“We are in danger of rapidly losing what it means to feel compassion for those held in the grip of sin on this broken planet… But for Jesus, the very sight of those crushed beneath the boot of the Adversary was nothing short of gut-wrenching. He was compelled to do something about it!” Tom Elliff, President, International Mission Board
Hundreds of Christians are martyred every day for their faith. Yet, today, most Christians in the western church will be silent, afraid, or unmoved by the lostness around them.
Why aren’t we as zealous about our faith in the western world?
We don’t run the risk of death for our faith (at least not yet) but we seem mostly apathetic about sharing Jesus.
Here are a few thoughts:
1. Spend more time in prayer.
When I am in that place of open, honest sharing with my Father, I am overcome most by His love for me. It washes over me and I am confronted again by the grace of God. He loved me so much that Jesus died for me, and because I accepted Him, I am forgiven. Absolutely too much. The wonder of the gospel. As children of God, we can approach Him anytime and anywhere. Amazing. Jesus has given me life. Where in the world would I have been without him? Spend time with Him so you will never forget what He has done for you.
2. Ask God to open your eyes to see people who need Jesus.
There are people all around us who are lost, but we are so busy we don’t have time to see. As we go, let us see. I prayed this prayer one morning and headed off for the day. It was late in the afternoon and I had honestly forgotten. I ran by the grocery store and God opened my eyes to see a young man who needed Jesus. He was so angry. He was hiding his anger with so many facial and body piercings it was hard to even see his eyes. But our eyes met. God provided the moment and we talked.
Right in the middle of buying groceries I shared Christ with him. At first he was stunned that I would even talk to him, and I watched as his shoulders relaxed and he began to open up and tell me his story. He was so hurt and so alone. He didn’t accept Christ that day but seeds were planted and he was so thirsty, he soaked them all in. Ask God to show you lostness and then get ready.
3. Share Jesus naturally.
I have used many formulas for sharing the gospel over the years but the best formula I have found is no formula at all. It is simply sharing that I am a follower of Christ and telling my story of coming to faith in Him and how that has changed my life. I use scripture when the person is ready to take that step of faith. I usually look up the scripture and ask them to read it.
“Among those who attend a Protestant church once a month or more, 75% agree they feel comfortable that they can share their belief in Christ with someone else effectively. However, in the last 6 months 61% have not shared with anyone how to become a Christian.” —LifeWay Research*
4. We are to be faithful in sharing our faith but it is the work of God to lead someone to faith.
I love the parable of “The Sower” found in Luke 8. Sharing our faith is planting seeds that will hopefully take root in God’s time.
5. Get out of your Christian world.
I work in a Christian organization and my husband is an Associate Pastor at a church, so I am surrounded by Christians. I have to be intentional to be out with those that are lost and unchurched. I have played on community tennis teams, been a part of parent-teacher organizations, and tried to reach out to my neighbors. My husband and I have had the opportunity to go out of the country to serve with other churches and missionaries. It is good to get another view of Christianity outside the western world.
6. Build meaningful relationships with people who need Jesus. Invite them into your life.
When LifeWay Research* asked about a number of different approaches to inviting someone to church, the one that Americans say would be most effective in getting them to visit is a personal invitation from a family member (67% agree) followed by an invitation from a friend or neighbor (63% agree).
Several years ago, I met a young Buddhist man who was working so he could bring his wife and two daughters to America. He worked for four years before he had enough money. He barely spoke English but every time I saw him, I asked him about his family and he was eager to share and show me pictures. I was so excited to met his beautiful family when they finally arrived. I have known this family now for seven years. They came to our daughter’s wedding and I was at the hospital when his wife gave birth to their third daughter. They even let me pick the name for her. I picked Anna which means God’s grace. They know I am a follower of Jesus and I have often shared my faith with them. They know I pray for them and that I love them deeply. I believe they love me too. I know they are drawn to Christ in me but they haven’t accepted Jesus yet. Invite lost and unchurched people into your life.
These are just a few thoughts. I would love to hear from you about ways you share your faith.
Jesus said, “Love The Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22;32 HCSB