At church, we are currently exploring the topic of evangelism within the series “Walk Across the Room.” For many people, the term “evangelism” conjures up negative images like loud, sweaty preachers in shiny suits. (Think Jonas Nightingale in Leap of Faith.) But true evangelism simply means “to spread the Good News.”
1 Peter 3:5 instructs, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (NIV)
Sharing your faith can happen anywhere, like on the sidelines of a soccer game. When an opportunity presents itself and someone asks you, “So why are you so passionate about this Jesus thing,” are you prepared with your answer?
It’s important to know your story: How has your life been changed after coming to know Jesus? When someone loses a lot of weight, the bottom-line answers others want to know are, “How did you do it? How much did you weigh before you started? How much do you weigh now?” The same is true with those curious about the faith. “What did your life look like before becoming a Christian? What is different now?” Are you able to tell your story in 100 words or less, steering clear of religious jargon?
Once you have pared down your story, it’s important to practice telling it. That concept may seem odd, but think about it. If you are going on a job interview, you go through possible questions in your head. You may even practice with someone else. If you are asking someone out on a date, you may play the scenario in your head over and over until you get it right. What is so different about telling your testimony? The end results are so much greater: we have the opportunity to win lives!
I’ll be honest – I found it difficult telling my story in 100 words or less. My faith journey has some big twists and turns in it – which leaves me with a wordy testimony. But I will begin my story in 2008, when I rededicated my life to Christ.
I was married, was expecting a child, had a decent job, and had close relationships with my family and friends. I was doing my best to live a “good” life. On the outside, I seemed to have everything going for me. But on the inside, I was empty. I was exhausted carrying the weight of my sins and tired of living in a fog that never seemed to lift. When I found my way back to God, everything changed. After truly accepting His forgiveness, I finally felt free. I have a peace, joy and satisfaction that simply weren’t there before.
So, that’s my story in exactly 100 words. What does yours look like?
As you go about your busy lives this week, try to think of at least one person who may need to hear your story. Pray about that person. And be prepared. You never know when God will open the door for you to share.