You do not need to be in full-time ministry to share your faith with others. We are all called to share the love of God. Whether on the street, in an UBER, or with our co-workers, you can evangelize in your relationships.
Our most recent guest on the Ask About My Faith podcast, Jim Wilson, shares his experience as a "relational evangelist." His relatable stories will encourage and inspire you to push past the fear of rejection and openly live out your faith through the relationships you build.
Jim Willson is a lifelong Christian who has been working as an accountant at an investment firm for twenty-five years. Ten years ago, God used a meditation by Tim Keller to flip a switch in Jim's heart. He realized that God's love is the key to the freedom we all need. So, with a servant's heart, he remains ready to be God's vessel.
"The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope." - Tim Keller
Overcoming the Fear of Rejection
The fear of rejection is powerful, and it can lead to self-doubt.
What if they have questions I can't answer? What if they get upset or shut down? What if they don't give their lives to the Lord?
Jim shares, "No one's salvation is up to me (you). That is up to the Spirit; I (you) am just a vessel."
You are not always going to be the one to reap the harvest. Sometimes you need to plant the seed or provide a little water. God is the one who is in charge of harvesting. You are just His vessel.
Remember, in every conversation where you share God's love, the truth creates an opportunity for God to move. It doesn't matter how the conversation ends. You can walk away happy, knowing that you were faithful and God is moving in their hearts, with or without you getting to witness the transformation.
Related Post: What Jesus Teaches Us About Having Faith Conversations
Be Ready and Willing to be Used by God
Jim shared quite a few incredible stories about times when he could talk to others about God openly because of the relationship he had built with them.
Once, he prayed for an opportunity to share God's word with his co-workers before leaving for a business trip to New York City. After that prayer, he was ready to be used by God, which made him a willing vessel.
During lunch at a local deli, his Jewish co-worker suggested that Jim try the motza ball soup. He explained what the soup is and how it relates to his Jewish culture. Jim’s co-worker then starts to touch on his thoughts about God, and Jim sees this as the possible opening he'd prayed for but was feeling hesitant. While contemplating how to initiate a deeper conversation about God, God did the work for him. His co-worker asks Jim directly, "What do you believe?"
Jim is then able to share the gospel with four co-workers with whom he had never been able to talk about God before. No one gave their lives to God right then and there, but that was ok. They could connect and talk openly about God in ways they hadn't previously.
Jim saw that as a win. He had felt God move through him and trusted that seeds had been planted in their hearts.
Why was Jim able to have that conversation? First, he had spent time building relationships with them. Secondly, he had opened himself up to be used by God.
Related Post: 3 Reasons Why Sharing Your Faith Story Matters
Tips on How to Evangelize in Your Relationships
If you want to talk with people about God but feel uncomfortable sharing your faith, Jim shares two pieces of advice on today's podcast.
First, Become a Vessel.
"See yourself as a vessel who the Lord is working through. It is empowering. You are just the tool. You are just the seed thrower. You're not the converter. It's not up to you, and that's ok. Just have the conversation and no matter the outcome, you can be happy knowing that you were faithful and sowed a seed."
Second, Build Genuine Relationships.
"If that person can see me as a safe place, that gives me a lot of voice with that person. They'll be able to hear a lot more of what I have to say if they feel like I am someone who is trustworthy and loves them and cares about them."
The beautiful truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to evangelism. For most of us, evangelism is simply building meaningful relationships and looking for opportunities to share God's love with those around us.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. You are not perfect. That's a good thing.
Next Time You Sit Down and Pray…
…try to open yourself up to being used by God. Ask Him to open doors. Invite Him to use you to speak into someone's life. Then, trust that God will lead you every step of the way. No matter how the interaction goes, God is moving, and you played your part.
Let us know how it goes! Share your stories with us. There is no testimony too big or too small. They all bring Glory to God.
Related Post: 5 Simple Steps to Write Your Faith Story