If you are serious about being a witness for the Lord, you have likely learned a presentation that helps you share your faith. Evangelism Explosion, FAITH, Share Jesus Without Fear and 3 Circles are a few of the methods that I have seen the Lord use as tools to assist soul winners.
In my personal evangelism efforts, I often employ elements from each of these. I have found that the Holy Spirit is certainly not bound to one method, and the witness should present the gospel in a manner that effectively communicates to the hearer.
As we share our faith, we must remember to contextualize our presentation so that the hearer clearly understands the message. In The Art of Personal Evangelism, Will McRaney asserts, “An essential element of effective communication is to understand something of the lost person’s culture in order to make sense of the gospel from the lost person’s perspective.”
Using creativity while sharing the gospel is a good way to shape our communication to appeal to a lost person’s context.
There are several good pre-made tools one can use.
Examples are the EvangeCube, the Wordless5 Book and colored beads on a bracelet. However, the soul-winner may not have one of those tools at his disposal in a witnessing encounter. The good news is that the Holy Spirit — who is superintending the gospel conversation — may point out an object in the environment or bring a story to the mind of the witnesser to be used as a creative tool for communication.
Let me share one way I know of this happening. If you know me, you may be aware that my father, Bro. Noel Dodson, recently died. If you knew him, you are aware that he was a fervent soul-winner. One of the stories shared at his funeral was about the occasion he led a man to Christ using two stones lying in a driveway.
I will never forget the evening when Dad came home from a revival service he was preaching. It made an inspiring impression on me as a teenage boy. He had an ear-to-ear smile and he started telling what happened the moment he walked in the door.
He said, “You’ll never believe how we led a man to Jesus this afternoon.” He and the host pastor had been out in the community late in the afternoon sharing the gospel and inviting folks to the revival.
They met a farmer in his driveway coming off a day’s work in a field. The man was cordial and listened closely as they shared about Jesus. When the time was right, Dad encouraged him to receive Jesus there in his graveled driveway where they stood. Although the farmer believed the mes- sage about Jesus, he struggled with the concept of repen- tance and was not convinced he could so easily leave his sin to follow Christ in that very moment.
Dad said, “He was so close, and I could sense the Holy Spirit strongly convicting him. I just had to figure out how I could communicate how he could trade his sinfulness for Jesus’ righteousness. So, I prayed from my heart, ‘Lord, show me how to share with this man.’ At that moment I looked down on the driveway and saw a white and black stone lying together.”
Through his studies, Dad was aware of how the Romans used white and black stones. Roman courts had a custom of assigning a white or black stone to an accused person. After a trial, the verdict was clearly understood — based on which color of stone the accused was given. If the individual received a white stone, he was found not guilty. If he received a black stone, he was found guilty. Either way, he knew his judgment.
Not only did Dad see the stones, the Holy Spirit used that sight to bring to his memory Revelation 2:17, which he shared. In that verse, scripture says that to the one who repents, God will give something wonderful: “I will give him a white stone, with a new name written onthe stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
Dad reached down to the driveway and picked up the stones. He asked the gentleman farmer to hold them. With the two contrasting stones in the man’s hand, Dad explained what each represented.
The black stone symbolized sin and heart at enmity with God. It stood for the guilty verdict and an eternity in hell that has already been assigned for all without a relationship with Christ. The white stone signified Jesus’ righteousness that could be imputed upon repentance. It stood for a life of fellowship with the Lord and the hope of heaven.
After the explanation, Dad said to the farmer, “Sir, you hold both stones in your hand right now. The choice is yours. Which one will you throw down?”
With tears coming down his face, the farmer at once threw down the black stone. He knelt down in the gravel and gave his life to Jesus. Dad kept those stones in his pocket the remainder of his life. You can see them in the picture accompanying this article. He used them over and over to lead several more souls to faith in the Lord.
I gave those stones to Pastor Ed Amundson, who preached Dad’s funeral. At the conclusion of the service, they were used once more. As Pastor Ed told the story, the picture of him holding them was projected on the screens. Everyone in attendance was asked to throw down the black stone if they had not already.
As you share the gospel, you may find yourself in a situation where a little more is needed. Be open to creativity. Use the tools God gives you to share Jesus. Lost persons around you need to throw down the black stone.
Alan Dodson is south region consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.