by: Clayton King
I don't particularly like witnessing. You know, the classic, old school, rehearsed version of "sharing your faith" with a total stranger thing. It's just not fun to think that if I miss an opportunity to talk about Jesus with someone, they may not be saved and nobody will ever talk to them about Christ again. That person may die and go to hell and I will be held accountable for it. This may not be your theology, but it certainly was the theology of all the skits and dramas I witnessed as a teenager at youth camp...where students were killed in a car wreck, whisked away to the judgment, and sent to the right or to the left...while those lost and headed south screamed at the lucky saved ones, as they were being drug down by demons (teens dressed in black attire)..."Why didn't you tell me? It's all your fault!!!" This left an indellible mark of guilt on my heart. But it never really motivated me to "witness" for more than a few weeks after camp ended.
Guilt is a great manipulator but a lousy motivator.
I have since adopted a new perspective on sharing the good news with people, and I actually enjoy it. It's fun and interesting. See if this resonates with you at all...
Occasionally, I have the time (on a plane or in a restaurant) to enter into a lengthy dialogue about God, faith, and salvation with an individual. But most times, I am only afforded a small window of opportunity to say a word, or two or three, that will hopefully leave the person curious, intrigued, or hungry for more. So here is what I have found that really works.
In line at the coffee shop, the gas station, Target or the at the ticket counter, nearly everyone will ask "How are you doing today?" or some equivalent of that question. And what is the expected response? "Good" is what everyone says. But I suggest that there is something better than good. Something that we as Christians can say to them when all we have is a split second to show them something of the love of God. Say this...and see what happens.
"So how are you today?" they ask. I respond, "I am blessed ." Almost every single time, they will look up from what they are doing and actually make eye contact with me. They usually seem dumbfounded by that response. Boom! I have their attention. As soon as their eyes lock on mine, I then say, "I am doing so much better than I deserve."
If the person is a believer, they will often agree with me, tell me they are blessed as well, and then share a short testimony about how good God has been to them. Then that person, not me, has shared a glimpse of God's love with everyone nearby; those in line behind me, their co-workers, etc. If the person is not a believer, they may ask what I mean by that, they may ask me if I am religious or a Christian, or they may not say anything at all, but I have have not wasted a small opportunity to stimulate their mind and heart to think about something spiritual. God can used that one little word, "BLESSED" to begin a work in them that could lead them to faith in Christ one day. One plants, one waters, but it is GOD who makes it grow.
What is better than "good?" The answer is this: "Blessed" is better than good. Try answering this way the next time someone gives you the common courtesty to ask how you are doing. You will bless them with your words and witnessing can become fun again.
Learn more about Clayton King.