You were introduced to the gospel presentation outline in lesson four. We are now going to study the outline thoroughly. This outline is the center of this class, and special attention needs to be given to it. The next three lessons will consist of breaking down the outline. We will dissect the outline and look at each part carefully.
The prospects secular life is the first, and possibly the easiest to talk about. The idea at this point is to get them talking and relaxed. This could cover a variety of subjects such as family, hobbies, occupation, or other special interest. You learn what subjects to discuss as soon as you enter someone's' home. Look for pictures on the walls or tables, sporting equipment sitting around, books or any other clues that will get you started. When you ask them a question, shut up and listen. Give them a compliment where you can. Good manners are a must. There is no way to set a time on how long this part will take. If you will look for the signs, your prospect will let you know when to move on. They will give you signs that they are relaxing. This could be leaning back in a chair getting more comfortable, a sigh, or even a relieving laugh. When you enter some one's home they will immediately put up a wall or barrier. You can't be effective until you have seen the barriers go down.
When you have seen them relaxing you can move on to discussing their church background. Chances are they know you have come there to talk about church. We need to get to the subject without making the barriers go up. Again watch for them to get relaxed talking about this subject. Listen carefully, you are learning about their church experiences, and how they view the church. Do not criticize his church or denomination. Being critical of any church, pastor, or denomination is not a part of C.O.R.P. . You do not earn the right to present the gospel by being critical of this person's life.
After you have learned of their church experiences, then you can start talking about our church. If they have been to our church ask them how they enjoyed it. How did they happen to visit there? Did they know any of the members? When you talk about our church talk about how friendly it is. Tell of its love and how you can feel the spirit of God. Do not make it out to be a perfect church. You and your prospect knows that there is no perfect local assembly.
Many times when talking about the church you will get an opportunity to give your testimony. You need to be aware to the possibility of this opportunity. We have already spent a lesson studying on our personal testimony. This may be a good time to review that lesson. Make sure you are comfortable giving your testimony.
This brings us to the two questions. These questions are designed to help you and your prospect learn about their relationship to God. Up to this point everyone in your team has been involved in the conversation. The questions, and presentation of the gospel is not to exclude anyone. There needs to be one person carrying the conversation when it gets to this point. Make sure the prospect is relaxed, and the barriers are down. Then ask permission to ask the question. Do you mind if I ask you a question.
If you were to die tonight and stand before God, and God was to say "why should I let you into my heaven" what would your answer be?
There are hundreds of possible answers to this question. The only right answer is that I am trusting in the shed blood of Jesus, or variations of that. The most common mistake that we as witnesses can make at this point is to settle for a I don't know. Before the presentation can be as effective as it should, we must have an answer. You will probably have to repeat the question in a variety of ways to get an answer. Do not give up, get an answer to this question.
When you get the answer repeat it back to them for confirmation. If God were to ask you, you would say ... is that correct? It is easy to get very excited at this point. Let the spirit of God guide you and help you. This is where you will make your transition to presenting the gospel. When we started talking I thought I might have some good news to share with you. Now that we have talked a little, I know that I have the best news possible. Would you mind if I took just a few moments to share this with you. You have just asked for permission to present the gospel. I personally have never been told straight out "no" to this question. When you have ask for permission, it helps the person to not feel invaded or pushed. This helps to keep the barriers down, and gets better results.