THE 5 P’S- A SIMPLE GOSPEL PRESENTATION
Sometimes—especially in a spur of the moment encounter—we may have a hard time deciding where to start when sharing the Gospel. When an opportunity presents itself, we might be distracted with our own nerves, the other person’s reaction, or several other factors. We do not have the option to take a time-out and gather ourselves.
Yet, Peter tells us that we should, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15) The best way to do this is to prepare in advance a simple presentation of the Gospel that you can use as a springboard for spiritual conversations.
The Bible is full of theological principles and truths, so it is easy to get overwhelmed with the task of communicating such an amazing message in just a few minutes. Do we talk about God forming a nation to birth the Savior? Do we reference the sacrificial system that foreshadowed Christ? Do we need to talk about the prophecies of the Bible that point to Jesus?
Rather than making the message too complicated, here are five basic principles that I have found helpful to remember—on the spot—to communicate the message of salvation in an easy-to-remember format.
Mankind has struggled for centuries to answer the age-old question, “What is the purpose of life?” But the Bible makes this very clear for us from the beginning. God created us for a relationship with Him. This is the starting place for the Gospel because knowing that we were created by a loving God who wants a relationship sets the stage for the reason Jesus had to come.
An example of how you can easily communicate this point: “The Bible explains to us that God created men and women to have a relationship with Him. He is a personal God and designed us to know Him personally.”
The first point leads right into the second, which is the reality that sin has destroyed that relationship. Because sin is rebellion against God, when mankind chose to sin, we severed our relationship with a holy God who must judge sin.
You might say something like this: “Even though God created us to know Him, because we chose to disobey and allowed sin in our lives, we have distanced ourselves from the Lord and have come under His divine judgement. And it was not just Adam and Eve, but the Bible says in Romans 3:23 that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.”
After stating the problem, we can then present God’s solution. Because God loved us so much, he did not leave us in our sin, but chose to send His Son, Jesus Christ. He became the perfect sacrifice for our sins by living a perfect life and dying on a cross in our place. And He rose risen again to display His power over death, sin and the devil.
Here is a conversational way to state this point: “Even though we are sinners against God—because He loves us so much—He sent His Son to die the death that we deserve. John 3:16 tells us that God loves us so much that gave Jesus, and if we believe in Him, we can have eternal life. And Jesus was raised again from the dead to prove that He truly is the Son of God and that He has conquered sin for us.”
At this point in the conversation, you have briefly stated that God designed us for relationship, sin destroyed that possibility, and Jesus came to fix the problem. But those are all facts that demand a response. In the Scriptures, the Lord tells us what we should do with that information. All we need to do is accept this free gift of forgiveness through repentance and have faith in what Jesus did for us.
This is one way to wrap the presentation up: “God did everything He could to give us a chance to have a relationship with Him. But we need to make the choice to repent and receive His forgiveness. Repentance means to turn from our sin and living our own way and turning to the Lord and choosing to live His way. Salvation is a free gift. We cannot earn it. We simply need to receive it.”
Once you have shared this message, you can provide the person an opportunity to ask questions and pray to receive Christ. The Bible says in Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Do not assume that the person you are speaking with knows how to respond. It might seem obvious to those who have sat through Gospel presentations in the church for years, but not for those outside the church. So, offer to walk them through it, saying something like, “We can pray together if you want to receive the free gift that God is offering. I can lead you in a prayer of repentance and confession if you’d like. All you have to do is repeat after me.” I am always careful to let people know that a prayer is not a magic formula but is simply a way to express their hearts to the Lord.
Even if they are not ready, or want some time to process it, ask them, “Do you mind if I say a prayer for you?” If you have the opportunity, pray for them that the Lord would make Himself real to them and confirm that what they are hearing is true. The Holy Spirit has His ways of making Jesus known to people, so take the time to pray whenever you can.
It is also important that you try to connect them to a local church, give them your phone number or provide some other way to follow-up, if possible. People need more than a one-time encounter. They need to be discipled. If that is not possible, then direct them to get a Bible, read the Gospel of John and find and get connected to a Bible believing church in their area.
Hopefully, taking the time to look at these five steps will provide a framework to present the Gospel in simple, understandable ways. This is not meant to be a script to recite, but rather a logical progression that you can use to organize your thoughts. Practice it with a friend or just out loud by yourself until you can comfortably share it.
If you have an opportunity to share the Gospel with these Five P’s, we would love to hear how it goes. Leave us a comment, so that we can encourage one another as we reach out in love to share the Gospel with others.
DUSTIN RENZ is the President of Make Way Ministries, a non-profit organization that exists to see the world changed one Christian at a time. He has a passion to see the Body of Christ find rich intimacy in their relationship with Jesus and step out in faith to share the Gospel with the world around them. He is the author of Pile of Masks: Exposing Christian Hypocrisy and Something Better. He resides in Dayton, Ohio with his wife and three daughters.