by Dave Hintz
Any true believer will have a concern for lost souls. If you truly believe that no man can enter the kingdom of heaven without being born again, then you will deduce that the unconverted will spend eternity burning in the lake of fire, and this will be enough to convince you that you need to share your faith. However, you know that having the motivation is not enough. You have to actually start a conversation. Make that seemingly awkward transition into the gospel. Explain the gospel. And then, the questions. Oh, those loathsome questions, “What about that lost child in Africa?” “How can a good God let people suffer?” and, “How can God send people to Hell?” Do you feel overwhelmed? Everybody does. And sadly, this leads many of us to throw our hands into the air and say “Forget it.” Fortunately, The Way of the Master DVD series comes to the aid of such frustrated novices. Kirk Cameron, who found fame and fortune as Mike Seaver on Growing Pains, and Ray Comfort, a prominent Los Angeles evangelist, have developed a twenty-four episode instructional series. Utilizing the acrostic WDJD they give a simple formula for sharing the gospel. It goes like this:
W “WOULD you consider yourself to be a good person?”
Most people will say yes.
D “DO you think you’ve kept the Ten Commandments?”
The “yes” answer prompts the evangelist to ask them to prove it, by assessing their lives in light of the Ten Commandments.
“Have you ever told a lie? Even a little one?”
“What does that make you?”
They proceed to some of the other commandments– theft, the use of the Lord’s name, murder, and lust. The goal is to get the unbeliever to admit might that he has violated the Law of God. At this point the evangelist tells the non-Christian, “By your own admission you are a lying, thieving, blaspheming, murderer and adulterer at heart.”
J “JUDGMENT” – If God JUDGES you by the standard of the Ten Commandments, will you be found innocent or guilty?”
The unbeliever then agrees, “I guess I would be guilty.”
D “DESTINY – Would you go to heaven or hell?”
To which the cornered unbeliever would say, “If what the Bible says is true, then I would go to Hell.” Then the evangelist states, “Does that concern you? Because it really concerns me.” At this point, they give the convicted unbeliever a brief message about how Christ paid the penalty for their sins.
What makes this instructional series fascinating is that Kirk and Ray take this message to the streets and share video footage of their various encounters with unbelievers. In doing so, they demonstrate how natural and easy sharing the gospel can be.
As with any tool, The Way of the Master’s method can be overdone, misused, or abused. Many evangelists swear by this message, and some believe that this is the ONLY way to share the gospel. Yet a quick survey of the gospels and Acts will demonstrate that Jesus and the early church utilized a variety of approaches – including this one (cf. Luke 18:18-23). Further, some immature evangelists bludgeon unbelievers with the law, neglecting the message of grace and forgetting to share the truth with gentleness. Rather than seeing it as a complete evangelistic formula, it is best for us to look at the technique used in The Way of the Master as a bridge to an in-depth gospel conversation in which we can relate the character of God, the nature of grace, Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross, repentance, and faith.
Even though it has some shortcomings –and I hate to use that word because it is such an excellent series – The Way of the Master has been a great encouragement to me. In a day and age where the “felt needs gospel” has transformed Jesus into a cosmic therapist who fills god-shaped holes in people’s hearts, The Way of the Master makes it clear that Jesus did not die just to give you a better life, but to save your soul from Hell. Further, as more churchgoers confuse evangelism with inviting people to church, The Way of the Master challenges individual Christians to become fishers of men. In other words, every believer must be personally equipped to bring the gospel to the lost.
The methods of The Way of the Master are excellent tools, and should be added every Christian’s evangelistic toolbox. But we must remember that this is just one tool among many. For those of you who are looking for some training, contact the church and we would be happy to loan you a copy of this series. Or check out the website at www.wayofthemaster.com.