An excerpt from “Honest Evangelism" by Rico Tice
First, what do I need to say? Identity. Mission. Call. That’s the gospel. Jesus’ identity—who he is. Jesus’ mission—why he came. Jesus’ call—what he wants from us.
Second, how do I need to engage people as I talk about Identity, Mission and Call? Understanding. Agreement. Impact. To put it bluntly: Do they get it? Do they agree with it? What are they doing about it?
If I simply answer someone’s question with a five-minute monologue presenting the gospel, then that will be less effective than if I’m going through Identity, Mission and Call in a conversational way, one that stops to ask questions. I need to be listening as much as I am speaking. I want to be checking that the person I’m speaking to understands what it is I’m saying. But not only that—do they agree with it? And then, and this is absolutely crucial, I want to ask them to think about what they’re going to do about it. Faith is not just knowing the content of the gospel, nor even agreeing with it; it is personally placing my trust in the person at the heart of it: the Lord Jesus.
Remembering these two sets of three words guards me against two mistakes. Identity, Mission, Call helps me remember the gospel, so that I explain it fully and clearly. Understanding, Agreement, Impact helps me remember that the guy or girl I’m speaking to is a person, not a project, so that I talk about Jesus relationally and lovingly.
In a sense, then, evangelism is a journey of gospel chatting. It’s a dialogue, rather than a download. When my head is empty and I’m just thinking...
WHAT DO I SAY?
...I need to know what the gospel is—Identity, Mission, Call— and I need to remember how to communicate the gospel helpfully—Understanding, Agreement, Impact.
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