The one thing I wish I knew when I started sharing my faith is: it’s about relationship before persuasion.
I grew up in a time when evangelising meant convincing people rationally of a spiritual or emotional decision to join the Church. I was born and raised in the Christian church environment, and there was a moment in my life when I was deeply impacted by God’s love and salvation in Jesus.
In a family that was dedicated to Jesus I genuinely sought to fulfil my duty of sharing my faith with the people around me. However, anxiety and anguish were part of the process. Keeping in mind the desired outcome, the conversion of people so that they might know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, I was sure that it was up to me to be the persuasive tool in sharing the Gospel.
The anguish arose because I always felt that my methods were ineffective or insufficient and that my communication skills wouldn’t do the job. Also, being somewhat introverted, I considered the task of sharing my faith an enormous burden. I thought that by memorising verses or using certain strategies, the desired result would be accomplished. I was like a tractor trying to do its job.
However I came to realise that the outcome does not depend exactly on my abilities but on the action of the Holy Spirit. God used marvellous people to set me free from my wrong understanding, and I learned from Jesus: “I no longer call you servants, […] but I have called you friends, for everything I heard from my Father I shared with you (John 15:15).” It’s that simple! I was transformed from task-evangelism to relationship-evangelism.
My life as a living message of God’s love, salvation, emotional health, and fulfilled life is the gift of Christ that I now get share. So I say proclaim the Gospel in personal relationships, live and share with friends the most precious gift in the world, Jesus Christ.