The Story of the Proposal Statement
The Jews for Jesus Proposal Statement
Can I ask you something? (wait for response)
Who do you think Jesus is? (wait for response)
That’s true, Jesus was a (good man, prophet, etc.), but He was much more than that. The Bible says that He is the Son of God. He came to die for your sins and mine. Incredibly, He rose from the dead according to the Scriptures. Do you believe that? (wait for response)
(If yes” continue with:)
God is proposing to you. He wants to be your Savior and for you to be His person, but you must say “yes.” Are you willing to say “yes” to Jesus? (wait for response)
(If “yes” continue with:)
Have you ever asked Him into your heart as your Savior? Is there any reason why you shouldn’t right now?
(If they indicate there is no reason they should not pray, continue with: “Let’s pray”)
God, I know I have sinned against you and I want to turn from my sins. I believe you provided Jesus as payment for my sin. With this prayer I receive Jesus as my Savior and my Lord. Thank you, God, for cleansing me of sin and for sealing my name in your Book of Life forever. Amen.
(If they answer “no” at any point in the process, ask:)
If I were to send you some information on Jesus, would you read it and consider whether it might be true? (wait for response)
(If answer is “yes,” then get their name and address.)
It was 1987 and Baruch Goldstein was leading the New York City Summer Witnessing Campaign. By then, we had been campaigning every summer for 14 years (with the exception of just one summer in 1979). Things were going pretty much as usual; lots of people receiving our broadside tracts, some giving their names and addresses to hear more about Jesus, and on rare occasions, a person would want to hear more right on the streets and even pray to receive Jesus. . . .
Back in San Francisco, Moishe Rosen awoke in the middle of the night. He wrote down something, and then called Baruch Goldstein and read it to him over the phone. He said, “Have the campaigners memorize this Proposal Statement today and begin using it out on the streets.”
Moishe never claimed that the Proposal Statement was given by divine inspiration. But it was one of the few times he did say that God had specifically told him to do something.
The campaigners began putting the Proposal Statement to use, and ever since then we’ve had far more conversations with people . . . and it is no longer a rarity for people to pray to receive Christ during our campaigns.
We don’t advocate any particular formula that will bring people to faith. True faith is a work of God alone. Thankfully, though, He does enable us to proclaim His message and the Proposal Statement is one way of doing that.
You can see our Proposal Statement above and perhaps you might find it useful in your own witnessing encounters. If you’d like to try it, please note the following:
First, each place that says (wait for response) is a way of showing respect for the person with whom you are speaking. He or she should feel the freedom to discontinue the conversation at any point. You can be confident that God will keep the conversation going in those instances where He is accomplishing His purposes through it. If not, let it go.
Second, where it says, “That’s true, Jesus was a (good man, prophet, etc.) but He was much more than that” the assumption is that the person has said something true about Jesus that simply falls short of the entire truth. You must listen carefully and be certain that you do not affirm something untrue about Jesus. However, most people will say at least one good thing about Him that you can affirm.
Third, when you tell someone that God is proposing to him or her, do be aware of how much God truly loves the person to whom you are speaking. It should never be a mechanical statement, but a real declaration of God’s desire to have a relationship with that person.
Fourth, if the person desires to pray with you to receive Jesus, ask him or her to repeat the prayer after you one sentence at a time. However, if he or she wishes to pray spontaneously, so much the better— as long as they are able to ask God’s forgiveness based on Jesus’ atoning death and resurrection.
Fifth, if the person is not ready to receive Jesus but is obviously struggling with doubts while wanting to receive Him, offer to pray for the person right there. If they are willing, thank God aloud for His love for that person. Ask Him to reveal His truth to him or her, and to give the person the grace to receive it.
Finally, whether or not the person prays with you, if you take their contact information, be sure that you follow up within a couple of days.