Be intentional. Sometimes, the perspective described in this chapter is derided as an excuse for diminished church involvement or a watered-down relational approach that soft sells witnessing. Both of those criticisms can be true if you aren’t intentional about sharing the gospel. Being unscripted doesn’t mean being unintentional. Living a good life among unbelievers and hoping your spiritual aura effects life change is insufficient. Intentional strategies make the difference. One of the simplest strategies is making a prayer list of unbelieving friends and praying regularly for their salvation. This practice accomplishes two things. First, it asks God for something within His will and with biblical precedent (see chap. 2). Second, it continually sensitizes you to the spiritual needs of the people you are praying for.
Another intentional strategy is maintaining a record of your progress in sharing the gospel with your friends. Randy kept a small notebook in his car with a page for each person he was trying to reach with the gospel. It also doubled as his prayer list (described above). Any time he had a spiritual conversation with one of this friends, he noted it. He also included significant life events (births, marriages, promotions, etc.) as well as life struggles (sicknesses, deaths in their family, etc.) that might contribute to his connecting the gospel to them. While you may be so relationally sensitive you don’t need a spiritual spreadsheet, keeping records of your witnessing attempts and the progress you are making can be helpful.
A third intentional strategy is having Christian literature, DVDs, CDs, and website addresses to give to others. When witnessing to friends and family members, the gospel is often shared incrementally. My friend Braden responded very openly to a question I raised about his spiritual background. We talked for about 20 minutes about the gospel. He had to return to work, so I offered him a gospel tract about salvation. He agreed to read it. The next time we met, our conversation was based on follow-up questions from the tract.
Jeff Iorg, Unscripted
I have just completed a series of lessons based on Jeff Iorg’s book, Unscripted. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year.