Most of us probably hear the word “evangelism” and think about people who stand on street corners or go door-to-door with cringey “fire and brimstone” handouts. The idea of talking to other people about Jesus is intimidating, and the last thing we want to do is come across the wrong way.
There is value in telling others about Jesus, and it’s something the Bible talks about a lot. One verse, Matthew 28:19, tells us to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Is there a way to respond to this call without being awkward or pushy?
It is possible to have meaningful conversations about Jesus with others without creating awkwardness in the relationship. Here are some helpful tips for sharing your faith with confidence:
1. Pray for opportunities, and lean in
There may be more chances to talk to people about Jesus than you realize! Start by simply asking God to increase your awareness and open the door to potential opportunities to share your faith – and be ready and willing to walk through them when he does.
2. Be yourself
All too often, we sell ourselves short when it comes to sharing our faith. You don’t have to be a pastor or a Biblical scholar, and there’s no length of time you need to be a follower of Jesus before you’re “qualified” to evangelize. The truth is, even seasoned pastors and church leaders struggle to share their faith! (Don’t believe us? Check out this episode of the Live Changed Podcast and hear some of the things real pastors and church staff wrestle with when it comes to talking about Jesus.)
If folldowing Jesus has changed your life, that’s all the experience you need. Speak from the heart and tell others about what Jesus has done for you. Your personal story can be more inspiring than you realize, and God uses our stories all the time to connect with others. Start by talking about what your life was like before you knew Jesus, what led you to follow him, and how your life is different today.
3. Listen and ask questions
Conversations like these should never be approached as a task to check off a list. You’re talking to a living, breathing person who has a life, a story, and their own lifestyle – maybe even their own religion. Don’t enter into a conversation with assumptions – get to know their story and ask lots of questions!
Depending on how well you know the person, it may not be appropriate to share your faith right away. You can never go wrong with taking your time and building a relational foundation first. Keep in mind – if you don’t want to play the long game and invest in a relationship first, you might need to re-evaluate whether this is the best opportunity to share your faith.
4. Be sensitive and flexible in each situation
Evangelism conversations don’t follow a formula. Each interaction will be different, and it’s important to be adaptable. Don’t carry an agenda into the conversation – simply pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and discernment.
5. Be prepared to field questions
When you share your faith with others, you’re bound to get some tough questions. Don’t let it deter you! You don’t need to be an expert on Christianity, but it can be helpful to prepare for some common questions. Books like “Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity” can be an incredibly helpful resource.
More than likely, you’ll get asked a question you simply don’t know how to answer. Don’t be afraid to show humility and say “I don’t know.” But don’t leave it there – investigate it and come back with an answer!
6. Be faithful to scripture
There are three things you should be prepared to share with others in order to introduce them to Jesus in a way that stays true to the Bible:
1. Be prepared to share the good news of God’s coming kingdom – that God, through Jesus, began the process of making everything in the world right again: God created humankind (Genesis 1:26-31), but we messed up the perfect world he made for us (Genesis 3). God made a plan to rescue us (John 3:1-21), and someday soon he will bring everything into restoration (Revelation 21:1-5).
2. Expand on the heart of God’s plan and share the good news about Jesus – the King who came to rescue us: his death (1 Peter 2:24-25), his resurrection (1 Peter 1:3-9), and his impending return (Hebrews 9:27-28) - and why all of these things are good news.
3. Share how we should respond to this good news: Turn to God, from whatever or whoever you’ve been living for, and trust Jesus to forgive your sins and lead you from this point on.
7. Pray for the people you share with
It’s important to keep in mind that we cannot change someone’s heart – only God has that power. More than likely, one conversation about Jesus won’t convince someone to follow him. The most effective thing we can do is pray and trust that God will do the rest.
8. Be ready to help people who respond positively
There’s always a possibility that you’ll get to be the one to help someone take their first step in following Jesus! If that happens, do you know what they should do next?
Some action steps for a person who decides to follow Jesus could be praying, reading the Bible, or going to church. Be ready to help them along their journey and offer guidance and encouragement along the way, whatever that may look like!
Talking about Jesus doesn’t have to be complicated – and with a little prayer, preparation, and adaptability, you can have meaningful conversations about Jesus with others! For more encouragement about sharing your faith, check out Episode 7 Part 1 and Part 2 of the Live Changed Podcast.
The Live Changed Podcast is produced by LCBC Church. LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Subscribe to the Live Changed Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!