6. Pray for the person. The starting point for talking to any person about Christ is not talking to a person about God but talking to God about that person. First, Pray specifically that God would give you natural opportunities to talk about your relationship with God. This might happn in the form of a current news event or something happening in their family. Second, pray that God would prepare and open their heart for that conversation. Third, pray that God would help you open your mouth and actually have that conversation. We need spiritual courage. When you pray for God’s boldness, you are praying, in part, that God will help you think more about others than yourself.
7. Write a thank you letter to them. Tell that person specific things you appreciate about them.
8. Prepare your “testimony” to fit where they are in life. When you share your story, try to emphasize the areas that you have in common, particularly tough circumstances that God has helped you deal with. If your friend is going through a tough illness, and you just talk about how God helped you with your divorce, that’s “OK” but not the greatest. Try to connect them with a Christian that is going through or has gone through similar circumstances. Look for areas that you can share that meet them where they are.
9. Lend the person a Christian book or CD. Why lend it instead of giving it? Because you want that person to give it back so you can ask what they thought about what they read or heard.
10. Invite the person to an appropriate Christian event. It might be a music concert, small group, or worship service. Whatever you think they can handle. Some people have been burned by the church so maybe they’re not ready for a worship service but could come hang out at a Super Bowl Party sponsored by the church. Pray about it, and ask.
3. Be there for their good times. Acknowledge and celebrate the good times like weddings, birthdays, accomplishments.
4. Show real interest in them. Showing real interest in someone begins by listening. Ask interesting questions. As they come to trust you enough to share some of their life journey, you may find a natural opportunity to share some of yours, including the difference Jesus has made in that part of your life.
5. Pray with them. We say to people going through tough times, “I’ll pray for you.” Do more than say it. Do it. Ask permission first. And if there are other people around you may want to wait for privacy. But no one has ever said no to me when I’m sensitive to the situation and surroundings.
Rescue always requires involvement in the person’s life. That’s why “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Tragically, those who are already saved tend to spend most of their relationship time with others who are already in the lifeboat. We will be in heaven with those folks forever. But we have only a few years here on earth to help some people outside the lifeboat get to heaven (54).
There are two kinds of churches. Some ask the question, “What can we do to improve our church?” And others, “How can we serve others?” The former operate from self-focus. The latter operates from focusing on others. Some just care about their own preservation, image, and success. And others care about the needs of others. We can only do that when we are confident and secure in our own identity.
When you know you are, you’ll know what to do.
One of the things that gets my heart racing is when God gives me a unique opportunity to share my faith. The churchy word is evangelism. I’m not an “in your face” kind of person with my faith. I expect God to show me the best opportunities and then I have to be faithful to take the steps that I am able to take to communicate why I think God loves all of us and why Jesus saved us from our sins. I get frustrated when I hear that other Christians never share their faith or look for opportunities.
In Ron Hutchcraft’s book “A Life That Matters,” he says:
It takes 2 compelling forces to get us to turn our lifeboat [Hutchcraft uses that metaphor as we seek to be faithful in helping people see how God can save them from their sin] around and begin to bring in as many as we can: the “want to” and the “how-to.”
If you care about spiritually dying people, it is because God has given you “a new heart and put a new spirit in you”; He has removed from you a “heart of stone” and given you a “heart of flesh” (Exekiel 36:26). (46)
He goes on to share 10 practical ways anyone can communicate Christ:
1. Love them in their language. They may resist your words but it will be hard to resist our serving them. Random acts of love and kindness are usually a bridge into even the hardest of hearts. Serving them is their language. Ask yourself, “What need does this person face in his/her life right now that I could help with?”
2. Be there for them during hard times. People remember who was at the funeral, who comes to the hospital, who pitches in during an emergency.
…our plans don’t go as planned and we are forced to make a decision:
complain, grumble, ask why?
pray and find an alternative plan.
That’s when God steps in, when we DEPEND on Him. When we depend in our own plans why should He step in?
God is love. God loves you. God loves everybody.
But do we ever step back and see Him as a real Lover, Someone who puts His heart on the line for those He loves?
God is love.
Somehow when we throw those words together we often forget the emotion, the passion wrapped up in His love.
Read Jeremiah 2:1-8 in the Message:
God’s Message came to me. It went like this: “Get out in the streets and call to Jerusalem,
I remember your youthful loyalty,
our love as newlyweds.
You stayed with me through the wilderness years,
stuck with me through all the hard places.
Israel was God’s holy choice,
the pick of the crop.
Anyone who laid a hand on her
would soon wish he hadn’t!'”
God’s Decree.4-6Hear God’s Message, House of Jacob!
Yes, you—House of Israel!
God’s Message: “What did your ancestors find fault with in me
that they drifted so far from me,
Took up with Sir Windbag
and turned into windbags themselves?
It never occurred to them to say, ‘Where’s God,
the God who got us out of Egypt,
Who took care of us through thick and thin, those rough-and-tumble
wilderness years of parched deserts and death valleys,
A land that no one who enters comes out of,
a cruel, inhospitable land?’
7-8“I brought you to a garden land
where you could eat lush fruit.
But you barged in and polluted my land,
trashed and defiled my dear land.
The priests never thought to ask, ‘Where’s God?’
The religion experts knew nothing of me.
The rulers defied me.
The prophets preached god Baal
And chased empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes.
Read them until you feel the pain God felt when His first love turned their back on Him and started messing with other lovers. What would you do in His shoes? What then does it mean to LOVE HIM?
When troubles come, as indeed they will, it is in prayer that we “get above” them and assert our sovereignty in the power of the risen Lord.
We use a familiar phrase which is very suggestive. We say, “Under the circumstances….” But why should we be UNDER them? Why shouldn’t we be ABOVE them? Why slaves and not masters? It is through prayer that we get our circumstances beneath our feet.
See Psalm 91:13; Luke 10:19; 1 Corinthians 9:27
God created my identity. It is found “in Him” as His beloved child. I didn’t earn it and I don’t keep it through good behavior. The identity we were created to have in God must take the lead in changing our behavior and not the reverse. In this world we determine identity on the basis of behavior, which leads to frustration and legalism.
The question, “Who should I be?” must come before “What should I do?” The order is crucial. “Who we are?” must precede “how we should love?”
Why do we think we can give God advice? We do it all the time. We offer God advice every time we complain about the way our lives are going and every time we offer Him a helpful hint of how things could be done better.
I do it. You do it. We all do it. We try to make our words sound religious but the bottom line is that we, who cannot figure out how a brown cow can eat green grass and produce white milk, try to boss around the God who designed us and everything else, from how fast the sun burns fuel to what takes place inside of us at the cellular level.
So today, take a fast from telling God what He should do. Instead, ask for wisdom to see His handiwork in your life. Replace complaints with praise. God knows what He is doing. Read Romans 11:34-36.