Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
Ray Comfort's The Way of the Master is hands-down the evangelism method I've taught and used the most in my personal life and ministry. As time goes on, I am confident that this resource will continue to be part of my teaching ministry and personal evangelism.
There are many resources available. I am focusing on these three:
- The Basic Training Course;
- The Way of the Master book by Ray Comfort; and
- The School of Biblical Evangelism textbook.
There are many strengths to this method. I'll limit myself to my top three.
1) Recovering the Purpose of God's Law.The emphasis of The Way of the Master is on recovering the biblical purpose of God's Law in evangelism. Many in the modern church argue over the role and purpose of the Law. This is something we are commanded not to do.
Comfort writes, "I am humbled that God would take a little nobody from the uttermost parts of the earth and trust him with this incredible, forgotten teaching--a teaching that was once proclaimed by some of our greatest Christian forefathers" (WOTM, 4). This forgotten principle is using God's Law for its intended purpose of genuine conversion. Failure to employ this principle has direct correlation to the number of "converts" that come to Christ and fall quickly away when their life does not improve or they begin to face some of the promised persecution and difficulty that comes to all followers of Christ.
The entire method revolves around this forgotten principle. Rightfully so. It is so important yet so neglected in modern evangelism. It is for this reason that The Way of the Master will always have a place in my teaching and equipping ministry.
2) Simple to Implement.
A second strength of this method is that it is simple to understand and can be implemented fairly quickly into the life of the believer. Through the Basic Training Course each student is exposed to several one-on-one witnessing conversations that demonstrate how each individual can faithfully and simply navigate their own conversations using these principles.
3) Showing the Sin of Failure to Evangelize.A final strength must also be mentioned: the teaching emphasizes the sin of being derelict in our duty to evangelize. Many Christians sit passively by as people they know and love perish under the wrath of God. Comfort calls this what it is: sin. You can't sit through a session of the Basic Training Course without being confronted with your need to take evangelism seriously and pursue the lost with urgency.
Biggest WeaknessIt is no secret to anyone who knows me that I love The Way of the Master. However, if I have to pick points of weakness there are two that stand out.
1) Examples Sometimes Betray The Method.Watching the videos of evangelism can begin to betray the method a bit. What I mean is, the actual principle taught throughout the class is that the Christian is to use God's Law to expose sin in the non-believer until they are humbled. Acting on the biblical principle that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble, the method officially calls for administering Law until the person is humbled before giving them grace.
However, watch enough videos of the one-on-one witnessing and you'll see a consistent pattern of administering the 9th Commandment, 8th Commandment, 7th Commandment, 6th Commandment, then moving to grace regardless of whether the persons countenance and disposition has changed. Certainly there are some exceptions. But the tendency exists to "just get through" the method without actually applying the excellent principles. This criticism can be leveled at any "methodology" - Way of the Master is not any better or worse in this area.
2) Strong Leadership A MustThe course can be intimidating. Although the approach itself is simple it may not be easy for many to overcome their years of disobedience and/or fears. Strong leadership is important to demonstrate confidence in approaching people and encouraging the timid to actually put this into practice. If the leader of the group is timid it can be very difficult to get things moving or keep them moving for any sustained period of time.
As a result, this teaching can be difficult for people to just pick up and use. This is especially true if the facilitator is going through it for the first time with everyone else.
Concluding ThoughtsThe Way of the Master is a resource that I highly recommend. It is not the only evangelism training resource nor should it be the only thing a Christian ever studies to be equipped to share the gospel. However, I could say that it should be the first thing a Christian studies. This forgotten principle is that important.
We have an urgent message to share. We ought to use God's tools appropriately when proclaiming the good news of salvation through Christ alone. The Law is indispensable for leading people to understand their need for the Savior God has provided.