Is this statement true? He sure was a slick fast talking salesman. While a portion of this may have some truth, the actual fact is those good salesmen just know what it takes to persuade people. Being in sales myself for several years, I was able to learn some of the art of persuading people. Before you tune me out, I know that we are not out to sell Jesus. In actual sales, you have a product. Then you find someone that needs your product. You then attempt to persuade them that they need it great enough to pay for it.
When it comes to salvation it is actually much easier. You see everyone needs Jesus, and they do not have to pay to receive him. Our job is to help them see their need. We have the Holy Spirit to convict them and aid us in our attempts. Learning some things about persuading people will help us witness to the lost. Learning this will also help us in our jobs, family, and everyday life. Jesus was the greatest example of this, so may we learn from him. The section of scripture to read before you go on any further is St. John 4:1-30.
Webster defines attention as the act of applying the mind to anything. Attention is more than someone just looking or even listening to you. To have someone's attention means that they are giving thought, and consideration to what you are saying.
In John 4:7 Jesus got the Samaritian woman's attention. John 4:7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. To the woman this was not a theological or Christian statement. To often those who are trying to witness get turned off by their prospect because they jump in to fast. Had Jesus started with "I that speak unto thee am he," he may not have received her attention.
To get someone's attention we need to start with where they are. Jesus and the woman were at the well, so Jesus started with water. Had Jesus been talking to a fisherman, he may have started with fishing. The idea is, you start with something the prospect already has some interest in. You may need to start with sports, weather, family, hobbies, or any of hundreds of other things that will get their attention.
Interest is when someone is concerned about something, and it has command of attention. This is a step further than attention. You may say that attention is like putting the key in the lock, and interest is similar to turning it. Once you have turned the key you can't pull it out. Once you have someone's' interest you are getting locked in.
Jesus captured the interest of the woman. John 4:10-11 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? The woman at the well began to ask questions. many times the witness panics when their prospect begins to ask questions. This is not a time to panic, but to rejoice because it shows that you are gaining their interest. It is during this time that you will gradually move to the subject that you really want to talk about. Building their attention and interest until you have reached their desires.
To desire something means to long for it, or great intensity of wanting. Up to this point we have tried to show you how to get attention and interest. You do not have to create desire. The desire for Jesus and eternal life filled with joy is already there. We simply have to help them recognize this point.
We see that the woman wanted the water that Jesus spoke about. She desired to have it, and she asked for it. John 4:15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. When people start desiring something, they will do what ever is necessary to get what they want. Desire is a driving force that will cause people to do things that they might not normally do. We need to employ desire when we are witnessing. People desire to be happy, joyful, and to live forever. there is a lot of things to desire about becoming a Christian.
Conviction is the state of being found guilty. This is the job of the Holy Spirit (St. John 16:7-11). When we try to convict someone by pointing out their sins to them, we usually become very offensive to that person. Instead of winning someone to the Lord we make and enemy. Jesus did not say to the woman at the well you are living in adultery and you better make things right. Look at what he did say. John 4:16 - 18 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. He created a situation where she had to confront her sin.
When people come face to face with their sin they will try to change the subject. This is what the woman at the well done in verses 19 and 20. When this happens we need to follow the example of Jesus, and get back on the subject as quickly as possible.
We can't make anyone commit to Jesus. If we could it would not be a genuine commitment. Jesus simply presented himself to the woman. When she was confronted with the messiah, she had to make a decision. She had to decide whether to believe if he was who he said he was or not.
This is what we must do. Get the prospect's attention and interest. Cultivate the desire that is already there. Present the gospel of Jesus to them. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through us and in them. Ask them to make a commitment. What good would a salesman be if he showed someone his product and failed to ask them if they wanted it.
Use the truths that are presented in this lesson in other aspects of your life. You will find them to be extremely helpful.