If people leave my life on purpose, I want it to be because they felt uncomfortable if anything, or because they rejected what I was saying. I don’t want them to leave because God needed them to hear His word, and I was too lazy or scared to share a life saving message with them. I know that sounds harsh, and how can God do something like that if you truly feel fearful of rejection. Here is my experience: If you happen to lose someone, keep your eyes open because there is another person right around the corner – or already in your life!
I’m still growing in this area, and although I continue to blow it at times, I’ve also continued to try – and try again. If you’re stuck on how to get the word out, here are a couple tips to get you going:
1. Speak frequently about your habits of praying, going to church or the challenges God puts in front of you. These will click with someone, which usually lead to questions, and opportunities to share your faith.
2. Practice telling your story. Preaching down to someone rarely will help people find a relationship with Christ. However, hearing how God personally changed your heart or led you out of a crisis is inspiring and personal to others.
3. Put links to a testimony page you have on Facebook or a website at the bottom of every email which goes out. I send between 50-100 personal emails out per day. Per day! You may send more or less, but why not put a paragraph or two on a social site or webpage for people to read. One of mine is obviously the MattNumrich.com site, but here is one of the first I put up over a decade ago: http://elitejkd.com/faith_first.php. I now put a link to my MattNumrich.com page at the bottom of each of my emails.
4. Ask, just ask. If you are up for a challenge, you just need to ask people where they stand, and if they have God in their life. Never be judgmental, as we are all growing in our faith. Some are just starting their walk with God, while others have no clue God has been walking with them all of their life. Just ask, then shut up and listen. If anything, share your story.
This is not by any means a complete list, but I hope it will get you going in the right direction. See your actions as either indirect or direct. Links at the bottom of an email or indirect, and take little or no thought. Starting a conversation up with a stranger on the bus into work who looks distraught takes courage and is very direct. I believe using a combination will give you plenty of opportunities to reach out to people who have questions. When they do, resist to be the know it all, and preach to them by telling them all which is wrong in their life. Admittingly, this has been a tough spot for me.
Instead, listen, just listen. Pray while you are listening that God will open your heart with compassion and caring, and give you wisdom to speak when the time is right. After I get that chance, remember to pray that the seed you just planted to sprout up, slowly if need be. We all want to be the last person in someone’s life which helps them see God’s truth… the one person who leads them to God. However, realize that even flubbed conversations can leave questions in a person’s mind which will breed more questions. Realize also, that your part may sometimes be a small one in a person’s journey to finding the unconditional love of Christ.
After an encounter pray about it, and even talk to another Christian who might have more experience than you. Don’t criticize yourself too much, but know that there is always room for improvement. When I listen more than I talk, say what is on my heart and pray that God will continue to work on theirs, I truly sleep very well at night with absolutely no regrets.