At St. Paul’s, Nobleton, we just completed a Sunday morning series on the importance of sharing our faith with others. It all sounds good and noble, and we can be kind of pumped about talking about the Lord with others when we’re at church, but once we get back out into the world, it’s a different story for many people. There’s just that innate fear of being rejected, or being asked a question we can’t answer, or of being so nervous that we say something wrong. It’s a pretty common fear.
While going into a conversation with someone with the express intent of helping them come to know Jesus is daunting, there are other, perhaps more natural, ways to share our faith, too. Let me tell you about an experience I had one day last week.
I went to a big-box store in a nearby town to pick up some water softener salt, and as I was paying for it, I noticed that the cashier was wearing a large cross made mostly of large clear stones. So, to make conversation (and share my faith a little), I said to her, “That’s some pretty big ‘Jesus bling’ you’ve got there!”
The store was not busy, so this got her talking at some length about what the cross means to her (and the fact that this one was of the costume jewellery variety). She talked a bit about religion, and I was able to say to her, “It’s all about what you do with Jesus.” I said it two or three times throughout the very pleasant conversation, and my hope was that she would remember that phrase.
Before I left, she asked me to keep her in my prayers, which I promised to do. This enabled me to give her my business card and invite her to email me with updates so that I could pray for her more effectively. (This also served as an invitation to worship.)
Did I leave having given her a theological bone to chew on? Possibly. Did she get down on her knees and pray a sinner’s prayer right there in the store? No. But I did share my faith with her. Often, with strangers, it is very difficult to share faith in a personal way because the relationship doesn’t exist. Unless that cashier gets back in touch with me, or I’m back in the store and she remembers me, there may not be an opportunity for me to build on the conversation we had. But the conversation was positive, and she was certainly left with something to think about. I sowed some seed. I tilled some ground. Perhaps here, perhaps in heaven, I’ll see what God may have done with my effort.
The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow” (1 Corinthians 3.6, NLT). When we all participate in sharing our faith, each of us can play a role in helping people come to know the Lord. Who knows? You might meet up with that young cashier and have an opportunity to talk about Jesus, too, and through us, working together, God may draw her to himself in faith.
When you share your faith, make it natural. Let the love of God flow through you. In that way, whether you’re on a “committee” or not, you participate in your congregation’s outreach.