How to Share Your Faith Without Losing Your Friends
If you follow Jesus, the question isn't, "should I share my faith?" Every day that you walk through your school you're walking among the spiritually dead. In fact you are not there on accident. You are sent there by God to be the only hope in the spiritual cemetery.
But that can be intimidating, because let's face it, it can feel like you're awkwardly forcing your beliefs on people. It seems ineffective and awkward. So, how do I share my faith? How can I do it in ways that are natural and non-confrontational? Here are some practical steps you could make this week.
01 Be Willing.
God asked Isaiah, "Who will go?" And Isaiah replied, "Here I am, send me" (Isaiah 6:8). Sometimes an open heart is all you need. It’s amazing what God can do with someone who is simply willing. That’s part of why Jesus was all about having our hearts. God doesn’t need you to be the most skilled and influential person. He just needs your heart. He needs you to be willing. He wants the person who says with Isaiah “I’m here, Lord! I want to bring your hope to my school!”
There’s a famous story about D.L. Moody, who once heard the words of a preacher: "The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully surrendered to Him.” And Moody thought to himself "By God’s grace I’ll be that man!” Moody was an uneducated, unpolished speaker, but he went on to lead more than a million people to Christ.
02 Ask questions.
We often feel we can’t evangelize because we don’t have all the answers. The reality is we don’t need them. In fact, if we had all the answers, no one would want to hear us blab on about them anyway. Instead we should ask questions. Questions are the key to unlocking a person’s heart.
Proverbs 20:5 "The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” How can we use wisdom to draw people out? We ask questions. The best way to earn an audience is to be an audience. How do you presuade someone to love Jesus? You don’t. You ask them about themselves and thereby get inside of their heart. Once inside of someone’s heart--once you really know someone--speaking the gospel into their deepest needs is as natural as filling a cup of water.
03 Tell Your Story.
In the last couple of years I've had opportunities to speak before groups. Whenever I've rattled information off I can see people's eyes visibly glaze over. But the instant I begin a story, people wake up and lean in naturally.
Stories are meaningful and powerful to people. Especially your story. Your story has, within it, the power to influence the lives of those around you. When you share what Jesus has done in your life, it has the power to change someone's eternity. So if preaching makes you unfcomfortable, sometimes telling your story about Jesus can be just as impactful. This is what Jesus was talking about when he said, "You will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8).
In light of the previous point, I'll conclude this article with a story. A buddy and I were driving to church through Gresham Station one evening, when we rolled up upon another friend of ours. I hadn't known this friend to be a Christian so I rolled down the window and yelled, "Hey man, do you want to jump in the car? We're going to church!" To my surprise, he jumped in and joined us. Boom! This dude later became a Christian and has been following Jesus to this day!
The power to change a person's heart from non-christian to Jesus-follower is solely in God. He alone saves people. All we need to do is invite our friends, and God does the saving. You never know when God will work the miracle of salvation.
So what holds you back? Your speaking ability? It's not the key to salvation. You're persuasiveness? I wasn't persuasive and God saved my friend because God is persuasive. So invite someone to youth group or church, share Your faith in Jesus. You never know when God is going to use that moment to change someone's life.