Witnessing Made Easier

When sharing Christ, it's important to earn the right to be heard.
by Larissa Swearngin, as told to Chris Lutes

Many people don't tell others about God because they're scared or nervous. I know exactly how they feel! Witnessing has always been a scary thing for me. But about a year ago, I attended an evangelism conference that helped me see just how important it is to tell others about Jesus. Not that sharing Christ suddenly became easy. But I have discovered a few ways to share my faith that make it a little easier. Here are five of them:

  1. I share with friends. Not long ago, my youth pastor gave us this challenge: "Share Christ with someone you know who is not a Christian." At first I swallowed hard and thought, That's a challenge I'm not too excited about. But I knew my thinking wasn't right. Who better to share with than people I know and people who will probably listen to what I have to say? So, I took my youth pastor up on the challenge and shared with my friend Andrew.* It was actually easier than I thought. I talked to him about stuff that mattered to him, and then brought my faith into the discussion. I was only able to do this because I knew him really well. Talking to Andrew helped me to see how important is to bring Christ into my friendships. If I really care about my friends, I will want to talk to them about things that are important to me, like my relationship with God.
  2. I go with a friend. Not long ago, my friend Rachel and I decided to sit at lunch with a few people who were new around school. As we got to know them, we began bringing up things we were doing at youth group. Some-times we'd end up inviting somebody to church or talking to them about why our faith was important to us. At times, Rachel would do most of the talking. Other times, I'd end up doing most of the talking. In many conversations, we'd end up helping each other out. If I didn't know exactly what to say, she'd jump in. And there were times I could help if she was having a tough conversation. I like having a "witness partner." Along with helping each other share, we also have someone around who can pray silently when the other one is talking. We also can hold each other accountable. Sometimes I may have a great opportunity to witness, but I back out because I'm all by myself. With Rachel around, I'm challenged to share when it seems right to do so. We just give each other that little nudge we need to get going.
  3. I back off and let God work. When I shared Christ with my friend Andrew, I realized he wasn't ready to become a Christian. Instead of trying to "force" him to make a decision, I simply said something like, "If you ever want to talk to me about any of this stuff, I'm always willing to talk. But it's up to you." I felt I'd said what I needed to say and he didn't need to feel like I was pressuring him. I knew I needed to back off and let God work on my friend's heart.
  4. I try to treat people with respect. Last year, Rachel and I met a girl who was a Jehovah's Witness. We spent a lot of time listening to her. We felt if we listened to what she had to say, we might earn the right to be heard. It's so easy to make people feel like they're wrong and end up pushing them further away from the true God. I'm not out to win an argument; I am out to bring people to Christ. I think I bring people a little closer to Christ when I show them respect and truly listen when they talk.
  5. I try to see people as God sees them. I have to be careful not to judge people by how they look or by what they say. It's so tempting to think, That person isn't interested in knowing about Jesus. But if I stuck with that kind of thinking, I don't think Rachel and I would have talked to those new kids in the cafeteria. I would have also missed out on sharing Christ with some really cool and interesting people.
Larissa, a senior, learned the GOSPEL method of sharing Christ through Dare 2 Share, an organization dedicated to helping Christian students witness to their friends. To learn more about this method, go to dare2share.org/strategies.

 from www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/

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