By Chris Denning
I’d say there’s a pretty universal fear when it comes to sharing your faith with others: being seen as weird.
“If I share my faith with them, it’ll change how they see me.”
“If I tell them my story, it’ll get weird between us.”
“If I talk to them about Jesus, it’ll only make them think I’m strange.”
I get it, I’ve been in high school. However, if we believe Jesus to be who He says He is, then we CANNOT afford to give this mindset any space in our brains. We have got to change the way we think about evangelizing.
With that said, even if you’re comfortable with sharing your faith, there are ways that you can do it to minimize the potential of you coming off as weird to people. I’m not asking you to make a full-body sign, stand out on the street corner, and yell at people about hellfire and repentance!
In our series, The E-Word, we’re trying to help normalize the idea of evangelism and put practical tools in your hand to share your faith without being weird. Everybody is different, so not every plan for evangelism works for every person. With this in mind, we developed 5 Guidelines for Evangelism that will help you to learn how to share your faith in any situation.
1. You Won’t Fail.
No matter what happens when you share your faith, you WON’T fail. How can I promise that? Because it’s not your job to change hearts and minds, that’s for the Holy Spirit to do.
Your job is to try. The only time you fail is when you don’t try. Ergo, if you try, YOU WON’T FAIL!
2. It’s for Everyone.
While some people may be more gifted in their ability to effectively evangelize, evangelism isn’t an elective of our faith. Evangelism is for everyone who considers themselves a follower of Jesus.
Don shared a story this past weekend of an atheist who was considering the idea of evangelism. His thought was that if you really believe that Jesus is who He says He is and that a person’s eternal destiny rested on their relationship with Him, then it is the most hateful thing in the world if they do not share their faith.
Evangelism isn’t just for a select few who are gifted in specific ways, but is rather for everyone who follows Jesus.
Not only that, God’s salvation is for everyone. Yes, EVERYONE! There isn’t a person you will ever encounter that doesn’t need to know and accept the great love of God.
3. Be Driven by Love.
1 Corinthians 13 basically says that if you have all the skills to pay the bills, spiritually that is, but you don’t use them in love, then you are nothing.
Take that in for a moment. Someone like Reverend Graham or even Rick Warren could spend their whole life doing the work of God, and if they don’t do it motivated by love, then its all for nothing.
Love must be the driving force that compels us to share our faith with those around us.
4. Tell Your Story.
Yes, it’s really that simple. You don’t have to use fancy illustrations or examples or doctrine or complicated arguments to share your faith. While those things have merit and can be helpful, you simply need to share your story.
Where were you before God?
How did He change your life?
What has your life been like since?
Answering these simple questions can mean a world of change for others. You may think that you don’t have a story, but think again! Everyone has a story, and every story matters to God. Share it!
5. Be Yourself.
Finally, you need to simply be yourself. Not Matt Dawson or Joel Osteen or that guy on the late night crusade show or anyone else, only yourself.
We believe that God is sovereign, which means that He is in control of all things, all circumstances, all situations, and all of the moments of our lives. If this is true, then we can trust that He has placed us specifically in any moment we find ourselves in, especially when it comes to sharing our faith. God chose YOU for this moment, no one else.
There is power in believing this, not because of what you’ve done, but rather because of the power of God working constantly in your life. When you find yourself in moments where you can share your faith, just be yourself!
That’s it! It’s just as simple as following these 5 guidelines.
If you remember you won’t fail, that it’s for everyone, that you must be driven by love, that you just need to tell your story and be yourself, then you will be completely equipped to share your faith without being seen as weird. Don’t over-think it; simply respond in obedience as He presents these moment to you in life.