Interview with Preachers in Training
Rob has recorded an interview with The Light Network talking about the role of social media and an overview of personal evangelism.
Question: How is your evangelism seminar different from fishers of men and back to the Bible?
It is always good to hear from other Christians about soul winning! My name is Rob Whitacre, director of the House to House School of Evangelism. Our evangelism seminar is an effort to bring a training school right to your local congregation. Fishers of Men and Back to the Bible are tools. Tools are only as effective as the training so this seminar is an evangelism boot camp! It is designed to do five things.
- Motivate Christians to get busy by showing the success of Personal Bible Studies
- Focus on the Bible as the means through which conversion occurs
- Demonstrate from Biblical principles on how to get into a Bible study
- Introduce Back to the Bible
- How to deal with difficult situations.
The seminar ends with a special class taught by my wife to ladies on how to use their talents in soul winning. At the same time I teach a class to men on how to set up a successful PE work in the local congregation. I hope answers your question. If you want to know more, I can send additional information for the congregation to consider.
Question: Poor response
We are excited about our evangelism training and are ready to put it to work. However, what we have encountered is that people will not commit to a bible study or they just simply don’t show up. We will not be discouraged and we continue to reach out and try to teach the lost. I am positive the Lord will open doors for us and we will be able to put our knowledge to use. We thank you for following up with us and are looking forward to sharing some conversions with you.
I have a few suggestions to help cultivate people into prospects and prospects into Bible Studies.
First, in most cases you should not ask for a Bible Study. The study will come as part of a regular progression of the relationship developed between you (the teacher) the entire congregation, and the prospect. They should want to know more about the church and Jesus by what they have observed.
Second, be patient and don’t pick the fruit before it is ready. Some people take years to ripen while others seem to be ripe upon meeting them. It took me ten years to study with Bruce Bartley. He was the husband of a faithful sister. We quickly became friends but it took time before he ripened to the Bible study point. There are also times when someone visits and are ripe and ready at that very moment. In short, Never, Never give up!
Third, Christian kindness is a great facilitator. Taking visitors out to eat, inviting them to your home, offering benevolent assistance as needed, and showering them with cards will help you “earn the right” to have a Bible Study. Be creative and always look for opportunities to do good.
Fourth, increase your funnel size. Use tools like House to House/Heart to Heart, the New Movers Program, Free offers, Community Outreach, and other tools to cultivate the fields. Don’t put all your Eggs in one basket!
Question: Can I skip some studies?
Getting one in my area to sit for three bible studies is very difficult. The “Does it Matter “ study might be best in this area but it looks long. Is it a bad idea to do study three of the Back to the Bible only ?
I have tried to get this one person to sit for a study for two months . He does have a Muscle and a Shovel, I have tried to get him to at least read the first four chapters and take notes and write any questions he might have to get started. A man at church gave this person the book one Sunday morning and that night he had resisting questions about salvation. I said “let’s do a study right now “ his reply “I can’t tonight, maybe Wednesday “.
It never happened, his attendance stopped, he has the typical excuses and promises of “this week “ but nothing. Any suggestions ?
No matter how much we want others to study, we can’t make them. Some won’t study and some will never be honest. Even Jesus could not reach most people.
I do not recommend skipping the first two lessons. When you find good soil, they will study.
Remember the key is to earn the right to ask for a study by showing someone that you care. Build a relationship by going the extra mile. Once someone knows you care, they will care about what you know.
The study is the last step.
Question: Is your success rate really that high?
Hi Rob, we have never met...Seen you on GBN and House to House. I want to be open and honest with you...I have reservations when I hear you speak about your teaching program. I wonder to myself, how in today's world can he have so much success? People don't use their brains today. Truth on any matter doesn't prevail. We all embellish and exaggerate. I'm guilty. Wonder if you are exaggerating, embellishing about your work and experience with the courses and materials you offer. Here's my question: Why should I use your material? In all this, I do commend you for your zeal, passion, enthusiasm. It helps me just to listen to you at times.
It sounds like you are a soul winner who is a bit discouraged. This is completely understandable considering your experience. I am certainly not suggesting that every Bible study will result in a conversion but a very high percentage of our studies do. In 9 out of 10 studies, when a prospect completes Back to the Bible they are baptized.
I don't expect everyone to have this result immediately but most of those who complete our course have well over 50% and some up to 90%. Please know that not everyone finishes the study and these are not factored into our numbers. I am also sure that where you live may also have a bearing on how effective BTTB can be. BTTB is designed for believers who are in religious error and not atheists/agnostics.
Congregations where we have trained and who enact the principles are seeing amazing results. I firmly believe we should practice what we preach so you can also contact Jacksonville where I am a member and they will tell you about how it works right here! Four baptisms in past month, and Lord willing, more on the way!
Question: What about people who don't believe in God?
I recently met with a friend of mine and we went through the first back to the Bible booklet. He does not believe in God or heaven and hell. But he grew up Catholic and then went to Methodist church.
I request your advice on how to proceed with the rest of the series, and how to reach him. I know you're busy. Even a little advice may help. Feel free to give me a call, or email me.
I appreciate your time if you can help. Thank you!
This is a great question and one that we are dealing with more frequently due to the godless culture that is growing and spreading across America. One of the reasons we recommend completing the Back to the Bible survey prior to lesson one is to make sure you are giving the right set of directions to the prospect. The directions God provides differ based upon our starting location.
Everything leads through the Christ and His church, but some are further away and need additional instructions to get there. For example, an atheist would not be ready for Back to the Bible and need additional studies.
Question: What about touchy questions?
Rob in your study with Jackie and Shiela Birdwell, book two page 9. What was the initial reaction to the question "would it be a sin to name the church, the Baptist Church?"
This looks like the first major fence to cross in the first two books. Reaction, silence, anger, defensive or hmmm...
I know you are a busy man and I appreciate your feedback on these questions until I experience the feedback. Kind of like studying game film. Thank you again, Steve.
They accepted the answer because it follows a logical progression from the previous questions.
Back to the Bible is designed to build and help the prospect draw common sense conclusions from simple comparisons. It is another way of saying we are Christians and Christians only.
It is a positive point that emphasizes our effort to be unified and non-denominational.
Question: How to reach the community?
I hope this email finds you well. I met you at PTP and have been listening to your sermons, especially those on Personal Evangelism online. Thank you for being so passionate about the Lord's Marching orders.
My family and I have recently moved to a new work and the community is ripe for evangelism.
Would you be willing to share some ideas with me of ways to reach the community? We have used different methods in other works with success, but I am wanting to use every way we can put together and make certain I have other's ideas to draw from.
I really appreciate your time.
It is always great to hear from Christian's interested in Personal Evangelism. One of the most important steps in soul winning is creating contacts. Before a farmer can plant the seed, or even till the soil, he must find the soil. Contacts are all around us (John 4:35). You can divide them into three categories; hot, warm, cold.
- Hot contacts are non-Christians who sit in the pews. Cultivate this soil by getting them in your home and than plant the seed!
- Warm contacts are those in your community that Christians know. They are just one away from the congregation. These individuals can be reached through acts of love and kindness. Mass card sending is a great avenue to reach them when they are sick or in need. This will compel them to visit!
- Cold contacts are people who live in your community that no one knows. These contacts are normally only reached by going door to door. Using a tool like House to House/Heart to Heart greatly increases your opportunity with these contacts, and I would highly recommend you enroll in their New Movers program. This is a great way to reach new cold contacts in the community.
Please let me know if there is anything further I can do to help your soul saving efforts. God Bless, Rob
Question: How to get congregation to buy-in?
I’m out on the west coast.
The congregation here is uncomfortable with the Bobby Bates books. I’m unsure as to the reason behind reason, but I’m continuing to ask about it.
How do you persuaded people to stop having “conversations” about Jesus and get into the Book?
Great to hear from you. I am glad you continue to focus on personal evangelism. Perhaps if I came out there to do a seminar it would wake them up but that would take a lot of time and expense. Many congregations have watched my seminar via DVD during Bible class. In fact, I just received a message last night from Samuel, who took the course through DVD and baptized his friend using BTTB. It is not as effective as personally being there, but it works. Perhaps the greatest way to convince them is by your example. If they see you doing it, and see results, they will be persuaded. It is hard to argue with success.
Question: How to approach having a study?
I want your advice on how to begin a conversation with a coworker to help lead towards a study.
During my PE classes, we usually play music for the kids during class. I don't feel it's right to listen to what I call "rock Jesus" music as a NT Christian, and I believe the Bible will back me up on this (2 Jn 9-11). But a coworker of mine played some songs that are related to the genre I just referred to.
What kind of questions do you think are good to ask in this situation? I've been down the road where instrumental music is the first thing that is discussed, and it usually causes people to put their guard up rather than having a constructive Bible study or conversation. I'm just needing some help coming up with a way to approach that conversation where instrumental music isn't the first thing that's mentioned.
If you could help advise me in this situation, I would greatly appreciate it.
This is a great question! The Matthew 28:19 model involves three things: 1) Teach, 2) Baptize, 3) Teach. Sandwiched in between teaching is baptism. At times we over teach (or teach some things too soon) and turn potential souls away from the Truth. Souls do not always mature as fast as the body. In other words, you may be talking to a mature man who has a childlike spirit. This means issues that require more faith need to be avoided until such time where they are ready (John 16:12). Strong meat belongs to them that are full grown (Hebrews 5:12-14). In order to understand instrumental music they must understand Bible authority, the difference between the Old and New Testament, and the principle of New Testament worship. This takes at least two Bible studies. In using Back to the Bible, instrumental music is not covered until half-way through lesson 2. Beginning a discussion over instrumental music is a non-starter. Furthermore, the topic of "rock Jesus" music is even more difficult to understand, even for mature Christians. Therefore, I would avoid this topic completely until some time after conversion, where they can mature to a point and digest the meat of the Word.
My approach to family, friends, and co-workers is normally through the use of Christian hospitality.
- Step 1) Build a relationship that does not force Christianity upon them. Don't avoid expressing your faith, but don't exclusively talk about it. Also realize that any discussions of a Christian nature should be filtered so that a child can understand and digest. Try to avoid disagreements.
- Step 2) Do not have a Bible "discussion" or study at work. Instead, invite them over to your home. This will provide a relaxing environment where shields can drop and the prospect becomes comfortable. Enjoy a meal together. Make the discussion about them, their family, work, hobbies, and life.
- Step 3) Let them know that you have something that you would like to show them. Go to a table and pass out Back to the Bible. Begin the study. Do not call it a Bible study or ask them if they want to do it. Just do it. Sometimes, I will tell the prospect I have something that I like to do with family and friends to help us become closer to God. I know this might seem awkward, but it works just about every single time. The key to conversion is Bible study.
- Step 4) Defer, don't debate. Never answer questions that are not related to the study. Write them down and let them know you will answer them at the end. Questions can distract and even derail a study.
I hope this will help. If you have not already watched or attended my Personal Evangelism Seminar, please let me know. It answers your question in much more detail. Let me know how things go or if you have any further questions. Praying that you will help lead many souls to Christ.
Question: We found good soil. How to proceed?
Brother Rob, I was wondering if perhaps I could get some advice.
We stayed up till midnight talking to a young couple about the Bible last night. They were very interested and asked a bunch of questions. It seems from the way they acted that they invited us over with the express purpose of asking us about these things. I was very glad to talk to them about it, but it was not an organized Bible study. My wife and I plan to invite them over to our house next weekend and get them into a full on Bible study.
I was wondering if you would recommend Back to the Bible, or the other one study method? I have both available. If they accept our invitation, this will be my first true Bible study (although I have talked about the Bible with people before).
Here's some more background: They are members of a church of God that now calls itself non-denominational. They agreed with a lot of what I told them from the Bible last night, even agreeing with Matthew 19:9. (They ran the gamut asking us questions, as well as talking about politics, relationships, etc. All kinds of stuff). They did hang up on instrumental music a little bit, but they want us to send them more information about instrumental music, and they said they are not opposed to learning more about it.
They are currently disillusioned with their church because there have been some things go on there with money that they are upset about. Their parents left that church and are currently church shopping, and they (the couple I'm talking about) are contemplating whether or not they want to leave.
How would recommend going about getting this study going?
Thank you for reaching out to us about this opportunity!
First, we thank God for those who love souls.
Second, this sounds like ripe fruit!
We would definitely recommend using Back to the Bible (all three lessons). I know it is tempting to rush into baptism. Solid conversions require solid foundations.
Here are a few tips.
- Have a meal first and relax.
- Avoid any teaching outside of BTTB
- Let the Bible do the teaching as you follow the order of BTTB.
- If they have a question outside of the booklet, ask if you can write it down to address later.
- Make sure you do the religious survey before starting lesson one.
We will be praying about it.
Question: How to have a great door knocking campaign?I recently attended your PE seminar. I learned some valuable points that will be of great benefit me in future studies. I bought your Personal Evangelism Workbook, and as I have been looking thru it I saw your "ARE THEY THE SAME" chart. On it you make reference to several page numbers. I was wondering from what book, and edition of the book, you have reference as you identify the pages. The workbook has valuable information in it, in a very good format. It is obvious that you have devoted some time in putting together this work. I am certain that it will be very beneficial to many going forward.
One other question. As I was reviewing my notes of your seminar, you must have been discussing "door knocking" and I wrote down House to House, and five questions that you ask regarding how the congregation/you may be of help. I noted "be ready to follow up on any requests", but I didn't write the 5 questions down. I'm not sure if you gave them or not, but if you did I failed to write them down. Would you be so kind as to send me those 5 questions also.
I appreciate your efforts in your local area, and for your willingness to help each of us become better soul winners. Keep up the good work, brother!
AnswerIt is good to hear from you. I am so glad you are finding this information helpful in your soul saving efforts.
The book I used for the chart is titled, Church Manual by J.M. Pendleton. It is an old edition, 1946.
Regarding door knocking, there are three ways we have done it.
First, we use House to House/Heart to Heart as our introduction. After a couple years of mailing it, we hand deliver one issue and ask the person if this publication is familiar and what they think of it.
Our second method is to provide the person with service options. We have a list of services we can provide from house cleaning, mowing the yard, raking leaves, food, prayer, etc...
Third, we provide the person at the door with a list of materials that we can give them for free. These materials include books, DVDs and tracts dealing with a variety of issues.
If they take any of the materials, we let them know about our return visit to see how they liked it. Each of these has produced fruit.
Question: Can I add a new partner?
My wife will be with me while doing the study Monday. There is another guy at church my age that didn’t grow up in the church but has been a faithful member for 10+ yrs.
Do you think it would it be a hinderance in anyway for him to go through this study with us at the same time as my non Christian friend? He’s been looking for ways to get involved and I thought this might help him gain confidence if he went though it as well but if you fell that’s not a good idea I’d like to know! Thank you!
I am glad you want train others how to teach. Truly needed!
If your wife started out as your silent partner, and the prospect is comfortable with her, I would not add another silent partner. If you have been doing it solo, I would continue to be solo. If this is a first study, then use him.
I would not recommend two silent partners. You don't want to give the impression of "ganging up" on the prospect. They don't need anything beside their spiritual condition in which to worry.
My advice is from the outside looking in and based upon past experience. I will be praying the study goes well. God Bless, Rob