You've got to love an evangelism training book that starts with a chapter titled, "You Can't Fail."
I've been in ministry long enough to know that many don't share the gospel with others because they are afraid to fail. They are afraid of looking stupid. They fear making things worse by not knowing every answer or becoming argumentative.
But William Fay is right. When you share the gospel faithfully and define your goals appropriately, failure isn't an option. Fay's book, Share Jesus Without Fear seeks to help focus the willing follower of Christ's attention on the proper focus of evangelism while providing a method of leading the conversation that eliminates any and all argument.
1. Fay's Method is Easy To Master and Implement Immediately.Essentially, Fay lays out a strategy of evangelism that allows God's Word and the person you are sharing with to do all the work. In order to make this possible, the Christian needs to do a little preparation with their Bible ahead of time. Once this preparation is complete there is no need to do anything else other than bring it along so you have it when you need it.
2. There's Nothing To Memorize.Evangelism methods that rely on memorizing steps and scriptures can be beneficial to some. However, many Christians get so nervous when they begin any witnessing conversation that their minds go blank. Even if a perfect method existed it wouldn't do any good if you can't remember it!
With Fay's method there is nothing to remember because everything is written down already.
3. The Person Being Evangelized Does All Their Own Interpretation.I'm guessing I'm not the only person who has ever heard, "Well, that's just your interpretation... " while talking to someone about the claims of the Bible. Sometimes this statement is just a dismissal. Other times, these words can cause a verbal sparring match.
Neither is good.
Perhaps the strongest element of Fay's method is that it forces the person who is being evangelized to interpret the Scriptures for themselves. When Fay says his method eliminates any possibility for argument, this is why. At no point during the conversation does the Christian using this strategy ever have the need or opportunity to argue because the person they are speaking with is the one doing all the interpretation.
I have personally used this strategy with some people in my life who are particularly argumentative and I can testify to the power of letting them tell me what the Scriptures say, instead of the other way around. For this reason alone, I believe every Christian should be aware of how to use God's Word the way Bill Fay outlines.
I like this book and method. Even so, there are some weaknesses that need to be mentioned.
1. The Scripture ListFay outlines in chapter 5 the seven share verses for his method. I like all of these verses with the exception of the last one. I don't mean I personally dislike the last Scripture on its own ... I mean the Scripture doesn't belong at the end of an evangelistic encounter.
Fay himself acknowledges that some people think this verse is inappropriately used in his audio teaching. I am one of those people.
However, in the audio teaching Fay encourages people like me to make their own list of Scripture references. I took this advice and so have all of the men who I witness with regularly. After we all made our own lists individually we shared our share verses with each other. The whole group was edified as a result.
I'd recommend to anyone interested in using this method to create your own list of share verses using Fay's outline only as a suggestion. Doing so turns this weakness into a strength.
2. Can't Be Used With Everyone.This method requires a very willing participant. Other methods of evangelism can be employed better in street evangelism when you can't get someone to sit down with you and read a bunch of verses from your Bible.
As such, this method is limited.
Nevertheless, most Christians do have many people in their lives already who they have never evangelized but who would be willing to sit down and chat with an open Bible between them. For those situations, this model works beautifully.