An appeal is an invitation to take a next step with Jesus.
- Appeal often. At the end of every sermon. At every baptism. At the end of every Bible study. Whenever the opportunity arises.
- Appeal because of Jesus. Talk of Jesus’ goodness, kindness and love. Talk of how much Jesus loves each person. Talk of Jesus’ wonderful plan of redemption. Tell stories of Jesus’ life. Tell the parables Jesus told. Tell them what Jesus is doing now in heaven. Then invite people to respond to Jesus.
- Appeal for Jesus. If Jesus were right there with you what do you think He would say to this person? Would He say, “Follow me and I will use you to lead others to me”? Would He say “Come to Me and find rest”? You are an ambassador for Jesus to make the appeals He would make.
- Appeal for simple action. Ask “Is there anything that would make it difficult for to follow Jesus and be baptized like He was?” Ask “Would you like Jesus to be in charge of every part of your life and make the changes that only He can make?” Ask “Is the Sabbath truth clear to you? Would you like to begin spending this day with Jesus in the way He has told us in the Bible?”
- Appeal with the benefits of following Jesus. Rather than focusing on “ought to” focus on “how to” and the blessings of following Jesus. Instead of “You don’t want to receive the mark of the beast, do you?” say “Would you like the Lord to write His law in your mind so you understand clearly what is right and wrong and in your heart so you want to obey Him out of love?”
- Appeal in a variety of ways. When appealing invite people to respond with a “yes” or on a card or with a raised hand or by coming to the front or by standing and saying something good about Jesus, etc.
- Appeal based of God’s Word. Show clearly what Jesus says in His Word and invite people to follow. Ask “Is this Bible truth clear to you? Are you willing to follow Jesus in this area of your life?”
- Appeal briefly. Avoid hostage appeals that go on forever, pressuring people to respond so they can leave. Make your appeals brief, positive and to the point in a Christ-centered way.
- Appeal with several options. Sometimes give multiple appeals. “Let us all stand. Tonight/Today I’m talking to three groups of people. I talking to those who have never asked Jesus to be in charge of every part of their life. Next I’m talking to those who are walking with Jesus but have never been publicly baptized by their own decision. And finally I’m talking to those who have been baptized but have gone on breaking one or more of God’s commandments, knowingly or unknowingly. If you are in one of these three groups raise your hand and wave it at me. While our singers are singing, I want all of you in these three groups to come to the front so I can talk with you briefly. Come now.” When the group is at the front say “I’d like everyone to put their hand on their heart and repeat after me. ‘Jesus, I love you with all of my heart. Whatever you say to do I am willing to do. Wherever you say to go I am willing to go. Help me take my next step with you no matter what anyone else may say or think of me. Thank you for helping me, Jesus.’” Then say “Amen and Praise the Lord! The Lord will answer your prayer. We’d like to get your contact information so we can help you take your next step with Jesus. Here are the cards and pens. Our assistants will help you then pray with you before you go back to your seats. As you fill out the information our singers will sing another song. When you are finished you may return to your seats and we will have prayer with all the congregation then dismiss.”
- Appeal to believers to make appeals to their friends. As you make an appeal you can say “Please pray for your family or friends who are here who need to make a decision for Jesus. Pray that the Lord will make truth clear to them and that they will feel the love of Jesus drawing them to a full surrender to Him.” You can also say to the entire audience “When you go home you can invite your friends to follow Jesus and share with them what you have decided. Turn to someone in front of you or behind you and tell them something good about Jesus so you can practice before leaving. Then pray with each other and dismiss quietly.”
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32.