Somewhere between Munich’s main train station and the famed Marienplatz, the man with an orange tee and ragged jeans set up shop. A brick planter his pulpit and passers-by his congregation, he peppered the air with passion and plea. Foreign were his frenzied words but the sacred book he brandished was familiar and I had no problem understanding his message. I hurried past, noting those within range of his assault: bemused expressions, some shaking their heads, others laughing…and a few trying to ignore him altogether. Though they couldn’t help but hear, no one was listening.
I’ve never quite understood street preachers, standing on a corner and shouting at the top of their lungs, hawking the word of God like it was a parcel to be peddled.
Maybe they’re just passionate and even sincere about sharing the Gospel, but that manner of presentation unnerves me. And though street preachers have never left me wanting more of Jesus, is it possible others have been drawn to Christ because of their zeal. Do they plant salvation seeds I’m too arrogant to see?
And, amazingly and redemptively, they DO challenge me with a thought:
How am ~I~ sharing my faith?
Some version of the Great Commission is recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John leaving no doubt that my salvation isn’t for me alone. I struggle with my own timidity when it comes to sharing my testimony with others; it should be simple, right??
So, why is it so hard to tell others how God is challenging me through his word and how my life and perspective have changed as a result of knowing Christ?
Sometimes, no, a lot of the time, I wish I were more like Paul, arguably the boldest, most changed man in scripture–
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes….”
Is it that I’m more concerned about what people might think (that I’m a religious whack job) or feel (judged or condemned by me) when neither is true?
This might be when I’m most grateful for God’s grace and mercy–
- He loves me in spite of myself, regardless of my shortcomings or sin.
- There is nothing I can do to make Him love me more…or less.
- My salvation has nothing to do with me earning it and everything to do with what Jesus has already done (and is still doing…).
In response to this merciful love I’ve been given, I long for my life to reflect God’s glory and grace. Telling others about my faith journey is a natural part of that.
I’ve found one of the simplest, most natural ways to share my faith is to wear my faith.
A beautiful piece of jewelry (like my bracelets at the beginning of this post) or a message on a tee shirt can invite conversation (raise your hand if you LOVE our (in)RL tees!!). Ages ago, I received this gorgeous Blessings Unlimited padfolio as a gift; every time I take it to a meeting, someone compliments it, again, a wonderful conversation starter (but it’s up to me to continue “that” conversation).
This month’s Inspired Deals feature is yet another way to wear your faith: Sharing Hope with Summer Totes. There are so many of them it’s hard to choose a favorite…but here are my first favorites ~
Sling one of these darling bags over your shoulder and and I can imagine friends and even strangers will ask you about it. It’s a lovely invitation to share the story of Jesus.
Let’s encourage one another: can you identify with me as a sometimes-timid faith sharer who is thankful for a little help from natural conversation starters? Or do you have suggestions about authentic ways we can share our faith? How do you share your faith story publicly? I know your stories will encourage all of us to do more of the same!
Wow–I can so relate to this! I struggle so much to know how to share Christ with others…it can be so tough to know how to begin the conversation! But I’ve found that even just saying something about prayer–telling someone I’ll pray for them if they’re having a tough time–can even be enough to start some sharing. It’s the little things that often lead to the big ones, just like with your jewelry and padfolio–love the idea of wearing faith! Thank you so much, Robin, for letting me know I’m not the only one who struggles with this–wonderful post! Blessings!
Robin Dance says
That IS a great one–letting people know you’ll pray for them. And it’s always helpful to me to know I’m in “this” with others. When you feel like you’re the only one it can be so defeating.
I hope sometimes that I share my faith by my example. That others can see by how I live, act, and speak that I am a follower of Christ. (Conversation starters help, too).
Robin Dance says
Me, too, Lisa…me, too :).
Your fears about being judged for sharing your beliefs and not wanting to appear preachy resonate with me because I struggle with the exact same feelings when it comes to The Great Commission. I take great comfort in the words of St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” This simple statement helps remind me that as we are each endowed with different spiritual gifts, then we will each share our faith in different ways.
I just graduated from a fairly liberal, secular university where the idea of religion, and Christianity in particular, was either met with scorn or dismissed as an antiquated notion. There were a few times, though, when the simple cross necklace I have worn around my neck every day since high school sparked a conversation; each time I was surprised, but grateful, for the way the Lord would present those opportunities to share even the smallest bit of my faith.
Robin Dance says
I’ve always had an affection for St. Francis’ quote; and yes, I hope my life looks different to a non-believer.
Your commet about your cross reminded me of a time I BLEW an opportunity. A new couple I met were visiting in our home their first time; the husband noticed a book on my shelf titled, “Improving Your Serve” and said, “Oh, so you play tennis?” I was confused as to why he would think that so I asked and he pointed it out. I dismissed it and said, “Oh, that’s a book about Christian service,” and left it at that. For YEARS I wish I had been bolder in that moment.
I’ll admit that I’m not a very public faith-sharer. I’ve always had a hard time talking about the things that matter most to me. Which seems strange, but I know it’s a fear of baring my soul for all to see.
That said, if someone approaches me with questions, I’ll gladly answer. And I have no problem with carrying something that subtly proclaims my faith. Like those tote bags. I have two of them and love them! One is my music bag (I play in a band) and the other is acting as my purse right now ever since my regular purse got ruined at a baseball game. They are simple ways of declaring faith without pushing it on to others.
Robin Dance says
Beautiful, Rachel. It makes me smile to hear how you’re wearing your faith. I used to be threatened if people had a lot of questions; but I’ve learned to love doubters–I AM one! So questions lead to answers and even MORE questions sometimes…but that just means the person is THINKING and I believe that’s the Spirit drawing them (often).
Mindy Bowman says
God is so awesome! I wrote about these VERY THINGS in my blog post today (6/6/12)! I love my (in)RL t-shirt! I used to hide my Christian T’s under sweaters when I was “outside the body” of my church. Now, I wear them proudly!
Robin Dance says
Jinx! How cool that you posted that and then saw this! A God confirmation, yes? 🙂
The church is full of crazy people. (You + Me (WE) = Church: Part 2) « New Equus – A New Creation says
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Denise Untersee says
It is not easy to share your faith. But we first need to be willing to do so. Then pray and the Lord will put people in our path. Sometimes it is just to listen. The Lord will open the door for us to share.
Robin Dance says
Exactly, Denise! We DO have to be willing! Prayer definitely tenders our hearts towards others.
Beth Williams says
My pastor preached on this very subject last Sunday (6/3/12). He mentioned the “Great Commission”. I can so relate to the struggle you have of sharing your faith. The way that works for me is wearing T-shirts with Christian messages, or nice Christian jewelry.
I also know that sharing your faith can be done by doing small little acts of kindness for someone. They may question why are you doing this for me and that is the starting point. Actions often speak louder than words!
Just wondering where you got your bracelets? Ths is a fantastic post – thank you for sharing and being so open