Guidelines for Personal Evangelism
The story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch gives us some great practical principles for personal evangelism.
1. We are all called to personal evangelism
Theologian/Author Michael Green in his commentary on Acts points out: Above all how the early church grew [was] by personal evangelism.
Philip, a gifted preacher, was taken away from a thriving public ministry in Samaria for this encounter. Later, in Acts 20, he mentions both his public and his personal evangelistic ministry. We are all called to take the gospel to others.
2. Simple Obedience
Philip was given an odd command. Leave this place where you encounter people constantly and go out to the middle of nowhere. He immediately got up and went.
When he got there, he ran to the chariot.
3. Don’t categorize people.
The Ethiopian wasn’t a likely person to be receptive. He wouldn’t have been easy to approach as he was an important, wealthy man
The Samaritans were ready. An Ethiopian wouldn’t seem to be ready to hear without laying some groundwork first, but God had prepared the soil!
The gospel is both simple enough that a child can understand it and profound enough that the greatest minds could never grasp the fullness of its depth.
4. God Prepares the Soil
The Ethiopian was ready to hear the gospel because God had prepared the soil of his heart.
Every encounter is going to look different
sometimes times we plant seeds
(like handing out million dollar bill tracts)
sometimes wen we water
sometimes we harvest harvest.
Our task is to share.
5. Listen to their Questions
Philip began by asking “do you understand what you’re reading?”
Start by asking where they are? What are their questions? What do they believe?
Then, explain the gospel.
6. Use Scripture
Philip’s example: beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus
While we hope that our explanation of the gospel is helpful, what people need to hear is God’s Word, which is able to save their souls. (1 Peter 1:23, James 1:19, Romans 10:19, John
Seek accountability from someone. Ask someone to check with you as to how your gospel preparation is going. Ask your Sunday school teacher to call on you to share your gospel verses or share the gospel in class, etc.
7. It’s All About Jesus
Everything in Christianity revolves around who Jesus is and what He has done. Everything.
John Wesley used to say “we must offer them Christ”
When our own intellectual AND experiential knowledge of Jesus is deepening, we’ll be better prepared for personal evangelism.
8. Seek a Response
Does that make sense?
Is that something you’d like to do now?
Do you understand what I mean when I say
Ask them to repent of their sins and place their faith in Christ. (Mark 1:15)
9. Encourage Baptism
Notice that the Ethiopian was baptized immediately. This is relly the first step of obedience for a believer. Get baptized
It’s a public declaration of what Christ has done and a picture of salvation.
10. Church Membership
There wasn’t a church for him to go back to, but early church tradition seems to indicate that he went home and started the first church there.
Today, there’s no reason for a new believer to not become involved in a local church right away.
God’s design is that the church is to be the fundamental environment in which we are going to grow spiritually.
This Passage Challenges Us
to put evangelism on the front burner
Whether that means
learning the gospel
identifying someone to share with
committing to pray daily for opportunities
getting out and sharing with someone
inviting that friend, co-worker, etc. to come to church
Don’t neglect what is not just a command, but what is one of the great privileges of the Christian life - sharing Jesus with others!
Soli Deo Gloria!