Writing & Speaking Skills for Evangelism
If you want to tell someone the good message of God's Way, about Jesus and His Words, you may benefit from taking time to think about what words from Jesus you should use in evangelism. In the end, we need to learn to find what makes Jesus so appealing, and then use those words or paraphrases to appeal to another to turn to Jesus. We need to find what makes Jesus' words so powerful.
For example, what is it that Napoleon in this quote is alluding to as how Jesus' conquers souls?
Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him.
Napoleon realized that Jesus connected to his listeners based upon an appealing message about LOVE. As John said, "God is love."
How do we evoke the listener's response to an offer of love? I think Jesus used what I call "Spiritual Wit" which in another context would be humor. This is how Jesus conquered souls.
While Jesus is often depicted in movies as not smiling, I think Jesus had a tone that often was humorous and winsome. Jesus had a deep and profound sense of humor which He used for the kingdom rather than to make jokes.
So let's try to develop a sense of how to be witty while we present the words of the most witty person who ever walked the face of the earth -- Jesus.
Jesus: The Wittiest Mind Ever
In Jesus' words, there was something incredibly witty, incisive, and pointed with short expressions. They often end with a memorable expression.
For example, "let the dead bury the dead." Brilliant even if you don't know what it means. "Render unto Caesar what are Ceasar's and unto God what is God's." Short, sweet, and it has symmetry.
In the context, it was a dynamite response to those trying to trap Jesus into an "either / or" dilemma. Jesus escaped by showing that it is not one or the other, but both the government and God deserve what is just. But if Jesus used all the same words I just did, it would not have the same impact. Jesus took a long thought, cut it down by 50%, and used powerful symmetry to make His point. Jesus thereby demonstrated that spiritual thoughts become more profound the shorter and sweeter and more elegantly you say it.
So here is the recommendation. Try to convey a spiritual message that in each sentence is profound and deep. Aim to evoke a spiritual response... tickle not the funny bone but the heart. You should find words of healing, compassion, spiritual comfort, etc. Either quote or paraphrase such statements by Jesus. For example, Jesus said "Come unto me you who are heavey laden and I will give you rest for your souls." Use that in a sentence in an invitation to accept Jesus as God's Messiah and Son of God sent to mankind with the Way and Truth that leads to Life.
Why? The "come unto me" verse is short and sweet. It uses spiritual-type terms such as "rest," "heavy laden" and "souls." It has wit and wisdom.
It is a winning speech from Jesus. It will evoke a response. People will think "perhaps Jesus can show me the way. He is confident about it. Perhaps I should study more what Jesus has to say."
In the next section, we will review some of the best expressions by Jesus. They will evoke people to have a spiritual response to the message of Jesus, and not just by some obedience to logic, evidence, etc., from Bible passages.
To reach a deeper level with the listener, you need to find the deepest thoughts of Jesus, just like James was doing in his epistle, and put them out there in short and sweet thoughts. People connect to Jesus on a deeper level than any other figure in history. It is partly due to the way Jesus spoke, especially the deep and profound things He said.
Deep Thoughts of Jesus
Jesus does not merely have beautiful thoughts or wisdom. Jesus goes beyond that. Augustine in the 400s hit on this point:
I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are very wise and very beautiful; but I never read in either of them: "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden."
This statement by Jesus tells you not only to unload your burdens on a teacher and pastor like Jesus, but also uses words that make you want to do so. It creates a profound or deeper connection than just the words. The sentence's impact is thereby greater than the sum of its literal parts. It strikes you beyond just its literal meaning. This is the nature of profound or deep thoughts. So what are more examples?
“What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.”
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.”
“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Luke 18:25)”
Notice each of these ideas are short, sweet, and use simple spiritually meaningful words, such as "profit," "soul," "sin" "lamp," "hidden," "light," "kingdom of heaven," "rich man," etc.
It is a spiritual wit of the highest order. This is why Jesus' words resonate to this very day. They are pure genius from someone who from all initial appearances was just a carpenter. It is a spiritual wit and wisdom that has never been duplicated, despite every culture having abundant opportunity to find such genius again in the past 2000 years.
So to reach people for Christ, let's become familiar with such quotes, pepper them into a discussion, and evoke a memory that Jesus said this or that. It will penetrate the heart. Use this to draw people to take Jesus seriously. Then let Jesus' words do the rest.