• Preston Fidler

Staying in the "Any 3" Conversation

Any 3 is an evangelistic method developed by Mike Shipman using a rubric of specific questions designed to lead anyone to Christ, anywhere, anytime. It’s a five-step process that goes through a series of questions, responses, and transitions, leading up to the telling of the First Sacrifice and Last Sacrifice stories.

Any 3 begins in Step One with questions to help us get acquainted and connected with people. Questions such as “What is your name?” or “Where are you from?” often can transition to more specific questions related to responses. “Are you (Hindu, Muslim)?” In Step Two we may ask, “Most religions are alike, aren’t they?” Responses at this point can begin to get more complicated. We may ask a transition question at some point, “In your religion, what do you do to receive forgiveness?”

Any 3 can quickly get us into great gospel conversations. The more language we know, the deeper and wider our conversations can go. Any 3, while typically not viewed as a listening practice or strategy for evangelism, in fact, is. The better we understand the conversations we are having, the deeper and wider we can go in sharing the gospel. Indeed, probably the one thing limiting our ability to effectively use Any 3 is our ability to understand and appropriately follow-up on responses to our questions, especially as they go deeper and become more complicated.

Any 3 provides great opportunities to practice listening to those with whom we are sharing the gospel. Learners who are working on their listening skills have often found Any 3 most helpful when they can first practice using it in a controlled setting with a language partner. This is a great way to become skilled in using the method, and also a great way to practice listening and responding to all kinds of answers to important gospel-oriented questions.

An alternative to practicing with a language partner in a controlled setting is accompanying a language or ministry partner in real-life Any 3 evangelism settings. As we ask questions, and lead people through the discussion and inquiry, and into the sacrifice stories, we can be learning right along with our partners better ways to use the method, especially toward understanding people’s responses to the questions. That is, as people respond, this may adjust how we attend to their responses. The best way to learn to do this is alongside a national partner who more fully understands the meaning of the responses, and can model how to better attend to those responses as we together learn to apply the method in meaningful ways.

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