A Plan to Share Jesus. Step Three: Assess Your Relationships

Here is the third step in developing a plan to share Jesus consistently from the Sharing Jesus book.

Third, from the Concentric Circles exercise, identify people in your circles of influence you already know who don’t know Christ.

Oscar Thompson taught evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Seminary. He died of cancer just before I began my studies there, but I and many others have been blessed by his Concentric Circles approach to assessing our relationships. If we’re honest, one of the greatest hindrances to our sharing Jesus is simply this: most of us don’t know enough people who don’t know Jesus. Here it is:

Grab a pen and paper and take a look at the chart below. Take a few minutes to write down the names of people in each circle. Start at the most inward circle just outside yourself.

Do you have close family members who need to know Jesus? Other relatives you see on occasion?

What about friends? Jesus was criticized for being a friend of sinners (not a friend of sin!). Do you have friends who are more than an evangelism projects, but who are real friends who need Jesus? I have a fishing buddy who to this point has not come to Christ. I love this friend. I hope he meets Jesus.

How about your neighbors? Do you actually know your neighbors? Do you know where they are spiritually?

What about work associates? Do you think about your co-workers? I hope this book has helped you here. Look at the next circle. Do you have acquaintances, people who aren’t necessarily friends, but people you know? Another question I like to ask people is to think about their list of contacts on their phones. Think about yours. Can you identify at least three people in your contact list who don’t know Jesus but with whom you have enough of a relationship that you could invite them to a meal or to have a cup of coffee and they would join you?

The final circle represents Person X, or that person you don’t know you may encounter. This could be someone sitting next to you in an airplane or at a coffee shop. It could be a server in a restaurant or someone at the bank. I’ll be honest: 90 percent of the witness training I received in my young adult years focused on witnessing to strangers door-to-door or those we encounter we do not know. I’m grateful for that, but I hope you see the importance of sharing Jesus with the very people God puts in our lives. These dear souls are neither incidental nor accidental in your life.

What would be the most practical ways of connecting with these people? Identify a realistic plan for connecting with at least one person in these circles weekly. This involves being open to random encounters with others and intentional meetings for conversations with others (Person X). It may be that one such encounter a week is realistic for you; volume matters less than consistency.