Sharing your faith is not only about giving away copies of the gospel. Our gospel booklets are tools you can use to help people search for themselves. It is not always appropriate to give a gospel, particularly when witnessing to those with whom you have an ongoing relationship. Try to give the gospel to a friend at a time when they will be receptive and willing to read it – this involves wisdom and sensitivity.
We must see giving away a gospel as only one aspect of sharing our faith. We want you to give away gospels in the context of relationship building and friendly conversations.
Building bridges with those you know
Giving away Gospels of John has to be put in the context of bridge-building. Most adults who are coming to faith in Christ have been helped through a relationship with someone who is already a Christian.
Here are some ways you can help your friends or family find Christ:
1. Pray for Them
Pray for your friends and family by name. Pray that God will remove specific obstacles to them coming to Christ. Pray for the times you meet them, for opportunities to learn more about what they believe and to share your own faith. If they are going through a tough period, you could even offer to pray with them!
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
Take a real interest in their feelings and views. Ask them questions about what they believe. Look for points of contact – things that they are interested in – to draw the conversation towards Christ. Give them a copy of the Gospel to read and ask for feedback.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:9
3. Honesty is the best policy
Be open about your own faith. Don’t gloss over the hard side of being a Christian. At an appropriate time, tell them how you became a Christian and/ or why you are still a Christian.
“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.” Psalm 107:2
4. Examine your lifestyle
Our friends and family judge the quality of our faith by our lifestyle. Aim to live in obedience to God’s Word so that you may bring glory to Him.
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.” Phillippians 1:27
5. Introduce them to other Christians
This may be through some low-key social events or inviting them to a suitable event or service at your church. People are often impressed by the warm and friendly community that they come into contact with.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
Sharing the Word of God with Strangers
Sometimes it is appropriate to give a Gospel to a stranger. In fact, this is often easier than giving one to somebody you know well.
We are not suggesting that you push them into the hands of people with whom you have had no conversation, or that you just leave them where people might find them. Pray that the Lord will give you opportunities to talk with people before giving them a gospel.
What we would encourage you to do is to look for opportunities where you can share that you are a Christian and you can give the gospel away saying something such as: “You might find this interesting – it is part of the Bible”. If possible explain that at the back there are additional pages on knowing God and a card to send off for more information.
Opportunities to give the gospel to a stranger might come in all sorts of situations – in a hospital waiting room – on public transport – or any other place where you end up chatting to somebody. While wanting to share our faith with others we also need sensitivity towards people. It is important to choose the right time.
Make it a rule never to give a gospel away to anybody without you have had a conversation with them. It is our desire that our gospels are used in sharing 1-2-1 and not just distributed.