Kevin Harney is an outreach coach. He understands how reluctant so many Christians are about sharing their faith. Here are some helps he gives us that will not only make our attempts effective but perhaps will light a fire under so many of us who are holding back.
1. Ask for permission and don’t be pushy. When you sense that a door is opening say, “Would you mind if I told you about a way God has changed my life?”
2. Use ordinary language. People far from God will not understand some of the “churchy” words we use. It is best to use plain language.
3. Start briefly and share more as it becomes appropriate. Rather than telling your whole life story, just share one experience.
4. Highlight God’s presence and power. If Jesus has healed you from an addiction or bad habit, or has provided guidance, let people know. People really want to know if God is real and active in the world today.
5. Clearly present the before and after pictures. The list is as long as our life experiences: from self-centered to caring, from no purpose to deep meaning, from fear of death to hope for eternity, from anxiety to peace….
6. Share the source of life transformation. The only power that can change us from the inside out is the work of Jesus.
7. Let joy shine through. Don’t fake it, but joy will be part of our story because Jesus is the author of joy.
8. Communicate with humility. We need to be careful not to come across as saying we are right and they are wrong or we are good and they are bad. We simply want to share what God is doing in our life.
9. Remember, you have many stories. Be careful not to get locked into telling the same story over and over. And make your story fit the needs of the person you are talking with. If they are suffering from loneliness, tell how God’s presence has strengthened and comforted you.
10. I would add one more: Talk to God before you talk to someone far from God—PRAY!
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship