The Do's and Don't's of Witnessing

by Matt Slick

"Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.  Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person," (Col. 4:5-6).

Like most things in life, witnessing has guidelines.  Following is a list of 20 Do's and 12 Don't's.  They should aid you while witnessing and help prevent serious errors.  If, however, you choose to ignore them, witnessing will be difficult and awkward.


  1. Do Pray.
  2. Do speak to please God.
  3. Do read your Bible.
  4. Do start with a positive witness for Christ.
  5. Do keep things simple.
  6. Do share your salvation experience with them.
  7. Do know what you believe.
  8. Do have a genuine love.
  9. Do be simple and define your terms.
  10. Do memorize appropriate Scriptures if possible.
  11. Do be ready to learn from the people you witness to.
  12. Do be patient and gentle.
  13. Do listen attentively.
  14. Do answer their questions.
  15. Do ask questions.
  16. Do let him save face.
  17. Do bring him, if possible, to a decision about Jesus.
  18. Do encourage him to study the Bible by itself.
  19. Do use Scripture in context.
  20. Do remember that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).


  1. Don't attack directly or make fun of someone.
  2. Don't jump from one subject to another.
  3. Don't expect too much from him.
  4. Don't have a spiritual chip on your shoulder.
  5. Don't lose patience.
  6. Don't come on too strong.
  7. Don't debate peripheral issues or doctrines.
  8. Don't get sidetracked defending your denomination.
  9. Don't be uptight.
  10. Don't assume.
  11. Don't argue.
  12. Don't speak too fast or unclearly.

I hope these do's and don't's have brought to your attention areas that would improve your witnessing.  If some of them have struck you as being particularly applicable then I would suggest you think them over and in prayer ask God to work on your heart and teach you the right way to witness.  He will bless you.  All you need is to trust Him and go witness.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.