Prepared expressly for Project Winsome International by John Allan Lavender

Copyright 1999 Project Winsome International

You are hereby given permission to make copies for use in your Christian ministry.

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Copyright 1999 Project Winsome International

Used by permission of PWI - http://www.winsome.org

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If you are an experienced WINSOME WAY visitor, click here for review pages only.


PROJECT WINSOME is designed as one positive answer to the churchís challenge to see both renewal and growth. It is an effective and proven program geared to equip men to more effectively communicate their faith. PROJECT WINSOME has within it the potential of involving every man who has genuinely committed his life to Jesus, and who believes reaching others for Jesus is a primary task of all who believe.

PROJECT WINSOME dares to be unique in that it challenges Christain men to take on a job often relegated to their pastors. Many churches ask their male members to serve on boards and committees, raise funds and do maintanence. Few churches offer them the satisfaction of being involved the churchís primary mission: leading people to Jesus and helping them grow spiritually.

Conversion is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit. But men can be involved, too, by becoming agents of the Spirit in the act of consent. PROJECT WINSOME hopes to give every man who seeks to follow Jesus, the privilege of being an agent of the Holy Spirit.

Before you say PROJECT WINSOME is just another visitation evangelistic effort, let it be acknowledged this ministry will be as fiery, exciting, and effective as your measure of concern as a Christian layman for the spiritually unenlisted, and your dedication to the work of your Lord.

PROJECT WINSOME is not a one-shot program. It is specifically intended to plant a seed which will grow into a continuing emphasis on visitation evangelism in and through your church. Further, it can be a splendid introduction to the many other worthy and creative forms of outreach available today.

John Allan Lavender


The effective sharing of your faith is less a matter of content than intent. Though important, what you say is not nearly so significant as why you say it. Among the big words in "A Winsome Way to Win Someone" are conviction, priorities and blessings. With the proper motivation you wonít need to "drum up" courage to say what you think you "ought" to say about Jesus. Witnessing will be the natural overflow of your personal relationship to him.



If this is your first involvement in personal evangelism, you should know that during the day prior to an actual visitation you are likely to develop a stiff neck, a headache, even a bit of nausea. These are all symptoms of a disease known as "call-i-tis."

The cure? Complete one call. In PROJECT WINSOME you will discover you are much more blessed than you are a blessing.

There will be people, who, for the rest of their lives, will be grateful for you and your visit. As a result of your witness, they will be introduced to Jesus and the wonderful new dimensions he brings to life.

But, however great is their gratitude, greater still will be your own, as you begin to see the Lord using you and your witness to win others to him.


The PROJECT WINSOME method of operation is best defined as "A Winsome Way to Win Someone." It stresses a philosophy of personal evangelism, and a procedure for witnessing which is non-coercive, but productive. This manual spells out the Winsome Way M-O in detail. Master it!

We do not proceed where the Holy Spirit has not preceded us!

Conversion is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit. But you can be involved, too, by becoming an agent of the Spirit in the act of consent. Doing that simply means depending upon the Holy Spirit to do his part by preparing people, and allowing the Holy Spirit to use you to do your part by helpng people accept Jesus as their Savior, and follow Jesus as their Lord. Therefore --

We do not proceed where the Holy Spirit has not preceded us!

As part of a team of two, you will call upon prospects specifically assigned to you by the person in charge of your churchís responsibility list.

Having the right equipment and knowing how to use it is basic to any successful undertaking. For PROJECT WINSOME you are asked to bring your Simplest Answer Booklet, your Conversion of Christians booklet your penlight, your breath mints, and your smile.

Your Simplest Answer Booklet is a unique tool designed to help you communicate your faith in a more effective way. More about this in a moment.

Your Conversion of Christians booklet is designed to help Christians do a better job of living up to their "label claims." More about this in a moment.

Your penlight will help you find street signs and addresses in the dark.

Your breath mints will help you avoid inadvertant discomfort.

Your smile will be visible evidence this is PROJECT WINSOME! Youíll be surprised at how a happy countenance helps create the positive atmosphere you are seeking.


Your objective is to talk to prospects -- all of them! Therefore, if your assignment card says, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Johnny and Susie," make sure all four Smiths are present before you begin serious conversation.

If your card says, "Mr. Smith" talk to him. Mrs. Smith and the children may already be followers of Jesus.

If your card says "Johnny" or "Susie" by all means give them your very best. Often when visitors receive a card indicating the prospect is a youngster, they feel this isnít as important as talking to a bank president. Not so!

When an adult is won to Jesus, the individual himself is helped. When a child is won to Jesus, the youngster is helped and becomes a potential helper! He or she has a whole life left to live -- a life which the Lord can bless, use, and direct.


Each assignment card will provide such basic information as your prospectís name and address, etc. Locate the address shown on the card, get the name well in mind and put the card away. Donít refer to it anymore. Pray for guidance and ring the doorbell.

Inquire if you are at the right address. About 20% of the American population moves every year. Your prospect may have moved since the cards were prepared. If so, try to locate his or her new place of residence.

If you are at the right address, introduce yourself in the following way: ( Note: There are only a few things to memorize. They will appear in bold face. This introduction is one of them.)

"Iím . This is my partner, .

Weíre from the Church. Weíre out making friendly calls. May we come in and see you?"

This tells who you are, where youíre from and what you want. Your name, the name of your partner, the name of your church, the fact that youíre making a friendly call and would like to come in.


If television is on ask, "Did we catch you in the middle of something you really want to see?" If so, theyíll say, "Yes!" You can reply, "Okay, we have other calls to make. Weíll drop back in an hour or so when the program is over." Excuse yourself, go to your next call and return later.

In most instances the people will say, "No, we were just sitting around killing time," and will turn the TV off. Donít try to talk over the TV. Theyíll let you and youíll be defeated every time.

If there are children watching a show, theyíll be very disturbed if the set is turned off. Get them against you and youíre licked! In those instances something like this may be helpful --

"Look, the kids are watching this program. Why donít we turn it down just a bit and go over into the dining room (or the kitchen) where we can visit and not disturb them."

Almost invariably the woman of the house says, "Fine, let me put on a pot of coffee." Within minutes you are sitting around the table sipping coffee, talking like old friends about the most important decision these people will ever make.

If the atmosphere is not right for a winsome conversation about Jesus, donít feel badly. We do not proceed where the Holy Spirit has not preceded us! Graciously bring your visit to a close with a "Thank you for your time," and go on to your next call.

Please make a few notes on the back of the assignment card to assist you, or other visitors, in making followup calls in the future. Many calls which seemed fruitless, bore rich fruit later on. Remember --

We do not proceed where the Holy Spirit has not preceded us!


There are three basic principles in the PROJECT WINSOME philosophy of personal evangelism. You should know and follow them. If you will master these three fundamentals, the details of the call will take care of themselves.


BE POSITIVE. Expect results. Seize the opportunity.


Being positive and having a spirit of expectancy is not Operation Bootstrap. There are sound reasons for your having an attitude of expectancy. One is that in PROJECT WINSOME you will be doing Godís work in Godís way (Mk. 6:7; Lk. 10:1-2).


Jesus himself developed this concept when he selected laymen like yourself, trained them, and sent them out in teams of two to communicate with others what he had come to mean to them.

PROJECT WINSOME is a twentieth century adaptation of that first century New Testament plan.


This involves asking the Holy Spirit to do three things.

1 -- Sensitize you to the hurts and needs of others.

2 -- Alert you to their opennesss to establishing a relationship with God.

3 -- Empower you to make the most of this opportunity in a non-coercive way.

We do not proceed where the Holy Spirit has not preceded us!


Another reason for being positive is that if you are part of an organized ministry of your church, you will have real prospects to call on. Everyone who has not accepted Jesus as their Savior are our concern. But all such folks are not prospects. Some folks are not yet open to the Holy Spirit. PROJECT WINSOME does not involve "cold turkey" calling. You will not be asked to go down the street ringing doorbells indiscriminately! Instead, you will be calling on people who are bonafide prospects.



You can be positive and expect results for still another reason: your unique advantage as a layman in personal evangelism.

When your minister goes calling, people are usually pleased to see him. They treat him with grace and kindness. But there may also be the subconscious reaction, "He is professionally interested in me. This is his job."

As a layperson you do not have this handicap. When you call you might have occasion to say, "Iím not a minister, or theologian. Iím not a seminary or Bible school graduate. Iím a person like yourself. God has done something wonderful for me. May I share it with you?"

Immediately your prospect knows you are personally, not professionally, interested. You have rapport. You and this person share similar problems and needs. You are on the same frequency. Therefore, he or she is much more ready to listen.


When the prospects are present, begin your conversation with the next thing youíre asked to memorize -- a very simple question:

"Have you heard about PROJECT WINSOME?"

If they have heard about PROJECT WINSOME say, "You know, then, that all around the city there are folks out calling tonight. My partner and I are among them. We wanted to stop by and see you."

If they havenít heard about PROJECT WINSOME, explain the program to them in a sentence or two.

"Instead of the typical evangelistic preaching mission where the minister does all the work, PROJECT WINSOME is an action program which gives lay people the opportunity of sharing our faith with others. Tonight, for instance, there are several teams out calling. My partner and I are among them. We wanted to stop by and see you."

Within a matter of moments, you will have focused the call on your primary purpose for being there.


The next question you are asked to memorize is:

"Do you belong to a church somewhere, or did you ever make a decision for Jesus?"

This is a double question, and cannot be easily answered "yes" or "no." It almost always evokes explanation. Explanation involves conversation, and your purpose is to create a conversation in which Jesus may be shared. The answer you get from this double question will help you to know the direction your call should take. That is, whether you are there to lead someone to Jesus for the very first time, or whether you are there to help a believer become a responsible member of a local church.



If your prospect is a Christian, but not a local church member, and the majority of people you see will fall into this category, PROJECT WINSOME has developed an effective, low-key way of helping you reach these people. Itís called "The Conversion of Christians" booklet. More about this wonderful tool later. But if your prospect is a Christian, a logical next step would be to say something like this Ė

"Some of the folk in our church are really excited about a fresh, new way of dealing with our own personal, spiritual growth. Itís called the Conversion of Christians. May we go through it with you?"


Through all of this, follow the second basic PROJECT WINSOME principle which is --

BE PERSONAL. Share convictions, priorities and blessings.


When God made you, he made something unique. There is no other person on the face of the earth who can do for Jesus what you can do. There is a job for you to do, a place for you to fill, something for you to be that is unique. Do that job. Fill that place. Be that something for the benefit of God and others. Give the Lord your individuality. Let him fill you with the Holy Spirit and use you as he sees fit.


Be personal. Share convictions, priorities and blessings. You can do this in several ways. For instance, think about what Jesus means to you personally. Reflect on how your priorities have changed since your encounter with him. Maybe youíve never tried to put this into words before. Try! Think of ways to tell your prospect what your faith (your convictions, priorities and blessings) means to you -- personally.


In every conversation, thereís a key to every person with whom you speak.

As you visit, ask yourself: What is the key to this person? The Holy Spirit knows your prospect very well. If you will open yourself to His guidance, He will help you discover the key.

Some of the keys to look for are:

Feelings of loneliness and inferiority.

A sense of guilt and shame.

A search for meaning in life.

The tug of family ties.

The influence of children.

Seize the opportunity. Look for the key.


If your prospect is not a follower of Jesus, use the Simplest Answer Booklet to explain how he or she may become one. A copy is included in this manual. Take it out please.

Before going through it, a couple of things must be clear. The Simplest Answer Booklet is a tool. It is only a tool. Like every tool, it has its purpose. You donít use a hammer to cut a board. You donít use a saw to tighten a bolt. Each tool has its purpose. The primary function of the Simplest Answer Booklet is to answer the greatest question ever asked Ė

"What must I do to be saved?"

In addition to its primary purpose, it serves several other functions. It clarifies what we mean by certain terms like "being born-again." It helps those who have accepted Jesus, but lack a sense of the assurance of salvation, to find that assurance. It also assists those who, though believers, are troubled with the problem of recurring sin in their lives. It tells how victory over the habituating power of sin can be theirs.

As the title suggests, this is The Simplest Answer Ever Given to the Greatest Question Ever Asked." Its uniqueness and effectiveness lie in its simplicity.

Like any other tool, the Simplest Answer Booklet must be used properly. This means being throughly familiar with it. Before using it with a prospect, read the booklet aloud to yourself at least five times. Learn, by the inflection in your voice, to put the proper emphasis on each word and sentence. Also, look up and familiarize yourself with the scripture verses referred to in the booklet.


At no time and under no circumstances are you to exert high pressure. This is PROJECT WINSOME -- not Operation Arm-twist! Nowhere is this more important than in your use of the Simplest Answer Booklet.

If, after a brief explanation of its purpose, your prospect does not wish to go through the Simplest Answer Booklet with you, the conversation is over! Graciously bring your visit to a close with a "Thank you for your time," go on to your next call.

We do not proceed where the Holy Spirit has not preceded us!

If, after you have begun to move through the Simplest Answer Booklet, you receive a negative response to questions one or two, the conversation is over. Graciously bring your visit to a close and go on to your next call.

We do not proceed where the Holy Spirit has not preceded us!

You must never resort to manipulation to obtain "results." In PROJECT WINSOME you are not on an expedition for spiritual scalps. You are visiting bonafide prospects to share what Jesus means to you. Some will respond to your witness by making decisions.

However, your success is only partially related to the immediate, visible results you obtain. Actually, you succeed when you go. God has promised his word will never be shared without producing some effect (Isa. 55:11).

The Great Commission (Mt. 28:19-20) is clear. Your task is to go. The rest should be left with the Heavenly Father who cared so deeply for the spiritually unenlisted he gave his Son. Could you possibly care more?

The best "lead in," or introduction, to the booklet is that which is most spontaneous and natural. Again, the good Lord will guide you in this.

The main reason real prospects do not accept Jesus is because they donít know how. Therefore, you may be led to say the next thing you are asked to memorize.

"Itís our experience that the main reason people do not accept Jesus is that no one ever told them how. The Simplest Answer Booklet explains in simple, everyday language how that decision is made. May we go through it with you?"

If the Holy Spirit has done his job, your prospect will say "yes." If not, the conversation is over. Put the booklet away. Or, if your prospect does not object, leave it for him or her to read privately. Share why Godís love is a matter of deep conviction for you. Graciously bring your visit to a close and go on to your next call. Remember Ė

We do not proceed where the Holy Spirit has not preceded us!

At this point in your training it may be helpful to have an actual demonstration of how to properly use the Simplest Answer Booklet. Click here for interactive SA demo.


Through the latter phase of your call, follow the third basic PROJECT WINSOME principle which is Ė

BE PERSISTENT. Aim at decision.


If, while going through the Simplest Answer Booklet, you receive a negative response to questions one or two -- the conversation is over.

If, however, your prospect says "no" when asked the third question, "Would you like to take the third step now?" you must not assume the conversation is over.

Why the difference? Because at this point the Holy Spirit will have done everything, the Holy Spirit can do.

He will have softened your prospectís heart.

He will have made him conscious of his need.

He will have convicted him of the ability of Jesus to satisfy that need.

At this point, when your prospect is asked to decide, Satan will try to get into the act, and stop him from receiving Jesus. To counteract Satanís influence be patiently persistent.

It is psychologically true that when we face an option and make a decision regarding that option, the decision we make is registered in our memory. The next time we face the same option the first inclination we have is to respond the way we did before.

Each time we repeat that response it is further fixed in our memory. If we do this long enough, there comes a time when it is almost impossible for us to respond in any other way from the way we have always responded before.

Your prospect has had other opportunities to accept Jesus, and has said "no." When you come to the moment of decision, the first reaction is likely to be "no." Therefore, use your influence to help your prospect break the negative cycle and say "yes."

At this point be patiently persistent. Donít be satisfied with just a friendly call. Let it be friendly, of course, but aim at a decision.

Your job is not to convince your prospect he or she ought to make a decision. He or she knows that. Your job is to convince him or her to make a decision -- now!


There are two reasons why people do not say "yes" to Jesus. The one they give you and the real one!

Often people give the same old trite replies: "Too many hypocrites," etc. These are rarely the real reason for failure to act. If you can discover the real reason, you can help your prospect overcome his or her hang-up.

To accomplish this you might ask: "Why?" For instance, "Why do you feel youíre not ready?"

Or, you might ask: "In addition to . . ." For instance, "In addition to what youíve said, are there not other considerations in your mind?"

Some say "no" because they donít understand church jargon, like being "born again." The Simplest Answer Booklet steers clear of jargonese and can help such people.

Others are negative because a previous decision for Jesus was followed by personal or moral failure. As a result they feel unworthy to "make another go" at being a follower of Jesus. The back page of the Booklet deals with this very common problem.

Be patiently persistent. Use the Simplest Answer Booklet. Ask, "Is there any valid reason why you shouldnít take the third step now?"


Donít decide for your prospect. Let him or her make that decision. If, after youíve done everything possible to help, and he or she is still undecided, mention the Inquirerís Class.

Your church may call it by a different name, so find that out and learn when, where, and how often a class for the spiritually unenlisted, and non-church members, is held.

Encourage them to "sign up" for the class. Our experience shows that 95% of those who particpate in an Inquirerís Class make a decision for Jesus and the church!




The Kingís business should be done in a businesslike way. Therefore, your assignment envelope will include prospect cards, Simplest Answer and Conversion of Christians Booklets, and a supply of decision cards. If, as a result of your conversation, your prospect decides to

Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior,

Unite with the local church, or

Enroll in the Inquirerís Class,

be sure to have him or her record this on the decision card.

This will give your pastor the information needed for proper follow up. It will also help fix this decision in your prospectís mind. By filling out and signing the card, he or she will be doing something concrete which often crystallizes a commitment.


It will help your prospect to say "yes" to Jesus, if your church has a Recognition Sunday for those who make decisions for Jesus and the church, during an organized Winsome Way Weekend.

Many people are terrified at the thought of making a public confession. They wouldnít be afraid to step into the ring with the heavyweight champion of the world, but the thought of walking down a church aisle paralyzes them.

As an expression of patient persistence you may be led to say something like this:

"All across town tonight there are teams like ours calling in homes like yours. On Sunday morning those who make decisions at home will come forward at the same time. We donít know how many there will be, but we do know you wonít be alone." Or you can offer to go with them.

Often when an individual knows he or she wonít have to face that aisle alone, that knowlege provides the courage to do what otherwise might not be done.


There is a time to speak, and a time to listen. Donít feel you must have all the answers. You may not even know some of the questions! Allow yourself to be a channel through which the Lord can speak. Often he speaks loudest in moments of silence.

Silence is like handing your prospect the ball. If you break the silence, you take the ball. Let him or her carry it. You canít make the t.d. (the decision) for him or her.

Be persistent. Aim at a decision. Give your word of witness in a winsome way and God may use that word to win someone to Jesus.

And thatís what you really want, isnít it


Check Each Item As Completed


__ Confidence in Godís willingness to use your witness is important. Review the Biblical basis of PROJECT WINSOME. Mt. 4:18-19; Mt. 28:19-20; Mk. 6:7-13;

Lk. 10:1-2, 17.

__ Read the Simplest Answer Booklet aloud to yourself five times before calling. Familiarize yourself with the scripture references.


__ Memorize:

A. "Iím . This is my partner, . Weíre from the

Church. Weíre out making friendly calls. May we come

in and see you?" (See page ?)

B. "Did we catch you in the middle of something you really want to see?" (See page ?)

C. "Have you heard about PROJECT WINSOME?" (See page ?)

D. "Do you belong to a church somewhere, or did you ever make a decision for Jesus?" (See page ?)

E. If your prospect is a Christian

: "The Conversion of Christians booklet explains in simple language the wonderful things God has done for us, and how we may show our gratitude to him. May we go through it with you?" (See page ?)

F. If your prospect is not a believer:

"Weíve discovered the main reason people do not accept Jesus is because no one ever told them how. This little booklet explains very simply how you do that. May we go through it with you?" (See page ?)

G. "On Recognition Sunday you wonít be the only one." (See page ?)

__ Master the three basic PROJECT WINSOME principles --

BE POSITIVE. Expect results. Seize the opportunity.

1. You are doing Godís work in Godís way.

2. You have real prospects on which to call.

3. You have a unique advantage as a layman.

BE PERSONAL. Share convictions, priorities and blessings.

1. Be yourself. Tell your story.

2. Look for the key.

3. Use the Simplest Answer Booklet.


BE PERSISTENT. Aim at a decision.

1. Place your influence on the side of a "yes" response.

2. Use the decision card.

3. Tell about Recognition Sunday.

__ No high pressure or manipulation to get "results."

We do not proceed where the Holy Spirit has not preceded us!

__ Take your Assignment Packet, penlight, breath mints, and smile!

__ Have prayer with your calling partner prior to leaving your car to make your call.

__ Remember: God uses willing and prepared people. Be both!

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