A Plan to Share Jesus. Step Two: Find the Core of Your Witness

The first step in developing a personal plan to share Jesus is to immerse yourself in, marinate, and consistently contemplate the good news found in Jesus. Here is the second, from the final chapter of the Sharing Jesus book.

Second, understand these factors that help your personal witness: Giftedness, Calling, and Deep Satisfaction. Over the years, people more wise than I have talked about the importance of bringing together one’s giftedness, calling, and deep satisfaction to see practically how God made you and can use you for His glory.[1] Look at the Venn diagram featuring three interlocking circles representing these three. Developing a plan for your witness will involve you living at the center with all three at work. These three correspond to the important areas of orthodoxy (right belief, or knowing God’s calling in the gospel), orthopraxy (right actions, ways we are gifted to do things for the Great Commission), and orthopathy (right affections, or understanding deep satisfaction from a Jesus-centered view).

Take a sheet of paper and write the three terms across the top in three columns. Underneath Giftedness, write what you understand to be your gifts. This includes spiritual gifts, but more. Include talents you have, personal characteristics, even limitations, as we talked about earlier. Your education, family, relationships, strengths all count in the area of giftedness. “Anything that enables you to do something effectively counts as a gift,” Forster argues, which includes “Much more than just your ‘skills’ and ‘talents’ narrowly understood. Personal characteristics, ranging from physical endurance to empathy, are gifts that empower you to do things others can’t do.”[2] This includes things you can’t control or limitations you have: where you were born, your family, you place and time in history. It includes things like education, relationships, and jobs. Even limitations can help you to focus on God’s work in you.

 

In the Calling category, write what you see as the greatest passions of your life based on what you understand from God’s Word and his commission. If you can think of specific things others have affirmed in you, like compassion, a love for the broken, a desire to teach the Word, or others, note those. What are things you know God has burdened you about? What would you do for free? What is that thing you believe you must do with your life?

Concerning Deep Satisfaction, what are the things that bring you greatest joy? God built us for more than survival; he made us to long for something beyond us, something to bring deep satisfaction. Our ultimate satisfaction is in Christ! Out of that gospel-centered focus of life we can observe more specific and personal ways we find satisfaction. For me, as one called to teach, I take deep satisfaction in seeing people “get it,” or discover something true that changes them.

Where these three meet, you find your sweet spot for serving Jesus out of the reality of who you are. For me, my giftedness would include some ability to communicate as a teacher, wonderful experiences that have helped me learn to share my faith, and great mentors. My calling includes a burden to equip leaders to live lives on mission for God. I get deep satisfaction when someone “gets it,” or has a breakthrough in his life and witness (which is why I am a teacher, see?). This is why I am always trying to teach when I share Jesus. I love what Tim Keller said, how when we share Christ, no matter how the person responds, we want to share in such a way they would wish it were true.

What’s yours? Think about ways you can utilize this information to communicate Jesus with others.

[1] Again I’m indebted to Forster for his discussion on this in his book Joy for the World, although he too notes many godly leaders have observed this triune understanding of how God made us. Forster, Joy for the World, 168–169.

[2] Ibid., 169.