Recognizing receptive people groups

This material is from a class presentation by a group of students. The words in boldface type are those that the other students were supposed to write in blank spaces on a printed lecture guide.

Some people are like the "good soil" of Jesus' parable in which the seed of God's Word is planted, takes root, grows, and flowers.

In terms of openness to the gospel, Donald McGavran noted that cultures swing back and forth along an imaginary line -- from hostility, resistance, or just indifference, to interest and receptivity. In every population, some people will almost always be scattered along various points of that line although the majority of a population is often clustered at one single point.

Christians must see that the Holy Spirit prepares people. While He reveals God to us and is responsible for conversion, often He chooses to make face-to-face appeals to people through human agents. While the Holy Spirit empowers us to make those appeals, it is He Himself who has already prepared those people. [ more on prevenient grace ]

John Wesley's strategy, like that of Donald McGavran's, stressed concentrating on the harvest. That meant continually seeking out receptive people and attempting to win the winnable.

Speaking to the masses means:

How open is the local church to receptive people?

Does the church . . .

  1. . . . want newcomers?
  2. . . . seek newcomers?
  3. . . . invite newcomers?
  4. . . . welcome newcomers?
  5. . . . involve newcomers?
  6. . . . nurture new people when they come to Christ?

Fruitful personal evangelism

NextNeed help and guidance in personal evangelism? How do you share your faith with someone who appears to be receptive? [  more ]

    -- Howard Culbertson,


A variety of factors can contribute to individuals becoming receptive to the Gospel:

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