It's difficult to share your faith when you don't feel prepared. In the multigenerational survey on evangelism we conducted with more than 1,600 Christians, one out of every 10 people told us they felt unequipped to share their faith.
Prayer and Scripture reading are valuable practices for helping you get better at sharing your faith. But if you feel like you should be better prepared to tell others about Jesus, we've put together these three ways to equip yourself to evangelize.
1. Become a good listener
We often assume that preparing to share is about lining up the right arguments. But you might read several good evangelism and apologetics books and not be any better prepared to talk to others about Jesus. Why? Because a lot of the time, the arguments we prepare for aren't aligned with the questions people have.
You feel the most prepared to share your faith when you can respond to someone's objections and inquiries. It doesn't do a lot of good to wade into a conversation with answers to questions that aren't being asked. So it's incredibly helpful to understand what kinds of concerns and needs are shared by people around you. And the best way to do that is to listen.
What do the people around you care about? What are they worried about? What do they think of Christians? Jesus's message is always relevant, but when you understand people's concerns, it prepares you to share the gospel in a way that feels relevant to them. When you develop a good understanding of people's concerns, it's a lot easier to find helpful resources.
2. Practice sharing your story
If you've been part of the church for any length of time, you're familiar with the idea of a testimony. Your testimony tells the story of your personal experience with Jesus. It might include how you came to know Jesus or ways that knowing Him has impacted your life.
When Peter encourages Christians to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15), he’s encouraging them to share their personal story. He wants them to be able to explain to others why they have put their hope in Jesus.
The good news is that you don't have to have a dramatic conversion story to share why your hope is in Christ. You just need to be able to clearly communicate how Jesus answers the desires of your heart. If you want to do this well, you should have a good idea of how you'll present it. What should you say and what should you omit?
Don’t wait until it's time to share the hope you have. Prepare. Share your testimony with your friends. Ask for their input. Write it out and edit it down to a powerful couple of minutes. It may seem crazy, but the more you prepare, the more natural and compelling your story will be.
3. Roleplay with others
I know what you're thinking, "No one really enjoys training that involves roleplaying." That may be entirely true, but it's still a very effective way to develop skills for potential situations. The best way to learn to share the gospel is through practice, but it also feels like a high-stakes situation for practicing. With roleplaying, you practice talking about Jesus in a situation where a mistake doesn't feel like a disaster.
You can do this one on one with a friend, or try it out with a small group or Bible study. Have a casual conversation where one or two people play the role of someone who doesn’t follow Jesus. Focus on practicing a few different skills:
- Leading a conversation: If you're waiting for someone to ask you to tell them about Jesus, you're going to wait a long time. It would help if you learned how to lead a conversation in that direction.
- Telling your story: This is where you encourage people to help you tell your story in a way that's interesting and meaningful.
- Responding to others: One critical thing we all need to practice is responding to questions and concerns. It's not just about practicing what you'd say, but learning to maintain your composure and stay on point.
- Sharing the gospel: At some point, sharing your faith means explaining why Jesus had to come and why someone should choose to follow Him. This can be the most stressful part of sharing your faith because you're so worried about getting it right. By rehearsing the things you would say, you allow others to strengthen your presentation, and you get more comfortable sharing it.
We are all missionaries
God's commission is to grow and expand His kingdom throughout the world, which means that we're missionaries everywhere. If you're ready to learn how you can make a more significant impact in the Great Commission, download a free copy of We Are All Missionaries.
This four-week, discussion-based curriculum is a fantastic way to get your small group or youth ministry talking about what it means to share the gospel. Download your copy today!