The first words of Jesus to some of His disciples were “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Yet His last words to them according to Matthew 28:19 were “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. We can conclude that when Jesus instructed them to follow Him, His end goal was to make them fishers of men. From the very beginning, he was fishing soul winners which can be seen evidently as Christians in the New Testament went everywhere, preaching the Word (Acts 8:4). The question begs, how, then, can you and I be effective witnesses for Him?
- Ask God to give you an evangelistic burden for others.
The best way to be an effective servant is to align yourself with the will of the Master. There is no better way to do it than to ask God to help you see the world as He sees it, and to lay upon your heart a handful of people for whom you can earnestly pray. This will help you see how your little role builds upon the redemptive purposes of God; the big picture.
Once the Lord has revealed to you your role, and the people He would like you to reach out to, the next step is to pray over those names every day. Keep a little prayer list, and pray for an opportunity to reach out to these souls for Christ. The people you pray for will end up becoming the people you love the most as they become part of your life, and this will increase the burden and urgency to reach out to them.
- Live a consistent Christian life before these people.
As a child of God always remembers you are a letter being read. How you display yourself before men informs how you will reach out to them. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
We must live obedient lives of integrity and authentic faith, for faith without action is dead. The greatest test comes when we are supposed to love when others hate, and forgive when others harbor grudges. Always remember that loving your neighbor is a command and in fact the greatest commandment.
As a child of God, people will look up to you when things are not certain. We must remain trusting when others panic. Even when the circumstances don’t show, we are to be hopeful when others seem to through in the towel.
The other great test for a man’s faith is honesty. If we as children of God engage in corruption as the world does then it means there is no difference whether you are in Christ on not. Remember, if you are in Christ you are a new creation; be honest when all around us are cooking the books. This is not a call to be perfect because only Christ was sinless. But we must have a growing, maturing Christian life that others recognize and respect.
- Build bridges to others.
Loving your neighbour is not just a commandment but a commitment as well. Reaching out to people is not a one breath attempt issue, it takes time. When the Lord shows you those needing Christ, seek to build a relationship with them. Remember how Jesus went to the home of Zacchaeus where many sinners had gathered? While we must be careful not to place ourselves in an environment where we’ll be pulled down, we must be equally careful to cultivate friendships with those needing Christ.
- Learn the Gospel.
As a child of God you have the responsibility to learn what God says through the scriptures. There are numerous scriptures that will help you when you go to reach out. Memorize the following verses and practice saying them in a mirror or to another Christian until you’re comfortable sharing them with someone needing Christ:
Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9, 10, 13;
1 John 1:8,9,10.
- Watch for openings to share a word for Christ.
Peter said: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15. Seize every opening that comes your way to share the Gospel; sometimes such openings don’t come easy or often. As Romans 10:14 puts it “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
- If the right opportunity doesn’t come naturally, create one.
Sometimes we wait too long, looking for just the right time to invite someone to church or to share with them the message of the Gospel. There often comes a point when we must prayerfully introduce the subject and do our best to impress someone with their need for Christ. And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed, Rom 13:11.
- Leave the results with God.
We’re responsible for sharing the Gospel, but only God can convert the soul. Having done your best let Him do the rest. Remember you are to preach, not to save. The Lord may use you to bring people to Him, but you are not the savior. Let the Holy Spirit do His work which is to convicts people of their sins.
In the same way that Jesus approached Peter and his brother Andrew to become “fishers of men”… likewise he is beckoning each believer to go and win souls. The secret is to learn the word, live the word and love the word. If you do so, reaching out will be a natural part of your life.
Proverbs 11:30 – “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.