Your faith will never be more meaningful than when you choose to share it. The problem is so few of us make that choice.
In his book, The Imperfect Disciple, Jared Wilson tells a story about trying to share his faith with his friend, Steve, from high school. He walked home every day with him. And every day, he wanted to talk to Steve about Jesus. But he didn't know how to make it happen. So Jared carried around a little tract in his pocket and often thought about how he might show it to Steve but struggled to find the moment. Finally, he decided he would do it. "When it came time for us to part ways, I reached into my pocket, pulled out that damp little gospel, and held it out to him. I quickly said, 'Hey, will you read this? I have to say at church that I gave it to somebody, so just take it and say you read it. But you don't really have to if you don't want to.'"(1)
Can you relate to this story? Maybe you know someone that would benefit from your testimony, but you are afraid to share it. Or perhaps you've been on the receiving end of someone trying to share their faith with you, and it did transpire in a meaningful way. Regardless of which part in Jared's story we can relate to, we are all commanded by God to share our faith as believers.
2 Timothy 4:5 (NKJV) tells us, "But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."
There are often misconceptions about what an evangelist is supposed to be. But in its simplest definition, it means "one who does the work of telling others the Good news."
When we choose to abstain from sharing our faith, we limit God's ability to grow his kingdom on the earth.
So why do we hesitate to share our faith?
Often many of us struggle because we fear how others will receive our attempts. We may even shy away because of negative experiences associated with sharing our faith. But I would venture to say that some of us do not share our faith because we simply do not know the best way to approach it effectively.
I believe that by using these four ways that Scripture models, we can find clarity on how to share our faith in a meaningful way. I adapted them from several variations I once read about in a book on the subject by a collection of authors. (2)
1. Testimonial → Tell your story (Ref. John 9)
2. Relational → Throw a Party (Ref. Luke 5:29)
3. Invitational → Invite Somebody (Ref. John)
4. Serving → Serve Others (Ref. Acts 9)
Regardless of which variation of sharing your faith resonates most with you, never forget that Jesus came to the earth to seek and save the lost. Today, he intends -- for each of us -- to also be a part of that plan. For this reason, God has given us gifts and power – through the Holy Spirit -- to share our faith in a meaningful way. As we choose to make it happen, the result will be that the lost to come in not only to a house of God but also into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
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1.) Wilson, Jared. The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together. Baker Books, 2017.
2.) Hybels, Bill, and Mark Mittelberg. Becoming a Contagious Christian. Revised ed., Zondervan, 1996.