| Questions |
How To Share Your Faith With Your Friends
Pastor Howard Hsieh
1. How To Overcome Your Fears In Personal Evangelism
What are some of your fears in sharing your faith?
__ I'm afraid I might say something wrong and offend my friends
__ I'm afraid that I might get rejected or lose my friendship
__ I'm afraid that I might get stumped with a tough question that I cannot
__ I just don't know what to say or do
__ Other reasons
Here are some ways to conquer these fears:
Realize that everyone experiences fear, even those who have the most experience
in personal evangelism.
Ask yourself, "What is the worst thing that could happen to me" At the worst,
we may receive a harsh word, slammed door, or a hostile attitude. We should
be able to handle that.
Rely upon the Lord' help and overcome that fear by actually doing what we
Trust in the promises and truth statements in Scripture:
2 Tim 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but
of power and love and discipline."
Isaiah 41:10 "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about
you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Psalm 34:3 "I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from
all my fears."
Matt 28:19-10 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching
them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even
to the end of the age."
Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria;
and even to the remotest part of the earth."
Realize that we will rewarded by God when we face opposition, ridicule, or
persecution for sharing our faith or doing God's will.
Matt 5:11-12 "Bless are you when people insult you and persecute
you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice
and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; ..."
II. How does a person come to know Christ?
One of the most important things to realize is that a person comes to know
Christ through a process. Rarely does a person accept Christ "cold
turkey" (without any prior knowledge of the Bible or God). also most people
come to know the gospel through a close friend or relative.
Friendship evangelism is one of the most effective types of evangelism.
1 Cor 3:6-8 "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but
God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but
each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are
God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building."
From above verses we can see that God uses each one of us in different ways;
as soil cultivators, as seed planters, or those who water, and still others
to do the harvesting. Each part is important.
The process of evangelism is very much like planting a crop:
Cultivate the soil - Help your friend to see that Christians are OK people.
Plant the seed - Raise your friend's interest in God & in the Bible.
Water the seed - Help your friend to understand more spiritual truths.
Harvest the crop - Help your friend to accept Christ as Lord & Savior.
Here are some of the decisions or various stages which your friend has to
go through before he/she can accept Christ as Savior and Lord.
Christian is an OK person. He/she is not as hypocritical as I thought Christians
are. I want to spend more time with this person.
Christian is different from all other people I know. He/she has a sense of
peace, joy, and accepting love. I'd like to know what makes this person different
from other people.
Christian really seems to believe in God. I'd like to know whether there
is something to this God which the Bible the Bible talks about.
I believe that God exists.
Jesus Christ is God and Savior; He is the Messiah and Savior He claimed to
There is a commitment involved in believing in Jesus Christ.
I wish to receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord.
Some General Guidelines:
Love your friend unconditionally as a person,
that you will remain a friend even if he/she does not receive the gospel
or meet up to your expectations. (John 15:12)
Be the most trustworthy friend you can be.
Your love and care shown by your actions speak much louder than words. Be
available for you friend. Your friend may need you for support when he/she
gets into trouble or gets involved in a sin. Don't approved the sin but like
Jesus, love the sinner but hate the sin.
"People won't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
Don't share the gospel when you friend is in a hurry to get to class, has
an appointment, or is preoccupied with something important to him/her.
Talk to your friends on their level.
Don't use religious language that your friend does not understand. Speak
in terms and use examples which they can relate to.
Be honest and open.
Don't pretend to be something you are not. Be honest about yourself. (Eph
Even when you're not perfect, God can use your weaknesses to speak to your
friend as much as your strength. Through your imperfections, your friend
can also see God at work in your life. When you don't know the answer to
a tough question, it's OK for you to say, "I don't have an answer for that
question, but let me read up on it. Can I get back to you when I come up
with an answer?"
Always listen attentively.
When you listen to your friend, it shows that you care about him/her and
that what he/she says is important. (James 1:19)
By asking questions you can ensure that you're having a 2-way communication
between you and your friend. By asking questions you can also discern whether
your friend understands what you're saying or not. Jesus often asked questions
when He talked to people.
Share only as much as your friend can handle.
This goes along with being considerate. You want to communicate so that your
friend can understand and relate to what you're talking about. You don't
want to "blow him away" with all of your Bible knowledge. Even Jesus, the
perfect Evangelists, said to His disciples, "I have many more things to say
to you, but you cannot bear them now." (John 16:12)
Be natural and be yourself. Don't be too anxious.
Try to bring up spiritual matters in a natural way in your conversation.
When you get overly anxious to share the gospel or get overly excited whenever
you friend brings up the subject of God, it ma make him/her feel awkward
and uncomfortable about bringing up spiritual matters later on.
Be prepared to share your testimony and your faith, yet always trust in God
and pray and ask Him to give you the wisdom, the right words, the right sense
of timing, and opportunity to share your faith. He will answer your prayers
because He wants to reach out to your friend through you.
III. How to share your personal testimony
Examples in the Bible: Andrew (John 1:41), the Samaritan woman (John 4:29,39),
Paul (Acts 9, 22, 26)
What your life has been without Christ in the past. (The part where your
non-Christian friend can relate to the most)
How you came to believe in Jesus Christ. (Focus on Christ)
What changes has Christ made in your life. (Give specific examples)
Some guidelines when giving your testimony:
Intro: as "You know, I've struggled with a similar problem. But I had an
experience that really changed my life. Would you like to hear about it?"
(Then share your experience of how Christ helped you.) or
"You know, I've gone through something like what you went through. It was
really hard for me to cope with it. But there was something I learned which
really helped me to deal with that situation. Would you like to hear about
it?" (Then share your personal testimony).
Make it simple. Be careful not to use religious language that your friend
would not understand.
Prepare your testimony and polish it. Practice your testimony before a Christian
friend and get constructive feedback.
Make it relevant to the other person's experience. Don't tell your whole
life-story, but give a simple example of how Christ has helped you in concrete
Eliminate phrases like "____________," or " ____________"
Don't dwell on the ___________ or __________ (i.e. miracles, exorcism)
How to start a conversation:
F - Family (Where are you from? Where do you live? How long have you lived
here? Your family or children.)
I - Interests (What do you do for fun? Your hobbies or interests? sports?)
R - Religion (What is your religious background? what church?)
M - Message of the Gospel (Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ)
5 Important Points to bring out:
God loves you deeply and wants to have a personal relationship with you.
(John 3:16; 1:12)
All humans have sinned. Because of sin, we die and are separated from God.
(Rom 3:23; 6:23)
God provided a way of salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Only Way
to salvation. We cannot earn salvation through good works or our own efforts.
(John 14:6; Eph 2:8-9)
Jesus died for our sins and He was raised from the dead as our living Savior
and Lord. He offers us the gift of eternal life as a gift from God. (1Cor
15:3-4; Acts 2:23-24,36; Rom 6:23)
We can have a personal relationship with Christ by believing in what He has
done for us by His death and resurrection. We need to accept Him into our
hearts as our Savior and Lord and commit our lives to Him. (Acts 16:31; Rom
10:9-10; Rev 3:20)
Leading your friend to pray the sinner's repentant prayer:
"Dear Lord Jesus, I need you and I realize that I am a sinner. I believe
that You died for my sins and You were raised from the dead. I invite you
into my life as my Savior and Lord. Please make me the kind of person You
want me to be. Thank you for your forgiveness and for the gift of eternal
life.. In Christ's name I pray, Amen."
Sources used for this workshop:
Darrell W. Robinson, People Sharing Jesus. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995
G. Willliam Schweer, Personal Evangelism for Today. Nashville: Broadman,