Getting Permission to Share the Gospel for Evangelism

It is hard for most of us who want everyone to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to be patient enough to gain permission to share Christ with someone. Why get permission anyway? Didn’t Jesus command us to go and share? If the Lord of all creation commands us to do something, why then get permission from someone else? I’ll tell you why.

Getting permission to share Christ with a person is not contradictory in personal evangelistic activity to the command of Jesus. It actually fulfulls it. Not getting permission from a person to share does not mean that you can’t still witness with your life, prayers, actions and other words. Perhaps the person will eventually open up and then become receptive to the message of the Gospel.

Just a few days ago I went to get a haircut. The woman who cut my hair, I found out was from Russia. She has lived here in the US for eleven years. She moved here to be with family who had immigrated to the Atlanta Georgia area. She knew no English when she moved here. In talking to her I tried to find out about her life in Russia, what she experienced that is different here, what were her interests, and her spiritual backgroud, etc. She was Orthodox in her church background, but did not want to talk about it. When I pressed her about her personal spirituality, she told me, and I quote verbatim: “I will talk about anything you want to talk about except religion. I do not want to talk about my beliefs. They are private to me. I’ll talk about anything else.”  Well, I’ll tell you, that ended that subject. So I said fine, let’s talk about how you decided to cut hair. And we did and had a nice conversation. She did ask me what I did, and I told her I worked for a church organization that does a lot of things to help people in many ways. I talked about disaster relief and education, and seeking to help people become all that God intended them to be, etc. She liked that. I was talking about my experience and beliefs. That seemed to be ok with her. After all, she did ask what I did.

I use the above story to illustrate that when someone does not want to talk about spiritual things with you, you will still have other options that do not violate their wishes or force your beliefs on them. There is much more that could be said on gaining permission to share. I usually ask a person if we are on the subject matter of spiritual things if I could share with them the most important thing that has happened to me. 9 out of 10 times I get a yes. I share my story. Then I ask if they would like to know what the Bible says about eternal life. This is how I get permission. If I get a know, or a later then I look for more opportunities elsewhere.

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About Jimmy Kinnaird

Jimmy started his ministry on the streets of the French Quarter of New Orleans leading a jazz band as a tool to witness for Christ. He has also been a church staff member, church planter, pastor, and Church Outreach Team Leader for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Recently, Jimmy served as Personal Evangelism Resource Coordinator on the Personal Evangelism Team at the North American Mission Board, SBC. He is currently pastor of Village Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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