This series of lessons introduces you to vision, mission, and strategy of Genesis Church. You will be introduced to the Rainer Scale of Lostness and Biblical principles that can guide you in being more effective in reaching the lost and unchurched. It will help you become more intentional about reaching others for Christ. 

We are in a series of messages called The Genesis Experience. These are some things that we believe are important in understanding where you are spiritually and some things you need to understand about yourself and others in order to grow and help others grow spiritually.

We wanted to get these lessons recorded so that we could refer back to them in the future. When we refer to the SHAPE of the believer we can point them to the lesson as a resource to get a brief introduction and the same is true for the 5 stages of spiritual growth.

Today, we are taking a look at becoming intentional in reaching others for Christ. We are examining some principles that will help you share Jesus with others and that will help you understand where a person is when it comes to their spiritual journey BEFORE becoming a Christian.

Before we get into the principles that should guide us in telling others about Christ I want to introduce you to The Rainer Scale.

  • The Rainer Scale is a tool that missionaries and some church planters use to help determine the level of lostness their community or a person may be at. It helps to determine how open or resistant a person may be when it comes to the gospel. Once they determine the level of lostness then they can develop a strategy in order to reach that people group.
  • As we go through this, I want you to think about someone who you know that might be in each one of the categories or stage of lostness. Right their name or initials beside that category. Then ask God what would it look like for you to reach that person where they are at in order to help them move closer to the point of becoming a follower of Christ.
  • [Walk them through the Rainer Scale]

The Rainer Scale




Bible Character

Keys to Understanding

Keys to reaching them

AntagonistU5 Highly resistant to the gospel, antagonistic attitude5% Pharisees (Matt. 26:3)Roman soldiers (Matt. 27:27-31) “Religion is okay for the weak-minded,” are not likely to attend church, typically do not pray, have a condescending view of the Bible and negative view of the church and it’s leaders, less likely to believe in the existence of heaven or hell. Understand they are not a typical unchurched person and you are often dealing with hurt and anger. Apologetics and long-term relationships with other believers is key.



Resistant to the gospel, but not an antagonistic attitude


Gamaliel (Acts 5:34ff)

Pilate (John 18:28ff)

“Just what is truth?” Many of them believe in heaven and hell, usually believe in a God, but are confused to who He is. Have a respect for Jesus. Most believe the Bible is truthful. Struggle with the idea of Jesus being the only way of salvation.

Likely to attend church if invited by a friend, discuss eternal issues, provide clarification on Jesus.



No apparent receptivity, neutral, perhaps open to discussion


Some in the crowd (John 12:37)

The unrepentant thief on the cross (Luke 23:39)

“Church is just not my thing,” opinionated but uncommitted, don’t give many indicators of their spiritual state, generally believe the church is relevant, confused about the gospel, high opinion of pastors, believe in heaven and hell, are eager to learn

Need clarity in understanding the gospel, invite them to church… again, needs a relationship with a Christian.



Receptive to the gospel and to the church


Nicodemus (John 2:23ff)

The rich man (Matt. 19:16ff)

The woman at the well (John 4)

“I believe it’s better to worship alone than to go to church.” Think salvation is by works, are very interested in spiritual things, many of them are reading the Bible, believe in heaven and hell, want to be invited to church,

Help them understand salvation by grace, invite them to church, family & friends are crucial in reaching them, invite them to a Life Group.



Highly receptive to the gospel


Philippian jailer (Acts 16:30)

The repentant thief on the cross (Luke 23:40-43)

“What must I do to be saved?” Believe in a Biblical heaven and hell, still have a works view of salvation, in search of life’s real answers, usually have a church background, are familiar with the Bible, talk like they are saved,

Tell them about Jesus, invite/take them to church, ask if you can pray for them, clarification of the gospel.

When the apostle Paul would go into a city he would evaluate the people’s lostness. For example, if he were talking to religious people who were familiar with the Old Testament scriptures and had a respect for them he would begin explaining the gospel by quoting something from the Old Testament that pointed to Jesus. At other times, if he were talking to a group of people who did have an understanding or respect for the Scriptures he would begin by pointing to area that was dedicated to the “unknown God” or point to nature and creation to begin explaining the gospel. My point is, Paul gave great consideration to where people were in their stage of lostness.

Not only did Paul do this, but Jesus also did something very familiar when He told the parable about the sower who sowed some seed and some seed fail on hard ground, thorny ground, shallow ground or good ground (Matt. 13). That parable illustrates many things, but one thing it highlights is the various different degrees of receptivity there is to the gospel and God’s word.

The Rainer Scale should be seen in the same light. It helps us to understand the receptivity of the gospel by various people. With that said, I want to share with you several principles of evangelism or sharing the gospel or building relationships with those who are lost and unchurched. These Biblical principles can be applied toward anyone regardless of what stage they are at in The Rainer Scale.

Be accepting

Number one, be accepting. Jesus made it very clear when He said in Matthew 28, “Go and make disciples of all the nations” (v.19, NLT). Emphasis on all nations, all languages, all people groups, and all skin colors. If that nation or people group are Hindus, Buddhist, atheist, Islam, or backwoods voodoo we are to love them, share the gospel with them, and point them to Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life for all nations. We must have a genuine love for all people no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they are from.

Be praying

Number two, be praying. Paul said in Romans 10, “Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved” (v.1, NLT). That lost nations need us to pray for them. That lost husband of yours, that lost wife or child of yours, that lost friend, that lost co-worker needs you to pray for them. Asking God to draw them, open their eyes, and to help them to see their need for Jesus. We need to be able to say, “My prayer to God for them is to be saved.”

Jesus said in Matthew 9, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields” (vs. 37-38, NLT). Ask God to send more people into the lives of the lost who can and will share the life of Jesus with them and the gospel of Jesus with them. Who will work the fields of the lost by loving them, answering their questions, showing them what God says in His Word, and pointing them to Jesus.

Pray for the schools to have more godly teachers, pray for your company to have more godly people in it, pray for your family to have more believers in it, pray for more believers in countries who don’t have many believers.

Be understanding

Number three, be understanding. Notice carefully what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9, “When I am with those who are weak, I share their weaknesses, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings” (vs.22-23, NLT). This word “weak” refers to their weakness in understanding the gospel. What Paul is saying is even if people need simple explanations and elementary answers about God, Jesus, and eternal life he is willing to simplify his explanation to help them understand. He doesn’t expect those without Christ to know much or anything about Christ so he is considerate. He starts where they are, not where he is.

There are many people here in our town and around the world who don’t understand the mystery of Christ. It’s hard for them to comprehend how Jesus death and resurrection 2000 years ago could have eternal impact on them now. We “share in their weakness” by starting where they are, not where we are.

Be ready

Number four, be ready. Peter said, “You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15, NLT). The idea behind the word “explain” (apologia) is defense. In the world of theology it is called apologetics. Apologetics is studying and training yourself to be able to defend the gospel and God’s Word regarding what and why you believe what you believe as a follower of Jesus. Whether you are in a courtroom or living room defending your faith you are “always [to] be ready to explain it.”

This is why we offer Life Groups like:

  • Tell Someone… this will help you to explain the gospel to others when the opportunity arises.
  • Doctrine: What Every Christian Needs to Know… this deals with some of the major doctrines of the Bible that affect everyday life.

We are offering both of those in April. We want to help you be ready to explain your relationship with Jesus.

Be gentle

Number five, be gentle. Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15, “And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way” (vs.15-16, NLT). Let’s focus on the word “gentle.” It refers to meekness or humility. It is answering others questions without being domineering or overbearing. Some Christians can be harsh when trying to explain the gospel or why they believe what they believe. Some Christians try to force their children or spouse or friend to believe the way they believe. God’s Word tells us to be gentle instead.

Be respectful

Number six, be respectful. Look at 1 Peter 3:15 again, “And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way” (vs.15-16, NLT). When answering their questions and discussing the Bible you want to be respectful. This means you will be polite, courteous, and considerate in your conversation. You will let them finish talking and explain or asking before you begin. You respect their view even though you may disagree. When the conversation is over they should walk away feeling respected and valued by you.

Be confident

Number seven, be confident. Paul expresses his confidence in the gospel in Romans 1:16 when he says, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes…” (NLT). He was confident in the gospel of Jesus. He was confident in the power of God. He was confident that God was at work saving everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior. This confidence was not arrogance, but humble confidence in the message of God’s Word and in the person of Jesus Christ. He was not embarrassed about what He believed or his relationship with Jesus Christ. This confidence is what gave Him the passion and drive to share Jesus without fear.

Be wise

Number eight, be wise. Paul tells us in Colossians 4:5, “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.”  NLT). Notice we are told to “live wisely” among those who don’t believe. The word “wisely” (from sophia) refers to the ability to collect and organize principles of Scripture for a given situation. Wisdom involves properly evaluating circumstances and making godly decisions. What this is saying is that believers are to show a carefully planned, consistent, and godly life based on Scripture. To “live wisely” means you are applying Biblical principles of forgiveness, grace, humility, and mercy in your situation at school, work, or community events. 

Be gracious

Number nine, be gracious. Paul goes on to say in Colossians 4:6, “Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” (NLT). To speak with grace means to say what is spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive, purposeful, complementary, gentle, truthful, loving, and thoughtful. Whether you are undergoing persecution, rejection, stress, difficulty, or injustice your speech should be filled with grace. Grace is a powerful tool when it comes to influencing those without Christ.

Remember, for some, experiencing grace in a conversation may be new. Some people experience a lot of rejection, ridicule, sarcasm, accusations, rudeness, and selfishness. Your conversation of grace will be a blessing and refreshing to them.

Be looking

Number ten, be looking. Have the attitude that Jesus has. Jesus said of Himself in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost” (NLT). Jesus came to seek after the antagonist, resisters, apathetic, explorers, and waiters. Join Jesus in seeking them out. There are lost people, non-believers, and the unchurched in your life. Some of them are needing some questions answered, while others are simply waiting for someone to ask them about Jesus or to invite them to church. Be looking because the harvest is ready.


If you would like to know more about this Jesus the Bible talks about and who changed our lives or this heaven we are looking forward too then I want you to take that Welcome Card in your seat and fill it out and let us know you want to talk to someone. We will contact you and set up a time at your convenience to share what the Bible says the best we can.