Create a list of non-Christians in your community and pray over them. Neighbors, friends, coworkers, even family members. Commit their names on paper or an electronic list you view and pray for multiple times a week.
Carve out time in the rhythm of your week to be in your neighborhood, meet with your coworkers or spend time with your family members who don’t know Jesus. You can walk your neighborhood in the evening, attend a cookout or community event or maybe host one yourself. Invite a few coworkers to lunch one day and ask them questions about their family and lives.
The goal is that you become known to the people in your proximity as someone who is caring, compassionate and welcoming. You don’t need a neon sign; you need faithful presence.
Your voice and influence with others are earned over time and through a few different ways. First, permission is earned through care. Genuinely care about non-Christians in your life and seek to serve well their practical needs.
Permission is also earned through consistency. Often Christians are known for being fake, so doing what you say you will do earns trust.
Permission is accelerated through character. As you follow Jesus, you will model character people will want to emulate and that will draw them to trust you and trust your advice.
Permission is pursued through curiosity. Be genuinely curious about your non-Christian friends, and they will often respond in like fashion.
Place yourself in positions to be present in the midst of challenging times in a non-Christian’s life. Ask questions and wait. Personal conviction is indicated when others open up to you in confession, spiritual questions or asking for advice.
But the key indicator is humility. When people are humble around you, they are recognizing their need for something more and also your trustworthiness. This is the time to be like Philip in Acts 8 – bold and proclamatory while sharing the gospel of Jesus as simply as possible.
Here is a simple way to share your faith:
God created the world good, true and beautiful.
The world rebelled against God and was broken.
God stepped out of eternity into human history to solve this brokenness in the world and in us in the person of Jesus.
Jesus takes all our sin and gives us all of his goodness.
Believing Jesus does this is what makes you a Christian.
Why not believe this?
Joshua Young, Church planter and the lead pastor of Redeeming Hope Church
Joshua Young is a church planter and the lead pastor of Redeeming Hope Church, Clarksville, Tennessee.