Sharing is Caring
Does sharing your faith make you nervous? You are not alone if you said yes. Luckily, we have an incredibly gifted person in our congregation guiding us toward a conversation on evangelism. Please enjoy my conversation with Molly Simpkins:
Tone: Tell me about your recent evangelism experience?
Molly: Our school decided to do prayer evangelism in Waconia so we went up to different businesses and said, “hey we are from a local Christian college. How can we pray for your business or you personally?” When we went into an e-cigarette shop there was a guy working and no one coming so we started talking to him and shared who we are. He said, “oh that’s nice of you to offer that, no one’s ever done that.” He shared that he was from Jordan in the Middle East, so I knew he would be more open to talking about religion.
I started talking to him a little bit about Islam and Christianity and he seemed a little bit more open. Some customers came in so we waited awhile until the customers left and asked, “before we go, can we just pray for you?” He was surprised that we wanted to pray right there. But then after I prayed a simple prayer that God would touch his life, he looked a little different and I said, “did you feel anything when I prayed for you?” He said, “yeah, I felt something happy and good inside.” He looked a little bewildered and I said, “that was God trying to get your attention and saying he wants to move in your life.” So, I said, “would you mind if we came back and visited you?” and he said, “yeah definitely.”
Tone: That’s amazing! What would you say to someone who would be hesitant to do something like this?
Molly: I think it’s helpful to go with someone the first time [when you] don’t know them [strangers]. Prayer is a really good door opener. You can do that in other ways and say, “hey, can I tell you about God?” You’re going to get more rejections, whereas if you ask someone, “can I pray for you?” People have a loose understanding of that term, but generically they know that it [prayer] means something for their good.
At some level it’s taking a step out. Because it is not something that comes up in conversation. It is going to be something different, so you have to be okay with being different. But it doesn’t have to be this flashy thing. You could say, “hey this might seem a little strange, but can I pray for you? I believe in prayer.” It’s pretty simple, it’s not being weird, it’s not using weird words.
Tone: Totally, be cool man, be cool!
Molly: Yes. If you see someone, use your eyes, don’t hyper-spiritualize something. If you see someone on crutches say, “hey, you know what, I saw that you were on crutches, can I pray for you?” And if someone asks “why me?” you say, “well, I saw that you were on crutches.” It’s not some profound thing, like, “I sensed the Spirit told me that you needed this.”
Tone: Yes. It’s like when I used to do crisis response and we would have to draft Incident Reports, they would tell you to use your senses. That’s really good advice.
Molly: I think especially with evangelism or sharing your faith people [will say] “it’s not for me, I’m not gifted and I don’t really feel called” and that is such an excuse. And I don’t think people are trying to make an excuse, but it is an excuse and it’s like, no you’re already called to do this.
Molly: It doesn’t mean you have to be flashy. What non-Christians appreciate and the reason they are willing to talk with Christians is because they [Christians] listen and don’t force the conclusion. So, anyone can listen, anyone can do those things, you don’t have to have this charismatic quality. In the church we value those qualities. But to non-Christians…
Tone: That’s not a priority. Interesting.
Molly: My partner was really encouraged. He was like “that was awesome.” And I was like, “yeah that was a good experience, you don’t always see that.” You get people that say, no thanks and you say, bless you, no problem.
Tone: Yes, you don’t force it because God doesn’t force us; it’s an authentic relationship.
Molly: Yeah, the whole thing is about displaying the character of God so I think being okay with people rejecting you [means understanding] they’re not rejecting you, they’re rejecting God.
Tone: Thanks, Molly. So, what are we going to learn in your class?
Molly: We’ll start by getting God’s heart for the lost and his love for people. Guilt is not a good motivator to share, but love is a good motivator. I think if we really love people then we will share and we will find a way to share with them. In our class we will break down the Gospel and get practice sharing it with partners. We’ll talk about the power of your testimony and the trends in America, and [address] trends of people leaving the church and reaching the generations effectively. We’ll use practical tips on body language, what not to say, and look at world views.
If you are interested in learning more about sharing your faith, take Molly’s class, Learning to Share Your Faith. For more information, click here.
-Tone Waters, Director of GO & Communications