During a recent sermon on the role we can all play for the Gospel, my pastor asked, “how many of us don’t share our faith because we are afraid we won’t be able to answer the questions people ask?” Hands went up everywhere. Sound familiar? It’s a common fear, to be sure. But is it necessary? One way around that fear is to simply learn to tell your story, and how it intersects God’s story. But to be honest, sometimes we need some help. My pastor’s solution was to point us to the free video answers to life’s questions found at truelife.org. It might not be your style, but for many it helps people engage in spiritual conversations and get over the hump to sharing the Gospel. There’s a wide variety of topics covered. Check it out sometime.
Many North American Christians use inviting people to their church as their primary tool for evangelism, and even that is a stretch for some. It’s as if we see our role as a Christ-follower to simply get people in the door and then let the “professionals” get the job done. But, what if we told our members to stop inviting people to church? In the video below, Joe Solomon proposes doing just that. Think it will work? Check it out.
What if God gave you a platform from which millions might listen to you? What would you say? How would you talk about God? In the video below, actor and comedian Tim Allen talks to ABC’s 20/20, about his past and about his relationship with “The Builder”? What would you say if you were in his shoes? ( …. what you’d really say, not what you think you should or might say, but what you’d really say.)
Sometimes you come across a song that really expresses what you are thinking even better than words alone. The video below, by Big Daddy Weave, blends the telling of our story and God’s story in a powerful way. May you be encouraged by it, and moved to tell your story to someone today.
Someone recently forwarded me an item from Christianity Today titled “Meet the Rio Olympians Who Put God Before Gold”. The article covered interviews with 2016 Olympic Team USA Christian athletes. I was struck by the variety of people and stories they had, as well as the perspective many of them held even though they were the very best of the best in their professions. As they speak, let God speak to you too.
Shawn Johnson (gymnast) – even if I won “12 more Olympic gold medals…it’s not my purpose in life, and He will always be my greatest reward.”
Madeline (Maya) DiRado (swimmer) – “I think God cares about my soul and whether I’m bringing his love and mercy into the world. Can I be a loving, supportive teammate, and can I bless others around me in the same way God has been so generous with me?”
Michelle Carter (track and field) – “People notice how I am living out my faith. Sometimes it takes me by surprise how much they notice. Even when no one is looking, the way I act is important because it is a reflection of how I walk with Christ.”
Gwen Jorgensen (triathlon) – “I really think you just have to keep God as your focal point and know that he is always number one. When you do that, it will help you to gain perspective on everything in life—not just endurance sports.”
Jordan Burroughs (wrestling) – “I’ve been blessed with tremendous gifts, and it’s my job to use those gifts to inspire others. As a man of faith, I take great responsibility in being a good steward of my talent. God has created unique … avenues to allow me to glorify him.”
David Smith (volleyball) – “It’s been a big thing for me to understand that my joy and my peace do not revolve around my performance or how I do compared to other people. My joy comes from the fact that I am playing a game I love and that He created me to play.”
As you reflect on these quotes, check out more from Shawn Johnson in the video below.
When I first started the journey to connect my faith and work, I was at a conference and heard a talk by Ruth Siemens. Ruth had started a tentmaker organization called Global Opportunities (www.globalopps.org), and had authored several papers and books.
One paper that Ruth had written was about workplace evangelism and how to fish out seekers. I still vividly remember her comparison of a fisherman’s strategy to that of a hunter-gatherer! Some things may have changed since the article was first penned in 1997, but you will still find many of the principles both relevant and important. The full article is about 25 pages long, but I think it’s well worth the read. It might spark some new ways of thinking for you, just as it did for me those many years ago.
As we seek to integrate our faith and work in a way that advances the Great Commission, the task can feel overwhelming at times. Do you ever experience the fear of failure? As you seek to become more intentional about your prayers and conversations in the arena God has placed you, I hope you are encouraged by this video from Curtis Sergeant.
If you have not yet heard of IHS Global’s Saline Process, you’ve really been missing out. This biblically-based training equips Christian healthcare workers to be witnesses for Christ in their clinical settings. Participants learn principles and tools that can immediately be applied in their interactions with patients and colleagues. Designed around a transferable Training-of-Trainers (TOT) model, the content is targeted to the medical context but is actually applicable to any vocation. If you want to find out more, check out the IHS Global website or drop them a note.
Do you want to see how The Saline Process answered one doctor’s prayers about what to do, how to do it, and why God called him to a certain place? Take a look at the video below.
Have you ever thought about the concept of “relational stewardship”? One step in developing a lifestyle of Great Commission living is to consider who God has placed around us, and to see these relationships as opportunities to be a steward of everything God has given us. How can we best care for all parts of their lives (and especially their spiritual condition)? What direction are they heading now, how can we encourage their growth, and how might they impact the world for generations to come? The following video by Curtis Sergeant helps us think about this and more. Enjoy.
Need to see another example of what it sounds like to tell one’s story? Here’s another example:
Hi my name is__ , I’m from . I can still remember the pain in my heart when my wife and I learned that our baby girl due to be born in three weeks had died. It’s times like this when a person finds out if their faith has been placed in something real. I was born and raised by parents who loved Jesus and at a very young age I placed my life in His hands. As I grew up I never questioned my faith but I was often in situations when I found that Jesus did exactly what He promised. Rather than destroying my faith in Jesus the death of my daughter showed me the depth of God’s compassion and comfort. What I had learned in my Bible set me from depression, despair and bitterness. I knew that I could trust God with everything.
Throughout my life I have been blessed to help other people learn about Jesus. When someone decides to turn from believing in themselves and doing what they believe to be right to following Jesus, doing what He has commanded and trusting Jesus for their whole life I’ve seen the Kingdom of God come. I’ve seen families that were filled with anger transformed by Jesus to families filled with love. I’ve seen people who wanted to kill themselves transformed by Jesus into people who are filled with concern for others. I’ve seen people who only cared about getting rich for themselves changed by Jesus into people who find the greatest joy in loving others. Watching God heal people’s lives and filling them with joy and purpose is my greatest joy.
God continues to work in my life. I am continually amazed at God’s love, faithfulness, wisdom, power and care for me. I wonder if after hearing some of my story, you have any questions about God and your life.