“Have you ever had an opportunity to share your faith but didn’t?” That’s the haunting question posed by a discipleship study on outreach titled Share Jesus Without Fear by William Fay and Ralph Hodge. The study’s premise is that all Christians have countless opportunities to name Jesus in their daily conversations but often don’t. The reasons are many, primarily: fear, a lack of knowledge about how to initiate such conversations, and (sadly) no real experience to share. Each of these reasons can be addressed, though it takes a believer’s willingness to make the first step to do so.
One of the strategic objectives of our church’s Vision 2020 plan is to “introduce members to ways of sharing their faith in relational, non-threatening, non-coercive ways.” Last year we offered our first such training seminary and it was well-received. This year we will offer a second seminar, based on the Fay/Hodge booklet, which will refresh our understanding of the importance of evangelism and hopefully reignite our desire to practice it.
Once again, I will be leading the study, though as with the last one, I’ll be counting on the participants to help carry the conversation. Of course, it stands to reason that in a seminar on evangelism you would expect people to practice sharing with one another. Don’t worry; we won’t be pressuring attendees to say anything they aren’t comfortable sharing, but the opportunity will be there to weigh in with your thoughts, observations, and questions on the topic. In other words, it won’t be just another sermon you’ll be coming to hear.
We’ll be meeting in Heritage Hall for the next three Sunday nights, beginning this Sunday, September 8. The sessions will last from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a short break in the middle. Then, if you’re able to stay, we’ll have dinner together afterwards. The cost of the dinner is our regular Wednesday night amount ($7 adults/$3 children/$20 family max).
I look forward to seeing you at these sessions. While I do believe that evangelism is a gift with which God graces certain believers, God also positions each of us in places where a simple word, gesture, invitation, or testimony can be the impetus by which the Holy Spirit nudges others closer to Christ. And who among us doesn’t want to be that kind of witness? If you do, then make plans to join us for what will promise to be an eventful time for all who gather, for our larger church, and ultimately for the cause of Christ.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).