Tag Archives: evangelism

5 Gospel Sharing Hacks That Will Change the World

Are you tired of anxiety hijacking your chance to share your faith with a co-worker? Does the idea of evangelism incite an eye-roll reflex? Have awkward experiences tarnished the idea of gospel-sharing for you or your family?

I get it. I have been there before. Talking about church, God, faith, sin, and the afterlife can be incredibly intimidating. Many of us worry that talking about our faith will come across as

  • judgemental
  • fake
  • awkward
  • preachy
  • holier than thou

However, when we stop letting these presuppositions prevent us from talking about Jesus, we have the chance to join our Savior in changing the world.

You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. 1 Peter 3:15-16b

In other words, let’s make it a thing. With practice and a few tools, talking about the good news of God’s love can become normal, not awkward, in your sphere of influence.

Here are 5 H.A.C.K.S. that my husband and I have learned along our own journey:

H. Hold the Gospel Close:

When a cup is poured into with more than it can hold, it splashes over on its surroundings. Similarly, when a Christian spends time treasuring the grace and freedom in a relationship with Jesus, he or she will overflow with joy and excitement for others to experience it as well.

  • Schedule time daily to treasure God’s love for you by reading your Bible.
  • Wake up every day and affirm your identity in Christ. Say “I am a child of God.” As children of the King of kings, we are also ambassadors of His Kingdom. The first is our primary identity. The second is our primary occupation.
  • Talk about the undeserved goodness of God’s grace with other believers. Gather often and get excited about what God is doing. Make it important.

A. Assume and Ask:

Many of us assume the people around us are Christians. They seem to know the lingo, sing the songs, attend the services, therefore, they must have accepted Christ as Savior, right? Not necessarily. News in today’s Christian culture reminds us that Christian people desperately need to hear the clarity of Jesus love and our need for Him. Because they might claim to affiliate with the religion, but never actually experience adoption into God’s family by grace through faith.

And then there’s the beautiful mosaic of people who authentically have no claim to a relationship with Christ. They need to hear about the hope that we have too!

This is where we get stuck. We can lament about people who don’t know Jesus, however it all feels SUPER intimidating to do something about it.

It doesn’t have to be! Most Christians think evangelism is a speech to memorize. However, the Bible is full of stories of men, including Jesus, who introduced the gospel via good questions.

 Asking a ChristianIf you think your friend or family member is a Christian, ask, “what was the day like when you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior?” If they have a salvation experience to share, they will. If they do not, that will become clear and you can skip to “admire” below.

Asking a non-believer: If you do not know about your friend’s or co-worker’s beliefs, ask, “How would you describe your spiritual journey?”

C. Connect Personally:

This is your chance to practice hospitality, so let go of any debate points.

Find one thing you can celebrate about the person’s answer. What can you relate to? This is not the time to disagree. Use “I” statements to ensure the person feels loved and heard:

“I totally get your commitment to mindfulness.”

“I have always appreciated the kindness of your religion.”

“I deeply admire your resilience through so many hardships.”

Again, this is not your chance to prove them wrong. In fact, this is your chance to admit your own wrong-ness! Humility will set your experience apart from most “evangelistic” opportunities. Find a piece of the person’s story that connects with your own need for a Savior. Then tell the story how Jesus rescued you, adopted you, and changed your life forever. Here’s an example:

“In my own life, I find no matter how hard I tried to balance out my good and bad, I always felt the scale tipping. In high school, I finally understood that I am loved deeply by the God who created me. He sent Jesus to take the punishment I deserve for my imperfect identity. Now I have a relationship with God, not because I walked the right path, but because I trusted in Jesus to get me there.”

K. Know The G.O.S.P.E.L.

Many years ago, we traveled many miles for a missions trip to practice sharing the gospel. We learned how to talk to people and how to ask spiritual questions. However, by the end of the trip, I was still unclear on what the actual GOSPEL was. I knew I was saved because I accepted Jesus’ death for my sins, but I could not articulate the full story of the Good News. Dare 2 Share Ministries has changed that for me. This G.O.S.P.E.L. acronym is easy to remember, and simple to regurgitate in your own words. Because the Gospel is not a hard copy of the Holy Bible. The Gospel is the Good News we know from what the Bible says.

Memorize just the first word of each statement, and you are half way there:

  1. God created us to be with Him.
  2. Our sins separate us from God.
  3. Sins cannot be removed by good deeds.
  4. Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again.
  5. Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life.
  6. Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever!

As you are connecting personally, remember to incorporate these truths. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the darkness of our past life or the beauty of our current salvation without actually pointing out the path that lead us from A to B.

S. Secure the Opportunity.

 

At this point, I tend to get awkward. What do I say next, now that I shared my story? So often we fumble through an awkward invitation to church or youth group and rush to change the subject.

When we do so, we are avoiding something beautiful. Who knows how the Holy Spirit is working in this moment!? The Bible is full of interpersonal relationship salvation stories, yet we want to shove the experience into a Sunday morning package.

The simple solution: offer a non-awkward way to continue the conversation. Say something like, “I really appreciate you listening to my perspective. Is there a good time we can meet to talk more about this?” Their answer will clue you into their interest level:

“Yes, now please.”

“Sure, how about at _____ time and place.”

“No, I’m not interested.”

If they are ready now, show them what the Bible says:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

It doesn’t take a special prayer or incantation to get “in.” Believe and declare, have faith and make a statement. Our identity transformation from sinner to son/daughter is instant in the eyes of our Savior, though it takes a while for us to learn to act like it (sanctification). That is where invitations to church and Bible study come in handy.

Recap:

  • Hold the Gospel close
  • Assume and Ask
  • Connect Personally
  • Know the GOPSEL
  • Secure the Opportunity

I hope these Gospel HACKS re-ignite a joy and motivation to be a part of the incredible work God is already doing in our world!

What Gospel Sharing Hack do you plan to focus on this week? Share this post to stock the disciple-making tool box for someone else too!

*This post originally appeared on Becky’s former website, Campfire Grace, on October 21, 2017. It has been modified and re-published to keep sparking excitement for new readers.

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The Timeline of a Christian’s Journey: Engage 24 Boot Camp

Welcome to Engage 24 Boot Camp!

Engage 24 is a worldwide event designed for college students, yet applicable to everyone. On October 15, 2015, students will answer the call to engage their campuses and local environment for a full 24 hours with the gospel. Through prayer, intentional gospel sharing, and bold discipleship, these students plan to consecrate this day to embody God’s heart for the lost.

As you know, my husband and I are blessed directors of a local college ministry. To prepare for 10/15/15, I plan to share a few tips that have greatly helped my journey to understand my faith in Christ, and share it better with the world. First up: the Timeline of a Christian’s Journey.

timeline title

A few years ago, a gentleman in Ohio gave me a picture that was revolutionary to how I understood my faith. It redefined how I saw evangelism and discipleship, and equipped me to do both better. I wish I could remember the source he mentioned for this concept (if any of my readers recognize it, please let me know!).

The following is my representation of the timeline of a person’s journey to becoming a mature, flourishing Christian.

timeline of a Christians journey

The CROSS represents salvation. This is the moment the individual accepts Christ as his or her savior.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

Every point before the “cross” represents a person’s life before Christ. The farthest point could symbolize the time before an individual had ever heard about God and His love for us. As a person hears the gospel, grows in curiosity, seeks answers by the leading of the Holy Spirit, he is stepping closer to that moment of salvation.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15

Of course, in our unbelief before Christ, we go back and forth in our desire to know more about God. Our willingness to seek Him and our attention to His call in our lives can be spotty at best. Some go through seasons where someone is constantly praying for and inviting the individual to learn about faith in Jesus. Other times are characterized by the lack of spiritual intervention by loved ones. Obviously, this is not a linear process. Remember, the timeline pictures is simply a tool, not a definition, to understand a Christian’s journey.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

For some of us, the moment of salvation came very soon after hearing about Jesus for the first time. Whether we were 7 or 27, that moment is still just as significant for each person. For many of us, we understand the full depth of salvation some time after we become Christians. That is just a part of the Holy Spirit walking with us to grow in our faith.

Christian timeline two

The points after the cross symbolize the sanctification process: becoming more like Jesus. At salvation, a person’s identity has changed:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

The Holy Spirit now helps the individual’s lifestyle, thoughts, actions, hopes and dreams to change. That is sanctification:

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

This sanctification is the “growing us up” into maturity:

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:11-14

As with any living organism, we reach maturity when we are able to “reproduce.” In other words, the ultimate goal of the Holy Spirit is not just to make us Christians, but to make us Disciple-makers, like Christ was.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Once a person is able to “feed himself” spiritually, and begin to feed others, he or she can continue running the race with perseverance till the day God calls us home:

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. Philippians 3:10-15

This “timeline” will be a helpful tool as we explore the difference between evangelism and discipleship, the importance of prayer, and what it truly means to be a Christian. Engage 24 is right around the corner. Prepare yourself with greater understanding of the above Scriptures, to impact your sphere of influence for Christ.

Use #engage24bootcamp to share this post and connect with others who are gearing up for 10/15/15!

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