Use drop-offs to see evangelism takeoff
I didn’t grow up in church. I didn’t grow up believing in God. For me, coming to belief in Christ was a long process. Something I thought about for a couple of years.
During those years, I was exposed to Christian friendships, Bible studies, a few books, some interesting and passionate messages delivered by young men in their twenties, and some intriguing sermons at church.
It took all of the above to help me believe in the good news of Jesus.
In sales, very few people buy the first time they hear about a product. Potential buyers need to be exposed to a product many times, and in many different ways, and possibly even from many different people.
Because people process the good news of Jesus over time, I’m a firm believer in leaving something tangible behind for people to ponder as I reach out to those who seem far from God.
(You may know these tools to be called leave-behinds, gospel booklets, or tracts, but for this article we’ll refer to them as drop-off tools.)
Whether it be a video sermon, a simple assignment to read a specific book of the Bible, an outreach book such as Unsatisfied, or some other drop-off tool, I believe it can be your best friend in moving someone from unbelief to fully following Christ.
Here are some amazing benefits to using drop-off tools in outreach:
You end up reaching people you didn’t intend to reach
When I was in college, I wrote out an extended version of my life story, especially the parts where I became attracted to God and began a relationship with Him.
I sent out the story to a bunch of my high school friends. Interestingly, years later, I would run into people who would tell me, “Hey man, I saw your story. Pretty cool.”
Those comments sparked salty discussions about God.
Thing is, the people who said they saw my story were not the ones I sent it to. Someone else sent it to them. One guy even saw it printed out on a coffee table in a buddy’s living room.
I believe the best drop-off tool you can use is your own story, whether it be through video, audio, or the written word.
I hope you will take the time and write out your extended faith story to that person. Then, give it to everyone! You will end up reaching people you didn’t even intend to reach.
They allow you to keep speaking to someone after you part ways
There are so many things I would love to say to unbelievers.
I’m convinced there are certain things a given person might hear and it almost guarantee that person would come to faith in Christ.
If you use a drop-off tool such as a book, you can keep sharing with the person long after you’re gone. This is one reason I wrote Unsatisfied. I realized there was so much more I wanted to say to people I was sharing with.
Of course, that isn’t to say you need to write a book. Simply find one that helps you communicate what you want them to hear whether you’re with them or not.
Find more books to use as drop-off tools here (filter to Book).
They aren’t intimidating because there is no person standing there waiting for a response
A few years ago, I started noticing a trend in my personal outreach.
I noticed the guys I was leading to Christ were not the guys I was primarily talking with. It was more often the guy in the top bunk listening to the conversation who responded.
I don’t think this is a coincidence. I believe that, since there was no expectation for him to say anything, the “observer” could take in the dialogue and process it. The lack of pressure on him to stay engaged in a conversation, or to answer pre-set questions, allowed the Holy Spirit to come in and emphasize the scriptural truths being shared.
They give you a reason to get back to the person
Yesterday, a guy texted me and asked me to get together so we could talk about Unsatisfied.
He is an unbeliever and read the book cover to cover in two days. A friend had given it to him. We got breakfast this morning and had a rich discussion.
At his initiative, we made plans to get back together next week. It wasn’t until after he left that I realized he had driven most of the discussion.
After experiencing the drop-off tool (in this case, a whole book), he was more than ready to process with me out loud.
I just returned from dinner with another guy in the same situation. He is a freshman. I gave him Unsatisfied a week ago. He read it in three days.
I texted him to see if he wanted to get together for the purpose of discussing “anything he thought was interesting in the book.”
The fact that he had the book in his possession gave me a reason to contact him.
He texted back, “Oh yeah! There’s so much it made me think about. Let’s do it.”
At the end of dinner tonight, he committed to join my Bible study. He told me, “I think I had the misconception that God is a party pooper god. My bad. I know God wants so much more for me and from me. I need to find out what that is.”
Sometimes I just give guys an “optional assignment.” For example, I recently talked with a student who was stuck in a works mentality. He didn’t understand God’s grace on the cross. So I told him, “Ok man, I’ve got an optional assignment for you. I want you to read the book of Galatians in the Bible. Then, we’ll get together and I want you to explain it to me.”
A week later, I reached out to him. He texted me back, “I’m ready.”
We then met up, and he gave me one of the simplest, rawest, most beautiful descriptions of the gospel I’d heard.
Giving him that optional assignment gave me a natural excuse to follow through with him.
As I reach out to today’s college students, I’m finding most of them are like I was. They need some kind of varied, ongoing exposure process in order to hear the good news fully. It takes many ways and sometimes many sources. It’s a process. So let’s embrace it!
For more drop-off tools, check out our Tools section here.
Sean Vollendorf can be found at Seanvollendorf.com