For me, meeting new people, networking, and small-talk are everything but comfortable. Especially when I know no one else. I hope for someone to introduce me so I don’t have to do it myself. “Hi. I’m Sam. I like hip-hop and eating bread.” I’m a master of making awkward situations more awkward, especially when it comes to females (but that’s another topic for never).
Something else I have noticed can be awkward is trying to introduce those we care about or don’t even know to the reality of Jesus. Yeah, we’re supposed to do it (Matthew 28:18-20). No, it isn’t easy. I have found it is easier to tell about Jesus on mission trips hundreds of miles away from home to people we have never met and will never see again. But when it comes to sharing with your best friend, mom, or cousin, it isn’t nearly as easy. Maybe it’s the fear of rejection. Maybe it’s the fear of creating some form of disconnect between you and your loved ones. Or maybe its a fear of knowing that the person you look up to and depend on all of your life doesn’t know who Jesus is, and you are the best option available. I get it. I’ve been there. I’m there now.
I have been able to see and learn ways that help cut through the gray area of telling others who Jesus is. *I am only stating I have seen these things work, and not that this is the only way. But they may give you some headway into conversations.*
Understand who Jesus is to you.
Before you or I can fully explain the hope and salvation that Christ brings us, we must first understand that for ourselves. Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost (Luke 19:10). When I put my own faith in Christ I had to realize, I am lost. Before I can help others lost in the dark out of the woods, I have to find my way out first.
Jesus came to save you, me, your neighbor, my best friend, you worst enemy, the cashier at the service station, everyone. He died for you. He came to give up His life, to allow us to have life more abundantly (John 10:10).
Be a friend. Be a son or daughter. Spend time with those you love, not to shove the Gospel down their throat, but just to connect with them. It’s scientific fact that the closer you are to someone relationally the more comfortable and open they are with you. Am I saying to take some extra time to play FIFA on Playstation or get some pizza with those you care for? ABSOLUTELY.
Being a Christian friend doesn’t mean you have to bring someone to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. You don’t have to drop subtle hints at new Christian artists or take them to every faith-based movie premier. Being a friend, listening to someone, and loving and serving someone will open doors to deeper conversations and opportunities for sharing the love and salvation of Christ. Your love for Christ should pour over into loving people (Mark 12:30-31).
PSA: Even love those who don’t love you (Luke 6:35).
Do Not make it incomprehensible.
**You don’t have to be a bible scholar, dude**
I’ll tell you, the bigger words you use may be impressive but may be harmful (big words cause me to not pay attention and lose interest). The Gospel of Jesus isn’t a complex thing. The love God had to send His son to die for the sin of mankind is amazing. Jesus gives us the ability to come to God, full of repentance, and receive salvation canceling our sin debt to God. There’s some good ways to introduce the Gospel, just research it.
One I love to advocate: your own story. Your friends often know you. Some know your past. Some don’t. Some may notice change Jesus has brought into your life. Share Jesus through your own story. Your own transformation story entails so much truth and power. You don’t need a crazy past life. You don’t have to overcome addictions or life-threatening situations. Some do. But no matter your situation, the power of the Holy Spirit lies within you and within your story.
Don’t leave them to figure it out alone.
I used a “lost in the woods” reference earlier. When you find them, don’t lead them out of the woods and leave them to get home on their own. Drive them home. Discipleship is of utter importance.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Go. We all know go. Go and build homes, hand out water, take picture, and share the story of Jesus. But immediately after the statement go Jesus tells us to “make disciples.” Share the story of Jesus. Share the opportunity of salvation and reconciliation to God who loves us and wants to fellowship with us. But we CANNOT forget discipleship. We can’t reject “teaching all the things I have commanded.” Spending time with others in God’s word is where Christ’s impact is greatest. When we make disciple who can make disciples we get disciples who can make disciples who can make disciples. How crazy is that! Help them learn who God is, what the Bible says, and what their impact should be.
Pray for our first responders unwaveringly serving in Sevier County and every family affected by the Gatlinburg wildfires.