How Do We Share Our Faith?
June was evangelism month for Calvary Baptist Church and Mile One Mission. We took time to focus on how we share our faith and knowing our own testimony or “story.” All of us have a story about how Jesus changed our lives, even if some of us don’t seem to be as messy as others. It’s odd for us to think that, really, if we truly believe that we’re all sinners in need of God’s grace. I’m in need of the same grace as someone who has done far worse things in their life.
I’m sitting here in Tim Hortons and a variety of people are coming in and out of the coffee shop. I see people with summer clothes on, some with work clothes, and some who are rougher around the edges. I have to wonder what their stories are and even how I could go about sharing my faith with them. Am I more comfortable approaching some more than others because of their appearance? Would certain parts of my story speak to them better than other parts?
I also wonder about their lives and the experiences they’ve had. Have they been hurt by a church in their past? Have they come face-to-face with their sin before only to refuse to see their need for Jesus? Are there complex relationships that would need to eventually change if they were to embrace the gospel?
These are all questions that I often run through when I think about sharing my faith. Sometimes it paralyzes me and I fail to approach anyone at all. Other times it helps me to be aware of what arts of my story they could relate to the most. We shouldn’t be afraid to share our faith, but we need to realize that doesn’t mean we’ll always get it right, or that someone will confess faith in Jesus every time we share our faith.
What we do need is a trust in God, prayer, and actually knowing how God has worked (and continues to work) in our lives.
Trusting in God is key if we’re going to share our faith. I’m not someone’s saviour. Their salvation doesn’t rise and fall with me. God is the only one who can save and change people. Your view of God has a great impact on how your share your faith. If you think that someone’s salvation hinges on your ability to get evangelism perfect, then I wonder how you sleep at night and there’s no wonder why you may be afraid to share.
If, however, you realize that God is in control, then you will be much more likely to share your faith and leave the results with God. Ephesians 1:5 says, “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” God knows who’s going to be saved before we share our faith. He chose us to be saved through Jesus for His glory before the world was founded.
Salvation doesn’t rest with us. Take a look at Mark 4:26-27, “And he said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.” The farmer is not responsible for the growth of the seed. Likewise, what happens when we plant the seed of the gospel doesn’t lie with us. We leave the results with God.
Be In Prayer
We also need prayer as we go to share our faith. As Christians, we would do well to remember Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Why would we enter a spiritual war with physical weapons? It doesn’t make sense. Ephesians 6 also outlines the armour of God that will be our strength and protection. A part of that is prayer, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth godly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel….”
Pray that God softens the hearts of the people you share with. Pray that he will guide you and give you the words to speak. Pray that God’s will be done and that you won’t try to be someone’s saviour. We cannot enter a spiritual battle without speaking with and working with the Sprit. We cannot enter a spiritual battle without relying on the one who is in control of all things.
Know Your Story
The final thing we need is to know our story. Don’t be afraid to practice your story or even write out what God has done in your life. You might be surprised how much your own testimony might speak to you and remind you of how good God has been to you. We can often overestimate how well we can articulate our story without actually practicing it.
Don’t do it so much that it becomes mundane, but rehearse your story to yourself so that God gets the glory. Be reminded not only of what God has done, but of what He’s still doing right now in your life. We don’t do this as a sales pitch to recruit new believers, but as proof that the gospel is true and that God is good.
And when you do give your testimony or story to someone do it with gentleness and respect. Remember the words found in 1 Peter 3:15a-16, “…always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behaviour in Christ may be put to shame.”
Share your story out of love for the other person and for the glory of God. Rejoice in what God is doing in your life and share it with others! This is a spiritual battle and souls are at stake, but God is good. He will save people and save them to the utmost. Trust in God, be in prayer, and know your story. And share it.