Do you? What about the lady that strikes up small talk with you at the mall? Ashamedly, I don't. I should, but I don't. I attended a "witnessing seminar" last Sunday night. It was given for the members of the steering committee for our church's new MOPs group. I left more convicted than I think I have been in a long time. An example was given of D.L. Moody, who wouldn't let 24 hrs pass without sharing Christ with someone. There were times when he had already undressed and gotten into bed when he realized he hadn't done this. He would get up, get redressed and go find someone to share the Gospel with. I admire that commitment so much!!
During the seminar, we talked about reasons we don't witness to others. It came down to three reasons:
FEAR of Man (What will she say? What will she do?).
FEAR of Ignorance (What if I don't know enough of the scripture? What is she asks a question that I don't know the answer to?), and
FEAR of rejection (Sort of the same as the first FEAR).
All of these came down to a lack of trust in God. They also pointed to a selfishness of sorts; being afraid of how it will affect ME. Wow, that is what I am being; SELFISH. I have felt all of those fears. I have heard a still, small voice before telling me that the person I was looking at NEEDED to hear about the living water that refreshes me each day and yet I have excused myself for a number of reasons. "I have too many children with me." is usually the excuse I give myself. However, I know that above anything I else, I am supposed to Go and tell. I think, as a busy Mom, I have convinced myself that I am "doing my part" for the Kingdom by trying my best to teach my own children about God and teach them the Gospel. That is a very noble thing, I know. I don't think that I am being called to leave my children in daycare and go witnessing on the streets, but I do know that I am called to Go and Tell. If I am at the playground and I strike up a conversation with a fellow Mom there, shouldn't I take that opportunity to share with her the life-changing news that Jesus died for HER and that she doesn't have to fear death, but can have life eternal?
The speaker, Rush Witt, gave a basic outline to think of in order to create an opportunity with someone to share the Gospel. It broke things down for me and made the task seem less scary. It isn't a clever acronym or technique, just a few things to think about that may make it easier. I thought that it may be useful to others, so these are my notes form the seminar:
5 Phases of an Evangelistic Conversation:
1. Positive Contact:: Be more than just another customer, passer by, etc. Smile and say hello to people.
2. Common Ground: look for a common issue of any kind.
3. The Shift: Shift the conversation from the Natural to the Spiritual
4. The Gospel: The Gospel of Christ is a verbal message. It can't be told by our actions or by our disposition.
5. The Q's & A's: This is where apologetics comes in. Questions will be asked and answers given.
One major point that I took from this seminar was that the Gospel is confrontational, so once it is shared that person cannot walk away unaffected by it. It will stay with them even if they walk away from you, physically. Hopefully, they will leave you as a new person, redeemed by the blood of the cross. If they reject you and seemingly reject the message you shared, they WILL still have the message within them and will question themselves against it forever or until they submit to it.
So I am starting this within myself. I am looking and praying for opportunities to share the Gospel with people. Honestly, I am terrified! I am scared of all those things that are mentioned above, but I know that my heart is aching now to share this with someone that needs it. I'll keep you posted :)
**After reading my post again, I just wanted to add that I don't discount my responsibility to my #1 mission field; my children. I am just looking for opportunities outside of my Jerusalem too :)