Summary: A reminder that anyone can successfully share some element of the good news with someone who needs to hear it.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer my simple survey over the past 3 weeks! I was thinking I might end up with some really creative tools and ideas for all of us when it comes to sharing our faith. I expected that, at the end of this series on getting evangelism in hand, I might share some more helps to put in everyone’s hands to help us share Jesus with people who need to hear about Him. So I studied over those surveys and here’s what I found: I kept reading about parents and Sunday School teachers, youth coaches, friends and co-workers. And I kept reading about invitations to church. It didn’t surprise me, really. The best tool we have for outreach, the greatest secret weapon for helping bring people close to Jesus is still…you. Even when it came to sharing ways that you helped lead someone else to Jesus, I noticed this about them: they all involved you! I hope that’s not a disappointment.
Oh, we still could use some tools and helps, I think… (open bag)
Tip Cards, Trunks and Treats ads, NT’s, The Bridge – a pencil and paper, Circle of Influence list, Events, Service projects, SS contest, church DVD or CD (hasn’t been invented yet!), car show T-shirt, couldn’t fit in a small group, but perhaps some revitalization of our small groups, especially prying open the doors to them so that non-members will be interested in them (pry bar), maybe an opportunity on our website to have members “appear” as a featured testimony and then they could tell their friends, “Hey, I’m the featured interview on our church website this month. You should check it out.” simple gifts to give to people (pens, etc.) that have the church’s website address on them.
What we really need isn’t a secret tool. There are dozens. What we really need is a way to get ourselves in the regular practice of sharing our faith in some way. We need to go ahead and make the move from getting what’s in our heads and in our hearts out through our hands.
If you’re sitting there asking “Well, why do we need to do that?” then you need to go back to the first 3 messages of this series. If you don’t understand why this is so vital, or if you just don’t really care, then this message this morning really isn’t going to get anywhere with you. But if you’ve been listening, and you have in mind what needs to happen, if you have deep inside the heartfelt desire to do something, then I think this morning will help put some feet to that desire. I want to suggest 3 practical ways that we can get that done.
1. Create a win/win/win situation
Not even Charlie Brown likes to lose. And it’s that fear of losing that keeps a lot of us from striking up conversations of spiritual depth with people. We’re afraid that we’ll do it wrong, or that they’ll ask something we can’t answer, or that they’ll engage in an argument we can’t win.
A few years ago, I read a book by a guy who’s very big into personal evangelism. He pointed out how when we share our faith, there are really only a few possible outcomes. What are they?
1. You share your faith, they accept: You win! They win!
“Hey, have you ever considered how the thing you’re searching for in life could be your need for a real relationship with Jesus?” And that person listens, and responds to the gospel, and accepts Jesus. You win a new friend in Christ and the other person wins. That can happen, and does happen, and most of the people sitting around you today are a testimony to the fact that it does happen.
2. You share your faith, they accept later: You win! They win!
“Hey, have you ever thought about how your family really needs to be involved in a church, especially your kids?” and that person listens, but doesn’t respond. You might never even hear about it, but a year later, after some other people also influence him, that guy shows up with his family, and they all end up accepting Jesus. You win because another person will spend forever in Heaven with you, and the other person wins. That also happens often.
3. You share your faith, they reject Jesus
“Hey, are you sure after you die that you’ll go to Heaven?” and that person looks at you and says, “Who cares? I don’t even think there’s a Heaven. I never realized what a weak-minded person you actually are. You believe that junk?!”
Now, you might call this a lose/lose scene, but it’s not.
1 Peter 4:14-16 (NASB)
If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.