Evangelism is the mission and purpose for every Christian. While the gospel message may be simple in nature, the Bible is deep, expansive and at times confusing. However, it is common for Christians sharing the gospel to feel unprepared and nervous when trying to share.
I personally have seen the effectiveness and the beautiful simplicity of “The Bridge” illustration evangelism tool through the testimony of my husband, Jared Cox.
“The Bridge” illustration is a drawing that places humans on one side of a cliff and heaven at the other side with our sin making a gap between the two. The illustrations walk through Romans 6:23 which reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ESV)
Cox grew up attending church. In some seasons of life, he called himself a Christian, but he would now say he was not saved until his encounter with “The Bridge” illustration.
“I heard the gospel and the love of God many times before but I never really cared too much about it,” Cox said. “’The Bridge’ was truly a wake-up call.”
He said that The Bridge revealed for the first time that he could not have one foot in the world and another in the church. Cox realized he needed to be fully committed to a relationship with Christ for his salvation.
“In Romans 6:23, the free gift of eternal life through Jesus is just a monumental thing. Who wouldn’t want eternal life? And it’s a free gift,” Cox said. “You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to work for it because if you try to do it yourself, you’re going to fail. It is truly a beautiful, beautiful thing.”
Cox explained that the Bridge clarified that humans are destined for punishment and that one cannot make it to heaven apart from a relationship with Christ. The Bridge showed Cox that professing the existence of God was not what saved him but that the key was submitting to God’s will and choosing to love him above all else.
Jordan Rodseth, Discipleship staff at CBU, explained that the main purpose of this evangelism tool is to understand our state of sin and the goodness of God to save us from it.
“The cool thing about that is that you can very tangibly see the contrast between what we actually deserve versus God’s kindness and extending this gift to us of eternal life of being able to be in relationship with him through Jesus,” Rodseth said.
Rodseth said she appreciates The Bridge for how easy, memorable and engaging it is.
“Usually, I try to make it a conversation with the person that I’m sharing it with,” Rodseth said. “It’s not just like me talking at them.”
She explained that the illustration can be useful across many different contexts and can be shared verbally by walking through the elements of the verse and describing the imagery of two sides of a cliff.
“[My friend] who just came to faith — she and I have had many gospel conversations, but she came to faith by me sharing The Bridge at my dining room table,” Rodseth said.
Cydney Cunning, senior elementary education major, shared her personal story with evangelism tools and her experience with presenting them to others.
Cunning shared that the Bridge illustration was ultimately how she was saved.
“When I came to CBU, I definitely wouldn’t classify myself as a Christian,” Cunning said. “I definitely had moments of faith growing up where I’d say ‘Oh yeah, I’d say God is real,’ but I had never committed to following Christ.”
As a teen, Cunning wanted to maintain her own identity and live her own way rather than submit to God.
“Long story short, I ended up making an appointment with the SL office, and in that appointment, that was when I would say I was saved, and it was because of the The Bridge,” Cunning said.
Cunning said that it was one of her first times understanding the gospel message clearly.
“It was visually clarifying,” Cunning said. “It was an open conversation, where I could point at a drawing, or I could point at something in the verse or I could ask her questions. She was really eager and willing to not make me feel dumb or not make me feel like she was trying to convert me.”
Cunning shared that an acquaintance of hers gave his life to Christ after a long period of reflection due to The Bridge.
“The gospel is simple — we are sinners, Christ died for us, he resurrected, paid the payment we couldn’t pay, died a death we could not die and gives a gift we don’t deserve,” Cunning said.
Cunning said The Bridge provides clarity about the the gospel, but it is crucial that those presenting it do not treat people like projects, but rather love them as individuals first.