Witnessing: a conversation between two people, both of whom are nervous.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (I Peter 2:9)
Imagine you knew nothing of Christianity–no tradition, no heritage, no churches, nothing–and someone told you about Jesus. Something inside you was moved by the Story of this God becoming Man, and the grace of God in the cross changed you into a new creation. What would you do?
You would tell others. Of course. But we don’t, do we?
What if I told you that sharing Jesus has been overcomplicated by the church? What if I told you that you don’t have to be an expert theologian, a clever presenter, or have a charismatic personality to be used by God to tell others about Him?
Or, what if I told you that instead of seeing evangelism as a term we talk about but rarely actually seek to fulfill personally, it’s really at the core of who you are and how God wired you? What if I told you that the very personality, gifts, and passions you possess are a part of God’s plan to fulfill the Great Commission?
Today marked a real milestone for me. I just signed a contract with B & H Academic to write a book called Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out. I’m honored to write this; it’s something a lot of friends have encouraged me to pen for a long time. It’s a simple book, really, about 30,000 words.
I’ve signed contracts and written books before, but this one is different in at least two ways. First, it’s the first book coming after a couple of years of very significant life change for me. You can read more about that here and here, but let’s just say I’m refocused on what I’m sure God has called me to and am very excited about the road ahead. Second, this is in many ways the first book I’ve written that truly is for any follower of Jesus. Virtually everything I’ve written to this point has been for church leaders or on a very specific topic like revival or student ministry. This book is for the church, not just leaders.
I’m praying a 15 year old can pick this up and be encouraged and challenged to share Christ with her friends at school. I hope a pastor who struggles to witness in our changing world will be blessed and equipped to speak for Christ. I pray for the businessman who rubs shoulders with unbelievers all the time will have both a yearning and confidence to share Christ with his coworkers. And, I pray church members young and old will realize that evangelism is not for a select few or for a set time a week, but for all of us all the time.
As much as anything, I pray followers of Jesus will see that their witness is not only in their words, but in their lives. Paul said when the gospel came to Thessalonica it came not just in words, but with power, the Spirit, conviction, and as they lived out their faith before the people there (I Thess. 1:5). We need some of that Thessalonian kind of witnessing.
You can share Jesus without freaking out, and I hope to help you in that. Pray for me!