By Ken Braddy
When people find a great new restaurant, golf course, retail store, or ice cream shop, they will go to great lengths to let others know about their discovery. Word-of-mouth advertising takes over and things can go viral. You’ve seen it happen, I know.
One of the primary purposes we have as Christians is to share the good news of Jesus with others. The Great Commission is clear: We are to make disciples, and that process takes place when we introduce people to Jesus’ redemptive work on their behalf.More than half (55%) of Protestant churchgoers say they haven’t shared their faith with anyone in the past six months Click To Tweet
Lifeway Research found that more than half (55%) of Protestant churchgoers say they haven’t shared their faith with anyone in the past six months. A majority of churchgoers (56%) say they pray for opportunities to tell others about Jesus at least once a week, with 23% praying for such moments every day. More than a quarter (27%) say they rarely or never pray for those opportunities.
Many believers don’t step out in faith and share what they’ve discovered about Jesus for a number of reasons. As a leader, you can help them share the Good News. Here are three reasons why people don’t share their faith, and solutions to help them tell others about the most important message in the world:
1. Teach a simple gospel presentation.
I remember the day when people used to attend 12-week seminars to learn a one-hour gospel presentation (I doubt many people today will sit still that long!). Knowing a simple gospel presentation you can share “on the back of a napkin” is really important.Knowing a simple gospel presentation you can share “on the back of a napkin” is really important. — @kenbraddy Click To Tweet
I prefer the one used by The Navigators, their “one-verse evangelism” presentation. It’s based on Romans 6:23 and can be written down and easily shared quickly and conversationally. As a person who has led Bible study groups, I’ve taught group members this one-verse method, and it is easy to learn and share with others. This one-verse method feels more like a conversation than a presentation, and it is highly visual, too. Others like the 3 Circles work as well.
2. Help Christians articulate their testimony.
The second thing people don’t know is how to give an “elevator speech” about their come-to-Jesus moment. If they haven’t thought it out, they just don’t know where to start. People can be taught to write out their story (testimony) in three parts: their life before coming to Christ, the situation surrounding their salvation experience, and their life after receiving Jesus as their Savior.Many Christians don’t know how to give an “elevator speech” about their come-to-Jesus moment. If they haven’t thought it out, they just don’t know where to start. Click To Tweet
Group leaders can give group members time to write this out during a Bible study session, and then give them more time to practice sharing their testimony with another person in the group. This gives people a safe place to practice and hone their story. As confidence rises, so will the chances that they will speak up when the moment arises with a non-believing person.
When your group has an evangelistic, gospel-centered study, that is a great time to do this with them as a learning exercise woven into your lesson plan.
3. Point to the urgency of the gospel.
Just like Peter’s critics (see 2 Peter 3) who thought Jesus’ return wasn’t going to happen, believers can be lulled into thinking that Jesus’ return isn’t imminent. Peter reminded his opponents that the Lord counts time differently, “delays” his return so that people can hear the gospel, and that unbelievers at Christ’s return will face a terrible day of judgment.As things get “back to normal” for your church, use this as an opportunity to ignite a renewed passion in the Great Commission. — @kenbraddy Click To Tweet
It’s a sobering chapter in the Bible that encourages all believers to embrace the urgency of the hour and get busy sharing the gospel. It’s a passage that group leaders can teach to help their group members see the seriousness and the urgency of helping others hear about Jesus.
As things get “back to normal” for your church, use this as an opportunity to not only see and understand the reasons why people don’t share their faith, but to ignite a renewed passion in the Great Commission.
Ken is Lifeway’s director of Sunday School and is a 30-year veteran of church education ministry. He is a blogger, author, and practitioner—serving a church in the Nashville area as its director of Sunday School and discipleship ministries. He is the author of several books, including Breathing Life Into Sunday School.