When witnessing, holy boldness is important. However Holy Ghost sensitivity is even more so. Knowing when and how to witness to family, friends and co-workers is a spiritual skill every Christian needs to cultivate. Throughout the book of Acts, the Spirit led the disciples to proclaim truth at just the right moment and the results were profound (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5; 16:6).
An effective soulwinner asks each day for the Spirit’s assistance – for boldness to speak when the Spirit prompts and wisdom to say the right thing. They often will have a prospective list – people the Spirit has been encouraging them to pray for and to witness when the time is right.
Often the witness will be a little bit here and there, layer upon layer, with time between for the Holy Ghost to deal with the recipient’s heart. But when the time is right, they invite them to church, ask for a Home Bible Study, share a particular tract, or pray with them for a particular situation. This careful targeted approach to witnessing tends to be vastly more effective than the random “shotgun” approach of casting Gospel seed to the wind and hoping it lands on fertile soil.
Consider the following:
First, they have an active prayer life. Each day they ask for the Lord to lead them to a soul that is hungry for truth. These names are kept on a prayer list and prayed for each day. They understand that the Lord must prepare the heart’s soil for the Gospel seed if it is to successfully grow. They consistently add to this list as God directs them.
Second, they ask for clear spiritual direction for when to witness. They understand that you must often win a friend before you can win a soul. Much time is invested in just talking, listening, and getting to know an individual. This takes time, but it’s time well spent. For someone to accept your witness they must trust you.
Third, they ask for direction about what to say. If a person is struggling with a particular problem, they become familiar with how the Bible can help them with their need. Or perhaps their questions are more doctrinal or theological. We must stand ready to be an effective witness when the Spirit prompts us.
Finally, they ask for wisdom on how far to press for a decision for church attendance, teach a Bible study, or to pray with them, leading them to repentance or to open their hearts to God’s answers.
A witnessing church is more than people willing to randomly pass out tracts or participate in a prayer walk. It’s people who take soulwinning seriously as a true calling from God.