No matter what our cultural, ethnic, social, financial, whatever background, stories can connect us in a powerful way. When someone has a similar story, our heart suddenly feels at home, knowing we’re not alone. And when people have different experiences, stories are the bridge to help us understand each other better. Your story has immense value.
And maybe “evangelism” isn’t quite so intimidating if we view it as the simple stories of our encounters with God, woven into our regular lives. I’ll admit that most often I don’t know what to say or exactly how to say it, but maybe I need to stop looking for the perfect story and share my honest one. Maybe you too. Check out this week’s video below, then take some time to try the experiment or chapter 5 study questions on your own!
Experiment #5- Think about your life and the people you’ve shared your faith with. How does evangelism make you feel? If you’re like me, you may feel ashamed that you haven’t shared your faith story more often. Or, you might be someone who has shared your faith often, but you’ve struggled with whether your approach honors God. Ask God to identify one thing about how you share you faith that you can improve in. (If you’re stuck try praying about one of these: Listening better to others, being more sensitive to God’s Spirit, arguing less, having more confidence in sharing the story God’s given you, worrying less about having a “perfect” testimony, genuinely loving those you are sharing with, trusting the Spirit’s role in speaking to people, etc.) Just pick one thing. The next time you encounter someone and feel impressed to share part of your faith story, trust God to help you with that piece of evangelism He wants to grow you in.
Chapter 5 Study Questions:
1. What has influenced you to start following God, or to continue following Him?
2. Discuss the idea of conversion as a before and after experience. How can we emphasize God’s change in our lives without glossing over the reality of our ongoing struggles?
3. Do you feel confident sharing your faith outside of church? Discuss your fears or the reasons for your confidence.
4. How can the pressure to “evangelize” someone undermine the relational aspect of sharing the gospel?
6. A quote attributed to Francis of Assisi says, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Some use this to suggest our actions should be speaking the gospel louder than our words. Others have said that this quote gives the false impression that using words to share the gospel isn’t that important. What does it mean for us to combine the power of our words and actions?
7. My parents once met a man from Africa who was a missionary to America. Does this surprise you? Use this as a springboard to discuss some of the unhealthy views we in America may have regarding mission work. Then discuss some of the positives of missions, perhaps from your own experience.
8. How can examining our view of evangelism and missions help us to love the world better?
Bible passages for further reading:
1 Peter 3:15 (Share faith with gentleness and respect); 1 Peter 2:12 (Live good lives among unbelievers); James 2:15-17 (action accompanies faith); Matthew 28:19-20 (Jesus commands us to share our faith); Romans 10:11-15 (Why we bring good news); Acts 2:42-47 (True godly community attracts others)
Do you feel like sharing your story? You’ve come to the right place because I’d love to SHARE your story on one of my “Friend Post Friday” guest blog posts. I have a guest-poster every fourth Friday of the month, so message me if you’d like to write something for this fall or winter!