by Bill Blair on 21/02/08 at 11:03 am
From The Soul-Winner by Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Spurgeon lists eight key qualifications that a preacher must have in order to reach men and be the instrument to save their souls.
- Not an ignoramus – Don’t be ignorant about the content of which you are preaching. “being to a great extent ignorant of the things of God himself, I do not see how he can make them known to other people.”
- Evident Sincerity – Believe what you preach. “Unless they are convinced, beyond all question, that you do believe these truths yourselves, there will be no efficacy and no force in your preaching.
- Evident earnestness – Have passion for the message. “If a man is to be a soul-winner, there must be in him intensity of emotion as well as sincerity of heart.”
- Evident love to his hearers – You must care about the sheep. “You must have a real desire for the good of the people if you are to have much influence over them.”
- Evident unselfishness - Do not have selfish motives for soul-winning(to glorify yourself). “A man ceases to bring men to Christ as soon as he becomes known as a selfish man.”
- Holiness of Character – Practice what you preach. Pursue a holy life. Discipline yourself so you do not become disqualified (1 Cor 9:27). “It is no use talking about ‘the higher life’ on Sundays, and then living the lower life on weekdays.”
- Seriousness of manner – This is serious, so don’t take it too lightly. “There must be a prevailing seriousness about our whole lives, otherwise we cannot hope to lead other men to Christ.”
- Tenderness - Speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). “Now, if I have to tell anyone certain unpalatable truths which it is necessary that he should know if his soul is to be saved, it is a stern necessity for me to be faithful to him; yet I will try so to deliver my message that he shall not be offended at it.
Although Spurgeon focuses on preaching with theses instructions, I think they can be of great use in personal evangelism by anyone. All of these characteristics could actually be important in a one-one-one situation than they are from the pulpit. In a one-on-one relationship, there is nowhere to hide. The person you are witnessing to will be able to see if you sincerely and passionately know what you are talking about and see if you unselfishly care about their well-being.