a.) Everyone is potential
When you become serious about soul winning you will realize that everyone potentially can be saved; and if you are serious you will check to see if everyone you meet is saved or not. I remember when I first got serious about soul winning I was surprised at all the people that I could possibly win to Christ that I hadn’t thought about before. You see, when you are not serious about soul winning, people’s eternal destiny is just something that you do not think about, but as you begin to ask God to make you soul conscience, you will notice that you begin to care for everyone you meet, and even wonder where they are going to spend eternity. (“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38) Jesus said the laborers were few. The reason for this is because we have myself-itis; it is like a disease that causes us to only be concerned with our self. I’m saved, so that’s good, I’ll leave everyone else to fend for themselves, and I hope that they make it. We as Christians need to wake up and see that there is a world around us that is falling into hell by the minute. (“And that knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now, is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:11-12) If we don’t know someone’s eternal destiny, then as we are speaking with them, may we imagine that Christ could come back at that very moment and that individual could perish. As the verse said, we need to: “cast off the works of darkness” those who are lost don’t know what spiritual light is and it is up to us to turn the switch on so that they might see. In closing on this point here is a quote from John R. Rice: “The lake of human life near you is full of fish, and fish are always biting! There are always souls who can be won. The harvest is always great, always plenteous, always white. In nearly forty years of ministry as an evangelist and six years of active personal soul winning before I was a preacher, I have found that there are always sinners who can be won to Christ. I cannot win everybody, but I can win somebody.”
b.) determine who is a prospect
Its so exciting to find someone who is a prospect, because when someone has shown an interest the likely hood of them being saved is high! TO BE A SUCCESFUL SOUL WINNER FIND PROSPECTS!!! Here’s a quote from Pastor Paul Chappell: “The prospect list is a great tool that helps focus on soulwinning; it is simply a way of keeping track of individuals to whom you are witnessing. For example, if I receive a visitation card from the soulwinning director, make the visit on a Tuesday night and find him not at home, I will place him on my prospect list and continue following up on that individual until there has been a decision made for the Lord or that the prospect becomes a “dead end.” By that math when you find a prospect and stay on them you have a 50% chance that the person is going to get saved; that is great odds! Now, here are a few examples of what a prospect looks like: to begin with, it is anyone who shows some interest, someone who has no church, or someone who asks you questions, ect. I find that people who are new to the area and have no family nearby are huge potential, because they are hungry for relationships, and what better relationship to have than a church family. Jesus said (“the HARVEST TRULY IS PLENTEOUS… Matthew 9:37”) a harvest is the picking of a vegetable that is ripe and ready. Jesus said there are tons of people that are ready to be picked (saved) we just need to find them a cultivate their spiritual soil to bring forth fruit unto salvation. If we don’t think there are very many people who are ready to be saved then we are calling Jesus a liar. He’s not lying, we just aren’t trying! Go out there, plow the soil, and you will find a harvest of prospects that will be saved! One prospect I remember winning to Christ, I met while going door to door. When I first met him, he shared that he had a religious background, he had recently moved from New York to Georgia, and that he had a wife and two sons. He didn’t come that following Sunday so, I made him some cookies, went and knocked on his door again. When he answered the door I invited him to come to our fall festival, and sure enough he did. I continued to follow up with him and he and his wife eventually got saved and he later became the church clerk.
c.) who needs time
(“And he said unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19) When Jesus called his disciples he likened soul winning to fishing. Considering fishing, timing can be very important. You may try a spot without a bite, so you go to the next spot, and find that they are. The same is the case with soul winning go and if you are rejected, go to the next one until you find one that will receive your message. Sometimes with fishing you come back to that spot where they weren’t biting before, and find them biting. What made the difference? Maybe the barometric pressure changed, or the water got warmer, ect. whatever it was, something changed and led them to biting. Sometimes people that rejected us before, might suffer a death in the family, a job layoff, or some other form of transition, and it will lead them to want to hear the gospel. In other cases where people are willing we need to be time sensitive. For instance, when you are fishing with a bobber, you may be getting nibbles that don’t take it under, if you try to set the hook you will pull it out of their mouth. You must be sensitive to people when you are sharing the gospel with them, just because they are listening to the gospel doesn’t mean they’re ready to swallow the hook. Once you have shared the gospel, ask them if they feel that they are ready to receive Christ, and tell them that it means you are ready to receive him as Lord, and follow him. Upon considering that they may not be quite ready to receive, but upon consideration come back to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. Be sensitive, sometimes people may not be ready to listen to the gospel but after some kind hearted visits from you they will open up to receive the message. Rememeber, “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Source unknown… I should also state that if a person hears the gospel and tells you that they feel like they are ready to receive Christ, then it isn’t for you to play the Holy Spirit and decide whether they are ready or not, they said they are and you must take them at their word. You do not want to cause someone to miss their day of salvation. (“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, (testing) in the day of temptation in the wilderness:” Hebrews 3:7-8) I had the opportunity to share the gospel with a person, who said that they didn’t know if they were ready to receive Christ because they weren’t sure that they were willing to go to church, I tried to set a follow up appointment with them, but something came up and they couldn’t meet. At the time I was disappointed but about a month later that person came to church and got saved!
d.) who God leads you to
This is a very important point, that will save you many wasted trips, and attempts to try and share the gospel. If you want God to lead you to the right person than you must pray and ask him to put
the right people in your path. I remember trying to win a man to Christ, I spent several months, meeting with him and trying to convince him of the validity of the bible, and still to this day he has not received Christ. In another case, I had an appointment with an individual to share the gospel with them, as I was about to go visit them they text me and said that tonight wouldn’t work for them to meet. I thought, “well, I’ll just forget about trying to go soul winning tonight.” About that time God reminded me of someone who had recently visited the church. I called them and they said it would be fine for me to come visit. Once I got there they gladly listened to the gospel and asked Jesus Christ to save them! You ask, what made the difference between the one I spent several months on and the one I spent an evening with? The answer is Gods leading. (“After they were come to Mysia, they assayed (attempted) to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not…. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him saying, come over into Macedonia, and help us.” Acts 16:7;9) Can you guess what happened when they went into Macedonia? People got saved! That’s why God led them to keep going through Asia and head to Macedonia, because God knows best and he knows where the fish are biting.
3.) “Where” to find prospects
a.) From house to house – this is the most basic and biblical way to find prospects. (“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Acts 5:42) Normally on your first visit to a house you will not get to share the gospel, but you get their names and address, and follow up with them again.
b.) Homes where they didn’t answer – right now if I had no prospects to go to and had visited every street in my county, I still could go back to all the houses where people never answered the door. That’s why it’s good to keep record of where you go and who doesn’t answer the door. If you didn’t keep record of the house, remember if you don’t remember meeting them at that house they probably don’t remember you either, so go ahead and make another visit.
c.) Family, friends, and acquaintances – these are people you already have some sort of relationship with and they should be number one on your prospect list because you’ve already broken the ice with them. Try to call them and set a time to visit them today. If you’ve already visited all your family, friends and acquaintances ask someone in your church to share a list of theirs with you. Fellow church members will be glad for you to visit them because they want them to hear the gospel and because sometimes its better to hear it from a non-relative.
d.) New move in’s… get creative – You can find a list of new move in’s from local real estate agents, your county’s accessors office, or your city’s welcome wagon. Going and welcoming a new move in to your town and inviting them to your church is a great way to get prospects. Finally, if you have exhausted all your recourses for prospect get creative… have a booth at the fair… have a car wash at your church ect.
e.) Where to witness/not to – Of course we need to be ready to witness anywhere and to everyone, but I will be a little more specific. It is good to witness going two by two (Mark 6:7) this eliminates a man and a woman talking alone; which is not a good idea. I also recommend you witnessing or discipling someone in a fairly private place to avoid from distraction. The altar is a great place to witness, just remember to speak with them after they are done praying. Witness at their house, your house, or Gods house. Never go inside a sinful place to witness such as a bar.