There are two key concepts to embrace and understand about personal evangelism. While there are exceptions, the majority of people who have turned to Christ have both of these elements invovled in their conversion. The words are: PROCESS & RELATIONSHIP
PROCESS: Turning to Christ often takes weeks, months or years. A person first thinks about God, then hears more of the message and at some time they then accept the gift of salvation. It is not too often that people accept the gospel the first time they hear it. Paul was witnessing to King Agrippa who pushed back by saying: “do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian (Acts 26:28-29)? He voiced what many think. This is the most important decision of a life-time. It is expecting a lot to think that someone will make this decision immediately and without thought.
RELATIONSHIP: Most people come to salvation because they crossed paths with another Christian. Again, there are exceptions but for the vast majority of new believers they first got to know a follower of Christ before they followed Christ. Some people turn to God by reading their Bible without any outside input… but they are the rare exception. Others become Christians because of media… but those numbers are still very small compared to those reached through personal evangelism. The most effective approach to evangelism is still one person talking with another.
Understanding these two principles helps a lot when it comes to evangelism. You shouldn’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t accept the message the first time you give it to them. Keep the process moving by building a relationship.