“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38)
Before I got into vocational ministry my wife and I both worked in sales. And salespeople know something that the rest of us as Christians need to know. You’ve got to make the ask. Can you imagine going through a sales pitch and then the salesman or woman never asks for the order? Far too often when sharing our faith we miss this critical step: ask for a response.
In Acts 2 after Peter communicates the essentials of the faith and reads the crowd’s reaction, what does he do? Peter asks for a response by saying, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
So as you share your faith, communicating the essentials and reading the response, seeing that the person is ripe for the gospel, let me teach you how to ask for a response. Simply say, “Would you like to make a decision to follow Jesus?”
You say, “It can’t be that easy,” and I’m saying I believe we make it too complicated. Think about it. A person could only have one of three reactions to this questions: 1) Yes, 2) No, or 3) Maybe. If it’s “yes,” great! Lead them in a prayer that follows the ABC’s: Admit that you’re a sinner; Believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins; Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior. In my experience, if I take the time to communicate the essentials, and read the reaction to see that someone is ripe for the gospel, nine times out of ten the person says yes.
And if they say “no” or aren’t sure yet, here’s a simple follow up question, “What’s holding you back?” You may be surprised at their answer and be able to get at the root of the issue.
It sounds simple, but we have to get back to the basics. There’s a whole world around us that is heading toward an eternity separated from God, and He has entrusted us with the gospel message. And if that hasn’t hit your heart in a while, let me tell you this: that’s the entire reason we’re here. This is what we’re about as followers of Christ, to share the love of Jesus and the gospel with the people that God has placed around us.