How To Witness Jn 4:7-10 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
One of the greatest joys in the world comes from witnessing to people who are lost. There is nothing that I have ever experienced that brings me greater joy than to see the Holy Spirit working on a soul when you are witnessing and then watching him personally receive Jesus. What a privilege and what a blessing.
I’d like to give you a few pointers about witnessing that might help you lead someone to Jesus. Here are some thoughts on how to witness:
Be available – Jn 4:10. Jesus was more interested in giving her the living water than he was in quenching his own thirst. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our dealings with people that we overlook opportunities to witness. You can witness to anyone at anytime.
Be friendly – Jn 4:9. The woman at the well seemed surprised that Jesus would speak with her since Jews and Samaritans had no dealings. Truthfully, when you are witnessing to someone, the least of your concerns should be your personal differences. Eternal life is for everyone. So, be friendly. People are becoming more and more impersonal in this technological age.
Be conversant – Jn 4:10-26. Often in “soul-winning” the object seems to be to dominate the conversation to keep the other person from talking. How are you going to know what’s in his heart if you do that? Let him talk and show interest in what he is saying. It wouldn’t hurt to ask questions about him. Keep the conversation coming back around to the gospel. If he keeps straying he’s not ready to get saved anyway. You’ll probably have to wait until another day.
Be patient – Jn 4:10-26. Jesus didn’t rush right into a “plan” of salvation. And he didn’t hand her a tract and rush off. He took his time. Sometimes we just rush to witness and then we don’t give the person we are talking to the time to really consider the gospel. Or we run past the Holy Spirit and we don’t give him time to work. It might take years of friendly conversation and being available to finally lead someone to Christ.
Be godly – Jn 4:17-18. The woman at the well had sin in her life and Jesus let her know that he knew what it was. When he asked her about her husband, she realized that he was a prophet. In witnessing we are ambassadors for Christ. The Holy Spirit is reproving the person you are talking to of sin, righteousness and judgment. So when witnessing don’t be trivial. The sinner with whom you are dealing isn’t just coming to Jesus to have a relationship with him. Sin is his problem and Jesus died to save him from his sins. That’s very important.
Be observant – Jn 4:10-26. The Holy Spirit is the soul winner here. He’s the one that leads the sinner to Jesus. It is by him that we are born again. So watch what the Spirit is doing and watch how the person with whom you are speaking is responding to the Spirit. If he is not responsive to the Spirit then you need to back off. Too many times Christians keep going and they end up forcing a person to pray a prayer [notice the woman didn’t pray “the prayer”]. That’s not salvation. Can you not see the responsiveness of this woman to the Lord?
Be faithful – Jn 4:28. Jesus let the woman walk off without making sure that she had verbally responded to Jn 4:26. That’s okay. This work is the Spirit’s work and he only needs you and me to take the witness as far as he wants it to go. Don’t go beyond what he is leading you to do. You must trust that if he has used you to witness to a sinner then you have done all you need to do when you have dealt with him to the full extent that the Spirit is dealing with him. Nothing more nothing less.
Be ready – Jn 4:26. At the right time you will see the “golden” opportunity to “lead” a sinner to Jesus. Jesus knew precisely when to reveal himself to the woman at the well [not at Jn 4:19 but at Jn 4:26, following Jn 4:25]. He didn’t hesitate when the time was right. So, though, we are encouraging you to give the Spirit and the person you are dealing with time, we are also encouraging you to make sure they get saved when they are ready. Often lately people will ask after thorough personal work, “So how do I receive him?” And I answer with Jn 16:24. To be sure, I always ask a person what he wants to do. I ask, “So, what would you like to do now? Would you like to receive Jesus and ask him to save you or would you like some more time to think about it?” When he asks for more time, I give it to him. He isn’t ready. But when he says that he wants to receive Jesus then we proceed to help him pray if he needs help. I prefer to let him pray on his own. Some of the prayers I have heard are far better than any soul winner’s prayer I have ever seen.
Conclusion: Soul winning, if that’s what you prefer to call it, is a great joy when you finally realize that you don’t have to persuade a sinner to pray a prayer. If you get someone to pray and you are uncertain whether he really meant it or got it, you jumped the gun. Not only did Jesus know that this woman was saved but so did everyone else she knew [Jn 4:39-42]. Relax and be faithful. God can use you if you will just let him. And don’t worry about the outcome. That’s up to the Holy Spirit and the sinner.