A recent study reports that 80% of church goers believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others, which includes inviting people to attend their church. However, 61% of that same group admit to not sharing their faith with anyone over the last twelve months. The same study goes on to suggest that many people just don’t know how to go about sharing the good news of Jesus and inviting non-believers to church. Now, I fully admit that it can be scary especially for people who are naturally shy and introverted. There’s nothing more dreadful than talking to strangers, or even people you know, about something so personal and then waiting for the possible (and likely) rejection that comes. I understand and even empathize here more than you will ever know.
In a few weeks I have the honor of serving as the bible lecturer for the 2015 Adult Conference for the Christian Church in Ohio. During this weeklong event I will present four lessons on “Witnessing as a Community”. Each of these sessions will focus on the task of disciples to be a witness for the Lord. This doesn’t mean being a street preacher or handing out tracks; instead it’s something much easier and common. I am suggesting that transformation of hearts, souls and lives begins with a simple conversation. This takes the edge off and means none of us has to be an expert of the bible or the soul defender of Jesus. Instead, no one can argue about what Jesus has done for you and your life. Evangelism is really addressing that simple question: what has Jesus done for you?
I will be the first to tell you I’m not bible expert, I don’t have a major or minor in biblical studies, and I get nervous when talking to new people. But I know the difference Jesus and faith have made in my life. Your faith journey may look radically different than mine but it’s the same spirit at work, creating second chances for God’s children to be whole, happy and saved.
This week, I want to encourage and challenge everyone to have a simple, short conversation with an unchurched friend. You don’t need a scripture or a long drawn out plan. Just talk from you heart. You may be planting a seed that will grow later. Or, the seed may have been planted long ago and they are just waiting for the right person to start a conversation.