For many of us sharing our faith in Jesus with an unsaved person is one of the most difficult and nerve-racking things to do. We struggle with the questions such as:
- What if they think I’m weird?
- What if I can’t answer a person’s deep theological questions?
- What if they think I’m a mean religious zealot?
I get it because I’ve struggled with all of those questions too. Sharing our faith with others can be very difficult, yet Jesus told us to go into all the world and do it so it’s important to learn how. I want to share with you a powerful verse of scripture and some things the Lord showed me through that scripture that have really helped me be bold and effective with sharing my faith! I believe this will really help you!
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,
Peter says something really interesting in this verse. The way we are to share our faith is by giving an account of the hope that lies within us. In other words he’s saying, we don’t have to be a theologian in order share the gospel with people. All we do is tell about a man named Jesus and what he did in our own personal life. The message we share should be an overflow of the way we do life.
So what does that look like practically? For me, as I talk to people I share my struggle of growing up overweight, awkward, shy, and insecure and how I had an experience with Jesus when I was 21 that changed my life. He showed me Ephesians 1:6 that says I’ve been made accepted in the beloved. Jesus made me accepted. When I learned that He made me the way He wanted me to be and I didn’t have to apologize for it, every fear I ever had of what others thought of me was washed away.
And people typically respond well. Why? Because I’m real. I’m not mean and religious. I share a vulnerability (a vulnerability we all have of being insecure) and then how Jesus revealed himself to me. The hope that lies within me (my story) connects with others.
Your story will connect with others. What has God done for you? If you don’t know spend some time praying and journaling about it. I’ll promise you God will show you something. For some it will be getting set free of drugs, others insecurity, while others have grown up always living a really moral Christian life.
For those who have been set free from bondage, it’s easy to share how God changed you. For the one who has lived pretty holy from birth it can feel more challenging, but it doesn’t have to. What a testimony to God’s goodness that he was able to protect you and teach you the right way to go from a young age!
Hopefully sharing your story will help you be more effective in communicating the gospel to others. If you do get someone who has deep theological questions about the existence of God, check out this article I wrote. It contains a lot of simple concepts that God has shown me that provide a strong case for the existence of God and the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I believe it will help you.
So far in this article I’ve dealt with how to not be a mean religious zealot and the concern some have about not being a deep theologian. What about the initial question about not being perceived as weird. While I can’t totally promise you no one will think you aren’t weird when you share your faith, there are some weird things you can avoid that will help you be more effective:
- Don’t use Christianese. Christianese is when we use biblical terms terms and concepts that mean something to other Christians but leaves an unbeliever scratching their head. Jesus taught in the language of the day. This is why he told stories about farming. He was teaching farmers. Be like Jesus and explain things in simple, understandable terms to the listener. Be relevant.
- Don’t speak in King James English unless you are English. And as a matter of fact I have a really good friend who is English and he doesn’t speak in King James English. English people in the year 2019 don’t speak King James English. Again, be relevant.
- Be Real. Talk to people about things other than the Bible. Hear their story. Most people don’t care what you know until they know you care about them.
- Make room for the Holy Spirit. Remember your responsibility isn’t to get people saved. Your responsibility is to share the gospel. You don’t have to pressure people to accept Jesus. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict them. If He doesn’t, you can’t. So just pray He takes the things you shared and makes it real to them.
I believe if you’ll study and mediate on the things I shared, they will help you be a more effective communicator of the gospel with your friends, co-workers, classmates, and family. I pray the Holy Spirit gives you boldness and wisdom as you live out the great commission!