Yes, it is important to be contextually sensitive, and certainly we want to share our faith in a way that honors, rather than undermines, our relationships. However, it is also true to say that the prevailing problem with the Western Church is not that we are over-sharing our faith!The prevailing problem with the Western Church is NOT that we are over-sharing our faith! Click To Tweet
It is possible to identify a number of fears, or false beliefs, that cause us to do a poor job in attempting to share the Gospel:
- We Think It’s Just About Knowledge – Following Jesus is about a relationship with our Creator and Redeemer, and so we should primarily communicate about in those terms. I don’t talk about my wife solely with reference to propositional truths about her existence and love for me, and so it is daft to restrict our experience of God to that narrow range.
- We Think It’s Not About Knowledge – While our faith is built on relationship, it is also vital to understand what and why we believe. You don’t have to leave your brains in a bucket outside the front door of the church! We can fairly easily learn about and gain some confidence in covering some of the basic areas – for instance, the Alpha Course material is fantastic, both on the course itself, and in the book Questions of Life.
- We Think We’re Jesus’ Defense Attorney – When faced with tough questions, we can feel like it is all on us to come up with the amazing answer the 100% resolves the dilemma or tension that the questioner is feeling. Which, of course, you will fail to do by yourself. This is not what is meant by the call to share the Gospel. So while making the effort to think through the intellectual coherence and reasonableness of being a Christian, let’s also repent of the arrogant idolatry that thinks, ‘without me God is stuffed’!
Let's repent of the arrogant idolatry that thinks, 'without me God is stuffed'! Click To Tweet
- We Don’t Have Confidence In Our Story – Your story is immensely powerful. You are called to bear witness to what you have seen Jesus do in and around and through you. Have confidence that what you have experienced is significant – and that the Holy Spirit can take your words and use them to impact others deeply.
- We Don’t Have Confidence In The Holy Spirit – At the core of this whole conversation, do we have faith that the Holy Spirit will not abandon us but will give us the words that we need? We can do our bit in thoughtful preparation, learning and reflection, but we won’t convict anyone of their sins – that is the Holy Spirit’s job. It is absolutely fine to say, “I don’t know” in response to a question, and still expect God to use that conversation to draw someone to Him! Let’s have a bigger faith in God’s ability to bring people to Himself through us!
Let's have a bigger faith in God's ability to bring people to Himself through us! Click To Tweet
How To Share The Gospel
I recently made a short video on these topics – check it out here:
Finally, remember these wonderful words from Peter:
“In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
May God use you powerfully to share your faith in Jesus with boldness, clarity and fruitfulness!
What are some other reasons that make you hesitant to share the content of the Gospel?
Want More On This?
- Check out the earlier posts in this Spiritual Conversations series — start with Building Bridges Into Spiritual Conversations.
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