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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?

Here are some ways to conquer these fears:

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.

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:

  1. Cultivate the soil - Help your friend to see that Christians are OK people.
  2. Plant the seed - Raise your friend's interest in God & in the Bible.
  3. Water the seed - Help your friend to understand more spiritual truths.
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I believe that God exists.
  5. Jesus Christ is God and Savior; He is the Messiah and Savior He claimed to b e.
  6. There is a commitment involved in believing in Jesus Christ.
  7. I wish to receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord.

 

Some General Guidelines:

  1. 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)

  2. 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." - Maxwell.

  3. Be considerate.
    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Be honest and open.
    Don't pretend to be something you are not. Be honest about yourself. (Eph 4:25)
    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?"

  6. 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)

  7. Ask questions.
    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.

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

Describe:

  1. What your life has been without Christ in the past. (The part where your non-Christian friend can relate to the most)
  2. How you came to believe in Jesus Christ. (Focus on Christ)
  3. What changes has Christ made in your life. (Give specific examples)

Some guidelines when giving your testimony:

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:

  1. God loves you deeply and wants to have a personal relationship with you. (John 3:16; 1:12)
  2. All humans have sinned. Because of sin, we die and are separated from God. (Rom 3:23; 6:23)
  3. 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)
  4. 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)
  5. 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, 1984

FCBCFV 10-17-1998