WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU'VE SET UP A GOSPEL APPOINTMENT
- Pray like crazy! Set aside some time to pray for your friend. Text, GroupMe, or Facebook your fellow leaders and ask them to pray for you before and during the gospel appointment. Remember, it’s our job to share and it’s God’s job to convict people. We need the Holy Spirit to work through our gospel appointment for it to be effective.
- Confirm the meeting time and location the same day through a phone call or text message.
- Be prepared to share and bring whatever you need. A great thing about gospel appointments is they work with any gospel presentation. If you use The Bridge model, bring a pen, paper and Bible. If you use a gospel booklet like “Gospel Lessons,” don’t forget it!
- Start by getting to know the person a bit more. Catch up a little and get to know them better. The old adage is true: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” After you’ve built some rapport, jump into talking about deeper things such as family and upbringing. Remember, they agreed to meet expecting to talk about spiritual things so don’t skip that part!
- Use the three-story method.
- Their Story: Ask them to share their story about their experience with spiritual things and really listen. You could ask, “So what’s your background when it comes to spiritual things?”
- Your Story: Share your story briefly. Try and do a one-minute It could be about how you became a Christian or how your faith came alive in college.
- God’s Story: Introduce the Bible lesson or gospel presentation. Say “The ministry I am a part of does Bible lessons that teach the basics about having a relationship with God. Do you want to read it together?” or “I have this short booklet that explains how to start a relationship with God. Do you want to read it together?” Another example could be, “I know a short illustration that gives an awesome summary of what I believe is the main point of the Bible. Can I share it with you?”
- Begin discussing the gospel presentation. Make sure to sit close enough that both of you can comfortably see it or have one for each of you. You don’t need to add a lot to it. Simply take them through it. Try not to get too sidetracked with too many side comments and questions. Many questions will be answered by the booklet or forgotten about once they understand the entire message. We tell our students “If you can read, then you can lead people to Christ!”
- Make the invitation clear. Ask them if they want to become a Christian. Give them time to read it and think about it. Then ask “Would you like to commit your life to Christ right now?” Be prepared for a few moments of silence as they ponder such a heavy decision. It probably means they are really considering it. Don’t answer for them.
- If they don’t receive Christ, don’t pressure them, but keep investing in them. Continue to offer friendship to them. It’s not a failure if they don’t instantaneously receive Christ. It’s actually a personal win because you have obeyed Jesus. Now they know where you stand and have a better idea of what you believe. Often in our secular culture it takes people several hearings of the gospel before they will be ready to really give their lives to Christ, especially if it is the first time, they have considered such a thing.
- If they say yes to Christ, show your excitement and lead them to pray to God. You can have them read the prayer, or they can pray in their own words. Since there are no magic words, encourage them to make the prayer their own as an attitude of their heart. You can even begin the prayer yourself by thanking God for your time together and then ask them to pray.
- Celebrate and set up a follow up meeting! Tell them that this is the most important decision of their lives! Then say “This was fun! There are some other things like this that we could look at if you want to start meeting. Does this same time next week work for you?” Make sure you have a time to meet again before you leave! Also invite them to come to your college ministry or church with you this week and encourage them to start reading the Gospel of John on their own. Thank and praise God for what he is doing!
- Don’t look at gospel appointments as a one-time event but a way to initiate a long-term relationship with the person. If you boldly and relationally share Jesus, I believe you will lead many students to Christ and see them get involved in ministry.
Don’t let the simplicity of this method dissuade you from giving it an honest try!