Bill Sikma works with Evangelism Explosion, the ministry founded by D. James Kennedy. On today’s episode of The Evangelism Podcast he shares several effective stories for communicating the Gospel.
Website for Evangelism Explosion Resources: https://evangelismexplosion.org/
Listen to a previous episode of The Evangelism Podcast when we talk about Evangelism Explosion: https://kingministries.com/podcast-episodes/pat-kendall-evangelism-explosion-in-the-local-church/
Evangelist Daniel King (00:00):
Bill Sikma works with Evangelism Explosion. The ministry founded by D. James Kennedy. On today’s episode of the Evangelism Podcast he shares several effective stories and methods for communicating the gospel.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:27):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Daniel King. Welcome
Evangelist Daniel King (00:52):
To the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King. I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have a very special guest bill Sigma. He is with evangelism explosion. Thank you so much for being with me.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (01:06):
Yeah, thanks for having me.
Evangelist Daniel King (01:07):
So evangelism explosion is known all over the world. It was started by James Kennedy who wrote a green book called evangelism explosion. And that has been used to train so many people around the world in how to share their faith. Can you tell me a little bit about how the whole ministry got started and, and what impact it’s had over the years?
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (01:34):
Yeah. it’s really been a transformative ministry where James Kennedy was actually dwindling down in the size of his church and his wife was even saying, I think I’m gonna have to go down to the church at the end of the street, because we went from 45 to about 12 and we gotta come up with another plan and he got invited to go to a different church to speak. But what he found out that there was an individual there that actually said, well, we’re gonna take you witnessing. And he said, what? And he went out to learn how to effectively share his faith, but more so he saw the tremendous fruit that came from that time witnessing. It was, he had a tool to take back to train people. And he told the remaining people of the church said we’re gonna change the world.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (02:32):
And from that, they literally changed the world one person can’t, but through the spiritual multiplication of discipling people and how to share their faith, by giving them a pattern as in second Timothy one and two, it talks about having the sound pattern of teaching and also entrusting it to faithful men and women who will train others, who can train others. And through that, they saw this multiplication just spread. And before, you know, it, all these other churches are going, what are you doing to make your church just explode and grow so fast? And that’s where evangelism explosion was really birthed out. And he started training other pastors how they can train and equip, lay people how to effectively share the gospel. And so, yeah. Now, now what is considered classic EE is that tool that was being used back in the day, but we have tools from hope for kids, exce prison, EE deaf, EEE, all sorts of things to fulfill the vision of every nation, equipping every people group and every age group to witness to every person. So we believe if you can believe in Jesus, you can share Jesus, but not just stop there. We want you to have the tools to be able to train others who can train others.
Evangelist Daniel King (03:54):
So what is your position with evangelism explosion and how did you get involved in this vision?
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (04:03):
Yeah, so really I have a passion just to equipping the next generation. So I work a lot with youth and young adults and training younger pastors in evangelism to give them the tools they need to reach this next generation I’m involved in overseeing our tool XE. And we’re actually working on building some new tools right now. That is gonna be just top of the line stuff to equip this next generation. And I get real excited about leading different short term mission trips as well for them. You know, my story is God grabbed a hold of my life in college. And I grew up in church and knew things about God, but really didn’t live for ’em. And I had an experience May 15th, 2011, that my life was transformed. And I was all in for Jesus. I felt called a ministry to take the gospel to the nations, but there’s a big problem.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (05:04):
I had no idea how to share my faith and where to even begin. So I was fumbling around maybe if I just bring my Bible to my college campus and start at the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing and I didn’t need another sermon or a talk on telling me to share my faith. I already felt guilty because I wasn’t doing it. But the main reason was I was never equipped. And I said, God, please show me how to do this. And by the grace of God, we had a guy in our church by the name of Randy Bowman, who was training and equipping people in a small group through the tool of evangelism explosion. And it was there where I received equipping and how to share my faith and what, I didn’t know what just a little bit of equipping would do within a few weeks.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (05:57):
I was inside a youth prison in juvenile hall, substitute teaching, as I was seeking out, what is God’s call in my life or what ministry and what position there’s many great ways to go into ministry and share the gospel. But what specifically did he want me to do? And I put in a practice in the wreck yard, what I learned while some guys were playing basket, I talked to the guy by the name of Matthew and I shared with him what I learned through the EE course and there in the wreck yard, I gotta pray with Matthew and see him want to begin his relationship with Jesus. And I was like, this is incredible. And from there, that just was the catalyst where I started to confidently share my faith. And I never thought I’d be in a place to be able to help someone else be able to share their faith.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (06:49):
And now it’s so exciting to see people come up and say, bill, I was able to share with my best friend or my grandpa or my dad. It’s just so heartwarming to see it’s I don’t need to be everywhere and be the one sharing, but it’s them. And then to watch them, I remember this kid by the name of Zeke, we’re at the mall and we’re training some youth how to share. And he became so confident and he’s leading the other youth to Christ and all the other youth are going, I wanna be like Zeke and be able to share, and we’re at a shopping mall and he just goes, Hey guys, follow me. I’ll show you how. And it just made me think of Jesus when he says, come follow me and I’ll show you how to fish for men. And so watching that was that proud moment and to see how the EE tool just was a sound pattern, to be able to give the tools, to be able to replicate. So he knew how to train others and they had the best conversations with different youth in that shopping mall to lead them to Christ.
Evangelist Daniel King (07:54):
Now we’re here at together 2022. It’s a great initiative here at the cotton bowl in, in Dallas, Texas led by Nick hall with pulse ministries. And they’re doing a great job, just getting people excited about sharing their faith and praying for, for God to move in this nation. And, and so you were involved in helping to train some of the young people that have come here. Tell me a little bit about how you did that training and, and what you tell people when you’re trying to encourage them to share their faith.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (08:29):
Yeah. So we had a great workshop yesterday where we taught them the different points of the, the gospel message. And we often talk about that. It’s easy to learn and hard to forget. And so we, we really make it simple. The gospel message is very simple and it doesn’t Rob from the power of it. But the main thing is you cannot learn something by sitting around the table and talking about it. So what we did today is go out and put into practice what we learned in a classroom setting. So we call that on the job training or connect activities. In fact, 70% of learning comes from practicing what you’ve learned by putting it in a practice through, on the job training. But 90% of learning comes from having to teach someone else how to do it. So that’s when the rubber hits the road.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (09:23):
So today was so exciting to take a lot of the people who came to our workshop yesterday to say, Hey, let us show you what it actually looks like in person, cuz sometimes things seemed canned or scripted and the same way when you’re learning to play the piano or instruments, things could be very mechanical, but you gotta learn those basics. So you can just turn loose and play this masterpiece, but you start with these basic skills. So they gotta see what that looked like in person today, where we talked to so many different staff workers here at the event, security guards, seeing many people come to faith in Christ and them overwhelmed and thankful for what we shared with them. And in fact, walking out towards McDonald’s and just being out there, just watching the, the different groups and engage people in conversations was just so amazing.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (10:17):
And you know what? We often overlook just people who identify as Christians. And those are some of the best people we can talk to. A lot of them are struggling with, I don’t know, am I good enough? Did I do enough? Does God love me? What they’re missing is the core message of that gospel. So for instance Luana was one of the event staff that we talked to and she thought, oh yeah, you know, I would, you just pray for me so I could just be stronger in the word and you know a stronger believer and she had all those church words and then we asked her what Luana, you know, could we just ask you the spiritual question? What would you say to God if he asked, why should I give you eternal life? Or why should I let you into my heaven?
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (11:05):
What would you say? Well, it’s because I’m doing good deeds. You know, I’m doing, I’m doing these good things and I’ll spread the word and doing all these church things. And it was a great opportunity to share with her. It’s not about what you can do, but it’s about what Jesus has done for you on the cross. And it’s us putting our faith in Jesus. And so we were able to go back and say, Luana, does that make sense? Remember when we began this conversation, you told God, it was about all your good deeds and all these good things that you do, but do you see it? None of that, that it’s about putting your faith in Jesus. And then after that, that’s what causes us to wanna live for him and do these things. She’s like, yes. Now I see. So, you know, do some of these people make a first time decision to really transferring their trust to Christ alone? I don’t know. Or maybe it’s a reassurance and they didn’t know how to articulate it. That’s that’s not my job. I, I really don’t care, but I just hope that they have that understanding of the gospel message and the biggest home run of, of that is all the people who gotta see what just happened, where they went, oh my goodness. That’s exactly what they learned. And I could see myself having that conversation. When I go back home with my friends.
Evangelist Daniel King (12:21):
That’s outstanding. You mentioned that when you taught yesterday, you taught them to just share a, a simple gospel. Can, can you share that with me? If, if, if you’re sharing with someone, a simple gospel message, what would that sound like?
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (12:35):
Yeah. Well, we talk about, you know, having some great engaging questions and oftentimes we think witnessing about, what am I gonna say next? But witnessing has a lot to do with, what am I gonna ask next? And it’s very important that we listen to other people and ask some good engaging questions to them. In fact, we, we often are very big on asking permission even before we engage in a conversation like that. We don’t want to be, you know, accused of trying to force something down their throat. So we might just say, Hey, would it be okay if I asked you some deep life questions or some spiritual questions? Is that something you’d be okay with? Sure. Go ahead. And, and then stepping in into those, you know, some of the questions we ask are on a scale one to 10, how fulfilling would you say your life is?
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (13:28):
It really gets people believing you don’t have to even acknowledge that there’s a God to answer some of these questions. And then we ask them, well, why is it a seven? Tell me all about that. And they’re able to share a lot about what they value in life. And then we ask the question, well, if God was more a part of your life, would that move that number up down, stay the same. And then we get to find out what their view on God is, and then to transition to some deeper questions and ask, well, could I ask you this question? Have you came to that place in your spiritual life where, you know, for certain you have eternal life or would you say that’s something that you’re working on and then to ask them, you know, if you found yourself standing before God, anywhere to ask you, why should I give you eternal life?
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (14:18):
Or why should I let you into my heaven? What would you say? And 95% of the people are gonna say, well, I’m a good person. I’ve, I’ve done more good than bad. And okay, well we share five simple things with them. And we talk about the thumb represents our first point and our thumb is pointing up like a, a hitchhiker looking for a free ride. And our first point that we’re gonna share with them is that, well, you know, eternal life is a free gift and there’s nothing we can do to earn it or deserve it. We have some different stories, illustrations to elaborate on that and to share Ephesians two, eight and nine. And that right away connects with people to just go, wow, that was completely different of how my mind thinks and a transition to say, well, what stops us from having this gift?
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (15:06):
And that is what the Bible says about us as human beings, mankind, we’re all sinners. And we cannot save ourselves. And we connect with some other stories and share about Romans 3 23, that we all fall short of that God’s perfect standard and we’re all sinners. And then we transition to say, well, how do, how do we think God will react to us sinning against him? Well, God on one hand is loving and doesn’t want to punish us. But on the other hand, he’s just God and must punish sin. So there’s a tension there so we can share Roman 6, 23, some other verses, but we go in to share, well, how does God solve that tension of his love and justice? And that’s where we go in to talk about Jesus and the good news, what he did for us. And we shared that, you know, Jesus came from heaven to earth.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (15:58):
He lived a perfect life. He died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay for sins and offer this gift of eternal life that can start now and go on forever with him and share John three 16 and some other great verses. And one of the most powerful things we have is sharing what we call the record book of sin or the substitute story, using our cell phone illustration to show them where they can visualize how their sin separates them and God, and how Jesus takes that and substitutes and, and gives us his perfection for our imperfection. All
Evangelist Daniel King (16:38):
Right. Can you tell me that story?
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (16:40):
Yeah, sure. I’m gonna have to use my phone to so I can share that. So,
Evangelist Daniel King (16:45):
So is it an app that’s that, that you guys have?
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (16:48):
We do have an app called EE helps. It’s just on the apple phone right now we’re working on building out our digital resources. So let’s let this left hand here, represent us and let’s let this right hand here represent God. So this right hand is over this left hand and, and God designed us to be in this relationship with him and experienced this abundant and full life. But let’s let this phone here represent a movie of our lives. Although there’s a lot of great things, I’d be proud like, Hey, check this out. I’m glad it’s black right now, cuz I wouldn’t want you to see the screen of all the things I’m ashamed of the sin I’ve done in my life. The bad thoughts that I even have. It’s all recorded here and you see that’s a barrier between us and God, God loves us, but he hates our sin and that’s that barrier separating us from God and God loved us so much.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (17:50):
He sent Jesus down from heaven to earth to live a perfect life. And the Bible says that we all like sheep have gone as stray. Each one has turned his own way, but the Lord has laid upon him, the iniquity or sins of us all. So where’s our sin. Now it’s on us. It transferred from us. Sorry. Our sin is on Jesus. It transferred from us to Jesus, where he took our punishment. He cried out the phrase. It is finished, paid in full where he took all of our past present and future sins. And he removed those sins from us, paid for him and he rose from the dead and he ascended into heaven to where that sin barrier’s gone. We can now have a relationship with God. And the famous Bible verse sums that up for God. So loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall perish but have everlasting life.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (18:50):
So we unlock that by faith. So we, we can only receive that through faith, but here’s what saving faith is not saving faith. Isn’t just head knowledge where we know things about God in the Bible and things like that and saving faith. Isn’t just temporary faith where we cry out to God in a jam just when we need him just soon to forget him. But true saving faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for our eternal life. And so that that’s really the key where people get that. And there’s one story illustration I like to share with that faith section. And that’s, you know, let’s suppose we’re out on a boat where fish and having a great time and we, we didn’t pay attention, but the weather started to change and our little boat could not handle ways, but soon the way started to get bigger.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (19:44):
And it just crashed over our boat and our boat breaks into pieces. And there we are grabbing a piece of wood. We’re barely keeping afloat. We’re hoping something’s gonna come and save us. And luckily the coast guard comes out and calls out to us, Hey, grab a hold of our life preserver. And so they toss this ring to us. What would be the logical thing to do, keep holding onto our piece of wood, hoping will maybe drift ashore or should we grab the life? Preserver? The only logical thing would be is grab the life preserver. And if I was to write a word on that board, I would write the word self we’re all trusting in ourself, maybe our own efforts and our feeble attempt to kick to shore and get there. And maybe that’s all of our, well, I’m trying to help serve the homeless or be a good person or give money to the church or do all that.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (20:40):
Those are good things, but they can’t save us. And that life preserver, I put the word Jesus on that only Jesus alone can save. We have to let go of trusting in our own works and our own effort and transfer it to Jesus alone. And the moment we do and grab a hold of that, we will be saved. That’s what gives us our relationship with him. And then I would ask, you know, does that make sense to you? Remember when we began this conversation, you said, well, I’m trying to do my best, but do you see that that’s like hanging on onto that piece of wood and that you need to put your faith in Jesus alone? Yeah. Well the, the question I believe God would want me to ask you is, do you wanna have that relationship with Jesus and receive this gift of eternal life with him that will start now and go on forever with him.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (21:31):
And then from there, if they say, you know, I’m, I’m not quite ready. I need to think about that. We could pray for them or if they go, yeah, well we’d just walk them through and just not make this a flippant decision, but let them know, Hey, well this is one of the biggest decisions of your lives. Let me break that down. So we walk through the response section of emit believe and commit and help them really understand the decision they’re gonna make. And from there helping just launch them into that relationship with Jesus.
Evangelist Daniel King (22:02):
Those are both excellent illustrations. I really like the illustration with the cell phone. I thought you were gonna show me an illustration on your cell phone, but you’re actually using the cell phone as part of the illustration. So, so very creative now, evangelism explosion has lots of resources, lots of ideas and stories that they developed over the years. What’s a website that people can go and get more information to connect with you and connect with the ministry.
Bill Sikma – Evangelism Explosion (22:30):
Yeah. I actually have been handing these out. Well, I thought I had some left, but we have our website, EE works.org can share more about our resources and we also have share life.university is a tool where it just is a simple five week training tool to just get started in the basics. We have equip america.org/together. 22 will also just give some digital resources that they, they can look at of what we shared today of those questions that they can begin just asking those simple questions that will launch them into a gospel conversation and some other digital resources to review on that as well.
Evangelist Daniel King (23:22):
Well, thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast. If you’re listening and you have a heart for evangelism, there’s great training available through evangelism explosion. I encourage you to connect with them and get trained and, and, and go out with an experienced, witnesser learn how to share your faith and, and I believe it will bear great fruit in your life. So thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast.
Evangelism Podcast Host (23:47):
Thank you for having me.
Evangelist Daniel King (23:49):
Thanks so much for listening today. I am excited about telling people about Jesus and I want to invite you to be a part of helping us to rescue people from hell and take them with us to heaven. There’s two things you can do to help. First of all, can you go find the evangelism podcast on apple iTunes and leave us a positive review by giving a review, you will help other people find these valuable resources about sharing our faith. And second, would you become a financial partner with king ministries? Every single dollar that people give us enables us to lead at least one person to Jesus. And so that means for only $1, you can help start a party in heaven. And so today I want to invite you to become a monthly partner. You can start out for just a dollar, but if God puts it on your heart to do more, of course you can do more, but please go to king ministries.com and become a monthly partner with us today to help us to lead more people to Jesus. Thank you so much. And God bless you
Evangelism Podcast Host (25:08):
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