THINGS THAT KEEP YOU FROM BEING A WITNESS
Answer: “I’m afraid that my relationship with this person could be negatively affected or they might even reject me if I try to share the gospel with them.”
When I was a teenager a friend asked me, “How does a person become a Christian?” The question terrified me. I was frozen, like a block of ice. Not because I didn’t know the answer—I did! In fact, I had been praying for opportunities to share Christ with people.
What petrified me was that he asked me that question while we were chatting with three of my closest friends, none of whom knew Jesus. I could find no words to answer him because in that moment I was afraid of how my answer would affect my friendships with the other three guys.
In a sense, life is relationships. That’s why rejection is such a big fear when we think of openly sharing about Jesus with the people in our lives.
How can we overcome this fear? I have three suggestions for you:
1. Recognise that rarely is rejection the outcome. This was one of the surprises to me when I started living as a witness. I had the idea in my mind that nobody wants to talk about God or Jesus or spiritual things. That was such a wrong perception! Most people are eager to have these conversations, so long as it’s clear that you love them and are sharing something with them that you have experienced.
2. Learn how to start these conversations well. Remember this principle: people react to statements, but they interact with questions. Is Christmas coming up? Then ask them what Christmas means to them and share what it means to you. Is the person fed up with their marriage and ready to throw in the towel? Ask them if they feel like they might need God’s help. Are they nervous about rising interest rates? Ask them how they handle anxiety, then share what it means to you to have God to trust in and turn to. Are they lonely? Ask them if they have ever experienced the love of God, then talk about having a real relationship with God, rather than just religious activity.
3. Go on a relational journey towards Jesus with people, rather than simply sharing a gospel presentation with them. It might seem totally unnatural to bring the gospel into a conversation with someone you know from work. But if you are already talking about God and spiritual things, then it will be natural to ask if anyone has ever shared with them how to start a good relationship with God. Still, it might be strange to start a God-conversation with someone from work. But if your conversations have already moved past the surface to talk about personal issues, then it will be natural to start sharing how God is involved in your personal life. Still, it might seem odd to bring up personal issues to someone you only know as an acquaintance. But it will be natural to talk at the deeper level if that acquaintance becomes a friend.
You see the journey, right? Do things together to grow an acquaintance into a friend. Then move past the surface level into personal conversations as the friendship deepens. Start sharing what God means in your life in these personal areas and have spiritual conversations. Then talk about how they could start that kind of relationship with God.
If you follow these three suggestions, rejection will almost never happen and your witness for Jesus will be a natural extension of your meaningful friendship with the person.
If you want to learn more about becoming an effective witness, consider staring a Life2Life huddle with some of your Christian friends who also want to learn to live as witnesses.
Head to mylife2life.com to order your materials and get your huddle started!