When I was an Evangelical in college, we would go out for a few hours on campus and “share the Gospel” with random people. It was scary. I would just walk up to someone drinking coffee or reading the newspaper, and say, “Hello. How’s it going? Could I ask you a few questions? It won’t take long.”
And then we’d start asking generic questions that led to spiritual conversations. Sometimes, it would go really well. Sometimes, not so well.
I was under the impression that people could just “be saved” by a simple conversation. Of course, that can happen. Someone can miraculously hand their life over to Christ in a matter of minutes. Most of the time, however, it is a long process. Even more importantly, it happens in the context of a relationship.
Since I’ve been Catholic, my understanding of conversion and discipleship has deepened. I don’t randomly walk up to strangers any more – but I still try to reach out to others on a daily basis. I’m always looking for ways to share the Faith.
I’d like to encourage you to be intentional about sharing your faith. Here are five tips to keep in mind as we prayerfully try to bring others to know Jesus Christ as Lord and King of Kings. And I must stress that prayer is the foundation for all five:
1. Be a real friend to others. Someone once said that we must, “Earn the right to be heard.” Do you want to make an impact? Invest in other people.
People know when you are manipulating them or trying to use them. People can just feel it. I know who my close friends are. They sacrifice for me and I sacrifice for them. I also know that there are people in my life who are trying to use me for something. You can’t earn the right to be heard if you are not a true friend. The best way to “be heard” is to listen others.
2. Your soul must be attractive. We can be tempted to be negative and judgmental about “the world” or about “the Church” or about “life.” That just makes your soul ugly. It’s depressing. It stinks. It’s like having bad breath. You may have good things to say, but nobody can stand being around you. Your soul doesn’t reflect the reality that you are trying to proclaim. If you don’t have joy and peace in Christ, you shouldn’t be trying to convince others. Convince yourself first!
3. Be ready to explain. If you live the Catholic Faith, you have a lot of explaining to do…
Why do you Catholics have Jesus still on the cross? Why do you have lots of kids? Why do you make a big deal about Mary? Why do y’all keep Lent? Why don’t priests get married? Why do you wear that scapular? Why do you go to church more than once a week? Why is the pope important?
You need to be able to answer these questions in a factual and winsome way. You need to be less like Spock and more like GK Chesterton. Yes, you must win people over. They need to know all these things. Make it compelling. Make it interesting. That’s what I try to do on this blog every day.
(I’ve written posts on all these topics. Just use the “Search bar” in the upper right corner of the blog to find whichever explanations that you need – anytime.)
4. Give things away. I carry miraculous medals and give them out. Not too long ago, I saw a woman crying in the airport. I gave her a medal. She was so grateful. She stopped crying and thanked me.
I’ll also leave a medal with a waitress (along with a big tip!). If I hear people in a restaurant talking about Christ, I may walk over and smile and say, “It’s nice to hear people talking about Our Lord. God bless you.” I am very intentional about the faith and I want others to know the joy and blessing of knowing Christ Jesus.
My best friend Jordan is really good at giving people Brown Scapulars. You’d be surprised how many people will start wearing them! You can make and give Rosaries or crosses. Holy cards. Get creative. Make a strategy. Whenever you give something to a another person, they are more willing to listen to what you have to say. If it’s truly from the heart, they can feel it. Heart speaks to heart.
I know another lady who reads this blog and she is always giving away books and DVDs about saints and other Catholic topics. What a great witness. My wife gave a Catholic book to her sister one year for Christmas – and she and her husband became Catholic! The information whet their appetite for more.
5. Be salty. Christ says in Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the world.” Don’t lose that divine “flavor.” We have to maintain the flavor. Ask yourself, “Am I a salty Catholic.” If not, make some changes. I’m going to be putting together a workbook (later this year) titled Liturgy of Life on how to design a lifetime spiritual plan. Maybe I should title it: “How to become salty and stay salty.” Till then, get out a sheet of paper and make a plan.
WARNING/ACHTUNG: We can be too salty!!! Salt makes food taste good. But if you dump too much salt in the food, it ruins the food. Don’t be too salty with your Catholic Faith. Don’t turn people off from the Catholic Church. I’m guilty of doing this. I’ve been too pushy, and I really regret it.
We must be master chefs. We must season to taste. Don’t dump the salt shaker into your message. People won’t want to eat your food!
Okay, so there’s five quick tips for sharing the Faith with friends and family.
Let’s open the comments. Give us more and more ideas. Namely, how have you been successful is sharing your faith? What other tips would be helpful?
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