 says, "These things have I written unto you ... that ye may KNOW that ye have Eternal Life."
Here's how you can know:
First, we must realize that we've all sinned. Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Second, the penalty for our sins is death and eternal separation from God. The Bible says in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death." Ezekiel 18:20 says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (See Revelation 20:14; 21:8 as well).
Third, Jesus paid our death penalty for us. God sent Jesus to suffer and die in our place on the Cross. Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth [showed] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." He was buried and rose from the grave and is alive forevermore!
Fourth, God loves you and wants to save you from your sins. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.
However, each person must accept Christ personally to be saved from their own sins. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me," John 14:6. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved," Acts 4:12.
There is no other way. Salvation is not through being good, doing works, keeping a moral code, being religious or any other efforts of our own. Salvation is only through the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary's Cross. Only His shed blood can wash away our sins. (See Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:7)
How can you accept Christ as your Saviour? Romans 10:13 tells us, "For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved." John 1:12 says, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name."
Pray, believing from your heart, "Lord I admit that I am a sinner and deserve Your punishment in hell. Forgive me for my sins - I repent. I now trust Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and call upon Him to save me from my sins. I believe that He died for me on the Cross and only His blood can wash away my sins. I ask for Your gift of Eternal Life, in Jesus Name, Amen!"
"...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23b
B. If You Were to Die Today, Are You 100% Sure You Would Go to Heaven?
There are just 4 things you need to know in order to go to Heaven for sure:
1. You need to know that you are a sinner.
The Bible says in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
2. You need to know that there is a penalty for that sin - Death.
The Bible says in Romans 6:23a, "For the wages of sin is death..."
This word "death" doesn't mean just dying and going to the grave. It means separation from God forever and ever in a lake of fire. This is our punishment for our sin and a debt you owe as of right now.
3. You need to know that Jesus loves you so much that He paid that penalty for you by shedding His blood on the cross for your sins.
The Bible says in Romans 5:8-9"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
4. You need to know that Jesus offers you the free gift of Heaven.
The Bible says in Romans 6:23b, "... But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Going to Heaven is a gift. It's absolutely free! You can't buy it, work for it, go to church for it, or be good for it. Its absolutely free! Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
You know you are a sinner.
You realize there is a penalty for that sin and you can't pay for it yourself;
You believe Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for your sins.
You need to accept God's free gift of eternal life for you through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Then this is what you need to do:
The Bible says in Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
"Whosoever" means you. We could put your name there: "For (your name) shall call upon the name of the Lord and (your name) shall be saved."
Now, if you will trust the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from your sins and take you to Heaven when you die, just bow your head and close your eyes. If you mean this with all your heart, pray this prayer believing:
"Dear Lord Jesus, please have mercy on me, and forgive my sins. I trust in you Lord Jesus to cleanse me from all of my sins by your blood. Please give me the free gift of eternal life. Thank you for your promise to take me to heaven when I die and for saving me, Amen."
If you just prayed that prayer and meant it in your heart, you can know you are going to Heaven for the Bible promises in John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son (Jesus) hath everlasting life." And in Acts 16:31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved...."
Maybe when out on visitation you would rather not use either of these tracts. Here's how to come up with your own soul-winning plan.
C. Another Plan To Preach The Gospel
1. Have a skeleton outline.
This should include the following truths:
a. All are sinners before God. (They must see they are lost before they will be saved.)
b. The penalty for our sin is death. (Physically and eternally separated from God in Hell.)
c. Jesus paid our death penalty for us.
d. We can be saved from the penalty of sin if we believe on Jesus.
2. Now add Bible verses to the skeleton outline.
• To point a. – Romans 3:10;12;:23, Ecclesiastes 7:20
• To point b. – Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8
• To point c. – Romans 5:6, Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 3:18
• To point d. – Romans 10:9-13, Acts 16:31, John 3:16
3. Now add an illustration to each point.
To point a. you could say, "Suppose I sinned three times a day. After a year that would be over 1,000 sins. Being 43 years old that would be 43,000 sins. God cannot allow me to live with Him in Heaven if I have just one sin on my account because He is so holy."
To point b. you could say, "Let's suppose I committed 43,000 crimes and was taken before the Judge in town. Even if the Judge loved me and was my best friend, he would have to punish me. A just Judge must punish criminals."
To point c. you could say, "God allowed His son Jesus Christ to be punished for our crimes (sins). He paid the death penalty for us so we could go free. He shed His blood on the cross to satisfy God's just demands for our sins."
To point d. you could say, "A pardon does not do a criminal any good until he believes in it and accepts it for himself. If a criminal on death row refuses his pardon then he will have to pay the price himself. If we reject Christ, we are rejecting our forgiveness and then we will have to pay for our crimes. Eternal life is a free gift if we will receive it."
V. The Invitation
A. People can hear the whole gospel and still not know exactly what to do.
Notice the questions of some people who didn't know exactly what to do:
1. The Day of Pentecost
Acts 2:37, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" They had already been told what to do earlier in the chapter (Acts 2:21, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.")
But they needed to be led! Acts 2:38-40, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." They finally received his word in Acts 2:41, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."
2. The Philippian Jailor
Acts 16:30, "And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Here a man wanted to know specifically what to do. Paul and Silas led him to a decision. Acts 16:31, "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
3. The Ethiopian Eunuch.
Acts 8:36-37, "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
B. People can ask for eternal life and receive it.
1. The woman at the well asked:
John 4:15, "The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw."
2. The thief on the cross asked:
Luke 23:42, "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."
3. Anyone can ask for eternal life and believe on Christ:
Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
1 John 5:13-15, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
C. We then should lead people to ask the Lord to save them.
James 5:20, "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
2 Corinthians 5:11, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."
Acts 26:27-29, "King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds."
1 Corinthians 9:22, "To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
Paul tried to persuade people to be saved. We need to do the same.
After you have presented the gospel and quoted Romans 10:9-10,13 you might want to say something like, "Could I have a word of prayer with you to help you accept the Lord as your Savior? First I'll pray for you, then pray with you, and help you call on the name of the Lord. You can pray to yourself or out loud whichever you'd feel most comfortable with. Would that be all right?"
You might want to also say: "Don't pray to me, but – as though God were the only one here, and you were talking directly to Him – pray from your heart."
Then pray briefly, covering the gospel again in your prayer. Say something like, "Dear Lord, thank you for letting us talk to __________ today. Help him to understand how much you love him, and how Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose again for his sins. Help __________ to trust in your Son with all of his heart, and not to trust in himself or anything else. I pray that you'd save him today."
Stop your prayer and say something like, "Now _________, with our heads bowed, I'm going to slowly pray a prayer for salvation. Whether out loud or to yourself, say these words to God from your heart."
Then slowly and deliberately pray a sinner's prayer, pausing after each phrase:
"Dear Heavenly Father...
"I ask your Son the Lord Jesus Christ...
To have mercy on me...
and save me from all my sins.
I am sorry for my sins, I repent.
You died on the cross for me...
and gave your blood...
to wash away all of my sins.
I believe you rose from he dead...
Please have mercy on me and save me.
Please give me the gift of eternal life. Amen."
If time permits, share some assurance verses with the person, showing them other Scriptures on eternal life. Here are just a few:
John 3:16-17, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
John 6:37, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
John 10:27-28, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Galatians 2:16, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
Galatians 3:26, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
VII. After You Have Left the Home
Take good notes about the homes you've visited. Don't rely on your memory! As soon as you get the chance, record what happened at the home. However, do not write notes about the people while standing in their driveway right after you have talked with them. Wait till you have left the premises, are out of eyesight, or until you are in your car.
Write the notes on note cards or three-by-five cards. Then as soon as you are home, transfer your information to an official notebook. Remember Titus 3:14 says, "And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful."
VIII. A Word of Encouragement
A personal note from Pastor Kohl:
The scriptures teach: "he that winneth souls is wise." (Proverbs 11:30). We come into the world with nothing and we leave with nothing (I Timothy 6:7). But we can take the souls of those we have reached with the gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20). These souls will be our crown of rejoicing.
If someone reading this booklet earns a million dollars in their life the world will applaud him and call him a success. If someone reading this booklet wins five or ten souls to Christ all of heaven will applaud him (Luke 15:7) and they shall shine as the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:3)! Is it wise to earn a million dollars and leave all of it behind? No! It is wise to win souls and keep all of them forever (John 6:37).
One missionary was called a fool for leaving his wealth and going to the mission field. He replied, "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
Live with an eternal purpose in mind. Win souls. Gather people to take with you in the soon coming harvest.