by Wendy Hagen
Elisa Morgan recently spoke to the women's leadership team at my church. She posed these questions: "What keeps you from sharing your faith? How do you fill in the blank: I can't share my faith because ____________?" I came up blank on the blank. Not because my "I've had four babies in five years" postpartum brain had malfunctioned again, but because I genuinely love to share my faith. I don't have all the answers, I am no bible scholar, and I can hardly win an argument with my strong-willed four-year-old. But I love Jesus and I know what He has done in my life. I can share that. No problem. How about you?
Ever since I began my relationship with Jesus when I was in 6th grade I have been excited to tell the world about Him. And as I have grown and matured in my faith and experienced different seasons in my life, the way I have shared my faith has evolved. But there are a few things that I have realized about evangelism that will never change:
1. We are all called to share our faith.
I know that not everyone has the gift of evangelism and I know a lot of people have a hard time talking to others about Jesus. I understand that not everyone is a faith-sharing spaz like me who prays to sit next to a non-believer on an airplane. But whether it our spiritual gift or not, we are all called to share our faith.
I Timothy 4:2, I Peter 3:15, Matthew 28:19, 20
When is the last time you shared your faith with someone?
2. There are many different ways to share our faith.
We don't always have to be the person who prays with someone to become a Christian. Sharing your faith doesn't always mean breaking down the "Romans Road." Your role in someone's faith journey might be inviting to someone to church, telling a fellow mom about vacation bible school, telling a co-worker or employee about the marriage retreat you just attended, or giving someone a Christian book.
I love the quote by St. Francis of Assisi: "Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words." We must preach the gospel with the way we live our lives.
And then there are times we must speak up.
How are you sharing your faith with people? Is your life preaching the gospel? Do you ever speak up?
3. Relationships matter. A lot.
Yes, there is a place for drive-by evangelism. One can hear about Christ from a one-time encounter, an event, a book, a retreat, a crusade. God's word is powerful and effective whenever it is heard. However, I believe that nothing changes lives like God working through His people in relationships. God uses us to share the good news with people we know.
Are you building friendships with people who don't know Jesus? Are you loving them, serving them, and looking for opportunities to tell them about Jesus?
Now go and live out your influence. Share your faith.