Have you ever wanted to share Christ with others, but weren’t sure how? Get tips for witnessing to family, friends and neighbors.
Every day, Christians drive past houses in their neighborhood, park their car in an attached garage and close the door behind them. Many of us lead such busy lives, filled with children, work, church and other events, that we barely have time to breathe, much less worry about the people in our neighborhood. What if you knew your neighbor wasn’t saved and was going to die tomorrow? Would that make a difference in your actions?
None of us know when our time on this earth will end. Not you, not I and not your neighbor.
It Isn’t Easy to Share Christ
Sharing my faith has always been difficult for me. I believe very strongly, but I don’t want to offend others. I know in my heart that if I offend someone that I will never, ever reach them for Christ. I have watched other Christians verbally attack people who don’t know Christ, even telling them harshly that they are going to hell. I do not believe that this is the model that Christ gave us in how to reach others.
Jesus’ Model for Witnessing
When Jesus came across the woman at the well, did he tell her that she was a sinner and going to hell? Of course not. That is not the model that Jesus gave us. Instead, he showed her kindness. He didn’t judge her. Because of his love, she repented and was saved.
Jesus even modeled this while hanging on the cross and in severe agony. First, he forgave the criminal next to him, simply because the man asked. Then, he asked his father to forgive the men who tortured him, mocked him, laid bets on his garments and eventually killed him. This is one of the things that always humbles me. I will never, ever be like Christ. I am imperfect and unforgiving, but I can strive to be more like him. I have a feeling it will be a life-long struggle.
When Christians witness to non-Christians, it should be done with love. Jesus didn’t just walk up to people and say, “Hey. I’m Jesus. Repent now.” Instead, he built relationships. He helped people when they were in trouble. He loved them. He healed them. Then, he spoke truth to them and they accepted it because they’d already seen him live it. This should be the Christian’s goal. Love your neighbor as yourself. Help others in need, whether they appreciate it or not. Form a true friendship. Let them see how you live your life and then share with them why.
Ripples of Faith
By reaching out to others with Christ’s love, you teach them how to do the same. Such an approach is certain to have a ripple effect.
Even if the person does not choose to follow Christ, they will in turn (most of them anyway), show kindness to others. Your effort is never wasted. Never!
Don’t be disappointed if you witness to someone and they do not accept Christ. You can’t make someone become a Christian. It is their choice. God will reach out to them in different ways and make his presence known.
You were likely just one small piece of the puzzle He has created for that person. You may be planting a seed that someone else sows. That is fine.
The important thing is to speak the truth, so you know you didn’t just walk away without ever trying.
Sample Letter to Neighbor
If you are a person who truly is not good with words, then consider writing a letter to a friend, family member or neighbor. Write the letter from the heart. Keep in mind that just as with the examples above, you really need to already have a relationship with the person or they likely will not receive your letter well.
I drive past your house every day and you drive past mine. We’ve shared coffee, good conversations and even tears last summer when Timmy got hit by that car. I was so thankful he was okay. It is because I care about you so much that I must ask you a question.
If you died today, would you go to heaven? The thought of you and your precious family spending an eternity in hell tortures my thoughts. I know I must take a moment to tell you about my journey in the hope that it will change yours.
From the time I could speak, I remember praying to God. I was raised by parents who believed in Christ but we were Easter church-goers. It wasn’t until I was 13 that I started attending church regularly with my cousin. God called me. It was almost like an invisible hand took mine and led me to the alter. I confessed my sins and accepted Jesus as my savior.
I wish I could say life was milk and cookies from that point on. It wasn’t. You know a few of the struggles my family has been through. The Christian walk is not an easy one, but through hard times I’ve learned and grown. The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” It is through this assurance that I am able to face the challenges life throws my way.
There have been times I’ve felt the Lord’s presence. It starts with a slight prickling of nerves across the shoulders. The tingling increases and spreads. Once you’ve felt this indescribable power, you can never doubt that the Lord is still very much alive and active in believers’ lives.
You’ll remember that recently I attended two funerals. One man was a Christian and lived to serve others. I waited in line an hour to greet his widow and children and say a goodbye. The funeral home was full and folks chatted about his life and different memories of him serving them. He’d changed one woman’s tire or helped a neighbor with his car. Hope soothed those left behind; hope that they’d see him again in heaven.
The other funeral was for a man that did not know Christ. There were 23 people present, including his adult children. A heavy despair was thick in the air. The children fought with one another over every little detail of the funeral. One daughter was on drugs, the other living in a sinful relationship, and the son had been in and out of prison. Hope was absent.
The difference in the legacies these two men left behind was palpable. What will you leave when it’s time to depart this world for your eternal home? I hope you choose eternal life through Jesus. I am always here to answer questions, or if you prefer to talk about anything else.
With Christ’s Love,
The Response to Witnessing
No matter how kind your words or how good your relationship with another person, you do risk offending them when you witness to them. However, the alternative is to never share your faith. In many cases, if you have a relationship and you do not hide that you are a Christian, the person may ask you why you believe what you do. If not, a letter like the one above can be a good way to reach out.
What Do You Think?
What do you think? Are you scared to share your faith with others? Do you have an tips that have worked well for you when sharing your faith? Post your comments below.