When You Are Struggling to Share Your Faith
“Mom, did you know some people in the Bible thought Jesus was just a fairy tale?” My four-year-old looked up at me while I was putting him to bed.
“Yes,” I replied. “What do you think about that?”
“Well, I know God, so I know He’s real. And, God never gives up, so those people may know He’s real too.”
“Did you know that there are people today that think God is not real?” I asked him. “Or they may not have even heard about Him. That’s why our friends went to Japan. There are a lot of people who do not know about God in Japan.”
He thought for a minute. “If a lot of people went to Japan, then there would be more people who knew about God. And, if our friends here don’t know about God, when they come over, we can tell them. On their birthdays, we could give them a very special book for a gift, it’s called the Bible. Then they can read about Him.”
My four-year-old had suddenly caught the vision–really, came up with it all on his own–for the need to evangelize and has a plan on how to do it. It’s so obvious to him. God is real. If people don’t know that, then we better tell them. It’s not about Heaven and Hell for him because we are just starting to talk about those subjects, and he doesn’t quite get it. It’s about truth and telling others the truth so they can know. Simple, right?
I’ve always struggled with it. I feel like most of us have. We easily overlook it as a command that simply needs to be followed.
Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt 28:18-20, NET
Yeah, Jesus tells his disciples to go and make disciples. It’s a command. Really. But we ignore it, or at least I do.
This two-minute clip from Francis Chan captures the idea that we aren’t actually into obeying God and his commands, instead we are just into talking about obeying. Ouch!
What are we doing instead of obeying?
We are meeting together to become better disciples ourselves. Just taking in.
Jesus didn’t say you needed to make sure you knew everything first and were a perfect disciple before sharing. He wouldn’t have been able to say that to anyone anyway because have you seen what dopes He was working with? What dopes He’s still working with?
We are resisting those things that make us feel uncomfortable, like a disciple’s comfort is really a primary concern of the Bible.
Jesus didn’t say if it makes you uncomfortable, if your heart races a bit, just skip what I’ve commanded you. No, in fact, he took obedience to the cross, and the Bible is full of “when you face trials/persecution” passages, and they aren’t just talking about a little rejection as persecution.
We are letting the professionals do the work: “I’m not called into the ministry, so that’s that.”
Jesus didn’t say if you’re paid to do this, then go share your faith. He said it to all of us. We each have a role, and it may look different for all of us. We are parts of a body who will do things differently, but we all need to go and make disciples.
What does it mean to make disciples?
First, we have to go where there aren’t disciples. Basic, right? But, when I look at my life, this is shamefully missing. Christian bubble alert!
Then, we have to tell them about God. Share how He’s changed us. Share how amazing He is. Share the truth. If we believe it, why are we scared to share it?
If they believe, then we don’t just leave them at saved. We nurture them. Teach them what we know about God.
Think you don’t know that much? Well, you know more than that new disciple probably. Remember you don’t have to be perfect to walk alongside a new believer. It’s better you aren’t. Share your struggles and your life. Besides, there’s a ton of material out there for teaching a new believer. Just Google it.
Also, teach the new believer how to share his or her testimony and the gospel. This is a time in life when that person probably has the most non-believers around him and a new-found passion for God. Keep that passion alive by letting him see the power of conversion as he shares with those he loves.
We don’t have to be Billy Graham. We don’t have to make a ton of disciples. Jesus made twelve.
Look for one person right now. Who has God placed in your life that needs Him? What does that look like for you? Pray. Do this in community so you have others praying and some encouragement/accountability. I will pray for you.
Can I be honest? I will probably still live in my excuses awhile longer, but I am hoping that this is the first step in fulfilling Jesus’ words. I’m working on setting aside what has become acceptable for a Christian today to do and to just talk about doing. Will you pray for me too?