Here are 5 tips that may help you share your faith:
1. Listen & Build Trust: Get out of your comfort zone.
First things first, get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. We have to be open and available if we are ever going to share our faith with people. It can be as simple as getting to know your neighbours or being aware of the people around you in your daily life. Be open and available to have conversations.
We often think we need to have all of the answers, that we need to have this incredible argument in defence of Christianity, which is important, but more importantly, people want to be heard. People want to know that you care. You can have the best defence for Christianity in the world, but it will fall on deaf ears if you haven’t taken the time to listen and get to know the person you’re talking to. Take time to understand where they’re coming from and learn as much as you can about them and why they don’t believe in God. Everybody has been uniquely created by God, and each of us has lived through different defining circumstances. There is no one size fits all piece to the puzzle. A good approach is the 80/20 rule, 80% listening and 20% talking. Get to know as much as you can about whoever you’re talking to. Earn their trust. Take the time to forge a trusting and genuine relationship.
You need to earn the right to speak into somebody’s life. We have to demonstrate that we are consistent, care for, and want the best for them. Following Christ isn’t about the numbers. It isn’t about anything other than loving somebody so much that you want them to spend eternity with God.
2. Prepare Your Story: How You Came to Know Jesus.
Once you’ve established that relationship, invite those people into your life. Get to know them, and they may naturally ask you questions. Be prepared to share your story of how you came to know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.
Here’s a tip that helped me – write out your story and practice recounting it. Know your story by heart so that when somebody asks you about your faith, you are prepared. Share what your life was like before knowing Jesus, how you met him, and the difference knowing him has made in your life.
Have two versions of your story ready, a lengthy one and a shorter one. Sometimes you only have 5 minutes to share your testimony, and other times, you may have 20 minutes. Decide on what crucial elements you want to share and work around those to create almost a script that fits both versions.
There are five key elements to a good story: the characters, the setting, the plot, the conflict, and the resolution. Think about those when it comes to your story.
3. Why Do You Believe?
It’s great to share how you became a follower of Jesus, but it’s also important to share why you believe in Jesus and why you continue to follow him. Be prepared to give a reason for why you believe beyond saying, “well, I just believe.”
A good starting point is to lay out the evidence that proves Jesus the person existed in history. There is more historical evidence that Jesus existed than many other historical figures, including Napoleon Bonaparte. Most credible historians all agree that Jesus the person lived. As CS Lewis once said, what do I do with that, and who is Jesus? Is he a liar, Lord, or lunatic?
It’s crucial for us as followers of Jesus to continue to find ways to talk to people about why we follow Jesus and the evidence for Jesus. Take the time to learn, and read some books. One of my personal favourite authors is John C. Lennox, a professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford. He has excellent books and information when it comes to a lot of these questions, including creation, science and much more.
Two books I would recommend of his are:
- “God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?”
- “Seven Days That Divide the World.”
Another great book is “Mere Apologetics” by Alister McGrath.
4. You Don’t Need to Have All the Answers.
Many of us think we need to be able to answer any questions that are thrown at us. Although it’s important to be educated and take time to learn, no matter how much you research and learn, you won’t have all the answers. And that’s OK! It’s OK to say, “I don’t know,” but make sure you follow that with a “we can find out together.”
Don’t make things up! Don’t just guess! This is not a “fake it till you make it” moment. If you don’t know the answer, be honest, walk away, do some research, and return to the conversation better prepared.
5. Be Consistent.
Practice what you preach! Demonstrate that you are the same person at home with your family as you are at work. Our words lose credibility when we say one thing but behave completely differently.
Be a person of character and be consistent. It’s OK to have off days or bad days; that’s normal. But ensure that your life reflects the changes you say Jesus has made in you. Most people don’t want to be preached at. They want to be shown how it can make a difference in their lives. Be an example of the difference Jesus can make in your life.