August 22, 2017

Evangelism by Phone

Kristi Davis

I was challenged a couple of years ago by a book I read on evangelism. My lack of concern for the lost troubled me. True, I always had a measure of concern for friends and family but I do not recall having any concern or action towards strangers.

Stirred by the words I read and my new convictions, I began taking the first steps towards evangelizing strangers. The book I read gave some helpful suggestions to get me started, including creative ideas on who I could reach out to.

One suggestion stood out among the rest. To me it felt safe and I knew the opportunity would arise. My people group of interest would be those pesky telephone sales and or telephone fraudsters or even someone calling the wrong number by mistake!

I have been developing my methods ever since. I pray that the Lord sends calls my way with people on the other line who are willing to hear what I have to say. My former irritation and annoyance from such calls has turned into excitement and joy in another opportunity to share the gospel.

The person calling is accustomed to anger, rejection, pranks, and likely a measure of verbal abuse. They are trained to be polite and for the most part are willing to humor a friendly voice on the line. Many callers have a genuine desire to hear what I and my husband have to say.

The call usually begins with them introducing themselves and the reason for the call. I respond by greeting them warmly and making sure I have heard their name correctly. I ask if I may ask them a question before they proceed. The answer is always yes. I then address them by name and ask the question “if you were to die today do you know what would happen to you?” Often they request that I repeat the question.

I explain that we all will die one day and we do not know when that day may come. “Suppose you were to die today, do you know where you would be going?”

Of course the answers are different every time and we proceed from there. The majority of the calls I receive are telephone scammers. In fact I just received a call as I sat down to type this up! They usually claim to be working for Microsoft Windows but are really trying to gain access to our computer by telling us we have a virus.

These people know what they are doing is wrong. It is easy to bring the Law into the conversation. I gently confront them that they know it is wrong to tell lies and to take things that do not belong to them. I find that explaining to them that I am not angry with them but concerned for them causes them to want to hear more. This is clearly foreign to them. I tell them that they will one day stand before God on judgement day and will be guilty of breaking his laws.

Then I go to the gospel. I tell them that God loves them and does not wish that anyone should perish but that all should be saved. I tell them the good news of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who came to this earth to live a sinless life and die the death that we all deserve so that our sins may be forgiven if we repent and turn in faith to Christ.

There are some common experiences to anticipate when you make a gospel appeal. The caller most likely will try to steer the conversation back to his reason for calling. I politely bring it back to the more important topic, their eternal Salvation. They often ask what my motive is for talking to them. My answer is that I am deeply concerned for them as an individual. The scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:20 comes to my mind. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” I tell them how Jesus commanded us to preach the good news to everyone.

I try to be sensitive that some callers do not want to talk to me right then. It is helpful to ask them for an email address and offer mine to them. We have had follow up with more than one individual by email subsequent to the initial call. Learning the location of the caller and their first language is also helpful. The Bible League has a site you can forward to your caller so they can read God’s Word in their own language.

When the phone call is over, I pray for them. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in their hearts and lead them to truth. I pray that they will follow through and make contact again through email or by phone. Lastly I thank God for the chance to witness and ask Him to send more calls my way.

We have opportunities today through technologies that no one in history has ever had. I hope that this will encourage you to use any means possible to save some.

Matthew 9:37-38 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”


Kristi Davis is a member of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria. She and her husband have two young children and are active in the ministry of their church. (Their pastor confesses he needs more grace when it comes to these annoying phone calls.)

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