Matching the truth with our reality is a sobering wake-up call. For many Christians, it’s not that they don’t believe in the gospel, but sharing it can be a scary thing and more often than not people feel ill equipped to communicate this life changing message. If you lack the confidence to share the gospel boldly, or the clarity to know what to share, then here are a few helpful tips to get you started…
- Be gospel ready
If you were presented with an opportunity right now to share with someone the good news of Jesus, would you know what to say or how to say it? The reality is, you don’t want the first time you have to explain the gospel to be the time when someone really needs to hear it. It would be far better for you and that person if it was something you had studied, practiced, rehearsed and gotten comfortable with. Then when the opportunity does come to share the good news of Jesus with someone, you know exactly what you need to say. This is not about learning a script or being formulaic. I much prefer my conversations and explanations to be organic and relevant to that person. But having a framework from which to build upon means you are much more likely to convey the key points, in the correct order, and maximise the clarity of the message you are trying to give.
There are many good models or short explanations of the gospel out there. Pick one and start practicing it. Try it out on your friends or small group. Say it to yourself in the mirror. I recommend looking at the4points as a very simply, easy to remember method.
Take the four points (or another option) and practice saying it to others in a group context. Discuss how each person did and what aspects worked well for each person. Would you change anything? Would you add anything in or take anything out?
- Make the most of every opportunity
It’s easy to say or even pray – God give me an opportunity to share today – and then sit back as if we expect someone to walk into the room and say, ‘is there anyone hear who can explain what I must do to get saved?’ But on any given day we do probably have dozens of opportunities to share the gospel with the people we encounter. What we need to do is not pray for more opportunities, but be more open to making the most of the opportunities that are all around us. We should be just as expectant and ready to share with someone at the bus stop, in a taxi or out walking the dog, as we should be at a pre-planned event.
Think of the situations or places you find yourself in and who you encounter on a regular basis. Share where and who you think you could be more intentional.
- Share your life
We all have a story to tell. A personal experience of God at work in our lives. But people won’t know unless you talk to them about it. We assume people aren’t interested or we don’t want to offend them. But more often than not, by opening up about your faith to someone in an everyday way will be the first time many people experience God in a what that they can readily connect with.
Be ready to share not just your opinion on the latest trending topic or gossip of the day, but a word of truth, an example of how God has helped you in a situation or offer a different perspective based on your understanding and personal relationship with Jesus. It’s not ‘preaching at people’ if you are sharing your personal experiences of how you deal with stress, or financial insecurities or problem children or the latest news headlines. Jesus is relevant in every situation. We just need reminding that we don’t need to separate our faith from other areas of our lives.
1 Peter 3:15 says to always be prepared to share the reason for the hope that you have in Christ Jesus. Write down one reason why you have put your hope in Christ and share it. Now write one reason why you can have confidence in putting your hope in him because of something he has done or said to you this week. How would you share this reason with people who are not Christians?
- Offer prayer
One of the easiest and most effectives ways to share the gospel with others is to simply offer prayer. It’s too easy to see prayer as that thing we do when we’re alone with God or when we’re gathered with other Christians. But to offer prayer is to offer an amazing gift. Prayer invites God right into the heart of a situation, it allows him to demonstrate his power and it opens up all sorts of conversations with people. Whether the person you are speaking to is a believer or not, whether they accept the offer or not, by offering prayer you demonstrate that your faith in God is real and that your care for that person is genuine. Offering prayer also gives you an easy way to start a conversation about God. And of course, when we pray, God listens, so your answered prayers can sometimes speak more volume than anything you might think to say in your human wisdom.
Discuss how you would approach offering to pray with someone? Does it look different if they are known to you (family/neighbour/colleague) to if they are unknown (stranger on street/train/pub etc?) Is there ever a time when it would be wrong to offer prayer?