How to share the gospel when you have been silent for too long

Hey everyone,

I am deeply concerned with this. I have a small group of friends from university, we already know each other for 2 years and share lots of experiences together.
They all are not followers of Christ. They know I’m a Christian, but I don’t think they really know what that means to me personally. I don’t think they really know what Christianity really is.
And I think for too long now I have been silent, at first avoiding related topics, not wanting to get into the uncomfortable situation of having to taöl about Jesus and the Bible. But I have reached a point in my walk with Christ where that has changed. I am desperate to share the gospel now, I can’t stop thinking about it and I just pray and hope for an opportunity. But it does not seem to arise.
From my point of view I can see one problem that is getting in the way: My own pride. I really like these guys, I enjoy being around them, it’s always fun and you can have a good laugh and we do have many things in common.
I care too much about what they might think of me. I know they like and respect me and there is this slight fear that i will lose that when I speak up.
But the worst is that I have missed many opportunities and the more time goes by, the harder it seems to become to sort of find the right moment.
Also, in the group the focus is usually on the activity we do together rather than deep conversations.
I am trying to do it like I learnt in rzim, to ask questions about them - because i notice that even though we do a lot together we don’t really know much about each others personal life.
I am feeling guilty for not sharing with them the greatest of all hopes, I wish nothing more to them than that they find it. I love these guys and it hurts me to see how they just miss out.

If you have any advice for this specific situation, please share.

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A few days ago I accidentally shared the gospel with somebody who I was having an interesting conversation with.

By “accidentally” I don’t mean to say I didn’t know what I was saying or that I had been holding back and the gospel slipped out. The conversation just kind of “went there” all by itself as we “got to talking”…

Why did that happen? No doubt it had to do with God aligning things on His end. But on my end, my private thoughts are typically pondering things of God… wrestling or trying to reconcile one thing or another. It’s ordinary and normal for something like that to be on the “back burner” in my mind. So for example if I’m grabbing a cup of coffee somewhere or get to talking with someone, sometimes the stuff just kinda “pops out” in one way or another. And then it leads to sharing the gospel.

And the same thing can happen with you.

It’s kind-of intentional to one extent, but it’s kind-of-not intentional to another extent.

Perhaps in the past you’ve been a bit “asleep at the wheel” (spiritually speaking). But the more you “wake up” the more you realize that old way of “rolling along” is just not sustainable for you. Right now it’s more truthful and realistic for you to step out of the “old mold” and step into acting like the “real you”… In fact it’s painful to be stuck in an old mold" that doesn’t fit. It feels like you absolutely must adjust in order to be honest.

Imagine if David would have tried to fight Goliath suited in Saul’s armor as they suggested he should. He actually did consider doing the “armor thing”. That’s why he tried it on. But at the end of the day it just didn’t fit… And as he put it aside he knew that God would align things on His end, and all he had to do was go out and be the real “David” he was when tending the sheep, singing and writing psalms and honoring God. He would know what to say and do when he approached the giant… partly because God would lead; But partly because all he had to do was be himself… the guy God created him to be.

That’s how giant slayers “roll”…

You know the age old wisdom people give when someone is all nervous to go on a date? They say “Just be yourself”… Right?

In hindsight you probably know that to be true. After all, is it really worth anything if you try to act like somebody you’re not?

It’s the same with talking about the things of God with people. Just let it be regular, normal, and real. There’s no need to make it anything more than that.

I Therefore conclude by saying God is working within you. It’s good to be prepared, but at the end of the day you’ve just got to show up as the real, unfinished piece of work that God has got his hand on.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

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Thank you for your honesty. May I share a practical suggestion?
I do not know where you live, but may I mention one thing which living in the UK I have found helpful. Street Pastors are out on the streets to listen help and care, pre-Covid usually 10pm-4am at the weekends and in Covid times around tea-time. I have found that the training and experience of operationally trusting in God and being representatives of Jesus on the streets has helped me in normal situations chatting with friends, etc. Street Pastors operate also in Ireland, with one or two groups in USA, Australia, etc.

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Hi @madeleineberning,

Thank you for your sincere question. You know, it is something I also struggle with. Sometimes I don’t know how to initiate a topic, other times I wait to make a more solid friendship before I present the gospel… until I start to feel it’s too late and I think maybe they will think that it is something I don’t care too much. And in the middle of that, what I do is to act as if I’m jumping to a swimming pool: start a new topic and “start to swimming”, maybe I drown in the middle but at least I tried.

I know you know preaching the gospel is important, but you also have to ask your heart if you want to do that because of a sense of guilt or because you love them. I told you that because love is what has to move you to act.

Maybe something that could help you to introduce new topics is saying them to play a game to know you all better and focus on the why behind their answers (and yours). I don’t read all these questions but I think it could work:

God bless you!

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[quote=“ChrisforChrist1, post:6, topic:45833, full:true”]

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Hi @madeleineberning, the best thing you have done so far is to recognize that you’re pride is getting in the way of sharing the Gospel. I too struggle with pride, even when I have been asked to pray in public, I was more concerned about what the people thought about my prayer instead of what God did - I have realized that I’m missing the mark by a long shot and it’s not about what anybody thinks, except Jesus Christ. The best thing we can be is obedient and we must have His word on our lips day and night. Our focus is after all eternity and not this fleeting life we are in now.

I do have someone that reached out to me in relation to ‘How to live second’ and that is basically him sharing with me how to be a disciple of Jesus and how to make other disciples, as that is what we are called to do in Matthew 28:18-20

I’m not going to lie, it “freaks” me out a little bit to think I should share the Good News with strangers and even more so with people I actually know, but we are not called to have it easy and not have some opposition, but we know that all have been given to us to fulfill the task/plan God has for us.

A resource that I’ve been taken through in becoming a disciple is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1c3sAZx0D4 “Modeling 411 training”

The “15 second testimony” is powerful as it gives you the opportunity to actually think about the change that has taken place in your life since following Jesus, really following Him and wanting to know Him instead of just knowing of Him. It is our testimony together with our every day actions and behaviors that tell the biggest story as an ambassador of Jesus Christ. It is also a great conversation starter and you could easily do it as you check out at the grocer.

With regards to your friends, you need to be able to be your true self and having the Holy Spirit in you, there is no other way than to let people know. Should they be real friends, they will love you regardless and be open to here how and why you feel the way you do. I know from personal experience that I would sacrifice every superficial friendship for a few deep, real, raw, intimate and God filled friendships. They are the ones that adds to your eternity, not subtract from it and probably don’t present a hurdle from time-to-time. Let Jesus be your best friend and He will give you the desires of your heart, true friendship and soften the hearts of the people around you, you just have to be obedient to Him and true to yourself.

Good luck and God bless!

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When you mention using RZIM resources, you’ve probably already found this resource online. But in case not, maybe it will be an encouragement. Vince Vitale often mentions asking three questions in a row to get to the heart behind a topic. I have found that helpful both in my work as a writer and my responsibilities as a friend.

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Thank you for your insight Timotto! Great response!!

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This is also my prayer! Thank you for the wherewithal to articulate & post!! My WISH, in addition to this, is for me to give the Glory back to GOD w/o giving it a 2nd breath!!!

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Truly! I Thank YOU-4-this AIDE, Mr. Renzo!!

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Thank YOU, Chris for a well-thought out & considerate response w/o being just passive! I needed to hear that::clap:t5::clap:t5::clap:t5::+1:t5::heart_eyes::bangbang:

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To give you some idea’s my greatest fear from this is similar to yours. Should one of them ever make a comment on your faith I Christ dare to ask the question: how do you think I’m doing that? They may make a claim in response which you may not like but stay vulnerable and they will ask more questions. It’s ok not to know the answer but you can fond it and keep the conversation going. It’s makes us better on the process?

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At least one can’t drown while attempting to evangelize! :laughing:

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@madeleineberning I love the sensitivity to the Spirit evidenced in your question, as @ChrisforChrist1 correctly indicated. Listen to Him! I particularly would like to address the following concern:

You do not need to know the right questions to ask before starting to ask. I have found that expressing appreciation for specific things, asking how people are doing, and offering to pray for specific concerns naturally opens doors to deeper evangelism. Patiently developing meaningful relationships is the key. Jesus spoke to people who came to him. He traveled from place to place, but they came to him. People in all walks of life have listened to me talk about my love for Jesus because I first listened to them talk about themselves. Some have asked me to pray for them because they know that I love Jesus, that I care for them, and that they can trust me not to gossip. I have never been threatened with workplace sanctions because I gained my coworkers’ trust. Take a series of small steps to open doors a little at a time. You never know what you will find. I suspect that one or two of your friends may be thinking the same things!

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Pienso que estoy pasando por el mismo proceso. Sin embargo, este tiempo de pandemia ha sido una bendición, porque he tenido más tiempo para leer las Escrituras, orar, y reflexionar en torno a temas que me inquietan. Así es que le agradezco al Señor por esta disponibilidad de tiempo. Y con respecto de testificar en oración he estado pidiendo al Señor que me de las oportunidades de hacerlo. Pienso que me ha respondido, ya que he tenido la oportunidad de hablar de Jesús a un primo hermano que no es creyente.
La conversación partió producto a como él se refería a las personas que votaron de una manera distinta, en el Proceso Constituyente que comienza Chile. Mi comentario aludió a nuestra capacidad de considerar al otro distinto y de saber perdonar. Ante lo cual me antepuso como justificación que no estaba dispuesto a aquello, porque sus padres habrán sido torturados durante la dictadura de Pinochet. Fue el momento que aproveche de manifestarle que el perdón era el camino que se debía seguir como nación, dándole de ejemplos a Mandela, Eva Kor, Abiy Ahmed y él más grande y sublime de todos Jesucristo que perdonó a sus torturadores desde la Cruz.
A partir de ese momento el me empezó entre preguntas y cuestionamientos a preguntar sobre Jesús, y es aquí que pienso que el tiempo de estudio y preparación en apologética (incluido el curso de Rzim), no ha sido en vano.
Hoy solo espero que Espíritu Santo use dicha conversación, porque es Él quien convence de pecado y nos lleva al arrepentimiento.
En síntesis, pienso que primero debemos disponernos en la oración y Él Señor nos encausará en su obra, pues Él fiel en terminar la buena obra que empezó en nosotros.
¡Animo!
Saludos

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Hi there,

I find the easiest method is to keep it simple and follow Ravi’s example of asking them 4 questions

  1. What are your thoughts on origin?
  2. What are your thoughts on meaning?
  3. What are your thoughts on morality?
  4. What are your thoughts afterlife?

This then becomes a dialogue between you and them, as from their answers you can ask them all sorts of questions while saying what you believe and why.

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I must confess at 66 years of age that I copied David’s questions notes to my memory notes.
Good ones to give a start to what can be a fearful thing to start a conversation with. But take note it’s ok to stumble for a while since the person you talk to will be more open in future with you to see our imperfection in getting right answers since it is exactly as they find themselves. May the Lord guide and outreach us both

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Hola Carlos, muchas gracias por tu comentario, me parece muy útil. Y siempre me encanta leer en espanol, por eso gracias, así sigo practicando :))

Thank you Brittany! I actually haven’t seen this one yet. Added it to my list!

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Hey David, thank you, I really appreciate these 4 questions too, I learnt about them in my apologetics course with RZIM.
But how would you “make way” for these questions to come up? I feel like my problem is that i can’t just throw them out there just like that… it would not be appropriate… do you see what i mean?
How would you introduce a deeper conversation?