Last week, I shared my heart about what usually stands in my way to sharing the Good News of Jesus with someone, and this week I’ll hopefully be a tad more helpful by actually sharing some of the things that helped me overcome those obstacles. But if you didn’t catch that first confessional then go catch up right here.
To be perfectly honest, sharing the gospel with anyone (expect a close friend here or there) was not even on my radar until a few years ago! It was then that someone shared with me that here in the United States something like 60% of people won’t enter a church building, but more than half of those people would be willing to talk about spiritual things with someone. I could no longer just leave the gospel-sharing up to the pastors and evangelists! I knew that if I truly believed that the only way for anyone to have a life worth living was through Jesus then I better be willing to say something about it. Afterall, that whole statement about “tell people about Jesus and sometimes use words” is all well and good (and probably misquoted) but in reality, people might walk away from interactions with me and my family thinking we were just unusually friendly or maybe even a bit religious, but if I was honest, they had NO IDEA how to receive that for themselves!
Get Your Story Straight
So first things first, the obvious solution to the big thing keeping me from sharing the gospel (being unprepared) was to get prepared! It felt uncomfortable and unnatural at first, but honestly, the best way to get prepared in how to explain salvation and Jesus to someone is to say it out loud to another person. ( Don’t worry, it can be a friend or a spouse! You’re just practicing.)
Or if you’re more of a visual learner, maybe write it down. I spent some time actually trying to figure out how to communicate my own personal story of Salvation. Now, I know it’s probably not surprising to anyone that I started out with pages of story notes, but I was challenged by someone who knew what they were talking about, to try and get my story into one minute. YOU HEARD ME. One minute.
They made a good point that it was not as important what my story was upfront, but instead, my story was just a starting off point to get into a conversation with someone about spiritual things. A minute is plenty of time to communicate that you have had your life changed and you’re curious if the other person is interested in hearing more. I used about one sentence to sum up what type of person I was before I had Jesus in my life, and about two sentences to explain the gospel and then another sentence to describe how my life has changed since accepting Jesus as the King of my life. Finally, I had one last very important sentence. A question: “Do you have a story like that?”
That question really got the party started (or if it didn’t, then I hadn’t just spent an embarrassingly long time talking to someone about Jesus when they just weren’t into it.)! Once I had my story down, I tried not to variate when I practiced. I said it word for word the same every time. Now, sure, when I actually do share this story of mine “out in the wild” if often does go off script a little but at least I have a base to fall back on and it helps me feel a lot more confident and ready for the Holy Spirit to do the REAL work!
A Change of Heart
As I practiced my story and the gospel, I realized that with practice I gained confidence which brought me to my next hurdle….
The fear of rejection turned out to be one that I overcame mostly by doing. But it was comforting to know that more times than not, if I entered a conversation in love, than I rarely got rejected in a huge or dramatic way.
Sure, often people told me they weren’t interested, or that they practiced a different faith, or they’d “tried that church stuff before” but even those conversations were civil and not hard once I got going. The bottom line is that TO THIS DAY I still get butterflies before sharing about Jesus. I still get nervous. And yes. Every. Single. Time. I am SUPER pumped when it’s done. Want the next adrenaline rush?! Try sharing the gospel with a friend! But since I promised practical advice in this article, my biggest advice for getting over the fear of rejection is to start praying.
If you pray every day that the Lord would give you a heart for those who are separated from Him, (you actually start to feel heartbroken for all those who are living in sin and darkness with no hope unless they have a friend share the Truth with them) then, man, being rejected starts to pale in comparison! Seriously, it becomes less important than that worst case scenario that of losing a friend (this hasn’t happened yet, by the way) than that friend does not go through life and then one day stand before Jesus and they turn to me and say, “You never told me!!”
It Takes A Village
Finally, my biggest hurdle is comfort and to get over this particular issue I learned I literally couldn’t do it alone!
I had to find (or at the very least, create) a culture where I had people asking me how things were going and praying for me on a regular basis.
It is easier to not get caught up in your Christian friend circles if all of you are on the lookout together for someone with whom you could share. It is easier to go about your day and not miss good opportunities with friends and co-workers if you’ve already shot out a “pray for me!” text to friends as you head out about your day! We are always going to be fighting comfort and distraction when it comes to finding those moments of “movement” where the Holy Spirit just might be at work.
But the more we have people around us doing the same – and maybe even partnering with us as we share – it becomes much easier to see the opportunities arise!
Step One Starts Now
Start by sharing this article (and maybe the last one) with a Christian buddy and challenge each other to start praying for the lost in your life this week. And if you take the next step to get your own one minute story ready, we’d love it if you’d share it on your Instagram or Facebook stories and tag us @intotheharvest so we can see it!
You never know who might see that life-changing story!