One of the responsibilities assigned to the teaching ministry of your church is the sharing of the gospel. Sunday School, LIFE Groups, Connect Groups, or whatever name your groups ministry goes by, should share the gospel with men, women, boys, and girls. As friend Allan Taylor recently told a group of education leaders at a conference in Orlando, Florida, “Sunday School is the largest ministry in our churches – it only makes sense that it is tasked with the most important thing the church can do – share the gospel!”
Sharing the gospel takes place during the Bible study time when people meet together, but it really becomes effective when the group members themselves learn to share the gospel regularly outside of class. If we want to see our communities changed, if we want to see our world changed, then we must take the gospel with us and be ready to share the reason we have hope. The problem is, most believers don’t know how to share the gospel (although they know enough to share, they aren’t comfortable sharing). So let me teach you how to share the gospel by using just one verse.
Here is the gospel in just one verse. Commit this one to memory – it’s just 20 words. You’ll need to be able to jot it down on the back of a napkin if necessary: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). If you can memorize these 20 words, you can share the gospel with anyone, anywhere, in under 2 minutes. Here’s how:
- Write out the verse on the back of a napkin, a piece of paper, or whatever you have available.
- Ask the person with whom you’re sharing to read the verse out loud.
- Now, go back through the verse to make your points. First, ask the person “What is a wage?” (they’ll answer, “Something you get for working….something owed to you.”
- Affirm their answer and say, “That’s exactly right. A wage is something you earn. What does the Word of God say we have earned?” (answer: death)
- Explain that death is a place in which people have no hope. It is a place where there is no help.
- Call attention to the word “but” and explain that although the first part of the verse contains bad news, the little word “but” signals a turning point.
- Now ask the person, “What is a gift?” (they’ll answer, “Something that someone else gives you for free” (or something like that!)). Affirm their answer.
- Ask them what free gift we can receive according to the verse (eternal life – a place where we have hope and help). Ask also, “Who is the provider of that free gift according to the verse?” (God).
- Explain that although we earned separation and death because of our sin, God has provided a free gift, eternal life. That’s very good news!
- Call attention to the word “in.”
- Explain that the word “in” reminds us that we must be “in” a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus died in our place. He will forgive our sin if we ask Him to.
- Explain that the word “Lord” means “boss” – we must admit that we are sinners, that we are in a place of no hope without Christ, and that we want to accept God’s free gift of salvation in Christ. We simply have to say these words, or words like these, as we pray (talk) to God. He will hear our prayers and will forgive us our sin if we truly seek Him.
- Ask the person if they’ve understood everything. If yes, then simply ask, “May I lead you to pray and ask Jesus to come into your life as Lord and Savior?”
The yellow sheet above is how I draw this out visually on the back of a napkin. You don’t have to do that, but visuals typically help you make your point.
I can lead someone through this one verse evangelistic presentation in just a few minutes. It’s the gospel in a nutshell. It’s the gospel in one verse. Think what would happen if every believer in every Bible study group knew this verse and could do the same! We could share with anyone, anywhere! And all we’d have to do is memorize 20 words.
If this still sounds a little difficult, there is a one verse app you can get for your smartphone that will take a person through the steps I’ve outlined above with just a swipe of the finger. You can get if for free it in app store, so download it today and use that as your one-verse tool. Just search for “one verse evangelism” and you’ll find the free presentation for your smart phone.
I hope you’ll soon have an opportunity to use this verse to lead someone to Christ!
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