New Testing Phase

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Witness Encounter: Interview

Reported below is my submitted assignment for a class I took on evangelism, called the Romans Road. It was a great course and I enjoyed it. Included in the course was a practical, WITNESS to somebody, then report back. Below is the prescribed report back as submitted verbatim to the teacher. Its written in fairly technical language so sorry if you don’t follow everything I say. I have been remiss in not reporting back on my witness encounters as of late,, so this is a means of getting back into the habit.

 

I interviewed student named Shane, a grade 10 student who attends the computer classes in which I participate in teaching. I believe he was an unbeliever because he had no testimony whatsoever and at his own description, he is not born again. I spoke to him in person, using the prop of “interview for a class” to initiate the conversation.

I began by asking him about his own personal beliefs and understanding of Christian concepts. He says that he was christened at a home church, (in England) and believes in God and the bible but doesn’t know much about either, or does he go to church. When I pressed the point about the bible, he claims that he believes it to be true, accurate and literal, but he had obviously not taken the step of actually reading it. I asked several other questions, probing his worldview

I hinged the conversation into the Roman’s Road part, by asking him on his understanding of Easter, a tactic I often use, with great affect. He described an accurate picture of Christ’s death and resurrection, but could not begin to explain why any of this was necessary.

In answer to my questions he admitted to lying, blasphemy, adultery and murder of the heart, and in light of this quickly understood that he was not a good person (something he had asserted earlier, but instead was a sinner (Rom 3:23) and that he was going to die and after that hell (Rom 6:23). At this time I quoted Romans 6:23. He seemed to have understood step 1 fairly easily so I brought the conversation back to Easter and explain and related Christ’s death and resurrection in terms of his and my law-breaking. I also emphasized the personal nature of the good news, that he, a fallen sinner, can have his sins forgiven while Jesus bore those sins on Himself on the cross, then on the third day, was resurrected.

I then asked if he knew how to receive that forgiveness of sins. To my surprise he described repentance fairly well, without using the word. I “closed the deal” by explaining how God commands “all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30) and to trust Jesus alone for the forgiveness of sins (Rom 5:1 et al) I also illustrated those commands with analogies which I think, on reflection, were probably not necessary with Shane, he seemed to grasp the ideas well.

Most of the emphasis was on step two. He seemed to grasp both the bad news and the “response” fairly easily but needed a little help connecting all the dots as to why Christ actually had to die. To that end, my Easter approach worked exceedingly well in this case, as it often does in my experience.

On several occasions I pressed him to ask me questions, anything he didn’t understand, but once he had grasped step two, there was nothing further he asked during the conversation. This leads me to conclude that his attitude was one of polite interest, because of the idea of an interview, but otherwise apathy, and for this reason, I concluded the interview with a personal challenge on sin and hell, to try and break him out of it, with little or no outward sign of change in attitude, although he answered my challenge orally in the way I had hoped. I trust that the Holy Spirit will convict him of his sin and lead him to repentance.

The outcome of the presentation was a success. The three aspects of the Romans Road were clearly presented and he now was a full understanding of the Gospel, its promises and implications. For me, it is profitable in that it encourages me to not be lazy in evangelism but rather to be bold. To conclude, I plan to pray for this young man much in the next few weeks. I will also have the chance to have further conversations in and around class, although I will not push the point.

To conclude, I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to witness to Shane, it was an unusual interview in that he had more knowledge than the average unbeliever I have spoken to. I trust and pray God will bring him to repentance and faith, adoption into the family of Christ.

Soli Deo gloria

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