After you experience the joy that comes from sharing your faith,
there’s no turning back!
You may have arrived at this moment with equal parts excitement and fear. But be encouraged by this: All God is asking you to do is your part, because faith sharing is a team sport.
As Paul shares in 1 Corinthians 3:5-6: “Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.”
Once you experience the joy that comes from sharing your faith, there’s no turning back. Only God knows the ultimate number of people who will come to Christ when you make moving everyone, every day closer to Jesus your highest priority. Only God knows how many times that number will be multiplied by all of the people you’re helped reach and ignite into telling others about His love and salvation. That’s the opportunity before you right now. You’re ready, and it’s time to take the next steps!
Move Everyone, Every Day, Closer to Jesus
Loving everyone around you as yourself means being as concerned for their salvation as your own. Jeremiah 1:5b says: “Before you were born I set you part and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” That means you are God’s spokesperson! When you know everything you do and say is either moving people closer to or further away from God, then loving on people becomes your mission — and quickly sets you apart from everyone else. People care about what you say when they know you care. And when they see that your love is actually God’s love flowing through you, you’ll move them closer to Jesus.
In this day and age, almost no one comes to the Lord in one step. It’s a process that has many steps along the way, including pastoral sermons, messages heard on TV and radio, articles read, and listening to Christians sharing their faith or being observed from a distance. Seeds are constantly being sown and some take longer than others to germinate. Some fall on hard ground and never germinate.
Most of us are results oriented. Being stopped at the one-yard line is not our idea of success. If we don’t score the touchdown, we’re a loser. Life is about competition, winning and celebrating victories. That’s our mindset and it’s a good one, except when we’re sharing our faith — then that’s a difficult pill for most of us to swallow.
The fear of rejection is a serious impediment to most faith sharers. At the very least, fear leads to timidity and often stops Christians from sharing their faith altogether. The old adages of “you shouldn’t talk about politics and religion,” “to each his own,” “different strokes for different folks,” and “you have no right to impose your thoughts on other people” are inherent in our culture but contrary to scripture.
How to Start Faith Conversations
As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are in full-time ministry. Every encounter you have with an unbeliever is an opportunity for you to help move that person closer to Jesus. When you feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit, it’s time to start a faith conversation. No matter how uninterested someone might appear to you, 86% of unchurched people would like to believe there’s a God and are looking for someone to tell them about Him. Listen to the Holy Spirit’s nudge — and not your excuses. You’re resisting the Holy Spirit when you resist the nudge and missing the best and most rewarding part of being a Christian.
Sharing your faith out of obligation is not fun. It’s excruciating for you and everyone else. When you’re uncomfortable, everyone else is uncomfortable and your insecurity leads to defensiveness. It’s that kind of experience that leads you to never want to share your faith again. But it’s kind of like that first bicycle ride. Most of us crashed and burned on our first ride, but then we learned how to ride like the wind.
It’s reported that the average person hears the Gospel message an average of seven times before making their decision to follow Christ. While we sometimes hear of first-time message conversions, it’s more often that numerous messages need to be heard before a decision is made. The point is that every person, at every point of contact, is focused on leading that person to accept Christ. In God’s eyes, there is no distinction between the one who starts the dialogue and the one who leads a new believer across the finish line.
Most people don’t share their faith because they don’t know how to get started. Once the conversation starts, it has a life of its own. But until you intentionally commit to sharing your faith at every opportunity, you won’t be looking for the easiest path of entry into God-Centered Conversations.
When you’re concerned about the eternal destiny of everyone around you, your first question is whether or not they go to church. But asking that question directly is at least awkward if not outright offensive. So don’t go there.
There’s always a time and a place. The problem is that God’s timing may not be our timing…and it’s ultimately decided by the one we’re trying to reach. We are, after all, creatures of free choice! No one, not even God, can make life’s most important decision for someone else.
Even if you’ve gone to church for decades, it can be intimidating when you’re asked questions and don’t know the answers. But no one expects you to know all the answers. You’re not a pastor or a Bible scholar. That means the pressure you’re feeling is self-imposed. Jesus said they’ll know you’re His disciple by your love — not by your Bible knowledge. When you get a question you can’t answer, it’s your opportunity to tell them you’ll get the answer! They’ll appreciate your response, and you get another opportunity to continue the conversation. When you connect someone’s questions to God’s answers — it will put a bounce in your step. And through the process, your own understanding of God increases!
Even those who’ve attended church for decades are afraid of being asked questions they can’t answer. But no one expects you to have all the answers. You’re not a Pastor and you’re not a Bible Scholar. So all pressure on this point is self-imposed. Jesus said they’ll know you’re His disciple by your love — not your Bible knowledge.
The most prevalent questions like — Why would a Holy God send good people to Hell? or Why would a Good God allow bad things to happen? — all relate to the basic clash between good and evil which predates Adam and Eve. Having Free Choice to choose between good and evil has always been the defining element of God’s Master Plan!
To accomplish His Goals, God made Satan the “ruler of this world” within specific guidelines. Fortunately he can only deceive unbelievers. In II Corinthians 4:4 we’re told that Satan, who is the God of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. With God’s Permission, Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers so they cannot discern false philosophies that become like fortresses in which they are imprisoned.
Inviting People to Believe in Jesus
Life is hard, and people all around you are paralyzed with fear and trembling. They feel powerless to end the chaos that’s coming from all directions. They’re desperate for the “peace that passes all understanding” that you have, and is only available to those who’ve accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Out of the thousands of years of human history and the 114 billion people who have lived on earth, God chose you for this time — to share His message of love and salvation with those who are seeking Him. People want to know and have what you have. Now is the time to let your light shine!
Even on a broader basis, there’s nothing more exciting and fun than telling everyone your latest God-Inspired encounter that moved someone closer to Jesus. And every time you tell your latest story, it excites others into wanting to have the same kind of experiences in their own lives. That’s how easy it is to ignite everyone into full-time ministry.