Christ’s last command before He ascended to Heaven is found in Mark 16:15: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Every person has an eternal soul, and it is our privilege and responsibility to share with them the good news of salvation. Proverbs 11:30 says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” Although we do not save souls, we are to witness to them and lead them to the Lord who does save them.
How can we take these biblical principles and practically apply them in personally leading others to Christ?
We must first realize that no one becomes a good soulwinner by accident. Fruitful soulwinning happens through Spirit-filled people who develop habits of being ready and available for God to use them.
Below are seven habits that I have noticed are consistently present in men and women who regularly lead others to Christ:
1. Fruitful soulwinners pray for a burden. It’s so easy for our burden for others to get swallowed in the rush of a busy schedule. Don’t allow your burden for souls to get buried in projects, meetings, and memos. The only way that I know to sustain a heart-felt burden for souls is to daily pray for God to help me see lost people with His compassion. If this is not already on your daily prayer list, add it!
2. Fruitful soulwinners carry Gospel tracts. One of the best soulwinners I know is my friend, R.B. Ouellette. The readiness with which he gives out tracts is a challenge to me. When we travel together, he has tracts at his fingertips and will almost always have given one out while I’m still reaching into my pocket for one.
Carrying tracts helps me be soul conscious wherever I go. Additionally, a Gospel tract equips you to easily begin a conversation about the Lord and salvation. Even if you only have a moment, at least you can leave the other person with a printed Gospel presentation.
3. Fruitful soulwinners schedule time for soulwinning. We should witness for the Lord everywhere we go, but I’ve noticed that our schedules reflect our priorities. Those who regularly lead others to Christ have made soulwinning enough of a priority that they place it in their schedule.
In my own life, I’ve found that if I don’t block off time for soulwinning on my calendar, I’ll never have time. Year round, I plan weekly time for soulwinning. But there are some seasons of the year (such as our church’s Open House outreach or our Christmas or Easter musicals) in which I schedule extra hours to go door to door with the Gospel.
4. Fruitful soulwinners keep an updated prospect list. I’ve written before about how a prospect list helps you strategically and wisely follow up on soulwinning visits. Our tech team even designed a smart phone app to make it easy.
But there is another benefit to keeping a prospect list—it’s an accountability tool that helps you monitor your own soulwinning. If you keep it updated carefully, you’ll easily see how tenacious you are in following up on prospects. You might even consider sharing your list with a friend for added accountability.
5. Fruitful soulwinners are attentive in church services—especially during the invitation. It is amazing to me that a lost person can attend a Baptist church and leave with no one having talked to him about salvation. Those who are soul conscious seek out visitors at church, befriend them, and specifically ask them about salvation. They don’t just assume that everyone they see is saved, but they make it their mission to find out!
6. Fruitful soulwinners are hospitable. Some people are saved during a brief encounter with a soulwinner at their doorstep. But many require hearing the Gospel multiple times before they understand their need for salvation. Hospitality allows you to build a relationship that will facilitate multiple presentations of the Gospel. When you invite someone to your home or spend time with them across a restaurant table, it assures them that you are genuinely interested in their lives, and it opens them to hear your message.
Of course, hospitality is also an essential ingredient in discipling someone after they are saved.
7. Fruitful soulwinners involve new converts in soulwinning. Every unsaved person has unsaved friends. Fruitful soulwinners encourage new converts to reach their unsaved friends. They ask them who their friends are and help new converts share their testimony with their friends.
I’m sure we could add more habits of fruitful soulwinners, but these are some that have stood out to me recently.
Soulwinning itself is a habit! Only the Holy Spirit can convict hearts of their need for Christ (John 16:8–9), but He uses Christians who make time to talk to people face to face and share the wonderful news of salvation.