Session Eight: Handling objections
Session Eight: Handling objections
In this session you will review the witness outline you learned during the week and you will discuss ways to handle the objections people may raise to the gospel.
Present to the class the witness outline you learned since the last class.
Report on your attempts to witness to your grace friend(s) or someone else.
Handling Objections 处理拒绝
|What is the most challenging objection to a witness you have ever heard?
“But what if he says he doesn’t believe the Bible?”
“What if she’s an atheist?”
“What if he asks a question I can’t answer?”
“What if I say something that’s wrong?”
The horrific specter of the objections people may raise tend to haunt “rookie” witnesses. But such anticipated or imagined objections create fear in the experienced witness as well as in the novice.
There are many well-written books which provide answers of logic and faith to every conceivable objection to the message of God’s Word. Witnesses will want to hone their skills by studying them.
When we share our faith in Jesus with a friend, however, we are not in a forum for dealing in any depth with objections. The purpose of our speaking is to share the good news that Jesus is the Savior. The handling of objections is best accomplished at a future time – after the foundation of the gospel has been laid.
You have good reason to rejoice when objections are voiced. If there are unsettled issues when your witness winds to a close, you are left with an open door for another witness conversation. Since the person asked a question you didn’t answer, you can raise the subject again. Those “second tries” will also offer you an opportunity to prepare yourself to handle the objection in a positive way. You may even invite other resource people to go along with you: a more experienced evangelist or pastor, for example.
Sometimes objections with which a witness is not at all prepared to deal may be raised. There is no shame in honestly saying, “I don’t know the answer to that. But I will find out and get back to you.” That is much preferred to hazarding a guess, especially since another witness opportunity is an answer to an evangelist’s prayer.
For these reasons, we suggest that a witness deals with objections as quickly as possible (three or four sentences) and then leads the discussion back into the discussion of sin and grace. Reverend Donald A. Abdon in his volume “Training and Equipping the Saints” lists four steps for handling objections.
综上所述，我们提议见证者越快处理掉反对意见越好（用三、四句话结束），然后引导对话转向罪和恩典的讨论。唐纳德 A. 阿布东牧师在他的著作“培训并装备圣徒”中列出了处理对抗的四个步骤。
1. Determine What the Real Objection Is 判断对抗的实质
Every objection falls into one of seven categories.
o Some objections concern substitutes for Christ (“All religions are the same”).
o Other objections revolve around self-righteousness (“I live by the golden rule”).
o Still other objections lay the blame for failure to respond to the gospel on others (“There are too many hypocrites in the churches”).
o Objections may also be raised because of the reputation of organized churches (“The church is behind the times;” “All the church wants is my money”).
o Some people have intellectual problems with Christianity, fearing they will be thought of as unintelligent if they believe in Jesus (“There are so many interpretations of the Bible, which one is right?”).
o Sometimes transportation, health, clothes and other environmental factors are used to justify not having a healthy relationship with Jesus (“I don’t have anything to wear”).
o And, finally, the pace of life may be thrust in a way (“I work on Sundays;” “I’m too busy”).
When an objection is offered, remind yourself of the basic misunderstanding from which that idea springs. Recognizing that will help you deal with the objection more easily. Also recognize that objections are rooted in unbelief. The witness who anticipates areas of disagreement is best prepared to defuse them.
Be sure to notice that each of these objections leads the discussion away from who Jesus is and what he has done for us. Objections introduce a new subject and sidetrack the discussion from God’s grace. But don’t lose the message you came to present. Remember, you are not representing a “religion”; you are an ambassador of a person. Talk about him. Don’t allow the conversation to get derailed.
2. Accept the Objection 接纳对抗
o Debating an objection is one of the most counter-productive approaches a witness could use. A person who does not understand the gospel has no basis for accepting the rest of the Word. The gospel must be shared and received before objections can be cleared away. No one has been argued into the kingdom. Witnessing is not an exercise in debate. It is a sharing of the truth. The witness’s primary function is proclamation, not defense.
Recognize that an objection is a positive sign.
o If a person is taking issue with something you said, it is only because he has been listening and is trying to understand. You’ll want to communicate to your host the fact that you don’t consider his question or statement of personal belief to be an attack. Rather let him know you appreciate his willingness to raise objections.
Defuse an objection.
o Defusing happens when we acknowledge a person’s objection and affirm that you recognize it to be a problem for your host. You may handle that in several ways.
You may say, “I know that a lot of people feel that way” or “That’s an interesting way of looking at the issue.”
If you can honestly confess this, you may say, “I used to think that myself.”
A host’s honesty with you is always a plus. For that reason you might also say, “I’m happy to hear you say that.”
Another approach to accepting the objection and then moving again toward sharing the gospel is the “Feel, Felt, Found” method. This is one of the most tactful ways of telling someone you don’t agree with him. It works like this. “I understand how you could FEEL that way. I could have FELT that way myself. But I’ve FOUND that….
Sometimes an objection will anticipate an impending point in the presentation. “If Jesus has forgiven me, why should I live according to the Commandments?” is an example. Should that question come up before you were going to talk about it, you may say, “That’s a very good question and I’m glad you asked it. It’s also a question we’re going to talk about in just a couple of minutes. Could I handle it then?”
The purpose of accepting a person’s objection is to keep the lines of communication open and to affirm that you consider your host and his opinions to be important. Framed in New Testament terms, you want your host to know you love him. Be sure to observe, however, that you are not telling your host you agree with his objection. You are only communicating that you are willing to allow him to have his opinion at this point.
3. Reassert the Subject 再次重申主题
We’ve already mentioned that whenever an objection is raised, a new subject of conversation is introduced. “I had religion shoved down my throat as a child” changes the topic to the host’s parents and his childhood. “I work Sundays” focuses attention on job schedule. The subject you want to present is God’s grace in Jesus. Don’t let that focus slip away.
The best method for reasserting the subject is to pick out the key word in the objection and use it to springboard back into your reason for being there. This should only require three of four sentences. Here are examples.
Objection: I don’t believe there is a heaven.
o Reassertion of subject: There are a lot of people who would agree with you—and a lot of people who would disagree with you. The Bible tells us there is a heaven. And it also tells us how we can be absolutely sure that we’re going to heaven. That’s why I wanted to visit with you and share with you….
Objection: All religions are the same.
o Reassertion of subject: I know many people feel that way. And on the surface perhaps all religions do seem to be the same. They all hold a belief in some sort of god; there are prayers; believers are urged to do good things. But Christianity is different, because Christianity stakes our eternal welfare on a person, not on us and what we do. I’m here to share what I know about that person, which gets us back to what we were talking about a moment ago….
Objection: The church is too involved in politics.
o Reassertion of subject: I understand how you could feel that way; there’s much in the newspapers today about the church trying to influence the government. I feel that way myself sometimes when I hear about what some churches do in the name of religion. I feel that way especially because I’ve found that the church should be first concerned about people’s spiritual and eternal welfare. That’s why Jesus came into the world. And that’s what I was getting at when I said….
Don’t miss how each of the “Reassertion of subject” examples provides you with an opportunity to review the points already covered in the outline before marching on. Be sure to give your host an opportunity to pick up your train of thought before you continue with you presentation.
4. Affirm the Gospel 重申福音
Use the steps we’ve just covered to return the conversation to introducing your friend to Jesus. Be of the same single mindedness that Paul was, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Learn another outline for sharing the gospel, commit it to memory, practice it. Share it next week in class.
Use a gospel outline to share the gospel with your grace friend or someone else.
Pray for this class, its members, and all the souls the Spirit would reach through us.
|An additional thought
When It Seems Witnessing Won’t Do Any Good
When we consider sharing Jesus with people who seem hostile to the gospel, we might believe our witness won’t do any good, so why try. But the Bible points out that everyone is equally hostile to the gospel (remember Romans 3:10 and Romans 3:23). So don’t let a rough exterior stop you from sharing your faith when the Spirit gives you an opening.
And don’t sell the gospel’s ability to change people’s hearts short. Romans 1:16 says that “the gospel… is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” The Greek word for power in that verse is dynamis. It can describe the power of a large bomb. The gospel is explosively powerful. When we Christians speak it, share it, or tell it, we unleash the gospel’s awesome power.
Even when a friend seems unreceptive to the good news of God’s love, we Christians will still want to share it with her. The reason: because Jesus is our Savior we have been turned into “gospel sharers.” 1 Peter 2:9 describes us this way, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
The fact is, even if none of our witnessing efforts ever were used by the Spirit to bring one person to faith, we’d still share our faith because God doesn’t give us a choice. His command is “Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
But God’s gospel does work and when people hear it, the Spirit brings them to faith. Not always on our time schedule – but on God’s. The Lord promises, “My word…will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).