A precious sister in Christ recently shared that she was scared to tell people about Jesus. She asked me 'How do I share my faith with others? Do I just bust out with 'Jesus died for your sins'? Do I go up to random strangers and tell them what God has done in my life? All that scares me! And what about family who are very opposed to hearing about Jesus? How do I tell them?"
Great questions! So how do we share our faith? I think one of the best things I ever learned from my mentor was the ins and outs of faith sharing. And that is what I want to pass on to you....
First, of all, most of the gospel sharing that we need to be doing doesn't involve words. I am referring to servant evangelism: Sharing Jesus' great love for folks by serving them. We see a perfect picture of this in John 13 when Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. After washing 12 pairs of (I'm sure really disgusting) feet, Jesus told the disciples this:
“Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."
There are always opportunities to serve folks. Needs are everywhere. I dare say all we have to do is look over our fence or cubicle to find a need. Lawn mowing, a hot meal, fixing a neighbors sink, babysitting for a mom who needs help, picking up extra groceries for a needy family, you fill in the blank. Although we may leave the service opportunity never having mentioned the name of Jesus, what we've communicated is genuine love, selflessness, humility, and true care for our neighbor. Walls begin to come down when people know we genuinely care about them. Basically, nonverbal communication blows open doors for opportunities to eventually tell the person about Jesus ultimate act of service and love by dying on the cross and conquering death... for them! I have found that even the most closed off folks soften up as God provides ways to bless them. Eventually they are willing to hear that Good News!
Then there's seed planting. This is sharing the gospel and/or God's Word a little at a time. It's dropping nuggets of Truth and Scripture into the back pocket of your neighbor. for them to chew on and think about. And honestly girlfriends, we have to earn the right to do this by shutting our mouths and listening. The more ear time we give, the more we earn someone's respect, which eventually leads to opportunities to share God's love - sometimes in whole, but many times in part. People know we care about them when we listen to the issues and circumstances that are near and dear to their hearts. Have you ever started pouring your heart out to a friend only to be interuppted with advice or stories from their own life? Or what about when you start sharing and BAM, they start dropping loads of Scripture on you. While none of this is technically wrong, it can really communicate insincerity. So listen first and earn the right to talk, and then share!
Sometimes sharing our faith just involves telling someone the great things God has done in our lives. Our testimonies are not easily disputable. And they are tangible proof of how Mighty, loving, trustworthy, faithful, and involved God is in our lives.
And last, there are those amazing moments when God flat out opens up an opportunity to share the gospel in it's entirety. Sometimes the person is ready to make a step of faith and sometimes not. My friend asked me how I knew when to share the gospel. My answer: Sometimes the person wants to know. They are ready to hear and it's the obvious next step to tell them what God did for them on the cross. Other times it's God saying "Tell them." And you don't know why, but you just go for it and trust that God is doing unseen work in the life of the person. If you don't know what to say, go to the 'How to be saved' page on this blog, print it off, stick it in your purse or Bible and use it as a tool next time you have the chance! Or you can use the Romans road. Look up and underline these verses in your Bible: Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9. They are a simple and powerful way to share the Gospel.
The bottom line is this: Look for those opportunities to serve, to listen, to share. They are everywhere. And if you have trouble seeing them, ask God to give you eyes like Jesus!