When Jesus commanded his followers in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples, it was a call to share the Gospel with all people. No matter the context in which you find yourself, through prayer, submission to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and obedience to the word of God, opportunities to share the Gospel can abound. Here are some different contexts and key factors to consider when sharing your faith.
"A church which has little relationship in its immediate surroundings also has little opportunities to be evangelistic within its community"
Steve Colwell, corporate chaplain for Tyson Foods, meets with newly-hired truck drivers each week and encourages them not to “park their faith at the door.” When integrating their beliefs into the workplace, Colwell says individuals should live an authentic faith that is contagious. “It would be very hard to share a faith that is not evident in your life, at work, at home, or in the community,” he said. He also noted the importance of being sensitive to the boundaries people put in their professional life. “It really comes down to asking the questions of yourself, ‘has this person given me the invitation into sharing a truth that is life-changing and personal?’ If we violate someone’s boundary then they will be offended and not feel respected.”
Evangelizing on a college campus comes with many challenges as students may appear disengaged, uninterested or ‘too busy.’ But as Robert Rueda, director of the BSM at the University to Texas at Rio Grande Valley, said, “It is important to remember that students are looking for meaning in their lives, and there will always be students who are open to God.” With that in mind, Rueda noted that it is vital to be confident, direct and committed in overcoming these barriers. “Get to know students and show you care,” he said. “When they see that you care, they will listen and let you minister to them.”
“Effective community evangelism is born out of relationships within that community,” said Tom Howe, director of Urban Missions. That’s the heart of ministry and evangelism within your community and beyond - to build sincere, caring relationships while lovingly and graciously sharing the Good News of Jesus. When we do that, then we can authentically share Christ. Along with that, churches must also be able to relate within their communities. “A church which has little relationship in its immediate surroundings also has little opportunities to be evangelistic within its community,” Howe continued. “Seek out how to make community connections to build the framework to share Christ.”
When sharing your faith in different countries and cultures, it is helpful to be mindful of barriers and bridges to the Gospel within the specific context in which you are working. Josue Valerio, director of the Missions Team, shared the two most important components are to be direct and clear. “If you are up front in the beginning of your conversation why you are there and what you want to share, that will transcend cultures and people will respect what you have to say,” Valerio said.
For more information on evangelism strategies, visit texasbaptists.org/evangelism.