FISH Evangelism Technique
By Ed Lewis, president of CE National
I am convinced that one of the biggest challenges for people wanting to share about Jesus with people is that they do not know how to start a conversation with a non- believer It’s actually very easy to get a good discussion going and it is based off of what Jesus said in Matthew 4:19: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”
So how do we actually “fish” for people? Here are the four parts to help anyone start to FISH:
First off, be Friendly. Some people THINK they are friendly—and, actually, they are not. Smile, be warm and gracious, be approachable. Let your face show that you are a friendly, caring person!
Initiate. This is a key issue. We need to be bold enough to start conversations with others. If we are friendly and yet never really START conversations, we are just kidding ourselves. Be the first to say hello. Talk. Engage in small talk. Be pleasant. See what kinds of things you have in common—or ask about things that you know you don’t have in common!
Story. Actually LISTEN to THEIR story! This means to ask other people about themselves. (most people know a lot about that subject and most are more than willing to talk about themselves!) There are all kinds of things you can learn from people. What would you like to learn… from a child? A young person? An adult? Ask, and let people talk.
Another key idea in listening to their stories is this: Don’t use just NORMAL talk—use GOD-TALK. Never be intimidated to use the word “God” or “Church” or “Ministry” or “Bible” or any “God” kind of words when you talk with people. If we are afraid we must question if we are ashamed of Jesus! I think we would be surprised how seldom most people talk to others about their lives and listen to their stories using GOD-TALK, but it really isn’t difficult to do! Ask whether kids in school are believers or ask adults when they accepted Jesus or… Things like that help people get used to being unashamed of Jesus. And get more into conversations about church…if they go and why or why not. That opens the door to share our stories and our faith.
Hope. Encourage the person to follow Jesus and to know of God’s love. Be open to praying with the person. Pray with them right then and there. Talk about HIM. What difference has Jesus made in your life? Share that good news with them—as Christ is the hope of the world!
When sharing about how to do this, I get the people practicing using FISH with one another right then and there. We do this at Operation Barnabas orientation, we do it at Momentum Youth Conference each summer, we incorporate this into the training/equipping we do with groups who come to the Urban Hope Training Center. Let’s not just talk about it—do it!
And I believe that when we are looking for opportunities to FISH that God brings people across our path that HE knows need to be encouraged and hear about Him. When people FISH—they end up having amazing stories—and not only do others hear about Jesus—the one doing the “fishing” is encouraged and grows in his or her faith in the process. That is a terrific win-win situation if I have ever heard of one!
I’m excited to see what God does in and through you as you are bold and FISH for Him!