God has called each of us to partner in His redemptive plan. Some of the greatest joys in the Christian life come from making Jesus known to those who don't yet know Him personally.
As the body of Christ, we are Jesus' hands and feet on earth to continue the work that He began. As finite beings we do not have the foresight of knowing the cravings and challenges of each individual we share with; however, God knows the deepest secrets of every person. Through the Holy Spirit He is more than able to speak through us to touch the depths of the human heart. Only the Spirit can give us the words to convict and compel others to follow Christ.
Here are 10 things I have personally found to be helpful for sharing my faith.
Be led by the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:6, 9-10). Like Paul in Acts, I continually ask the Holy Spirit to lead me to people whose hearts are ripe and ready for the harvest. Consider asking the Holy Spirit to lead you to those who are desperately searching for more in life and will be open to God.
Be convicted by eternal reality. What is your motivation for evangelism? Are we just doing it because it is the Christian thing to do? Are we doing it to try to please God by our good works? Are we doing it to try to grow a bigger church? Pray and ask your Father to give you His heart for the lost. When God shares His breaking heart with us, we will share His burden for the lost.
Discern soul cravings. I believe everyone has cravings for purpose, meaning, and significance in life. By listening to and speaking into a person’s cravings, you can delicately awaken them to recognize that the fulfillment of all their cravings can only be found in God Himself. Learn more about soul cravings.
Develop relationships. Jesus was the complete expression of the Father’s love to the world; the love of God flowed like a spring of living water from the life of Jesus. I believe that in many cases, God’s love can be more compelling than scientific evidence of God or a theological argument. Is God’s love flowing through you? Are people in your life compelled by how passionately and personally you care about them? If you have few non-Christian friends, try this challenge to move beyond the walls of the church.
Share your story. You have a very powerful story and God wants to use it! People will be most compelled by your thoughts and experiences because they know you. If Jesus is a tangible reality in your life, others will see that and want it. Here's some help to craft your story strategically.
Be empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Learn to look to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to take over the conversation. Know with confidence God will lead you and give you the right words to say to the right individuals.
Be patient and faithful. For many people evangelism can be very discouraging because they don’t see immediate results. Though the ultimate goal of all evangelism is to lead people to Christ, it may not happen overnight. We must remember that only God knows when the seeds we plant will bear fruit.
Remember that people are on a journey. Each person is in a different place (or approaching a different spiritual threshold) in their journey, and some may not be ready to fully commit their lives to Christ. Our responsibility is to simply lead them further down the path and bring them closer to finding a relationship with Jesus.
Pray unceasingly. One of the most essential components of evangelism is prayer. You may have loved ones or friends for whom you have been continually praying for years. Do not give up hope! Prayer is the catalyst that initiates God’s will being done on the earth.
Remember that it's not all up to you. Campus Crusade for Christ founder and lifelong evangelist, Dr. Bill Bright, had a very simple and powerful definition of success. He said, "Successful witnessing is simply sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God." That's it. Isn't that encouraging? If you have taken the opportunity to talk about Jesus with someone, then you have been successful.
If you are involved in training or teaching others to share their faith, check out our series, Exponential Faith, a collection of 10 practical articles for those new at sharing their faith.