Responding to God’s Word

An Incremental Approach to Responding to God

We use an “incremental approach” at the end of the radio dramas and Hear the Word radio programs. This approach presents the gospel message in a series of small steps, or increments, spread over a number of programs. This gives the listener time to think about and assimilate what he or she has heard. In many places around the world, especially in Muslim and Hindu cultures, the vast majority of people are not ready to trust Jesus after a brief initial encounter. No apostle Paul has been there earlier to plant the seed, and no Apollos has been there to water it (1 Cor. 3:6). In our Western culture conditioned by television programs where everything is “wrapped up in a package” and resolved in 30 minutes, we are not accustomed to waiting. We have forgotten that it took William Carey seven years to win the first convert in India and it took Adoniram Judson six years to win the first convert in Burma.

Eight key points are covered in this incremental approach:

(1) God is a great God of mercy and grace.

(2) God loves us.

(3) Sin separates us from God.

(4) God sent Jesus to be our Savior.

(5) Jesus came to give us eternal life.

(6) Jesus died for our sins.

(7) How to receive Jesus as Savior.

(8) How to grow as a believer.

Sometimes only one drama or Bible study is devoted to one of these eight points; sometime each point is expanded and spread over several dramas or Bible studies. At the end of each drama or Bible study, the listener is given the opportunity to respond to what he or she has heard by praying a brief prayer. For example, one prayer following the point about God being a great God of mercy and grace is: Dear God, I thank You that You are a great God of all power. I thank You that You are a God of love and mercy. I love You. Amen.

The brief prayers continue at the end of each drama or Bible study until the presentation on how to receive Jesus as Savior, at which time the listener is led to pray to trust Jesus as Savior and follow Him. The brief prayers leading to the prayer to trust Jesus as Savior help the person to become more receptive and willing to trust Christ as Savior.