Compiled by Shannon Baker
FOR MANY, EVANGELISM seems too hard. It feels intimidating and overwhelming. But to Doug DuBois, State Director of Evangelism for the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, it boils down to six simple steps: prayer, celebration and service, radical hospitality, telling one’s story, asking the question, and never walking alone.
To assist believers in sharing the Gospel with friends, family and others in one’s influence, DuBois organized each of these elements into actionable steps that help start the process. Participants can start with any step, unique to each situation, rather than be overwhelmed with the whole big picture. Over time, he says, following the steps one-by-one leads to fulfillment of this great task. He describes the “SixSimpleSteps,” as follows:
“I think that everyone would admit that prayer is an essential part of our spiritual life,” DuBois begins. “Just as Jesus spent days fasting and praying before beginning the mission we need to be serious about prayer and especially as it pertains to praying for those without a relationship with Christ.”
He points to Luke 4, when Jesus faces temptations, “When it comes to prayer, we are tempted in many ways by the same enemy with reasons not to pray. There will be many things that will come up and take our time. Just as weight exercise, it is easier to eat Tostitos and drink soda than to train for the race you have been called to run. Evangelism must begin with us being spiritually prepared.”
He urges believers to pray by name and for specific life situations for each of those in their circle of influence.
Celebrate & Serve
DuBois acknowledges it takes some adjustment to live a life focused on celebrating and serving others.
“It will seem awkward and unnatural because it really is putting others, and their needs, above our own,” he says, noting, “It is easy to do that for those that we like, but when it comes to those that do not have our same beliefs or likes, that will be tough.”
He defines serving as “doing something for someone else that they would typically have to do for themselves,” such as washing their car, mowing grass, or buying groceries.
“We should remember that Jesus met needs. He healed, He fed, He comforted, He ultimately met the greatest need, dying so that we could have fellowship with the Father,” he stresses. “We should also remember that this is done without an underlying, or selfish motive. You are celebrating and serving them just as Jesus loved you.”
Next, DuBois suggests believers get into a rhythm and create an environment where those who are lost are interested in spending time with you.
He illustrates, much like Jesus did when speaking to the woman at the well in John 4, “Imagine a situation where friends we know who do not believe in Christ would be open to having honest discussions and asking questions about life without the feeling that they are judged or condemned.”
This step in the SixSimpleSteps for evangelism, and of sharing the Gospel does not have a “completed by” time frame, DuBois says, emphasizing, it cannot be faked.
“This step is an established pattern of life where loving your neighbor becomes more than a habit and is instead a form of building relationships. This is what it looks like when you have been transformed by Christ.”
Tell Your Story
Noting every Christian has a testimony, DuBois suggests three parts to share: how you were before Christ, the circumstances that caused you to consider Christ, and how your life has changed since becoming a Christian.
If you were to write it down, it should be around 400 words.
“You should be able to tell your story in three different time frames, 3 – 4 minutes, 10 minutes, and a 45-minute version,” says DuBois. “Your story needs to be more about what Christ has done in your life than a story of how righteous you are.”
Ask the Question
Next, believers should be prepared to naturally move from their testimony to the Gospel. He offers some ways: asking nonthreatening questions, such as, “What are your thoughts about spiritual matters? About Jesus?
DuBois notes there are several evangelism tools to assist in this conversations, one being “The Three Circles” (http://lifeonmissionbook.com/conversation-guide).
Never Walk Alone
The last step in this evangelism strategy is to be intentional about traveling your spiritual journey with someone.
“You should never walk alone. We were created as relational beings, to be in relationship,” DuBois said. “We are to be in relationship with Christ and others.”
Steven Clemmons, who has served on mission in Martinsburg, W. Va., San Salvador, El Salvador, La Paz, Bolivia, and Praia, Cape Verde Africa, likes the SixSimpleSteps strategy.
He shares, “The fourth step, ‘Tell your story’ is very familiar to what we use at home and in other countries. We equip believers to share, ‘My story/God’s story,” a simple and quick way to share one’s testimony by explaining what we were like before Christ, how we heard about Jesus, and what we experience now in Christ.”
“I’m excited to have learned about the Six SimpleSteps and more so the emphasis it places on making disciples that make disciples here, there, and everywhere, as commanded by Christ in the Scriptures,” he said.
DuBois used the strategy to train the 400-plus high and middle school students who attended this winter’s reBOOT evangelism conference. There, teens were taught the simple steps and were given time to practice the skills on each other.
As a result, one teenager from First Baptist Church of North East shared the Gospel with one of her teachers. Pastor Steve Hokuf was ecstatic.
“The kids had a great time at Skycroft and one of the teens had the privilege of leading one of her teachers to Christ the week after camp. Praise the Lord,” Hokuf said.
Churches interested in scheduling training for the SixSimpleSteps method are urged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a date for training. A one-day conference allows for participants to learn about each step along with interactive exercises providing familiarity and confidence for individual spiritual growth. Conferences are typically four hours in length and work best with groups of 12–50.
Learn more at sixsimplesteps.org.