As a pastor’s kid, Victor Rodriguez remembers spending Sunday afternoons at the park with his dad and a handful of friends looking for opportunities to share the Gospel. “I caught the ‘evangelism bug’ at a young age,” Rodriguez, pastor of Life Church in San Antonio, recalled.
While street evangelism is one method of starting Gospel-centered conversations, Rodriguez has utilized many different strategies throughout his ministry. To Rodriguez, evangelism is important because it is what the Lord has called believers to do.
“We live in a time today that our culture is resisting Christ and what the Lord has in store, but it is important for us to understand this is our mandate–this is our calling from God,” he said.
As a pastor, Rodriguez feels called to not only train leaders in his church on how to share the Gospel, but also to model that behavior. “Someone once told me, you can’t take your people where you’ve never been before,” Rodriguez said. Therefore, as he learns new evangelism strategies, he takes time to practice and implement them in his own life, before encouraging his congregation to do the same.
One new strategy that Rodriguez has found to be very useful is the “3 Circles: Life Conversations” method, developed by Jimmy Scroggins, pastor of First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Florida.
When Rodriguez trains others on this method, he passes out napkins on tables, leaving conference attendees curious. He then talks them through the three circles method of evangelism in a five-minute conversation, while drawing the illustration on a napkin. “It’s teachable, learnable and simple,” Rodriguez said.
The first circle contains the words “God’s design,” and the leader discusses both God’s perfect plan for the world and the entrance of sin which set people apart from God. In the second circle, the leader writes the word “brokenness,” explaining how the consequences of sin leads people to realize a need for something greater.
This leads to the third circle of the “Gospel.” The leader explains how a person can repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior. Finally, when a person receives Christ in their life, they are restored in relationship with God and can begin to walk with Him. This personal life change provides an opportunity for the leader to share their personal testimony.
Rodriguez has committed to teaching his church on the 3 Circles method over the next two years by integrating it into sermons, hosting training sessions and making intentional time to practice the method in his daily life.
The 3 Circles strategy has been helpful in Rodriguez’s own personal conversations and in the lives of others he has trained. “This is one strategy, but there are many out there,” he said.
“The important thing is to learn a method that works for you and then apply it often. People can use many different methods–they are all just tools to turn everyday conversations into Gospel conversations.”
Rodriguez is an Evangelism Regional Associate for Texas Baptists, serving in the San Antonio and South Texas region. He provides training and consultations for church leaders on intentional and relevant evangelism approaches. Visit texasbaptists.org/evangelism to find the Evangelism Regional Associate for your area and receive helpful resources and access to training opportunities near you.
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