How to Share Jesus Without Being Weird
The phrase seems to be, when talking about sharing Jesus with people, is that they don’t want religion to be “shoved down their throat.” Whether they are drawing on past experiences, genuinely feel aggressively pressured to accept an idea that might be new to them, or simply have just heard this catch phrase over and over - people can be reluctant to want to hear the good news that we as believers can’t wait to share!
We interviewed people from the Revelry community and other local churches to get their advice on how to share Jesus with their friends without being weird, how they handled disappointment when things didn’t turn out as they were hoping, what keeps them going to spread the gospel of Jesus, and some of the life change and small miracles they’ve experienced with their friends as a result of not being afraid to maybe be weird.
“My heart is always bent on initiative and upfront 'evangelism', be it with friend or stranger - but ive learned in my walk with God recently that the greatest testimony is a life that exemplifies the power of God. The world is used to hearing opinions from others and giving debate on facts - but what theyre not use to seeing is miracles in a person's heart (true freedom from anxiety, despair, impurity) and life (healings, signs, etc.). People can argue all day about whether or not Jesus is Alive, and not get anywhere. But what they cant argue is the testimony of someone who was once blind, but now can see, because of their encounter with the living Jesus.”
“I work as a public school teacher where sharing your faith can be hard. When I'm frustrated with the leadership, I share my frustration and talk to them about what I've learned about being a leader from church conferences like the Global Leadership Summit, and it usually turns into a great conversation. I try to turn venting into something purposeful and leave the venting session with a plan of new action. It's not really sharing my faith, but sometimes it becomes a foundation for that to happen because I'm handling the situation in a godly manner.
I did have one time where I prayed with a coworker after learning about her health issues and difficulty getting pregnant. She taught a student on my caseload so one day I was connecting with her to talk about data or plans of support and just asked her how she was doing. She looked upset and when I asked if she was ok she opened up about everything and started to cry. I knew it was really important to her to i asked if i could pray for her. She said she would love that and i explained about the scripture that talks about laying on of hands and people being healed. I prayed that she would have an easier time getting pregnant and then a few months later she was and it was a high risk pregnancy because of her health issues but everything was great and she had a beautiful little girl! I was terrified to step out like that but I knew I had something she needed and why would I keep that from her?
As far as handling things in a godly manner, I read a book last summer called The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: King Solomon's secrets to success, wealth, and happiness by Steven K. Scott. Its all about the wisdom found in Proverbs which literally leads us into handling everything we do in a godly way so that we can have success in every area of life. That book helped me so much to really think about my work ethic, my conversations, and those are things that my coworkers see everyday. Truthfully, if we dont handle situations God's way I think it's very hard for Him to open doors for us to speak about our faith because then we appear two-faced where we say one thing but act like another. Theres enough of that in the world. “
I feel like one of the most powerful moments for sharing the love of Jesus with people is when you are struggling with something, but find yourself in the middle of that “supernatural peace that surpasses all understanding” church folks talk about. The kind of feeling where it really doesn’t make sense to feel okay, but you feel okay anyway.
A few years ago, my husband and I were living in a duplex and were really good friends with our neighbors that shared the other side of the house. We each had our own little porches, so it was a normal thing for us to bump into each other and have some good conversations across the way. We were at the lowest point in our marriage after I received some really difficult news about some un-savory ways my husband was managing his stress. I am really transparent with my good friends, so they knew we were going to counseling and managing this hurdle, and asked me how things were. I remember being very cautious about my words because I did not want to be slanderous towards my husband, so I did my best to stick to facts, focus on our victories in coping, and talk about how my response should be to show him grace like Jesus showed us.
My friend is a staunch agnostic, so this was really confusing to him. I explained to him that even though we do bad things, none of that affects how Jesus feels about us. I explained that we can mess up over and over again, and because he made a promise of salvation to those of us that believe in Him, just like my husband and I made a promise to stay untied through anything, that leaving my husband is never an option. Jesus never left us. I explained that this is called grace, and the Jesus gives it freely to anyone who will receive it. Usually a very intellectual type to have a fiery, informed response to everything, my friend looked at me tearfully and said “I wish I could feel that grace.” I’ve been praying for him all the time since that porch conversation, and try to invite him to church whenever I run into him. I’m confident that one day, he too will feel that grace.