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Jesus told us to go into the world making disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28) This means we have the opportunity to share our faith with everyone. Jesus has promised that He would be with us in this and never leave us. This gives us great confidence to do so but... how?!!
I grew up in a generation that thought this was only for the "spiritual elite." This couldn't be further from the truth. One of the greatest joys of my life has been having the opportunity to watch someone give their life to Jesus. It is like watching a baby being born... except without all the yelling, pushing, and stuff. 🤣 Watching the love of God wash over them and seeing their eyes fill with hope is something that never gets old.
Someone once came up to me and said, "Pastor, no matter what I do, I cannot get out of this depression. What should I do?" I told them there were many next steps to working with depression but how about they share their story with someone and lead them to Christ? This guy immediately sat up straight and said, "I couldn't do that. I wouldn't know how." However, I could tell in his eyes, he was already feeling more alive than he had been in weeks. There was an immediate "fresh air" that flowed over Him. That's because we are never closer to the heart of God than we are serving someone else. And, there is no better way to serve than to share our faith. When we share our story, we are doing spiritual warfare. We are reminding the devil of Christ's victory. We are taking back God's children. We are walking in victory. It's amazing!
Alright, here we go. Imagine you have eyed 👀 someone and decided they are next. Here are a few steps to get you started:
1- 📣 Live your faith out loud.
I'm not talking about anything fake. I'm talking about not hiding your pursuit of God in front of them.
- Invite them to church.
- Share what is going on in your LifeGroup.
- Don't assume they don't care about your weekend, listen to them talk about their world and then tell them about yours.
- When you pray, don't hide it from them.
- When you struggle, talk about how you turn to God.
- Be real. Just make sure your "real" is always working toward getting closer to God.
Goal- Show them Christians are not superhuman or villains. Just people who have embraced the hope of salvation.
2- 🙏 Pray for an opportunity.
The Holy Spirit is our Counselor and our Guide in Life. He dwells within us. He speaks to us. He walks with us through every season. He loves this person more than you do and also knows what is going on in their world. He knows when is the right time to share your story. The right words at the wrong time can have a negative impact. So, before diving in, ask the Holy Spirit to open the door for the best possible opportunity. I have watched this work over and over. When you least expect it, even the most difficult person will bring up a topic that will easily translate into an opportunity.
Goal- Partner with the Holy Spirit for the right time to share the Gospel.
3- 🧠 Know what you believe.
When the Holy Spirit opens the door, make sure you are ready to walk through it. This means two things:
- Be ready to share your story. (next point)
- Know what salvation is.
The plan of salvation is simple but not simplistic. Here it is in bullet form:
- All have been born into sin.
- This sin separates us from a Righteous and Holy God.
- Jesus, the Son of God, came to Earth to pay the death penalty for our sins so we can be forgiven of all evil and made righteous through Him.
- Salvation is then received by placing our faith in Christ, through faith. We cannot earn it. Only receive.
- We receive salvation when we confess our sins, ask for forgiveness through Christ, and accept Him as the Lord of our lives.
Goal- You don't have to be a Bible scholar. Just be ready to share what has happened to you and the roadmap to forgiveness themselves.
4- 🥴 Share your story.
When the door opens, begin with your story. This is how you made your journey from sin to salvation. Tell them what happened in your life. You don't have to share every single detail and never feel obligated to share anything too personal. The Holy Spirit is already working more than you can imagine. This is your freedom story. Enjoy the moment to brag about God's goodness.
Here are some tips:
- Keep it brief.
- Keep it about Jesus, not glorifying sin.
- Keep it about you, too. Don't mention names from your past. Let them tell their own freedom story.
- Bring it to now.
Goal- If God can do a miracle in you, He can do it for them too.
5- 😀 Invite them to repent and commit their lives to Jesus joyfully.
I cannot imagine how horrible it would be to tell someone they just won a million dollars and then never tell them how they can collect it. Just as terrible is telling someone Jesus came to wash away all their sin and fill that void in their hearts, but then never telling them how to meet Jesus for themselves.
Salvation is repentance of their sin and committing their lives to Christ. It is joyful because they are "cashing" in their sin for the free gift of God. This is a moment of celebration. Here's what to do:
- Invite them to pray right then, but don't be disappointed if they say they want to think about it more.
- Remember, this is a moment between them and God.
- Tell them you will start the prayer.
- Offer to give them the words to pray but they have to make their allegiance to God themselves.
- Here is a sample prayer,
"Dear Jesus. Thank You for loving me and dying for my sin on the Cross. I confess I am a sinner and need Your salvation. I ask you to wash away my sin and I declare you as Lord of my life. I give everything I am to You. I make you my Lord and Savior. Take my life. Save me. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
Goal- The prayer of salvation is simple but powerful. They can say it in their own words but the point is to confess they are a sinner, declare Jesus as their Lord, and ask for His work of salvation to wash away their sin.
God's Word says in Romans 10:9, "If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." It's a beautiful moment when someone passes from death to life. It begins as a decision and becomes a whole new life from the inside out. This is where your work as their new brother or sister in Christ begins. You now have the honor of walking with them toward freedom. It's a beautiful adventure that starts today.