How do I share my faith with my friends?
"Our faith becomes stronger as we express it; a growing faith is a sharing faith." - Billy Graham
After accepting Christ as the Lord of my life, I was fired up about doing what He wanted me to do with my life. The mission seemed clear and I was ready to partake in whatever was necessary to honor Him. I assume you are probably the same way!
And from the beginning of my faith journey, my pastor and Christian peers harped on Matthew 28:19-20 and the importance of sharing my faith with my friends. That the hope I have in God is not meant to be kept for myself but dispersed out to anyone who would listen.
I was down for that. Honestly, I was pretty pumped about the whole idea. I wanted all my friends to go to Heaven and have a real relationship with God.
I was more than ready to share my faith. Yet, before I began, I wondered: How do I share my faith with my friends?
Many people in this world have the passion, they just lack the plan to accomplish the mission before them.
Today, I am assuming you have the passion to make Jesus famous in your friend group and eventually across the world. At least you should, because as Christians, we have been commanded to do so (Matt. 28:19-20).
Today, I want to combine that passion with a plan. So, provided are some practical tips on sharing your faith with your friends:
1. Live a God - honoring life. St. Francis once said: "Share the gospel at all times, when necessary, use words." Even though you should always be ready to use words, the quote does contain some valuable truth. Sometimes the best way to share your faith is to live it out.
Be aware of other's observing you and live accordingly. Not to make them happy, but to honor God. Eventually, your friends will take notice and ask questions. People are drawn to different. Dare to be different for the glory of God.
2. Invite your friends to church. Churches now-a-days are built to accommodate people bringing their non - believing friends to the services. For our ministry specifically, we highly encourage it. We do a gospel presentation every week in hopes that someone there comes to know Christ as their savior.
Also, it provides a little taste test for a friend who is searching and trying to figure out this whole faith thing. The more Christian influence you surround them with the more likely they will embrace God's grace for them.
3. Pray for them. This really should be at the top of the list because prayer is the difference between what we can do and what God can do. Praying for your friends to know God should be a top priority. Make it a daily practice and you will be amazed at what God does in their lives.
Practically speaking, prayer creates compassion. It is why Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. Praying for someone long enough will lead to us caring for that person. When we care for that person we display action that showcases that. Which leads to having the conversion conversations we need to have.
4. Love your friends well. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. That is a fact of life. If your friends don't feel like you truly care about them as an individual, good luck witnessing to them. Be a good friend and love your crew well.
5. When having conversations about Christ, ask good questions and let them speak. Good questions are superior to great statements in conversations, especially evangelistic ones. Operate as an interviewer, not a know it all. You want to hear their concerns and questions. Do not inundate them with information, even if you're really excited to share it.
In conversation, there are two phrases that should be your best friend: "Why do you say that?" and "What do you mean by that?" And then, *listen to them*. Save your sermons, just hear them out and speak to their concerns. Don't give them a blanket gospel presentation.
Think about it: we are asking this person to give their LIFE to Christ. That is the biggest commitment they will ever make. Take your time, it doesn't have to happen immediately. And if you need help with their questions, hit up a pastor you know.
6. Leverage your personal testimony and share that. Don't try to be a theologian. My unpopular opinion in gospel presentations is not to use a ton of scripture. If you do, John 3:16 is a great place to go. But, I believe your friends, at first, care less about bible stories and care more about your story. So share that and tell them how much Jesus has changed your life.
I have heard it said that you may be the only bible book your friends ever read. That is true in many cases. Now, don't hear me wrong: I love God's Word. We should study it daily and know it well. But, when it comes to unbelievers, they do not care much about what the bible says. They care about you and God's impact in your life. Tell them about that.
In sum, these tips are not exhaustive. But, they act as a great starting place for you to impact your friends for the glory of God. Let's do this!