Part of following Jesus is embracing the Great Commission. We're called to share the good news with others. But that doesn't make it easy. There are a lot of social, cultural and personal obstacles to talking about the gospel. If we're not careful, we can allow those issues to impact our motivation for telling the world about Jesus.
If you're struggling over sharing your faith with friends, family and the other people in your life, try putting these four tips into practice.
1. Embrace the awkwardness
People will have varying levels of interest and comfortableness when it comes to talking about Jesus. There's simply no way around it. On top of that, many Christians entertain concerns about whether sharing their faith will strain relationships.
When we embrace—and even address—the social awkwardness around these kinds of discussions, they're much easier to navigate. That might be as easy as saying, "I wanted to talk to you about something that might be a little uncomfortable for both of us, but it's important to me." Too often, the receiver of these kinds of conversations feels like they're the only ones feeling vulnerable, which can make them a little closed off and defensive. Knowing it's a little awkward for both of you can level the playing field and make them feel more comfortable.
When we don't accept that these kinds of conversations can sometimes feel clumsy, we avoid them, waiting for some perfect opportunity that seldom comes. The good news is that once you accept the fact that sharing your faith can feel uncomfortable, being uncomfortable stops being an excuse prohibiting you from doing it.
2. Remember your assignment
Sharing the gospel is much easier when we remember what we're called to do. It's not our job to convict someone. And we don't have to argue someone into agreeing with us. Sure, we want to respond to questions as we can, but we're not expected to have all the answers.
We're called to expose people to Jesus and the message of the gospel. If you need a refresher on the gospel message, check out "What Is the Gospel, Really?" The other thing expected of us is to give a reason for our hope in Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). And that's basically about sharing your story. Why do you believe in Jesus? What has happened in your life since you began following Him?
3. Recognize the power of love and service
Everyone has opinions and beliefs about the world and our place in it. Jesus didn't call the church to be another voice in the marketplace competing with every other philosophy and religion. Paul tells the Corinthians that Jesus crucified is at the center of the Christian message, and that image is a stumbling block for Jews (who were expecting a conquering Messiah) and foolishness to the Gentiles (who have their pick of the world's most profound-sounding philosophical and religious systems) (1 Corinthians 1:23).
Fruit (Galatians 5:22–23) is one thing the Holy Spirit uses to convince someone of the gospel's credibility. When people see the impact the gospel has on our lives, it helps reinforce the validity of our testimony.
Of course, we love and serve people because Christ loves and serves them. But we can't forget that our love and service impact how they receive our message.
4. Avoid Christian jargon when you can
If you've been a Christian for a while, you've inevitably picked up some shorthand terms for communicating with other Christians. But it doesn't take too long before we kind of forget that people outside of our circle don't understand what these words mean. They might think they know, or they might be too uncomfortable to ask, so they'll try and figure it out from context—often poorly.
Remember that words like "save," "fellowship," "body of Christ," or "anointed" might seem totally familiar to you, but not to your audience. Be careful to speak in ways that will make sense to the person you're talking to.
Download the "best world evangelism app"
Any professional will tell you that having the right tool is a must. If you're serious about the Great Commission, it helps to have great resources in your tool belt, too. One invaluable tool is the Jesus Film Project® app.
This app offers scores of full-length feature and short films that help communicate the beauty and importance of the gospel—including the JESUS film, which is available in a record number of languages. And they're all free to watch and share.