Airplane Analogy for Evangelism
Ed Lewis There are parallels between learning to fly a plane and learning to share your faith!! They say that the hardest part of being a pilot is the take-off and the landing. The same is true in outreach. One of the challenges believers have in sharing Jesus is how to START a conversation with someone about God. How do you begin. We are subject to these extremes: Too passive or too aggressive? How can we talk naturally about the necessity of crucial, life-altering decision/lifestyle? The other challenge relates to “the ASK”…after you learn that the person believes the basics. If they believe in God what is next? They may believe the Jesus is God and still not know what to do. Even the devil believes! He believes in heaven and hell and that Jesus is God, and Jesus is the only way to Heaven and that Jesus died and rose again from the dead….but he will certainly not be in Heaven!! How do you approach the person who knows about God but is not doing anything with it. This is an outline of what is taught.
- Getting the plane off the ground. How do you start? Follow this pattern. (How to FISH for people)
- INITIATE Conversations
- Listen to their STORY and
- Give HOPE.
- Then the believer needs to get into a conversation about religion or church. You must use some kind of “God-talk” in a natural conversation. Talk about your being in a church or ….
- Talk about homeless ministry or
- Where you are from or that you are in a small group in your church or…. Be casual.
- Keep using GOD-TALK ( Use God-words in your conversations… “pray”, “church”, “ministry team”, “Bible”, “God”, “Christian”, etc)
- FLYING the PLANE
- Be vulnerable and open. Share how God was with you during a tough time. ( This is an exercise you need to think through in your life and share it.)
- It is important that you know the benefits of following the Lord…. (The Lord has given us so many!). Think of about 5 right now.
- Share a story from your life and how God helped you with this situation.
- Death of a friend or family member
- Hard time in health or finances or divorce or breakups or failing school or…. And
- Quote or refer to a Bible verse as to how you are so glad you had GOD in your life through this time. (It is yet another benefit of being a Christ-follower).
- Ask the person if they can identify with your struggle.
- Listen and let them talk. Respond with love/care.
- Ask the person for permission to share one verse from the Bible that has given you hope. Tell them that this has given your hope since now you are forgiven of my sins and I know He really cares.
I recommend John 3:16 and filling in their name on the whosoever or Romans 10: 9 and explaining the two things that are necessary. (Verse 10 is also helpful)
- Landing the Plane
- Listen to the person and ask if it makes sense.
- Engage in conversation about their beliefs. Do they really understand that this is a decision about making changes in their lives and making God their priority?
- Explain the conversation Jesus had with a man named Nicodemus one night. Nicodemus believed in all the facts but he wanted to know what he needed to be really changed…to be converted. He believed in the miracles Jesus had done to prove He was God. Jesus probably shocked him when he told him he needed to be born all over again. Huh? Jesus pointed out that just like there is a PHYSICAL birth everyone must have a SPIRITUAL birth. That is John 3: 3. (You must be born again!) Ask if that person has ever done that? Has he asked God to start his life all over again? When? How did that impact his life?
- Ask if you can pray for the person. Pray for that person by name and thank God for the conversation.
- If that person wants to come to Jesus that would be wonderful! If so… Encourage them to tell that to God now. Ask if you can pray. Pause in the middle of your prayer and ask if he would like to tell Jesus out loud what he wants to change. Help him as needed but let him pray in his own words (things like he wants to change, believes in Jesus and that he died and rose again, and he repents and surrenders to God). End the prayer by thanking God.
- The follow-up is so important. (The Bible wants us to seek disciples, not just decisions). Get contact information and learn if he has a Bible ( where to read). We need to join other believers for fellowship (Bible-teaching church). Baptism is a next step…going public with your faith. Tell other spiritual leaders of the decision and text that person daily for a couple of weeks.