“I hear what you’re saying about sharing my faith but I have an allergic reaction to it, I break out in a cold sweat when I even think about prying my way into somebody’s eternal destiny and trying to get them to do what they need to do.”
For many believers, the term “evangelism” evokes visions of awkward unexpected home visits, feelings of intimidation and inadequacy, and a fair amount of nervousness. But evangelism can be a joyful adventure and the greatest thing believers will ever accomplish in their lives. Don’t get me wrong. Street witnessing and cold-calling evangelism are amazingly effective and inspiring, but every believer can do a few simple, creative, proactive things to exercise their relational and sharing muscles. Here are some easy sure-fire ways every member of your church can share their faith in a totally nonthreatening way.
- Video your faith story using your smart phone and post it on social media. The video should be no longer than 2 minutes and can be a simple explanation for how you became a Christ-follower and how it’s changed the trajectory of your life. If someone is camera shy, invite them to write their story as a post on Facebook. At the end of the post or the video, explain how someone can begin their faith journey by praying to ask Jesus to be the Lord of their life.
- Invite members to have Gospel conversations. Many church members may shy away when you talk evangelism, but the idea of Gospel conversations seems like a more realistic goal for them. So, what is a Gospel conversation? It’s fairly obvious. It’s listening, asking questions and relating the Gospel. Ultimately, we are challenging people to place their trust in Jesus. Jesus illustrated this time after time. His evangelism happened organically and situationally. John Meador says “Training believers to have gospel conversations with their friends, neighbors and co-workers must be one of the top priorities for pastors and leaders today. Sam Greer, pastor of Red Bank Baptist Church, in Chattanooga, Tennessee has a unique way of motivating his church to have Gospel conversations. In their worship center, they have plexiglass display that has Jesus written on the front of it. Inside are white ping pong balls and red ping pong balls inside. The white represents every Gospel conversation people in their church have had. The red ones represent someone who came to Christ. Every time a gospel conversation or a salvation occurs, members are invited to drop a ping pong ball into the display. In one year, they recorded over 1900 gospel conversations.
- Challenge church members to adopt their block for the Gospel. We can all get to know by name the families in walking distance of our homes. Offer assistance. Give gifts on special occasions. Host a barbeque or a game viewing party. Show up at the hospital when a health crisis happens. As we do life with our neighbors, we will earn their attention and ultimately, we’ll get a chance to share the Gospel with them. A little investment goes a long way in being heard when you start to share things of eternal significance.
- Challenge your people to practice sharing the Gospel on a friend who is not a believer. The invitation would go something like this: “My church is asking me to practice sharing my spiritual story with someone. Could I buy your lunch? And would you allow me to practice sharing my story?”Recently, I’ve heard testimonies of people who came to faith in Jesus through this simple, non-threatening invitation.
- Finally, practice prayer-paration. We all know people who are without the hope of Jesus. Above health issues, financial hardships, and personal issues, our unbelieving friends should be at the top of the church prayer list. I know that the more I pray for someone, the more courageous I will become in sharing Jesus. Ultimately, we can’t save anyone. But we know the One who can. Let’s challenge the church to have a list of people, we’d love to reach for Christ.
As we pray, share, give and go, we have to encourage each other to go to where the people are. It really is Good News. In fact, the gospel is the greatest news on the planet. When people in your church are challenged to share their faith, stories about evangelism and Gospel conversations will stoke the fire and increase the hunger to see more people come to trust Jesus. There’s really nothing better to create excitement, ease tensions, and grow a church than a group of people committed to sharing and celebrating this great news.