How To Share Christ With Freedom And Joy
Our task to share our faith is not nearly as difficult as we think it is.
Only God can draw people to Himself, and only He can convict people of their sins. More so, only He can give them the gift of faith.
Yes, we are to be witnesses for Christ. However, we are not called to do God’s work for Him; we only have to point people in the right direction. In this brief article and the Q and A section, I hope to give you a few pointers that will make sharing your faith an experience to be enjoyed rather than a duty that is dreaded.
Jesus Himself stressed that it is the Father who draws people to Him (Christ). “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44). In John’s Gospel, Jesus repeatedly spoke of those who came to Him as a gift given to Him by the Father. He described them as “those whom thou hast given me.” Salvation is wholly of God.
God prepares people to hear the Gospel. Think about Philip the evangelist who went into the desert to connect with the Ethiopian eunuch. When Philip latched onto the man’s chariot, the eunuch was reading—can you believe it—Isaiah 53. This undoubtedly made him open and disposed to believe the Gospel (see Acts 8:26–40). God sought this Ethiopian, not the other way around.
An unusual story? Yes, very unusual because God gave Philp explicit instructions to go into the desert and jump onto the man’s chariot. I haven’t had that kind of guidance, and you probably haven’t either.
But let’s not miss my point: God works in hearts in advance of our witness and prepares people for hearing the Gospel. God is also working in the hearts of angry people who have hardened their hearts against the convicting work of God’s Spirit. Stephen accused those who were stoning him of “resisting the Spirit.” Even so, God may choose to draw them to Himself at a later time.
Remember the story of Peter and John who were fishing all night and caught nothing? Jesus told Peter, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets.” Even though it was the wrong time of day and the wrong place in the lake (during the morning, fish were in shallow water), nevertheless, their nets were filled. Jesus used this miracle to teach that His disciples would become fishers of men. Their task was to cast the nets; Jesus would cause fish to swim into them.
I cannot stress too strongly that sharing our faith simply means we are cooperating with God in bringing men and women the Good News they need in order to be saved. God brings sinner and saint together. We do our part, and the rest is up to Him.
Let’s remember that God is active in our witness and we can look forward to the privilege of sharing the Good News.
Three Keys To Sharing Jesus With Joy: Ask Questions, Listen, and Give Your Testimony
“And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’”—Matthew 4:19
Sharing the Gospel is not the impossible task, the heavy burden, you may think it is. Here are some practical suggestions to turn duty to delight. And a reminder that God partners with you when you open your mouth in faith and obedience. You sow the seed, but God prepares the soil—readying hearts and minds to hear the most urgently needed message anyone can ever hear.
Q: In your article you promised to help us share our faith. Can you give us some help?
A: First of all, remember you don’t have to know all the answers in order to witness! If you want to know how to begin a spiritual conversation, ask questions. Here are some questions I’ve often used to begin a spiritual conversation:
- Where are you on your spiritual journey?
- As an adult, how much consideration have you given to the Bible?
- How do you understand the idea of God?
- What has been your experience, if any, with Christianity?
- Would you mind if I were to share something with you that someone once shared with me that changed my life?
- I’d love to pray for you, do you have anything you’d like me to pray about in the next couple of weeks?
Q: Okay, after you have asked a question, what then?
A: Become a good listener! If the truth be told, becoming a good listener is more important than becoming a good talker in our religious climate. People want to be heard. Listening to what people say and what they feel is the first step to building a bridge that leads to their hearts.
Q: After you’ve listened, then what?
A: Ask more questions! Here are a few suggestions: Why do you believe what you do? Do you have some evidence for your belief? How has this belief helped you? We simply have to return to the practice of Jesus who dialogued with those around Him by asking questions.
Q: And then?
A: Share your testimony as to what Christ has meant to you. Carry Gospel’s of John in your briefcase or purse and share them with the people you meet on a plane, etc.
Q: What if you encounter hostility?
A: Try to befriend the person to learn why they are so angry or why they have been turned off by Christianity. Many have, humanly speaking, good reason to regard us with skepticism and distrust. Friendship—true friendship—is still the best means of evangelism. One reason why the early church was so successful is that they practiced the art of hospitality. Their kindness reached the world.
Q: You spoke about how God prepares people for the Gospel; do you have an example from your own witnessing?
A: Glad you asked. Let me share with you an incredible story of God’s providence. Recently, I was sitting at O’Hare Airport waiting to board when I struck up a conversation with a man who was on the same flight. I gave him a copy of my book After You’ve Blown It, which is basically the Gospel and its implications. He read it on the plane and when we arrived at our destination he was waiting for me in tears. He said, “You were led of God; you had no idea what we are going through in our family.” I again explained the Gospel and he assured me he was going to accept Christ.
Q: Any final words?
A: God will not hold us accountable if others do not believe the Gospel; He will hold us accountable if we do not share the Gospel. Our responsibility is to sow the seed; only He can prepare the soil of the human heart to receive it. Only He can grant the faith needed to believe the Gospel. As Paul wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6). Witnessing to our faith in Christ is the great need of the hour! And God goes ahead of us preparing hearts for the truth.