Evangelism – identifying and meeting human needs

need-based evangelismWe can identify three levels of human need. The first level refers to basic needs such as food, clothing and housing. The second level refers to immediate needs. These needs are related to sicknesses, finance, marriage etc. In addition, we will call the last level of need the ultimate need, which refers to salvation in Jesus Christ.

Categories of need

The Word of God possesses a history, or a principle, which applies to any human need. Immediate needs are opportunities to lead people to a personal encounter with the Lord. We cannot suppose that someone who has received some kind of blessing has also been saved. Nor can we meet the immediate needs of a person and ignore their need for salvation. Need-based evangelism involves clearly exposing what the Word of God promises concerning a situation or problem, and explaining how the person can fulfill the conditions for that promise to become a reality in his or her life.

Connecting a common necessity to the need for salvation

Evangelism is not giving people what they have no right to receive. In order for them to enjoy the inheritance, they must first become children of God.

Allow the person to vent their frustration. – Ask questions that help the person to open up.

Offer hope – If the situations are similar, then the result may be the same.

Make an analogy connecting the person’s problem with the Word of God – Look for a principle or a Bible story that applies to the problem.

Explain biblical conditions – The blessings of God depend on a correct relationship with God, namely to be a child of God.

Make an evangelistic connection – The great majority of problems are the consequences of a life far from God. Show that the greatest problem is separation from God.

Trace a path to God – Make an evangelistic appeal and suggest a prayer of repentance.

Show the worst-case scenario – Warn the person that the situation can get even worse, if he rejects the gospel.

Common needs and Bible texts

Housing problems (Deuteronomy 28:1-11) – Jesus taught us not to worry about material things. (Matthew 6:25-34). If you are His child, He promises to give direction and to meet our needs. He will certainly give direction, but for this, you must hear His Spirit. Jesus said that if you seek first the kingdom of God these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33).

Evangelistic question: “Would you like to know how to seek the kingdom of God?

Sickness (Isaiah 53:4-5, Exodus 23:24-25) – Someday every sickness will be eliminated (Revelation 21:4). Sickness today is a consequence of the fall of man (Genesis 3). The Lord has the power to heal all sickness. He carried all of the sicknesses of those who trust in Him to the cross (Isaiah 53:4-5). Healing is available on the cross.

Evangelistic question: would you like to know how to appropriate what the Lord did on the cross?

Terminal patient fearing death (Isaiah 38:1-8) – It is normal to feel fearful at death. The Lord himself felt anguish as He faced death. However, death is the only sure thing for every person. You however, have an advantage by knowing the approximate time of your death. There was a man in the Bible who all also knew the day of his death (Isaiah 38:1-8). The Lord commanded him to put his house in order (organize his affairs) before departing.

Evangelistic question: would you like to know how to put your house in order before God?

Financial needs (Matthew 6:25-34, Psalm 34:10) – There are many causes for financial problems like injustice, theft or even bad administration (Matthew 25:14-20). However, the greatest aspect of problems is a result of curses (Malachi 3:8). The Lord has promised to fulfil all of the needs of His children (Matthew 6:25-34). If we are in Christ all of our needs will be supplied (Philippians 4:19).

Evangelistic question: would you like to learn how to be free from financial curses?

Life endangerment (I Samuel 30:6, Psalm 91) – God promises protection for those who cling to Him with love and confess their trust in Him (Psalm 91) David suffered many death threats, but he strengthened himself by seeking the Lord (I Samuel 30:6). All of us will die someday. The only assurance that we have is that we are in God’s hands.

Evangelistic question: would you like to know how to have the protection of God and feel this type of assurance?

Fear of the future (Jeremiah 29:11 Matthew 6:25-34, Isaiah 64:4) – God’s plans are perfect and He desires good things for us. We do not need to know the future, we only need to know the one that knows and holds the future in his hands (Matthew 6:25-34).

Evangelistic question: would you like to know how to feel secure about the future?

Loneliness (Psalm 68:6, Job 19:13-26) – Job was a good man, yet he suffered much because of his loneliness (Job 19:13-26). However, this made him call out to God. He knew that God was the solution. When we are alone all that we want is a friend. Did you know that Jesus once said that we could be His friends? (John 15:15).

Evangelistic question: would you like to know how to become friends with Jesus?

Relational conflicts (Genesis 4:1-11) – When we are not in fellowship with God we cannot have peace with anyone. Abraham had a conflict with his nephew and he was able to resolve it because he trusted in God and was even called the friend of God (James 2:23). He went to the point of giving up his rights because he was a peacemaker. (Matthew 5:9).

Evangelistic question: would you like to know how to have peace with God and with the people around you?

Marital problems (Matthew 7:24) – God has established a pattern for family life that must be followed in order to have harmony in the home. (Eph. 5:28-32). When this pattern is violated conflicts arise. Jesus said that some households fall because their foundation is not on the rock.

Evangelistic question: would you like to know how to build your house on the rock and have harmony in your home?

Low self-esteem (Luke 15:21) – The prodigal son felt totally useless and worthless (Luke 15:21). He felt that way because he had abandoned his home. However, when the relationship with his father was restored, the other members of the household were even envious of him. In order to feel good about yourself, first you must feel bad about your distance from God.

Evangelistic question: would you like to know the condition of your heart before God and received His approval?

Fear of failure (Psalm 139) – God knows everything about you. (Psalm 139) He can direct you as to how to use your aptitudes and talents for what is best for you. However, you can only obtain this information if you have fellowship with Him.

Evangelistic question: would you like to know how to restore your fellowship with God and know His plans for your life?

Employer problems (I Samuel 18:11-14) – David was in a stressful situation because of the jealousy of his leader. (I Samuel 18:11). The only way that David was able to overcome this problem was because the Lord was with him. We will always have tensions, but if we can receive power from God to overcome them.

Evangelistic question: would you like to know how to receive power to overcome all stress?

Loss of a child (Job 15:26) – There are times like these in our lives when human words are not sufficient to comfort us. Jesus said that He would send us a comforter that would abide with and in us and give us the peace of God in the midst of suffering. (Job 15:26). This comforter is the Holy Spirit.

Evangelistic question: would you like to know how to receive this comforter in your heart?

Lack of meaning (Isaiah 48:17-18) – God is the only one that can give us meaning and purpose in life. (Isaiah 48:17-18). This only comes when we receive His direction for all areas of our lives.

Evangelistic question: would you like to know the purpose of God for your life?