How can I share my faith without being so awkward?

AUTHOR: Bill Gorman

Campus Pastor - Brookside

Questions and Barriers About Evangelism

Read:  

2 Timothy 1:3-14. How does Paul encourage Timothy to grow in his faith and practice of evangelism?

Focus:

During the 13 weeks of e90, we will focus on the practice of evangelism. Each week we will address a question or common barrier related to sharing our faith. Take the next 5 minutes to read a blog from Bill Gorman about how to evangelize in ways that feel natural.

 

How can I share my faith without being so awkward?

None of us wants to be Ned Flanders on The Simpsons TV show. But how do we share our faith without it being so awkward? I’ve been consistently helped by10 tips that Tim Keller shared once in a training session:

  1. Let people around you know you are a Christian (in a natural, unforced way)
  2. Ask friends about their faith – and just listen!
  3. Listen to your friends’ problems – maybe offer to pray for them
  4. Share your problems with others – testify to how your faith helps you
  5. Give them a book to read
  6. Share your story
  7. Answer objections and questions
  8. Invite them to a church event
  9. Offer to read the Bible with them
  10. Take them to an explore course

Keller adds that often we think that only tip numbers 8-10 count as real evangelism, but that we may have to loop through tips 1-4 several times before we get to 5-10. 

But you might ask What does letting people know I’m a Christian in a natural, unforced way look like??? It could be as simple as when someone asks What you did over the weekend? mentioning that you went to church. Maybe you even add briefly what was particularly enjoyable about the service or what you love about your church community. For example:

Sam: “How was your weekend, Bill?”

Bill: “Good! Did some projects around the house on Saturday. Sunday we went to church. Our kids love it there. And it’s been a real support to us. What did you do this weekend?” 

That’s just one example of a natural and unforced way. Here’s another. Imagine a group of parents watching their kids at a sporting event. The group starts talking about their kids and social media. You might add: “Our church recently hosted a conversation about families and technology with a group called START. One suggestion they shared that’s been helpful to our family is…” Again that is natural and unforced. You’re just talking about your life.

So here’s the action we can take this week. As you pray for your 9 people, think about Keller’s ten tips. Ask yourself: Where is each person at and what would the next step look like? Maybe for your co-worker it’s tip 1. But maybe for your friend at the gym it’s tip 4 or step 6.

Again, not wanting to be Ned Flanders is a worthy aspiration if you genuinely desire to share the hope, meaning, and rescue you received in Jesus and His family, the local church. However, as we read today in 2 Timothy 1:3-14, the Apostle Paul — a brilliant, Spirit-empowered evangelist if there ever was one — reminds Pastor Timothy that sharing our faith will often be an occasion of timidity, shame and even suffering. 

In other words, Paul doesn’t promise that if we just do everything “right” sharing the gospel won’t be awkward or hard. Rather, he challenges Timothy to recognize and despise the shame, to embrace the power, love, and self-discipline the Spirit gives, and join in suffering for the gospel — not in his own ability but by the power of God.

We can’t awkward-proof conversations about Jesus anymore than we can awkward-proof any other significant, powerful, meaningful human interaction. But we can rest in the confidence that Jesus’ power is greater than your awkwardness. Always.

Pray:

Pray for your 9 for 90 seconds; pray for God to bless them.

Day 51 of 90

3 Comments

  1. Gabriel Coyle

    Really great tips, Pastor Bill! Thank you for the accessible reminders!

    Reply
  2. Justin@leawood

    2 Timothy 1:3-14. How does Paul encourage Timothy to grow in his faith and practice of evangelism?
    V6 fan into flame the gift of God (how?)
    V7 remember the spirit of power, love and self control that God gave him
    V8 you aren’t alone, you can share in suffering by Gods power
    V9 God called you by His grace before time began
    V10 JC saved us, abolished death, and brought life and immortality
    V12 knowing whom we believe helps us not to be ashamed . God guards what He entrusted to us (the gospel? Our calling?)
    V13 we have sound words to follow, and also faith and love in JC
    V14 we also have the Holy Spirit in dwelling in us

    Summary- Paul encourages Timothy to remember that: God gave him a powerful and loving spirit; he has a holy (set apart) calling by God from before time; Jesus’ work re: death and immortality; the Holy Spirit dwells within him and helps him. Therefore we do not need to be afraid (v7) or ashamed (v8).

    I too have a calling entrusted to me; something (message?) about a Jesus, death, and life; and the Holt Spirit in dwelling in me

    Blog thought: those tips don’t seem too hard or unnatural.

    How did I benefit from church this weekend? I really appreciated the care of adults for my kids (Sunday school teachers; middle school speaker; the man who gives them candy in the service). I also enjoyed supporting the 7th grade guys who were leading our 7th grade small group

    Reply
  3. Peter Graff

    Bill. Thank you for listening to me. I wish everyone would feel the love that the Holy Spirit shares with me. The world would be a wonderful place.

    Reply

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