Most of us who have been Christians for any length of time have probably heard Matthew 28:19 where Jesus commissions his disciples to make disciples wherever they are. In my heart, I want to do that—to be obedient in sharing about him to others around me who don’t know him yet or don ‘t know him well. But, I often feel so inadequate. You may feel that way, too. A few years ago, I realized that if I was going to get beyond this inadequacy, I would need to work at preparing myself to share about the Lord in daily conversation, ask him for opportunity to introduce him to other women, and then trust him to do the rest. By the way, that is the simplicity of disciplemaking. It’s a huge part of my purpose, and your purpose, while we are alive on this earth. But, how do we do this?
Think about it. Jesus Christ called you to a new life (Galatians 2:20), clothed you with himself (Galatians 3:26-27), commissioned you with a purpose (Matthew 28:19), and empowered you to fulfill that purpose (Acts 1:8), which is really a 2-part purpose: 1) to be His disciple and 2) to make disciples for Him (leading others to Him). It's all about a lifestyle of relational disciplemaking.
You have three powerful tools to help you fulfill your purpose in partnership with the Holy Spirit: the Holy Spirit at work in you and in the world, the gospel message, and your own faith story. And, this is a good reminder:
“Evangelism is not about you involving Him in your outreach efforts. It is He involving you in His. Only the Holy Spirit can open the eyes of unbelievers to the truth of the gospel…It is the job of believers to communicate the gospel. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convert the heart.” (David Souther, EvanTell)
Here are some ideas to help you get started to put your faith into words and share it.
1. Pray and Love
Ask Jesus to bring to mind the non-Christian or unchurched women in your life. Consider those whom you frequently see or where you are presently connected. Some we think are unbelievers may be believers who have never been discipled so their lives look like those of unbelievers. Pray for each one whenever you think about or see her. Example: “Father, please send the Holy Spirit to work in the heart of ____ to draw her to Jesus so she will trust in Him.” Ask Jesus to give you His love and compassion for her and to help you understand what she is feeling and needing from Him. Commit to make the most of any connection you have to build a relationship with her and show Jesus’ love and compassion to her. Trust in Jesus to watch where the Spirit might use you in her life while you live dependently on His power to introduce her to Jesus through your relationship with her.
2. Shape Your Faith Story using 3 Words
Your story is Jesus’ story in your life. Only you know it and can share it. Someone might reject the gospel facts, but it’s very hard to argue with someone’s experience of the gospel. Choose any three words to represent your life, feelings, situation or thoughts before trusting in Jesus, how you came to trust in him, and your life as a believer ever since. Using your three words, create 1-2 sentences for each word—just a brief explanation of how each word relates to your story. You can interject your 3-word story into a conversation or ask her what 3 words might define her life.
3. Prepare Conversation Transitions
Paul wrote to the Colossians,
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:4-6)
Create some salty conversation. Prepare and practice some transitions from common topics of casual conversation with another woman that could lead into sharing some part of your story. Consider how you might identify with her and what God has done in your life to make the difference. Common topics are: corruption, evil and sin; community; family; when something good happens; and pain & suffering. Here’s an example using family, “I am so glad that God cares even more about my family than I do. What would I do without Him helping me to…”
4. Learn How to Share the Gospel Facts
Choose a simple presentation of the gospel to memorize and have ready to use when given the opportunity by the Spirit of God in your daily life. Speak it aloud to yourself several times so you know it well without really having to think about it. Ask the Spirit to give you boldness and opportunity to share this with someone soon.
Here's a link to a "Prepare to Share" booklet with four worksheets that will help you to prepare to share by putting your faith into words, and then trusting Jesus to use those words to his glory.
You can also do a Bible study that covers the lives of New Testament women. All of the above preparations are interwoven into the study.
Find out more about disciple making at melanienewton.com/disciplemaking.