3 Steps to Win the Lost

The cultural aspect of sharing the gospel is fraught with landmines based on today’s cultural wars. While the world seems more hostile to the name of Jesus, it is Jesus that the world needs now more than ever.

Instead of seeing the world as a whole, break it down to see the world as your neighborhood, then break it down again to see the world as your next-door neighbor. Each person you come into contact with daily deserves to know Jesus. He is not just a man from Bible times, but a man who changed your life and could change the lives of others through you. Winning the lost is more than just sharing the gospel with someone; it is walking alongside the lost, showing Christ love in the darkest moments of life.

Over the years, I have used a simple method to share Jesus with others, be available, be adaptable, and be able. These three steps are not exclusive to winning Jesus, but their actions have helped me cement deeper relationships with individuals and families that do not come to my church but see me as their pastor.

Be Available.

In a hyper-busy world, people need more than ever to slow down and see each other and become connected again. As you do your part in slowing down, pray that the Holy Spirit will guide and direct you to be open for conversations. More than the mouth, the ear provides opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of another person and what life experiences have brought them into the thinking of where you find them today. The workplace has been a prime area of listening more and talking for me, as I have made myself available and open to host difficult conversations with co-workers who are unbelievers. God has and can use these conversations to begin the conversion story but needs a willing heart to plant the seed of hope in someone’s life. Is that you?

Being available even in the uncomfortable is staying open to worldly views you might disagree with. Still, you search for common ground where you can and respectfully disagree where you diverge. I have found that when another person has seen your heart before they heard your words, they are more open to discussing challenging topics and remain friendly and open to hearing more about Jesus.

Be Adaptable.

There was a time as a Christ follower when I felt I knew best. I learned the hard way that every situation is different, and my experience may not be someone else’s experience, which taught me to become more adaptable to the conditions I have faced.

You might sit in a bar, drinking water while a coworker is having a beer and sharing his burdens. Maybe you find yourself in the breakroom being leaned on by a coworker struggling with a child’s addiction.

Throughout the gospels, Jesus went into uncomfortable places to help someone in need. If you are open to the call on your life, God will put you in uncomfortable positions to shine the love of Christ on others. As you open yourself up to listen and lean into someone else’s pain, hold to the promise of Christ as an example and adapt to the situation you find yourself in. Being adaptable allows you to provide encouragement and care to the one in need. 

Be Able.

Radical life transformation comes when the ears are open to hear, and the heart is ready to receive. As the walls of distrust are removed, you can now move from adapting to adopting the position of Christ and begin to teach about how He has changed your life and how it can change the other person’s life. Share the story of your life transformation with the one open to receiving it. Preface the conversation with this is your story, but if Jesus can change your life, he will change the other person’s life. These conversations are not one-and-done. They are conversations over meals, recreational events, and daily interactions that help a person move from a world view to a God view.

Through the work of the Holy Spirit, God will lead these conversations to a place of conversion and life transformation. But will you trust him in the process of navigating these conversations?

Now more than ever, people are desperate for something more authentic, to move from surface relationships to committed Christ-fellowship where lives are changed. Be available to have tough conversations. If you are willing to adapt your comfort level for Christ conversations, and if you will obey God, lives will be changed through your ministry.

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Desmond Barrett
Desmond Barrett
Desmond Barrett is the lead pastor at Winter Haven First Church of the Nazarene in Winter Haven, Florida. He is the author of several books, most recently, Helping the Small Church Win Guests: Preparing To Increase Attendance (Wipf & Stock Publications) and has done extensive research in the area of church revitalization and serves as church revitalizer, consultant, coach, podcast host and mentor to revitalizing pastors and churches.