“You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way.”
I Pet. 3:15-16
When you hear the “E” word these days it can bring many negative connotations to mind. Fallen TV evangelists such as Swaggert, Baker, Tilton and others have tinted the views of an entire generation. What is interesting now is the next generation really knows nothing of these men but still resonates with the previous generation’s opinions. It is an ignorant residue.
Bible thumpers, religious freaks or fanatics are among the labels we risk if we openly share our faith in Christ. Yet someone must still “do the work of an evangelist” if the message of hope in Christ is to penetrate the unbelieving walls of popular culture.
Let’s face it. People have questions-intimidating questions. And who is up to answering them? Sometimes the questions come with a passion that sends us reeling. At other times, they call for more intellect than we can marshall in the moment.
Always be ready to explain faith? Are you kidding? How do I talk to someone who has no faith about a God that you can only understand if you have faith? Sometimes we still struggle with our own understanding of faith. How can we help someone else on their journey?
Listen to the words of Jesus:
But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
God’s life in us makes us people who can “bear witness” to others of what he is doing in our lives. A witness simply shares the facts. Who, what, when, where etc. As I walk with Jesus, He does things that I can offer to others. He gives me a story to tell--a story that transcends facts of ancient history and intersects the world you and I live in today.
We don’t need to argue and fight with pre-Christians. We are to simply allow Christ to be who He says He is in our daily lives and He will produce the news to publish. If I am trusting in Him and obeying His word, stories will be the result. And stories are what captivate the human heart. They always have and they always will.
In the past, I have been exposed to tactics and strategies designed to catch pre-Christians in their inconsistencies and expose them for the foolish thinkers that thay certainly must be.
This leads me back to gentleness. We are told that the “E” word must be done with “gentleness and respect”. Gentleness considers the personal history behind the questioner. It understands the different levels of communication. It takes into consideration the emotion behind the questions. And respectfully asks questions of its own to bring about honest dialogue.
Again we see the secret power of the Holy Spirit at work in the surrendered heart of a Christ-follower influencing the life of another. I do not have to be an expert apologist to share my faith. I need only to be under the influence. He alone is able to help me navigate these “touchy” moments. I must be involved in the authentic worship of Christ as Lord. Then He will make things happen and He will set up divine opportunities to do the “E” word.
I want to personally invite you to attend “Discovering My Mission” tonight and tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Pecos location to learn more about how to influence others for Christ in a gentle and respectful way.
You will learn:
Discovering THE “E” WORD
God’s Purpose In Creating Us
Jesus’ Mission On Earth
Why Jesus’ Mission Must Matter To Me
SHARING THE MESSAGE
Part 1: My Story –how I began a relationship with Jesus.
Part 2 The Good News –Explaining how to accept Christ.
Communication Tips: How To Share More Effectively
FISHING IN MY POND
5 Keys To Spiritual Fishing
How People Come To Christ
How to Build A Bridge Of Friendship
WHAT IT TAKES TO DO THE “E” THING FOR LIFE