How To Better Share Your Faith!
“So, please share a little bit about your spiritual journey; how you came to faith and how you’ve grown in the faith.”
I was sitting in an old fellowship hall the first time I heard this question/statement. It was the first small group session for a youth group retreat and I was waiting for the typical small group icebreaker. You know, something like, “tell us your name and an animal that starts with the first letter of your first name, then we’ll go around the group and try to repeat everyone’s name and animal.” Just the memory of those kinds of ice breakers makes my spine quiver, kind of like fingernails on a chalkboard. However, this particular group leader decided we didn’t need the silly start. We would jump right into the depths. I loved it. I’m not a small talk person so jumping right into the deeper stuff is right up my alley. Not so much for the other people though. They seemed to really struggle with it. In the years since then I’ve heard this question/invitation in a lot of different situations and I’ve often wondered why so many seem to struggle with it. After all, shouldn’t we be able to recall our most impactful spiritual moments? Shouldn’t we be able to easily share when we came to faith and how we’ve grown in it? Shouldn’t followers of Jesus be fully cognizant of those moments?
There are a lot of reasons why people might struggle with this. They might feel a need to know the people in the group a bit better before sharing personal things. At some point they might have been ridiculed or made fun of for having faith in Jesus and now they’re a little hesitant. They might have been raised to believe that polite people don’t talk about religion or politics in public. Or, maybe they’ve just never been taught that it’s important to have a ready response when God opens the door to share what God has done in our lives. Maybe they don’t feel equipped to share their faith. After all, it’s difficult to take something so personal, so powerful, so important and put it into just a few sentences. Whether we find ourselves sharing our faith in the relative safety of a small group meeting or in an uncertain moment with a brand new acquaintance, it is vitally important to share our faith well.
I think we could all use a little training in sharing our faith. We could also use a bit of practice. The most helpful exercise I’ve discovered is to write it out ahead of time using a simple template. It’s helped me! So let me share the template I use. If you’ll work through this template you will be prepared for that unexpected moment when someone invites you to share your faith in Jesus.
If you will work through these five steps you’ll have a clear and concise testimony to share the next time God opens a door. Just write one sentence for each of these five steps:
1. Who I was before Jesus.
2. How Jesus got my attention.
3. What difference has Jesus made in my life.
4. Who am I now.
5. Where do I think Jesus is taking me in the future.
Some points to remember while working through the template:
1. Limit yourself to one sentence per step. You probably only have a short few moments to share; this isn’t the moment to share the entire narrative of your life.
2. Remember, It’s your story; be authentic and don’t compare your story with anyone else’s story.
3. Don’t exaggerate. Simply tell the story and let God communicate the grace.
4. Practice sharing it! You don’t necessarily need to memorize it, but you will need to practice it! You might make this practice time a part of your weekly devotional routine.
So, what do you think? How have you shared your faith? What challenges have you faced? What keeps you from sharing your faith more regularly?
I’d love to hear some of your stories of faith sharing?
Grace and Peace, Rich