What are the criteria in deciding who to share your faith with and when to share it? How do we go about it?
We are always witnessing, whether we know it or not. People are watching us, and our actions communicate something, for good or bad.
- Pray: Pray for specific people who you think may not have a relationship with God or church home. If you don’t know anyone like that, then pray for God to send someone. But most likely there is a family member, co-worker, or friend who fits the bill.
- Watch: Ask God regularly, “Help me see who you are bringing me. Give me eyes of compassion. Let me know when I can take the next step.”
- Reach out: Find ways to reach out to that person in non-threatening ways. It could be coffee or lunch or just a chat with you neighbor by the fence line. Keep the conversation to a basic level if you don’t know each other well. Keep listening for clues to their heart. Eventually you should be able to ask life questions like, “How are you feeling about life right now?”
- Listen: Listen well. Simply by listening you are demonstrating love. What is he or she longing for? Struggling with? Whatever it is, try to discover what the person cares about.
- Connect: If you have discerned what is pressing on the person’s heart, try to connect his or her situation with the message of the gospel or how God has helped you in a similar situation in your life. Try to do this without preaching. It should be a dialogue, not a sermon.
- Share: Eventually you want to be able to effortlessly and appropriately share your faith story, how you came to know God, how God has been at work in your life. Be honest with your imperfections and struggles. Share how they can become a Christ follower too if they want to know.
- Invite: At some point, invite the person to join you at church. If that’s too threatening to them, or you think it will be, then invite them to a fellowship function, concert, small group meeting, or even just to your house for dinner with another Christian couple or person. If you sense they have a heart for other people, then invite them on a service project or mission trip!
Keep praying throughout the process. Be prepared for it take time (and some of your time). Research has shown that it takes on average 28 months to make a faith commitment from when they first begin seeking.