It must be emphasized, again, that witnessing and evangelism must continue as long as there are people who need salvation. It is God’s plan to save as many people as possible. Those, meanwhile, who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior are called upon to work with God in this soul-saving work. No matter who we are, where we are, in what situations we find ourselves, if our hearts are tuned to Christ, if we have a deep-seated appreciation for what He has done for us and for what He asks us to do in response, we will always have opportunity for witness and ministry.
Review Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4:7–30. What was it about Jesus and what He said that she was excited to share with her townspeople? What principles of witnessing can we take from this account that can help us as we seek to reach others?
It seems that Jesus followed a simple “formula” when He spoke to the woman of Samaria. 1. He arrested her attention: “ ‘Give Me a drink’ ” (vs. 7, NKJV); 2. He secured her interest: “ ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ ” (vss. 9, 10, NKJV); 3. He created a desire: “ ‘Sir, give me this water’ ” (vs. 15, NKJV); 4. He brought a conviction: “ ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a Prophet’ ” (vs. 19, NKJV); and 5. Actions followed: “ ‘Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ ” (vs. 29, NKJV).
These five stages of evangelism do not necessarily need to take place all in one meeting as they did with Jesus and the woman at Jacob’s well. They may happen over a period of time as you continue to witness to someone. The situations will vary greatly, but the principles seen in this passage can be broadly applied to our attempts to reach souls.
In addition, although the initial conversation is concerned with literal water, Jesus’ goal is to cause the Samaritan woman to desire and drink the Water of Life. In the end, although we are called to help people in whatever situation we find them, and to minister to their needs however we can, we must never forget that their greatest need is salvation in Jesus.
How often do you take advantage of opportunities to witness or to minister? Isn’t it true that so often we go about our lives, meeting people who—despite their interaction with us—have no idea of what we believe, what we stand for, or the hope that we have? How can we change so that we can be better witnesses?