By Julie Yee
I believe every Christian lady wants to be a soul winner but many are held back by various reasons. I always believe the gentle disposition each of us is endowed with, can make us a successful soul winner. Whether you are single or married, we are all capable in our own ways and are all bread winners in our homes.
“How does one approach people to get them interested about God or the Bible or how do we share the good news?”
Some of us don’t know where to start or how to begin. Is soul winning really that difficult, scary or does it need a lot of skills, strategy and planning? If that is so, then Jesus would have made the wrong choice when He picked the 12 simple-minded men from humble background to spread the gospel. They turned the world upside down!
If you need further proof, then read 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 where Paul admonished the brethren in Corinth, “Brothers, consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are.”
I believe the greatest setback not to be a soul winner is FEAR OF REJECTION. And the next nearest is HUMILIATION. Negative thoughts like “What if he/she is not interested? What if they reject my invitation or brush me off with some curd remarks?” “What if I cannot answer their questions?” We have lost the war before the battle has even begun.
Let’s start with some simple, practical approach we can use every day:
Expect to have the door slammed on your face! Hear blasphemous and curse words from unbelievers. Oh, believe me there are many if you have gone door-to-door knocking before. When I became a Christian, the church was just an infant. Most of us were secondary school students. The plus-factor was we had a fearless brother-in-Christ; we “tumpang” his bravery. We went knocking from house to house seeking those who were interested, curious about us or just to debate. Persecution from parents or upcoming exams were never a hindrance to the handful of young Christians doing soul winning. At the end of the day, the brother could only afford to buy us a glass of cold drink at the Emporium Makan.
We never asked ourselves, “What ifs or how-tos?” We took the bulls by their horns, so to speak. There were many rejection but there were equally many whom we spoke to and invited who came. One Ahjumma refused even to touch the tracts we were giving out as though they were taboos. We consoled ourselves by reciting scriptures like Matthew 7:6: “Do not give that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet.” Going out in twos or more can boost your courage.
2. Learn from the master
Jesus was a perfect example of winning souls. During His three years’ ministry, the disciples learnt how he ministered and taught the people from the educated down to the ordinary. They saw how he lived and died for a cause. Between the teachings, they also learned how Jesus treated and provided for the needy. That’s how the apostles learned from the master to defy rejection, imprisonment, beatings and shipwrecks. They started with zero and became heroes.
3. Learn from the insurance agents
Many of them are very successful. I used to think they have very “thick-skin”. But having learnt a little about how their strategy works, I understand how they could approach people and convince them to buy their products. Most importantly, they are convinced they have your present and future welfare at heart. That’s how people are willing to folk out high premiums to cover their lives and so provide for their loved ones. What about us? Let’s do it regularly. If we don’t, we lose confidence and become tongue-tied. We fear rejection when we try to talk or invite someone to church activities. That’s why I always believe that we need to be “thick-skinned” like the insurance agents (pardon the analogy!)
We can be successful soul winners: sell insurance for eternity (Matt 6:19-20).
4. Learn to see everyone as a potential
Don’t pigeon-hole people or be selective, even the ones whom you think are the least likely prospects. We try to write-off our family members or friends we consider problematic, stubborn, hard-headed and steeped in their ways or beliefs. Never think someone is impossible to save. Prayer may just change and melt the most hardened heart.
Oftentimes we may need each other’s help to reach out to our family members, friends and even colleagues. Not everyone will accept but let us not be discouraged. Just keep doing it. Remember Jesus lost Judas, the rich young ruler, the religious Scribes and Pharisees. So when Jesus said, “The fields are wide unto harvest, send out the laborers”, He’s telling us that there are many out there who are waiting for us to reach them.
5. Learn to ask
Sometimes you don’t have to try too much to look out for ready hearts. During the invitation songs, there may be a regular visitor, a friend or family member standing beside you. He or she may be ripe for harvest. I remember once when we were supporting a gospel meeting in JB. I noticed a sis-in-Christ’s son, standing quietly all by himself in a corner. I decided to approach him and asked him why he wasn’t a Christian yet. The best answer I ever heard in my entire time as a soul winner was, “No one asked me.” That night he was baptised. You should see the joy in the mother and grandmother’s face.
Many times, it’s because “no one asked.” Then the grandmother threw us a challenge, “If you can help convert my son-in-law, I give you all a big, big treat”. Time to take up that challenge?
6. Don’t know where to find “lost or hungry souls”
Always pair up with a sister or brother you are close with. Just go and visit church members’ home, the absentees or the sick. You may be surprised who you will meet and the outcome of your visit. You may end up finding another lost soul instead.
7. Sunday school opportunities
If you are a Sunday school teacher, you have many opportunities to reach out to the parents of the children if they are not Christians. I remember when I was with the Sunday school, I tried to target the family members who sent their kids to Sunday school or outings or even when they played futsal. Get to know them.
In the early days, after church services on Sundays, we headed out to visit the children’s home. I used to go to our Sunday school website and print some of the activities and lessons to show the parents what their children have been learning and built rapport with them. At the same time, have some BCC materials and enrolment cards ready. The children were proud and tickled pink to have their teachers visit them.
But sadly, I remembered a lost opportunity when Yanan’s cousins were in our Sunday school. Later, when I heard they have moved to my neighbourhood, Olivia and I did make a few visits. By then, a pastor from another church who lives opposite had then grabbed the opportunity to invite them to his home and spent time with them. The parents and children are now members of that church.
8. Be original
On one of my mission trips when we went door knocking, we had to make a point to speak to anyone who opens the door. I was paired with the preacher himself. The rule was this, if the next person who opens the door was a lady, I would handle her and vice-versa. Imagine the fear I had. I hoped no one was home. But didn’t we pray, “Lord, let there be someone in the house”?
After a few houses, my confidence improved and I was better able to engage in long conversations. Let’s remember we need not be mechanical or what some people call “canned” gospel presenters. Each of us can have our own particular style, unique and different. We might not be able to preach like Steven or sing like Ronnie but we can surely tell the love of Jesus. Just use whatever abilities God has blessed us with.
The above approaches are not exhaustive. If we are willing to sacrifice a little of our time and comfort, we all can be soul winners for Christ. “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months until the harvest? I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe for harvest. Already the reaper draws his wages and gathers a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may rejoice together.” John 4:35-36.
And finally, do not worry unnecessarily about the results. We cannot save everyone just as Jesus had many “who turned and walked away”. One soul won is like the lost sheep over the 99 saved. Most importantly, let’s help fulfil the church commitment : invite a friend or convert a soul this year!