How Do I Share My Faith With Someone I Love?
By: Sydney Davis
A popular quote says: "Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary." This phrase is meant to encourage believers to live a life of love and compassion. But, by saying people should primarily see Jesus through one's actions, they are making light of how important our words are in the mission God gives us!
The Bible tells us words DO matter, and we must use words to share our faith (If you want some verses on this, check out Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 20:24, and Romans 10:10-17!). God chose His people as Plan A to pass along the Gospel. The way the world learns the truth about Jesus is through other people!
Despite our call to tell our friends, family, or our fast food cashier the Gospel, it can seem overwhelming and intimidating. If you desire to live as a follower of Jesus who makes disciples this new school year, below are seven truths to help you better communicate the Gospel to those around you!
1. Don't Overcomplicate it. Following Jesus is not always easy. However, it is SIMPLE. For instance, how would you sum up the Gospel in one sentence? Something along the lines of "God loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins" or "God made us, we rebelled, and Jesus reunites us" communicates three crucial parts to the Gospel. We have messed up, need a Savior, and Jesus is our hope. Both these examples are one-sentence descriptions of how to have eternal life!
2. Don't Assume. How many times have you created a conversation in your head before it ever even happened?? I know I have! The truth is, assumptions create unnecessary anxiety--even discounting the work of the Holy Spirit through you!
When Moses questioned why God chose him to accomplish the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, God responded like this: "'Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak'" (Exod. 3:11).
Don't assume God can't use you. Don't assume the person you're talking to won't care. Don't assume you know how the conversation will go! Trust that God will exceed your expectations.
3. Prepare, be eager to share, and prioritize prayer. Train your mind to think about places and people you can share the Gospel with. Like when Monday morning rolls around, and someone asks you how your weekend was, be ready to answer with the things you heard in Sunday's church sermon. Something like: "actually, I had a lot of fun at church. We talked about how Jesus was always surprising people. He once even told a guy ________________.”
By preparing, eagerly sharing, and praying before, during, and after discussing the Gospel with others, you'll find your conversation flowing easier.
4. Ask questions. For me, this is almost exclusively the way I have grown to share the Gospel. I start by asking a simple question: "You know, I don't think I've ever asked you what you believe. Would you mind sharing with me?" Or: "I would love to hear your thoughts on God. How do you picture Him? Even if you don't think He's real, what's your idea of Him look like?"
To get your mind thinking, here are some great questions to move your conversations towards the Gospel:
What are your three biggest passions?
What is something you believe in with 100% certainty?
What do you think is the most important quality in a person?
What do you put your hope in?
How would you describe your upbringing? (Other ways to rephrase this question are: Do you think your parents were strict? Why or why not?; Did you go to church growing up? What was your experience?; What's the most important thing your parents taught you?)
Has anything ever happened to you that you can't explain?
What do you base your long-term decisions on?
What do you want your legacy to be? How are you building your life to get there right now?
What is one question you would ask God if you could?
How do you see Christians? (It's okay if their response is negative! Listen to what they have to say, and don’t get defensive!) Do you think Christianity is different than other religions?
How do you think people who know you best would describe you? How do you want to be characterized?
Do you think there's more to life than what we can see? If so, what?
What do you believe about eternity?
Would you consider yourself a "good" person? What do you think makes a person "bad"?
Who from history do you admire most? Why?
What person do you think has made the most significant impact on the world? Why?
What is something you disagree with most people about?
If you could have world peace or destroy world hunger, which would you pick?
I hope these questions spark spiritual conversations with those around you!
5. Be yourself. You don't have to use fancy words or say it exactly as your pastor does. When I tell stories, I tend to be expressive with my hands. When I talk about Jesus, I do the same thing! God will use YOU to reach your friends, just the way you are.
6. Know God's Word. This one takes a little more effort, but I believe it is a huge part of sharing your faith. Scripture convicts us to live out our faith, reminds us of God's heart, and helps us to share it in the most beautiful way possible! John 3:16, Romans 5:8, and Romans 6:23 all are simple verses for you to recall, as well as share with others.
7. Line up your life with your words. Scripture stresses the importance of our words and our actions. If we gossip in one breath but try to share the love of Jesus in the next, our lives don't show the love of God well. People will be less likely to trust what we have to say about the transforming work of Jesus. Serve others, be compassionate, and choose joy over complaining!
The truth is, if you are sharing your faith the way the Bible calls you to, you will probably get rejected at some point. No matter how kind you are, no matter how perfectly you word it, people will still turn down the Gospel. It might even be awkward or hurtful, but know you are not alone--look at how people treated Jesus! Be okay with being rejected, and don't let it stop you from sharing the Good News.
I kid you not: as I was writing this blog, I got a text from a former student telling me she accepted Christ this week. I'm in tears because this is what it's all about! This girl heard the Gospel over and over in her life. I believe every time she listened to the Gospel, she was one tiny step toward salvation.
Sometimes, you have the joy of leading someone to accept Christ while other times, you have the joy of moving them one step closer to the Lord. Either way, it's 100% worth the possibility of rejection!
Remember the Holy Spirit, not you, ultimately calls people to accept Christ, but God has chosen YOU as the pathway and mouthpiece to spread the Gospel in this world! When you love something, it tends to come up in conversation a lot. Let Gospel conversations flow from your relationship with Christ and be amazed at how He uses you.