By Dr. Robert Owens
When asked by the Barna Group, “Do we have a personal responsibility to share our faith with others?” most Christians answer, Yes.
100% of Evangelicals and 73% of born-again Christians said yes. When this conviction is put into practice however, the numbers shift downward. Only 69% of Evangelicals and 52% of born-again Christians say they actually did share the Gospel at least once this past year to someone with different beliefs in the hope that they might accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
“Born again Christians” were defined in these surveys as people who said they have made “a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today” and who also indicated they believe that when they die, they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Respondents were not asked to describe themselves as “born again.” Being classified as “born again” is not dependent upon church or denominational affiliation or involvement.
“Evangelicals” meet the born-again criteria described above plus seven other conditions. Those include: saying their faith is very important in their life today; believing they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians; believing that Satan exists; believing that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works; believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; asserting that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches; and describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. Being classified as an evangelical is not dependent upon church attendance, the denominational affiliation of the church attended, or self-identification.
Many people have a hard time sharing their faith in Christ. They feel as if they don’t want to be perceived as pushy. Possibly they’re afraid to speak to strangers or they don’t know how to get a conversation to a place where speaking about faith might be appropriate.
Here’s an easy, comfortable way that my wife introduced me to many years ago.
In America a common greeting is, “Hi how’re you doing?”
Most people aren’t really concerned with how we’re doing it’s just a greeting. However, when someone asks us a question, we’re free to answer it and it’s a natural and comfortable thing to do.
Whenever I’m asked America’s greeting “Hi how’re you doing?”
I answer, “I’m blessed.”
The reactions are very interesting. Some just give a quizzical look. Some say, “You are?” which is another question.
And as in the initial situation answering a question is an easy natural thing to do. I’ll answer, “You are?” with something like “I am and I won’t accept anything less.”
Sometimes people will answer with another question something like, “Why are you blessed?” and this opens the door for easily speaking about Jesus gave it to me and the world can’t take it away or some other friendly answer that leads directly to speaking of Jesus. Not often but occasionally, it leads to an actual chance to share the hope of the Gospel. If nothing else, it opens the door to speak the name of Jesus in public. And you never know who might be listening and what the sound of that Name may have in the ripple effect of reality.
Sometimes our initial response of “I’m blessed” is met with, “I am too.” This opens a door for fellowship with a fellow believer and the collateral opportunity for others to hear people who aren’t afraid to share their faith in public and another opportunity to speak the Name of Jesus into the air of a world that needs him.
This type of conversational evangelism is reflected in one T-shirt I have. It says, “I’m Blessed” and then under that large headline it offers an answer to anyone who might ask why, “You better ask Jesus.”
It’s also reflected in the words to an old song from the hills of Missouri:
I’m Blessed and I know that I am since Jesus took control of my life.
I’m blessed and I know that I am since He gave to me a new life.
I’m blessed and if you happen to ask how I am my friend.
I’m Blessed, I’m Blessed, I’m Blessed
For any of us who find it hard to get started with sharing the good news of the Gospel with others why not give, “I’m blessed,” a try since we are. Then get ready to walk through any doors God decides to open.