We all have friends and family members that aren’t involved in a church. Some may be members of a church, but they aren’t by any means active. Others currently aren’t members of any church and probably have never been members of a church. We love them, and, like Paul, we feel obligated to share Jesus with them (Rom. 1:15). But we wonder how to do it effectively.
I offer you the following five helpful practices for sharing Jesus with your friends. May the Lord bless you with a rich harvest among your friends and family for his glory.
- Know the Gospel Story. By definition, the gospel is news to be told, and it can’t be told effectively if the one telling it doesn’t know it fully. We must make sure that we understand the Who, the Why, and the How of the gospel. The Who is Jesus. The gospel is about him; it is his story. The Why is our sin and his love. We have sinned; therefore, we have a broken relationship with God. But, he loves us so much that he wants to restore our relationship with him. So, he sent his Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life and die a perfect death in our place. His life, death and resurrection gives us the forgiveness of sin, a restored relationship with him, and new life in him. The How is faith in Jesus. How does this forgiveness and new life in Jesus become ours personally? Through faith in Jesus. The gospel is simple, but we’ve got to know it in order to share it.
- Pray for God to Open their eyes to his Truth. Our friends are naturally blind to the truth of God (2 Cor. 4:3-4). They do not instictually recognize that Jesus is the answer to their problems and the Lord to whom they should be giving their worship. While they may be aware of their brokenness, they aren’t aware of that Jesus is their only hope for a Savior. God must open their eyes to the truth about Jesus. Because this is the case, we can’t hope to see our friends come to faith in Jesus if we aren’t praying for them. Blind eyes are only opened by the Holy Spirit, and he is moved to open those eyes by the prayers of his people. Prayer is often the last place we turn, but it should be the first.
- Speak the truth of Christ to them regardless of the direction in which the cultrual winds blow. The gospel is not always culturally cool or socially acceptable. It is, however, the “power of God for salvation to everyone who beleives” (Rom. 1:16). If we want to see our friends be saved in Christ, then we have to speak the truth to them regardless of whether or not it is the cool or acceptable thing to do. We are often tempted to be ashamed of the gospel and to be afraid of rejection from our friends on the basis of the gospel. We have to overcome those temptations and fears. We must be courageous as we proclaim the truth of Christ winsomely and patiently to our friends.
- Serve them as you serve Jesus. We are vessels of God to be used for his glory. We have been entrusted with the gospel by Jesus, and we are obligated to live it out and proclaim it to our friends. Therefore, we must be willing to serve our friends as we serve Christ in hopes of winning them to Jesus. Our priorities must shift from a focus on ourselves and our lives to a focus on them and their lives. We must support them, encourage them, meet their needs and spend time with them. An old timer once told me when my daughter was born that you “spell love with TIME.” We must demonstrate our love for our friends by spending time with them.
- Invite them to Church. Jesus promises to be found when and where his people gather for worship. One of the best and non-confrontational ways to share Jesus with our friends is to invite them to church. There they can interact with other Christians, make new friends, and encounter the living God who is always present when his people are gathered for fellowship and worship.