Have you seen a bull in a china shop? Me neither but the analogy is pretty effective. Can you imagine the mess they would make of everything? They’d scare people off and simply ruin everything. When it comes to telling others about Jesus, let’s not be like bulls in a china shop but instead, let’s learn how to share the gospel in natural ways.
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I remember back in the ’90s, I was talking with a friend who casually mentioned an issue that she needed help with. Of course, I knew of the perfect person to introduce her to who would help her.
I invited her to have coffee and while we were talking, the conversation turned to her struggle, and of course, I jumped at the opportunity to tell her about Jesus. He has all the answers and could help her but somehow in my “presentation”, I couldn’t convince her of accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
I felt like I had to talk about Jesus in such a way that I explained everything I knew about Him.
I was like a bull in a china shop and made a mess of everything.
I remember watching her leave the restaurant and at that point, I felt like a failure. I couldn’t even tell her about Jesus and why she needed Him. I was doing something wrong but didn’t know what it was.
Since that day, I’ve shared the gospel message a few times with other friends and as far as I know, none of them accepted Christ.
After that, I became fearful of sharing the gospel and hid behind my calling as a teacher of Christian Education. Though I taught all ages of children through to adults in the Sunday School or Kids Church setting, I can’t say that I led anyone to Christ.
I’ve learned a few things since then and I am now ready to talk about Jesus with others. Would you like to know what I’ve learned? Maybe it will help you share the gospel with your family and friends and even with strangers.
What comes to mind when you think of sharing the gospel? Do you think that you need to know the Bible inside out before you can talk about Jesus with anyone?
Well, that’s not the case. There are a few things you do need to know and that’s what I’m here to help you with.
It’s Not About You
While talking about Jesus includes telling your story, it isn’t all about you.
It’s what Jesus has done for you and in you.
You’re not the hero of the story, Jesus is, so if you remember this, you’ll feel better with the outcome, whatever it may be.
Do you remember the parable about the sower and the seed in Matthew 13:1-23? Basically, it’s about planting seeds, watering the seeds, nurturing the growth, and harvesting the bounty.
This relates to you in that you may be in any of those positions when you talk about Jesus with others. You may be the one planting the seed of faith in them.
You could be the one who is watering what someone else has already planted.
Or, you could nurture the tender growth of faith in that person’s life.
Or, maybe you’ll be the one to lead someone to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
It’s not about you. It’s all about Him.
One more, it might even be that you’ll be the one to plant the seed as you talk about Jesus and then lead that person to Jesus.
No matter what it is, Holy Spirit will deal with the person. Knowing this should free you up from thinking that you have to ‘close the deal’ before you part ways with your friend or that stranger.
You don’t need to be the “pastor” as you share the gospel. Just be yourself. Use the words that you normally use rather than use words that don’t sound like you. Be authentic.
To talk about Jesus with others means you need to know who Jesus is and what He has done for you. Basically, you tell others about your testimony of how you met Jesus.
Your testimony is unique to you and God will bring someone across your path who needs to hear what Jesus has done for you. So, without being a bull in a china shop, simply talk about Jesus in a natural way.
What are some of the things Jesus has done for you that would encourage others?
- healed you, physically, emotionally, or mentally?
- provided you with employment or worked out a tough situation at work?
- prompted you to stay home when you were supposed to travel somewhere and later you found out that there had been an accident on the route you were to take?
- helped you to sleep better or even help you to wake up earlier in the mornings?
All of these examples are possibilities of what Jesus has done for you. Others need to know that Jesus cares about the details in your life, so talk about Jesus in a natural way.
You don’t need to embellish the story either. Simply tell it like it is/was and let the other person see how special life is with Jesus.
Know What the Gospel Is
Jesus said in Mark 16:15 just minutes before He ascended into heaven, “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
How can you preach the gospel if you don’t know what it is? You may have an idea of what you know but you may not be sure if that is the gospel message or not.
Oh, and “preach” the gospel is simply talking about Jesus and what He’s done for you.
To help you know for sure what the gospel is, let’s condense it to four words:
Learn these four words and you’ll be able to share the gospel in a natural way. To have a better understanding of salvation, you really should read this post as it will be helpful for you, Understanding Salvation for New Believers.
You don’t need to memorize the contents of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. You simply need to know why Jesus died on the cross and the four elements of His death.
Jesus answered an important question posed by Nicodemus one night. It was about being born again when you are old. How is that possible? Jesus explained that it is being born of a spiritual birth rather than physical birth. Being born again is part of salvation.
Sharing the gospel in this way helps you remember the core point of the gospel. It’s important that you understand salvation so that you can share the salvation message with your friends and anyone else whom Holy Spirit brings your way.
You may find that as you’re talking with someone, you may not even talk about His death on the cross. It may not even come up in conversation and that’s okay.
What your friend needs to hear is what Jesus has done for you in your life. Allow Holy Spirit to steer your conversation with them and you can’t go wrong. Leave the results with Him.
Speak of Jesus in a Natural Way
As I mentioned earlier, be authentic in your speech. Don’t use words that you don’t normally use. For example, don’t start using words like “propitiation” or “dispensationalism” if you don’t know what they mean.
In fact, these words can wait. They don’t need to be explained at this point. What you do need to say is simply what Jesus has done for you. I know, I’ve said that before but it bears repeating.
As you talk about Jesus, Holy Spirit will prompt you what to say. Follow His leading and let Him do the rest. Say what needs to be said and let Holy Spirit deal with your friend or that stranger.
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Not Everyone is Ready
There may be times that you sense Holy Spirit is leading you to share the gospel or talk about Jesus but something doesn’t seem right. The person’s manner or body language may be combative or filled with contempt for Christians. He could have a bee in his bonnet and be taking things out on you.
However, don’t take it personally because it isn’t about you, remember. It’s about Jesus and Holy Spirit will steer your conversation to plant seeds or to correct faulty teaching he/she may have. Or, at the very least, you may simply show kindness and love in action.
Again, simply let Holy Spirit lead you and leave the results with Him.
As I mentioned earlier in my story, I hid behind my calling as a teacher as I taught the Bible to children and adults. I am still teaching the Bible today and I believe that this is a very important gift.
In the past seven years or so, I have taught both in local women’s groups as well as online in virtual groups.
Through my teaching and blog posts, many women have come to understand their Bibles better. I’m thankful that God is using me in this way as an instrument of equipping women to understand what the Word teaches.
But now I’m at a point where I want to be used outside the walls of my home. I want to be where people are to be available to God.
I want to plant seeds or water the tender seedlings. I would even love to reap the harvest of seeds planted by another sister or brother.
Is this your desire too?
You might find this post by Arabah Joy, called 20+ Simple Ways to Share the Gospel interesting.
Or, you might enjoy this short post about 3 Easy Ways to Share the Gospel.
When we first moved across the country to this new city, I looked for God-given opportunities to share the gospel. He gave me many openings and I befriended several women as I showed Christ’s love to them.
I didn’t lead any of these women to Christ and that’s okay because the outcome belongs to Holy Spirit.
I made myself available and planted or watered seeds. Maybe I even nurtured the tender growth and someone else will reap the harvest.
I do know that there have been numerous times when God used me to talk about Jesus or help someone with their understanding of the Bible.
A Seed Planted
I remember one time, shortly after I was saved in 1981, that I wrote a letter to a male friend who was in jail.
I shared the gospel with him and many years later I heard his testimony which included my letter that he received. I had no idea that the words I wrote would plant seeds in his heart for someone else to reap the harvest.
How awesome is that?!
How many stories like this do you have? We’ll find out the extent of our efforts when we go home to heaven.
God wants you to be available to Him. Let Him use you whether you share the gospel or not.
Maybe you’re meant to simply be there for someone as they share what’s bothering them.
Or, maybe you’re there to show what God’s love looks like in action.
Simply mirror Christ wherever you go. Be available as His instrument and let Holy Spirit lead you.
A Tip to Help You Talk About Jesus
You may be a Christian since you were very young and wonder if you have a testimony to share. You may not have a story like a reformed addict or alcoholic or even a story like someone who walked away from an abusive life. That’s okay.
Your story is the various things that Jesus has done for you. How he’s helped you work through sicknesses and injuries. Or maybe, He helped you at your job dealing with unkind coworkers.
We all have stories to tell and your story needs to be told. To help you with that, here’s a tip for you and a bit of homework, too.
- Briefly describe your life prior to salvation. Don’t glory in the sin but acknowledge that you no longer live that life.
- Make a list of things God has done for you, such as, forgiveness of sins, healing(s), miracles, protection, leading you, etc.
- Share how your life has changed since Jesus came to live in you.
You won’t share these stories in exactly the same way each time but having the various stories fresh in your mind will help you as you talk about Jesus to others.
That’s a Wrap
As we close this post about sharing the gospel or talking about Jesus with friends and strangers, let me encourage you to stay available to Holy Spirit. Let Him lead people across your path who need to hear what you have to say.
To wrap up the main points,
- be available to Holy Spirit as He brings others your way
- be authentic as you share your story of what Jesus has done for you
- know the gospel in four words: death, burial, resurrection, and ascension
- talk about Jesus in a natural way in words you would normally use
- go where people are
If this is new to you, simply remember that it’s not about you but all about Jesus. Let Holy Spirit look after the results of your conversations.
It might be that you spent time with some sharing the gospel message and you didn’t see results, please don’t consider that a failure. Learn from it but also let Holy Spirit take care of the outcome.
Also, remember that it is important to show kindness and be authentic as you engage with others.
If you have already been sharing the gospel with others and have reaped harvests, I’d love to hear your stories.
Would you please leave a comment or even helpful suggestions for sharing the gospel without being pushy? I’d love to hear from you!
If this has been a blessing to you, please share it on Facebook and pin it on Pinterest! Thank you for helping me get the Word out!
Til next time,
Other posts that would be helpful to read are
- Understanding Salvation for New Believers,
- What Does Born Again Mean? The Gospel Connection,
- Are You Sure Heaven is Your Eternal Destination?
- 6 Small but Important Steps for the New Believer
Cindy Barnes has been called by God in the early 80s to be a teacher of His Word. She is a serious student of the Word, focusing on the Inductive Bible Study Method since 2007. Her passion is to teach women how to study the Bible using this method. In addition, she desires for women to develop an intense yearning to draw closer to God through reading and writing out the Bible.
Cindy teaches hundreds of women in her private online Bible Study Group who express their joy of growing deeper in their spiritual walk.
You can stay in touch with Cindy on Facebook through 215 Ministry.