Learning How To Witness

Learning how to witness to people is not really all that mysterious. As I stated previously, I am studying the Gospel of John. One of the commentaries that I am reading is John, The Gospel of Belief by Merrill C. Tenney. He makes a comment that is crucial to understand if you are learning how to witness. Speaking on the “interviews” in the book of John, such as the woman at the well and Nicodemas, Tenney says:

On each occasion, someone was brought into contact with Jesus; Jesus made an inquiry or comment revelatory of the other person’s character; and the resultant effect was either belief for unbelief.1

Here is the problem as it relates to learning how to witness. Most Christians have no real clue what the Bible even says, much less being able to defend what it is they believe. Defend may be a strong word but nevertheless its true. While it is true that a person can give a testimony about their salvation, being able to give a reasonable response to people when they ask you what the actually means is another story all together. The primary key in learning how to witness is bound up in Truth. Jesus said in John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth,” (NASB). The key to being a good witness is knowing what the Bible says about certain topics.

In reality, learning how to witness without learning the theology about what is said is tantamount to make-believe. If you want to be a good witness, you need to be a good theologian…end of story. The reason that Christians today struggle with learning how to witness is that many churches do not teach biblical theology. Oh yes, they probably teach from the Bible but they don’t teach the Bible.

If you study the interviews Jesus had with people, you will see that Jesus was a sound theologian. He used His knowledge of good theology to lead a person away from their bad theology. Every conversation you have with someone is an opportunity in learning how to witness. There are really only three steps in learning how to witness more effectively.

  1. Learn what the Bible says to develop your own systematized theology. You can’t go and read somebody else’s systematic theology. You need your own that you can pull from memory. It does not have to be super extensive. You need to have some knowledge in the following branches of systematic theology.
    1. Theology Proper – The Doctrine of God (Father)
    2. Christology – The Doctrine of the Son
    3. Pneumatology – The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
    4. Angelology – The Doctrine of Angels (fallen and unfallen)
    5. Anthropology – The Doctrine of Man
    6. Hamartiology – The Doctrine of Sin
    7. Soteriology – The Study of Salvation
    8. Bibliology – The Doctrine of Scripture
    9. Israelology – The Doctrine of Israel
    10. Ecclesiology – The Doctrine of the Church
    11. Eschatology – The Doctrine of Last Things (end times)
  2. Once you are able to give reasonable evidence in each of those categories you will be able to asses where people are spiritually. You can even direct your conversations into one of the areas that these areas revolve around. Your learning how to witness will begin to pay off in eternal rewards.
  3. This third point is one of the most crucial. You have to remain calm. Don’t raise your voice or use insulting language. Accept the fact that not everyone will believe. Your reward is faithfully giving the message not the response of those who hear you. The result is not up to you.



  1. Merrill C Tenney, John: The Gospel of Belief (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2018). pg. 313

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