Five Qualities of a Soul Winner
August 5, 2019
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If there’s someone in your life with whom you’ve been wanting to share your faith, you might be held back by the thought that you need to be a Bible scholar, charismatic, extroverted, or extraordinarily brave or articulate. God doesn’t necessarily want you to be any of those things. Instead, He looks for these five qualities in a person so that, through them, God can bring the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ to others:
Did you know that God is more interested in your availability than your ability? Yes, He can use your talents and education for His Kingdom—but first and foremost, you need to be available. In Acts 8:26–27, God clearly spoke to Philip who was a believer in Jesus. He told Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch . . .” A few verses later, the Holy Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot . . .” where the eunuch was sitting. When God said, “Go,” His command didn’t come with prerequisites. “Go” meant . . . go! God wanted to use Philip just as he was. I’ll be the first to highly recommend biblical education to any Christian, but if you feel unqualified to share your faith because of a lack of Bible training—don’t worry! Even if you don’t know hundreds of Scriptures by heart, one thing you do know is what God has done for you.
As soon as God told him to go to the chariot, the Bible says Philip ran. He didn’t give it some thought, check his calendar, or weigh his options. No, Philip moved as fast as he could to do what God had told him to do. There was a sense of urgency. Soul winners respond the same way today. When the Holy Spirit says, “Go talk to that person over there about Me,” they move, and they move quickly. No hesitation. No distractions. Whenever God prompts you to share Christ with someone, be ready and respond promptly. The window of opportunity may be but a brief moment. You never know when it will present itself again.
What was the first thing Philip did when he arrived at the chariot? The Bible says he “heard the man reading” (Acts 8:30). That means he was listening. Before he began sharing anything about Jesus to the Ethiopian, Philip took the time to listen and hear what his need was. This type of sensitivity is often lacking within the Body of Christ today. Marriages are crying for help, but no one is listening. People are hurting and lonely, but no one hears their cries. Being an effective soul winner means not only listening to those around you, but also hearing what is sometimes not spoken. (This is very difficult to do if you are the one doing all the talking.) Be sensitive to those around you. Listen to their needs and be ready to share the answer. That answer—Jesus—is alive inside of you!
If you are mean to someone, you are decreasing your effectiveness to share the Gospel with that person. On the other hand, helpfulness and kindness can go a long way. When Philip heard the Ethiopian eunuch reading the Old Testament, he offered his assistance. He asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He didn’t get in the man’s face and say, “Are you saved? If you were run over by an eighteen-wheel chariot today, would you go straight to hell?” There is a difference between being helpful and obnoxious!
When you genuinely have a heart to help someone, it speaks volumes. It can be as simple as taking dinner to a single mother because she works long hours. Or mowing your elderly neighbor’s lawn. Or tutoring a student. These helpful acts are very much part of the evangelistic process because kindness has an interesting way of opening doors, softening hearts, and building trust.
Eventually there comes a time in the soul-winning process when you’re going to have to open your mouth and talk about Jesus. When Philip had finished explaining the Scriptures, the eunuch asked him to explain what he had just finished reading. “Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus” (Acts 8:35).
The groundwork had been laid. Everything had been orchestrated by the Holy Spirit for this one, pivotal moment. Philip recognized his opportunity and was ready to complete his mission. So, he shared the Gospel with his new friend. When we are honest about who Jesus is, what the Gospel means, and what God has done in our life, the results are miraculous.
The Bible says that after Philip shared the Gospel, the Ethiopian eunuch believed and at once sought the nearest pool of water to be baptized. Afterward, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit took Philip away from there (the original “Beam me up, Scottie!”), and the Ethiopian eunuch left rejoicing. Why was the eunuch so joyful? Because he was a sinner who had welcomed the message of salvation and was now forgiven and born again. You can see miracles in the lives of others, too, if you will ask the Lord to give you availability, urgency, sensitivity, helpfulness, and honesty for His glory!