As a lifelong believer, I have taken my fair share of evangelism classes. They started in my youth group years with passionate evangelists wearing t-shirts complete with Jesus quips designed to compel us to become fishers of men. Then in my college and seminary days, I learned all sorts of strategies and conversation starters for sharing my faith. I memorized the Romans Road, I’ve created multiple types of evangelism bracelets, and I’ve even seen some pretty unique evangelism cubes and tracts. I’ve been door-to-door, prayer walked streets, and used a number of other incredibly uncomfortable methods to reach the world for Jesus.
Yet in all my years of training, I must confess that I was wildly unprepared for how to share your faith with the people you do life with. That is until I met my friend Alicia.
I met Alicia while I was in seminary. We attended the same church and I was immediately drawn to her because of her fierce love for Jesus. She was a few years ahead of me in life, had a fabulous career in the public education sector, and her knowledge of God’s Word was astounding.
We started off grabbing a cup of coffee together and there wasn’t a conversation that would pass where she wouldn’t mention the Lord. It seemed to come so naturally for her. She wasn’t trying to convert me to her way of conversing, but rather she invited me into this way of having the Lord ever present in our conversations. She talked about Jesus as if He was real, living, and active in her life. She would be telling me about her day and then out of nowhere would tell me how the Lord was using this to draw her near.
After having known Alicia now for almost a decade, I’ve seen her continue to do this. Every person she meets, every relationship she has (with both believers and unbelievers), the Lord is present in these conversations. I hear how she talks to her co-workers and how she doesn’t hide her faith from her daily life. I watch her as she confesses sin in front of my children and how she helps them process their own sin. She talks openly about wrestling with the Lord and her doubts and her fears, all the while constantly reminding herself and others of God’s truth revealed in His living word.
If you had to ask me to name the person who has significantly impacted my thoughts on evangelism, I wouldn’t list off the many professors or pastors that I hold in high regard. I’d tell you it’s Alicia. My friend without the seminary degree. My friend who knows the Lord intimately and invites others to join her in relationship with Him. My friend who is far from perfect but wrestles with the Lord in seasons of doubt and questioning.
So today, instead of telling you 3 things I learned from my evangelism classes, I want to share with you three things I’ve learned from Alicia about sharing your faith with both believers and non-believers alike:
- Walk with Him.
The first thing I want to mention is that Alicia walks with the Lord. I’ve seen it consistently over the last decade. This girl walks with Jesus and it oozes into everything else she does. She knows His Word. She studies it and meditates on it regularly. She doesn’t have a strict prayer time, rather she has an ongoing conversation with the Lord. And because of these things she’s able to see His hand in her life. She can see God’s hand in the middle of suffering because she’s spent years learning His ways. She can sense His wisdom in making good/bad decisions because His wisdom has become a way of life to her rather than something she seeks out only when it’s needed.
She knows the Lord, and the Lord knows her name. And as a result, those who know her also know the Lord’s name.
Walk with the Lord consistently and it will start to spread into other areas of your life.
- Talk about Him.
At some point during the first conversation I had with Alicia she asked me, “So Brittany, what is the Lord teaching you right now?” I was stopped dead in my tracks because it had been so long since someone asked me that question. Here I was, a seminary student, ready to debate you on eschatology but I was taken aback by being asked what the Lord was doing in my life personally.
It changed me.
I don’t remember what my answer was, but what I do remember is that talking about the Lord came naturally to Alicia and I wanted it to come naturally to me too. So I started practicing. Alicia was unknowingly discipling me in how to talk about my faith with people in the most unassuming and natural way.
I started with friends who I knew were Christians, and soon enough I was talking to others about it too. Someone would ask me how my day was going and I’d be honest, “Man the Lord is wrecking my pride this week.”
Slowly, I became comfortable talking about my faith with unbelievers as well and I realized that being myself, my Jesus-loving-quirky-self was really what people wanted. They didn’t want a bracelet to convert them and they didn’t want to be told a method to be saved; they wanted to hear my story, the one that pointed to Jesus.
Which leads me to my next point.
- It’s all about Him.
Y’all, our stories, the lives we’re living are all about Him. Our stories are for His glory. I’m amazed at how God has moved through the sharing of my personal story. I’ve participated in a wide variety of evangelism trips and events. But where I’ve seen true, long-lasting conversion from death to life has been when I’ve shared my story, the one that points to HIS story.
If you’re a believer you have a death-to-life story. You have a story that points directly to His redemptive work in your life. Share it. Tell it every chance you get. Invite people into your life and share it over coffee or over a meal. Share it over a walk with your neighbor and at the grocery store when you bump into an old friend. Share it daily with your children or spouse or roommates if you have them. Share it in small tiny pieces and share the whole big story.
But whatever you do, share it because your death-to-life story points to His glory.
Friends, you don’t have to have a seminary degree or take that evangelism class to share your faith. Those are all good and well, but the truth of the matter is if we’re walking with the Lord and talking about the Lord, we can share our stories whenever and wherever we go.
And like Alicia, may the Lord ever be on our lips.