WITNESSING TO THE CULTS: SOFT WITNESSING TECHNIQUES
We can break witnessing techniques into two basic areas:
hard and soft. Soft witnessing techniques are less intrusive,
depend on some sort of long-term relationship (not necessarily
the one who has initial contact and does the outreach), and are
more effective on those receptive to a gospel message. In fact,
the more receptive to the gospel message, the more likely
someone will feel comfortable with soft witnessing techniques.
Hard witnessing techniques are more confrontive, intrusive, and
are designed to approach the one who has already formulated a
position against a gospel message. However, we need to keep in
mind that we cannot depend on a technique or method to lead
someone to Christ.
Techniques and methods are only basic guidelines, and are
used primarily to illustrate ways that an evangelist can
overcome a person’s initial reluctance to hear a gospel message.
In order to pinpoint our focus, and prevent people from becoming
our “project”, we need to keep certain goals in mind.
1. Breaking the ice. We want to provide an introduction to who
we are, what we do and value. This will involve sharing, in
some way, how God is involved in our lives. This is a point at
which we want the person to feel somewhat comfortable with our
person, and not be defensive or expecting to be “beaten” with a
hard-line message. We begin to establish credibility at this
2. Building a long term relationship. We need to provide an
influence of God’s work into the person’s life. We do not
necessarily need to maintain a relationship, but if we do not,
we must introduce our friend to someone who will. Trust is
grown and built up here.
3. Presenting the truth. We want to present the gospel message,
in a context that reflects our friend’s spiritual state, and a
spiritual state that would reflect a relationship with Christ.
A decision to accept or reject, or consider the message
presented, should not be viewed as a reflection upon ourselves.
4. Bringing our friend to a commitment. We want to help our
friend to decide what side of the spiritual realm he wants to be
on. We must present both sides of the argument fairly. In other
words, we must not be flowery in our speaking, nor deceptive.
Also, we need to avoid putting any kind of pressure on our
friend. The Holy Spirit will convict the sincere heart.
5. Discipleship. This concluding phase puts our friend on the
path of living and leading a life under the lordship of Jesus
These stages usually occur in this same chronology.
Breaking the Ice
It should be noted that many cults will try to use some of
the same techniques. Our own witnessing strength will be in
trusting the Lord in our endeavor, and in presenting a truthful
a. Common Ground. Talking about something that we have in
common with one another serves as an introduction and a lead-in
to further conversation. You may have to be an observer for a
while (but not secretive; be a passive participant for a while),
in order to establish what commonality exists.
b. Inquiry. Ask a question. Often, we volunteer information
that is not directly asked for. This leads to finding
i. Affectational query – likes and dislikes
ii. Informational query – about the person
iii. Clarification query – to ask about the surroundings, or
current context of a situation
c. Differences. Differences of opinion, activity, or sharing of
new ideas can spur a conversation, due to commonality in
d. Padded confrontation. This is usually referred to a context
of humor. Confrontation occurs, but it is not pointed.
Usually, it becomes couched in a joke or humor. This will then
lead to a more serious consideration of the topic at hand.
e. Information. Giving information to someone seeking a
specific answer will build a rapport in credibility. Further
questions may develop, and a conversation will ensue.
f. Introduction. State what you want to do, and why. Used
mainly in mass approach and door-to-door evangelism.
g. Literature/Materials handout. Give away materials in a
public context. Opportunities may or may not develop into a
further stage. This method may also turn into a
confrontationally oriented witness.
“Breaking The Ice” occurs in any social context. We need
to be willing to spend a certain amount of time, in order to
introduce ourselves and build up credibility. Also, the desire
for a longer term relationship needs to be present.
Building A Long Term Relationship
Christ built His ministry on the relationship that He had
with a few men. He spent several years sharing Himself, His
ideas and thoughts, to those Apostles. We also need to build
long term relationships, and quality counts.
a. Consistently meeting one another.
b. A commitment to respect and support.
c. A genuine personal interest and value of things that concern
d. Honesty and openness, especially about our position in
f. Consistent walk with God reflected in our lives.
Presenting the Truth
Usually, we present the truth through a personal testimony.
Sometimes this does not occur, but it needs to accompany any
presentation of the gospel.
a. Illustrative devices. These are illustrations, or analogies
that emphasize what the Scriptures say. Not effective in a hard
situation, since analogies are often inaccurate, or incomplete,
as they relate to the being of God and man.
b. Scriptural presentation. Presenting scriptures and
reflecting on what they say about salvation. This assumes a
pre-existing respect for the Bible and its contents.
c. Personal testimony.
Presented by: The Christian Counter Project
P.O. Box 957215
Hoffman Estates, IL 60195
Copyright 1989 The Christian Counter Project
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