I will never forget what the director of a large USA Christian rehabilitation center for addictions said to me. He was introducing himself to me for the first time and he viewed me as this petite, little blonde woman. "Shug, I cannot emphasize enough, we need to speak directly and boldly to our clients. We have little time to reach them - the more direct the better." I had to chuckle to myself, because little did he know that is exactly how God has wired me.
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19
I have "method" for sharing the Gospel message that I have given many times in many different countries. It is not mine, I have borrowed it from a wonderful evangelism source. It is called "Hell's Best Kept Secret?" by Way of the Master founder Ray Comfort. www.wayofthemaster.com Feel free to Google it and study it. They have video to watch, audio to listen to and a pdf file of the words they use. It also is available in a variety of languages. It is a simple and easy way to share the Gospel... the same way Jesus did it in the Bible.
I have used this simple method, mixed with my own message from far away places such as Italy - Israel - Africa and the USA. It works! Feel free to combine this simple method of evangelism with your own stories and illustrations. If you are speaking to someone for the first time one-on-one on the street. this method works. If you are in prison in front of thousands of people, this method works. In prisons, I like to role-play and bring inmates up so we can all get involved. I cannot emphasize enough, to laugh and have fun with sharing the Gospel. Chuld be contagious and full of joy. Laughter is rare to find in prisons. Christianity should be contagious and full of joy.
Double check with the local prison pastor or director that this method of evangelism has not been used in your area. You can always use the main thought and mix it in with your own custom message like I do. Most of all, keep it fun, simple and full of God's truth for all to understand.
You may have only one chance to reach someone for Christ. Be prepared and ready to share the Gospel in a fun and engaging way.
I would now like to address some forms of preaching that I have seen that go over most people's heads. To be in prison preaching is not our chance to show how much theology we know. Instead, be like Jesus Christ, who kept it simple, using common everyday illustrations and full of love.
Ask yourself: "If this one inmate, only came once to listen to the Gospel message, would this one theological term help transform their life?" I believe in preaching the whole truth of God's Word - but in simple easy to understand everyday terms. Simply said... the simpler the better.
I once saw a Bible teacher in a USA prison get up into one of the inmates faces for talking and begin yelling at her. Did we forget that there are gangs with dignity to be kept amongst the inmates? Is that what Jesus would do? Whoa... I can tell you as a woman, do not ever talk down to or embarrass us... Have you ever heard of the phrase "Speak to the hand!"... done.
Remember, God deserves our best. Jesus calls us to love each other. Here is a quote that we all should live by: "LET'S GET THE LOVE THING RIGHT." We don't want the inmates to stumble over us on their way to Jesus. I urge you to only be full of God's truth and full of His love.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God; and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
When I came to you... my message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with demonstration of the spirit's power. 1 Corinthians 2:1, 4