Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:2-6 ESV)
I’m reading through The Unbelievable Gospel and relearning how to introduce people to Jesus. I was taught in college that the foundation of evangelism is a clear and complete presentation of the gospel. While that’s true, the gospel does need to be taught clearly and completely, it doesn’t need to happen all at once. Paul seems to have a different approach.
Paul, in Colossians 4, explains his approach to teaching the gospel (the mystery of Christ). He says to pray for God to open a door for the gospel to be taught and to teach it clearly. Walk wisely with outsiders, speaking graciously with them. Within the context of that grace-filled relationship, we will know how to teach the gospel clearly when God gives us the opportunity.
Teach the gospel after trust has been established.