Home > Discipleship > How to Share Your Faith Without Being Weird

How to Share Your Faith Without Being Weird

When I, by God’s grace, first became a Christian at age 17 my life had been so radically changed by Jesus that I wanted to tell everyone about him.  I had met the living God and wanted everyone else to meet him to.

The problem was that I didn’t know how to share my faith. I felt unqualified and uninformed.  Did I know enough? Could I explain my conversion clearly? Overwhelmed by the task and lacking someone to show me the ropes, I awkwardly tried to convince all my friends to believe the gospel but failed miserably.

Image via forbes.com

Image via forbes.com

Away With Evangelism Propaganda

When I got to college I joined a campus ministry and was instructed to use a series of gospel illustrations such as “The Bridge,” “Seven Spiritual Laws” and other pre-packaged propaganda.  I was then told that evangelism meant approaching total strangers and asking them if I could talk with them about eternity.

I tried this for about four months.  It was the worst experience I’ve ever had! In a relatively short period of time I became the “weird Christian guy.” This approach only pushed the people I was “witnessing” to further away from the Lord. It was awful and unhelpful.

All-Natural Evangelism

I quickly said good-bye to that ministry and its evangelism techniques after seeing that they made my faith feel plastic and negatively effected non-believers. During that season, I invested hours studying the Word and reading books about effective evangelism.

Everything I read convinced me that the Lord’s primary evangelism method was discipleship. He focused on teaching people to believe in and follow him through intentional relationships over time.  As I put this method to use I quickly realized that people aren’t opposed to the Christian faith, just to Christian propaganda. 

The Power of an Honest Answer

Colossians 4:5-6 is a great example of this. It reads, “be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer each person.” Paul is essentially saying that the easiest way to introduce people to Jesus is to live differently and to answer honestly.

The contrast between the lifestyle of an authentic Christ-follower and someone who doesn’t know the Lord is generally drastic enough that it catches the attention of the watching world. When people see that authentic Christ-followers are different they naturally want to know why. An honest answer, as Paul says, is like salt.  It causes people to thirst for God. 

Ongoing Dialogue or One-Time Decision?

Instead of searching for the next evangelism fad, stick to a simple Christ-like approach. Live with such gospel intentionality that the unbelievers in your life take notice of your character, speech, conduct, attitude and worldview. When people begin to comment or question your lifestyle, honestly tell them that the difference is Jesus.

Focus on an ongoing dialogue rather than a one-time decision. As this happens with increased frequency you’ll be begin to see the Lord do work in people’s lives.  They’ll see Jesus in your life, hear Jesus in your words and experience Jesus through your friendship. This is what it means to share your faith.

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  1. April 7, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    You wrote: “Focus on an ongoing dialogue rather than a one-time decision.”

    I really agree with this, it takes the focus off “push them through the door, then move on to the next one.” And I feel like it mitigates the “easy believe-ism” that cheapens the costly grace of God. In addition, the “single moment” where someone passes from unbelief to belief is only the beginning! You’re right in saying it is the discipleship that is the critical part of establishing someone in Christ, not just ticking them off as another number (which is what it feels like with some of this “stadium evangelism” :/ ).

    And I have heard something that is so good, too, from a teacher (I forget who), whose “method,” as it were (though it really isn’t some formal thing), was to say to someone who was honestly seeking, “watch me.”

    This post is a little older, hope you don’t mind me commenting on it, but it’s just so right on the mark!

    • April 8, 2015 at 8:00 AM

      Thanks Jennifer. I appreciate your sincere reply. If Jesus is correct in John 3 that those who are born of God are like the wind, you don’t know where it comes or where it goes, then we don’t know the exact point in time when some crosses the line of faith anyway.

      It’s best that we disciple people toward Jesus and let the Holy Spirit be the one who decides when and how he brings people to the Lord throughout that process.

      You seem very passionate about this topic. What is it that gets you so fired about about evangelism and discipleship?

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