How to Lead a Person to Jesus
by: Robert Morris
God’s desire is for all people to know Him. As Christians, we are called to lead people to Jesus (see Mark 13:10). Jesus instructs us in Matthew 28:19–20 to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” This raises the question, how do we carry out The Great Commission in our lives, helping people discover and enter into a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ?
If you’re ready to lead someone to the Lord, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to someone. Then ask the Lord to use you to lead that person to an encounter with Him.
If you have never led anyone to salvation before, you may feel nervous, unsure, or even unqualified. The truth is: If you’ve had an encounter with Jesus, you are qualified to be a witness. You don’t have to know every Scripture about salvation, and you don’t need to figure out all the answers to the person’s questions before you can tell them about Jesus. If you’ve had an encounter with Jesus, you can help that person have a personal encounter with Him. Don’t let all the things you don’t know stop you from sharing with people about the Jesus you do know. Pray and ask Him to help you.
2. Build Relationship
In John 4:1–26, the Master Himself teaches us how to lead someone to Jesus through His encounter with the Samaritan woman. In John 4:7, she “came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’” Jesus could have drawn the water for Himself. The real reason He asked this woman to give Him a drink is He knew His request would lead to a conversation.
One of the best ways to begin to lead someone to Christ is to start with a conversation, and one of the best topics of conversation is them! If we ask people about themselves, they will talk about their children, grandchildren, families, jobs, where they grew up, and their hobbies and interests. We won’t be able to lead people into an encounter with Jesus if we don’t talk to them. Jesus engaged people everywhere He went. We can follow His example, interacting with the people around us and building relationships with them so they can ultimately find their way to relationship with Him.
3. Talk About the Things that Matter
When leading someone to the Lord, it’s important to ask the Holy Spirit to let us know when the relationship has reached the point that we need to stop talking about the weather or current events and begin to talk about the things that matter most, the things that will change a person’s life forever and have eternal impact. Here are some of those subjects.
Even if they would not use the term “abundant life,” most people want to have a full, fruitful life—one that overflows with good things. We can speak to them about the peace and joy we now have as believers that we did not have before we had an encounter with Jesus. When we do this, we’re not imposing our religion on someone but sharing about our relationship with Someone.
When we share about our lives, we’re simply telling our story. For instance, when I share my story with people, I’ll often start out by saying, “I was raised in a good home, but I got off track. I got extremely involved in drugs and lived an immoral lifestyle, but then something happened to me in a motel room, and it totally changed my life!” This catches their attention right away.
Many times they ask, “What happened in the motel room?” This question gives me an opportunity to say, “A man told me that if I would give my life to God, everything would change. And I was delivered
from drugs instantly!” All I’m doing is sharing my story. The person listening is not hearing about religion; they’re hearing my story about my relationship with Jesus.
A great way for us to share our faith is to simply talk about what life was like before we encountered Jesus. We can say whatever is true about our past: “I was miserable. I was lonely. I was insecure. I was afraid. I was angry. I was bitter. I had unforgiveness. I was in bondage. I felt rejected and alone. I was a person who was totally tormented until I finally gave control of my life to the Lord. And now I have a full and abundant life!” From there, we can further explain what abundant life really means and how they can experience it too.
Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman about eternal life. John 4:13–14 says, “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’”
Within the heart of every human being is a God-shaped void. Even if they say they don’t believe in eternal life, there is something God put inside of them that wants to know about life after death. One of the easiest ways to talk about eternal life is by sharing John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Many in the Church today believe we shouldn’t talk about sin, but the problem with this belief is Jesus talked about sin. He certainly spoke to the Samaritan woman about her sin (see John 4:16–19).
As Christians, we need to talk about sin because sin is what separates us from God. Jesus never avoided talking about difficult subjects, but He also never talked about sin in a condemning way (see John 8:10– 11). Likewise, we shouldn’t avoid talking about sin, but we should be careful about how we talk about it.
When we talk to people about sin, we can begin by saying, “We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all messed up. I am no better than you or anyone else.” One of the enemy’s strategies to keep people from coming to faith in Jesus is to make them think we believe we are better than they are because we’re Christians. That’s simply not true, but this lie can be intimidating. The only difference between believers and non-believers is that we have received the grace of God. We can share with them how they can receive His grace too.
Relationship with God
When we’re leading someone to Jesus, we’re not sharing about religion; we’re sharing about our relationship with Jesus Christ. When they put up an argument about religion, we always need to respond with answers that bring them back to God and His Word. If we’ll spend time with the people we’re leading to the Lord and let them see our genuine relationship with Jesus, they will begin to want what we have.
At the end of Jesus’ time with the Samaritan woman, He said, “We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:22–24).
When dealing with people, Jesus’ focus was on a relationship with God. We need that same focus as we interact with those around us. The way to have a relationship with God is through His son, Jesus. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross has bridged the gap of communication between a sinful people and a holy God. Talk with people about your relationship with God, how it has changed your life, how you experience His unconditional love, how He interacts with you daily, and how He gives you strength, wisdom, and peace when you need it.
You can talk to people about your relationship with Jesus too. Tell them He is alive, and let them know that they can have a relationship with Him. When the Samaritan woman heard about Jesus, it changed her entire life. She told others about Him and won many people in her city to Him.
4. Expect Questions, but Stay Focused on Spiritual Truth
Any time you share Christ with people, they will probably have questions. Often, these questions are based in human reasoning or logic because those who don’t know the Lord aren’t accustomed to interacting on a spiritual level. The Samaritan woman questioned Jesus, the Master Himself, at the well: “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?’ Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw’” (John 4:10–15).
The woman’s question about living water seems reasonable, because she is talking about physical water from a natural perspective. But Jesus is talking about living water on a spiritual level. Likewise, when we’re sharing Christ with someone, we’re talking on a spiritual level. We’re talking about a spiritual need the person has, but the enemy will throw thoughts and ideas into people’s minds, causing them to question things from a natural perspective. They may ask about what scientists say about creation or where dinosaurs are in the Bible. They’ll question “this fact” or “that fact.” It’s okay to tell someone, “I don’t know all the answers, but what I do know is, ‘I was blind, now I see’” (John 9:25).
Again, it’s important to remember that if you have had an encounter with Jesus, you are qualified to share Him with others. You may be a new believer and not know every Scripture about eternal life, and it’s okay. Just do your best and trust God with the rest.
5. Keep it Simple
Jesus took the most complicated issue and made it simple. If they simply believe Jesus Christ paid for their sins as He died on the cross, they can receive His gift of eternal life. Share with them what the Bible says in Romans 10:9–13: “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
6. Ask the Most Important Question. Lead the Most Important Prayer.
Once a person is ready to receive Jesus, ask him or her, “Do you believe in your heart Jesus is the Son of God? That He came to this earth and lived as a man and died on the cross for you and He rose again on the third day?” If the answer is yes, you can lead them in the following simple prayer of salvation as they repeat it after you.
Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask You to forgive me for all of my sin, and I receive Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. I give You complete control of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me today!
Hayford. Jack W., and Robert Morris. “How to Lead a Person to Jesus. “Essay. In NKJV: Spirit-Filled Life Bible, 1975-78. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2018.